Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kootenai County Farmer's Market

It Doesn't Get More Farm Fresh Than This

When I'm done preparing & serving breakfast for our guests most Saturday mornings- Spring, Summer and Fall-I sneak off to Northern Idaho's delightful Farmer's Market! The setting is remarkable....on a busy corner of Hwy 95 and Prairie in Hayden, there sits a beautiful grassy corner that is shaded by a stand of old Ponderosa Pines. It seems so out of place, across the street from a busy mall area, but yet there it is..... most incongruously.....yet.....totally what you would hope to find in every small town- as you feel transported to an old fashioned market in the middle of the countryside!

Everything you would expect and more await the early (and not so early) riser, from crafts and flowers to plants and produce. The 50 vendor booths have a rustic buttermilk red paint and the uniformity creates a calmness while the signage allows for the creativity of each marketer. The agricultural products are all local organically grown & produced by family farmers and the food purveyors provide tasty treats throughout the morning. There is a coffee vendor, Jon Lewis, that is much more than what he appears to be....."Long Story Short" is the name of his business, but when you order that latte, which he prepares individually, take a moment to study the artistic details he floats on the surface!

Did I mention the music? Yes, there are wonderful musicians each Saturday on a small stage area with seating nearby. The sounds of the market mingle with the folksy blues performances given by wonderful local artists.

I'm always looking at the wonderful plants Barbara brings to "Nothing But Herbs". My guests enjoy many gleanings from her greenest thumb! "Killarney Farms" always has the most surprising array of fresh produce. The crafts vendors delights are juried and must meet a certain standard to be allowed in the market. I always seem to find just one more thing to add to our elegant country setting waiting for me in the craft booths......I'm hoping one of the triplex birdhouses will find its way to my garden!

Things To Consider:
  • Opening Day is usually the first Saturday in May

  • The Market is located at Hwy 95 & Prairie in Hayden

  • The hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • For more information: 208-772-2290

  • The first market opened in 1986 & some early marketers are still with them today

  • High attendance is normally from 8-9 when serious produce shoppers arrive
  • Plenty of parking

  • Bring a wagon or shopping bag to carry your goodies to the car
  • Wear comfortable shoes and take a water bottle
  • If Farmer's Markets are your favorite, check these out too:
  1. Bonners Ferry: City Parking Lot on HWY 95 across from the library, Sat.8-1, May-Oct
  2. Sandpoint: Farmin Park at Third and Oak St., Sat. 9-1, Wed, 3-5:30, May-Oct
  3. CDA Downtown: 5th St. between Sherman & Front, Wed. 4-7, May-Oct
  4. St. Maries: 536 Main St., Fri. 2:30-5:30; May-Sept.
  5. Hope: 415 Wellington Place at Community Center; Fri. 2:30-5:30; June-Sept.

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