The Mercer Island Farmers Market

A Summer Staple Returns

The Mercer Island Farmers Market (MIFM) is set to welcome the community back to Mercerdale Park for its 17th season, promising vibrant Sundays filled with fresh local produce, artisan goods, and family-friendly activities. Starting June 2nd and running until September 29th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, this cherished local event continues to be a beacon for both community engagement and support for local vendors. Additionally, a special Harvest Market will be hosted on November 24th, just in time for Thanksgiving preparations.

Since its inception in 2007, MIFM has evolved into a bustling hub, hosting 50-55 vendors weekly. These vendors offer a variety of goods, from farm-fresh produce and artisanal jams to handcrafted items and delicious prepared foods. Drawing vendors from as close as the Eastside and as far as Eastern Washington, the market encapsulates the diverse agricultural spirit of the region. In 2023 alone, the market attracted an average of 2,800 visitors each week and achieved an impressive $1.1 million in sales, with expectations to exceed these figures in the 2024 season.

MIFM isn't just about shopping; it's an experience. Every market day is filled with live music from local artists, creating a lively atmosphere that complements the scenic park setting. Children can engage in fun, educational activities at a dedicated table hosted by local children's centers, while adults can relax in the picnic area, enjoying both the summer sun and the vibrant market scene.

The market's success is made possible by the generous support of the community, including major sponsors like Aljoya. Aljoya not only contributes significantly to the market’s operating budget but also hosts an annual "Garden Party" for donors, celebrating and fostering community spirit. Other sponsors and individual donors play crucial roles, ensuring the market's vibrancy and continuity. Those interested in getting more involved can join the ranks of dedicated volunteers who help with everything from setup to hosting interactive children's activities.

A highlight of the MIFM is the Market Bucks program, sponsored by Aljoya, which supports SNAP/EBT members. This initiative allows eligible participants to receive up to $30 to spend at the market each Sunday, enhancing food accessibility and supporting healthy community eating habits. In a promising development, a second Market Bucks program is in the works, thanks to a partnership with the City of Mercer Island’s Youth & Family Services. This new program aims to further assist families in accessing nutritious foods.

With the 2024 season fast approaching, MIFM is ramping up its social media presence, offering followers a sneak peek into upcoming vendors, musical line-ups, and special events. The market's revamped weekly newsletter will soon provide updates, recipes, and more, ensuring that the community remains well-informed and engaged.

As Mercer Island residents and visitors alike count down to the opening day, the excitement is palpable. The Mercer Island Farmers Market not only offers an opportunity to shop locally and sustainably but also serves as a gathering place that strengthens community bonds. Whether you’re a long-time attendee or a first-time visitor, make sure to mark your calendars for June 2nd, and prepare to enjoy a summer of fresh produce, unique crafts, and unforgettable Sundays at MIFM.