Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pasco Farmers Market

The farmers market in Pasco, Washington, opens this weekend, running on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until the end of October.

It's the oldest and biggest farmers market in the area. Besides fruits and veggies, you can find crafts, baked goods and plants on sale. The produce offerings depend on the time of year. There's usually not too many vendors in the opening weeks, but as the summer moves on, more farmers show up.

I visit the market several times a summer, but I usually don't buy anything. I think the prices for fresh produce are too high, sometimes higher than what you'd pay in a supermarket, but then supermarket produce is not as fresh as what you can find at the Pasco market. However, the contract farmers have with the market require them to charge prices that are comparable to what grocery stores charge.

I go mainly because the farmers market is a good place to catch up with friends I haven't seen in awhile. I also go to take photographs of all the fresh produce on display.

I used to really love shopping for produce at farmers markets, but that was until I moved to China for a couple of years. There, instead of shopping at farmers markets just occasionally, I shopped for produce on a daily basis at street stands. One might sell just tomatoes, another celery, and a third apples. Each stand usually only sold one vegetable or fruit. When you have to shop like this all the time, farmers markets lose their allure.

The Pasco farmers market is open from about 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., though many farmers leave as soon as they sell out, so the earlier you go the better. It's located at Fourth Avenue and Lewis Street in downtown Pasco.

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