Food

To Market

Sights of the season

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

As the daylight hours shrink to the length of long winter naps on the seemingly never-ending journey to the solstice,  it’s helpful to seek out color and light whenever and wherever possible.

For example, on a recent soggy Saturday I made my way to the Bellingham Farmers Market on an annual sojourn to procure locally grown garlic for backyard planting purposes. It was raining and chilly, but as soon as I walked into the Depot Market Square, I instantly felt a thaw.

The temperature hadn’t changed, but my surroundings had. Farmers offered plenty of produce in a variety of mood-lightening hues—hot-pink radishes and turnips, rainbow chard, small orange pumpkins and other squash varieties, purple cabbages, peppers in a number of shades of red and yellow, and bright-green Brussels sprouts were among the edible items that caught my eye—and many vendors had lines of customers eager to stock their bags with gustatory goods.

After strolling around the outdoor spaces and securing approximately three pounds of giant hardneck garlic bulbs from Rabbit Fields Farm, I took a walk through the heated interior market space to garner a few gifting ideas for the holiday season.

Food- and drink-related gifts and party favors I spied included—but were definitely not limited to—Evolve truffles, artfully packaged beans from Bellingham Coffee Roasters, goat cheese from Bow’s Gathering Farms, growing kits from Cascadia Mushrooms, packaged cookies from Edison’s BreadFarm, bottles of Krampus from Chuckanut Bay Distillery, and bottles of artisanal brew from Blaine’s 100-year-old Atwood Ales Farm Brewery.

But that was far from all. I eyed a handcrafted beer growler from Blue Water Pottery that would be perfect for one of the men in my life, handmade soaps and lotions from Sea Witch Botanicals ideal for a certain lady I lunch with, an owl-centric notebook made of handcrafted paper from Claudia Art Studio (which boasts “illustrated goodies for nature lovers”), pins, hats and dolls made of recycled fabric from Moth and Squirrel’s Libby Chenault, cooking knives carefully constructed by Andy Gladish, beeswax candles resembling pinecones, Still Waters earrings, necklaces and bracelets and so much more.

I didn’t make any additional purchases that day, but now that the garlic bulbs have been planted and my garden has mostly been put to bed, I plan to return before the final market of the season—which takes place Sat., Dec. 23, providing plenty of fare for pre-holiday feasts and last-minute gift purchases—and score some sweet Christmas booty. While I’m there, I’ll happily soak up the local color. 

The Bellingham Farmers Market continues from 10am-3pm Dec. 9, 16 and 23. Winter markets take place monthly in January, February, and March. For more details: http://www.bellinghamfarmers.org

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