Since March 28 Proctor has been hosting its weekly farmer’s market on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. While they’re open per the usual time, they’re ensuring extra measures are taken to follow guidelines in respect to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders. In order to follow these, only one entrance and exit are permitted, sanitizing stations are provided, and, for now, they have revoked the possibility of sampling products. Furthermore, they also discontinued live music, and require all attendees to wear face masks and abide by the 6-foot social distancing measures.
Despite having these new regulations in place, considering they supply food commodities and goods alike, the outdoor market is still providing the community with local products and goods on a weekly basis thus it is considered an essential business.
The market takes up roughly two blocks and closes off the corners of 27th and North Madison where they meet North Proctor Street. Vendors line the streets and offer a multitude of locally produced and sourced products for the community. On May 16, the market provided a total of 34 independent businesses to participate and all were in high spirits despite the intermittent rain and current circumstances.
The stands consisted of five booths that offered fresh flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit starter kits along with other plantables for your garden and home décor. Each provides a vast range of products from berry trees and bushes, kale plants or corn stocks, an abundance of herbs to choose from or a nice bouquet of flowers to adorn your kitchen table, each come from farms and farmers in the near area.
Not only this but much like a traditional grocery store the market was also equipped with businesses selling meat and cheese products, baked sweets and breads, a fish market, one with homemade sauerkraut, a hot sauce stand, hot chocolate, freshly made smoothies, a mushroom stand and others with freshly harvested and in-season produce — so you don’t have to plant your own.
Aside from these, Proctor’s market also includes specialty and niche goods. Thankfully, if you weren’t able to get your hands on a mask before they all sold out, before entry there was a local proctor business selling homemade masks — allowing the possibility to enter. They also provided a multitude of sizes, along with children’s, to ensure everyone could find the right fit and avoid restriction or the need to continuously re-adjust.
Additionally, there was also a booth with fresh homemade tamales. With vegetarian and vegan options as well as the choice between savory or sweet, the booth catered to a wide audience. Another stand provided potents — drink mixtures — that consist solely of natural ingredients and offer a wide variety of tastes that vary depending what is in season.
Vendors come and go and change from week to week during this unprecedented time, and many still want to avoid groups unless completely necessary. But in order to try to reach and include a wider range of individuals, the market recently established an order-ahead and/or delivery system in coordination with some of their vendors.
You can check their website at http://www.proctorfarmersmarket.com/ in order to scope participating businesses and check to see if this is a viable option for you.