Stephanie Brooks, YMCA Jefferson County Snap-Ed coordinator, plays Veggie Bingo with 7-year-old Jaxzen Berg of Port Townsend at the new location of the Wednesday Farmers Market at the Haines Street Park and Ride Transit Center. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Stephanie Brooks, YMCA Jefferson County Snap-Ed coordinator, plays Veggie Bingo with 7-year-old Jaxzen Berg of Port Townsend at the new location of the Wednesday Farmers Market at the Haines Street Park and Ride Transit Center. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Wednesday farmers market opens in new location

PORT TOWNSEND — The Wednesday Farmer’s Market in Port Townsend has a new location and a new focus on farms, nutrition and youth.

Dubbed the Mid-Week Food and Farmers Market, it is located at Jefferson Transit’s Haines Street Park and Ride at Landes and 12th streets. The market, which opened June 6, runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. through Sept. 26.

The Wednesday Market is sister to the main Saturday market, held uptown at Tyler and Lawrence streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Sunday Chimacum Farmers Market, which is at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand at Center Road and Rhody Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amy Goetz, assistant manager of the Jefferson County Farmers Markets, said the new location has brought new vendors, a new group of shoppers, and offers a special club for children.

“We had five to six regular vendors during the season last year which is not a sustainable market, even though it was well loved by our locals,” Goetz said.

“We made a a big decision to move a market after we did online surveys and held lots of conversations at the market and at board meetings.”

Goetz said there is a higher population density in this new area, and the market is attracting a whole new group of people who have not visited the uptown location in the past.

“A bus stopped and a bunch of adults and children got off the bus and came right here. It works. It’s benefiting us and Jefferson Transit. That’s all we hope for,” she said.

The market offers local produce, fish, salad dressings, artisan cheeses, pastries, wine and mushrooms.

The Wednesday market combined with the Saturday market allows families the opportunity to eat fresh and local all week long, organizers point out.

A new feature of the Wednesday Market is a focus on children.

“We’re doing our POP — Power of Produce — Club,” Goetz said. “Kids will be learning about nutrition, farming, food, exercise, and health.

“They learn a little bit about economics, too. Every time they participate, children between the ages of 5 to 12 who are signed up for our program will earn $2 in POP Club tokens. They can spend it or save it up, or pool it with other kids to buy more expensive things like flats of berries later in the season.”

Goetz said market organizers want to make the children’s programs interesting and engaging.

“We’re working with different community partners,” she said. “Organic Seed Alliance was here last week with magnifying glasses, dissecting flowers with tweezers looking at them close up.”

Other partners include the Jefferson County Library, the Port Townsend Public Library, the Jefferson County and Olympic YMCA, 4-H and others. Prosper Body Works plans to do a family Yoga Day in the near future.

Jaxzen Berg, 7, of Port Townsend is a member of the POP Club and was playing Veggie Bingo at the market Wednesday. She was learning about different types of vegetables and their nutrition.

“Last week I learned about flowers and made a vinaigrette, Berg said. “I have two tokens and will get two more today. I don’t know if I’ll spend them today. Maybe.”

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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