Moses Lake Farmers Market kicks off Saturday

May 3—MOSES LAKE — Beginning on opening day Saturday, the Moses Lake Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in McCosh Park, behind the Surf 'n Slide Water Park, with local craft, produce and food vendors selling their goods.

Moses Lake Farmers Market Board President Rachel Naff discussed the basics of the market.

"It's a mixture of different things," she said. "There's a lot of food vendors and craft vendors. So we have a lot of variety."

Naff said this year's number of vendors will be about the same or a little less than in previous years, but still a good turnout. She said the number of food vendors has increased in previous years.

"In the past, sometimes there weren't very many and then when families came to the markets, there were not very many options, so they had to leave," she said. "They weren't likely to come back and keep on shopping. So, we're glad to have more food vendors this last year or two."

Last year saw good feedback from the vendors, Naff said.

"The vendors are happy with how well attended the market was, and that's huge," she said. "Since COVID, it's been better, because at that point in time we were able to stay open, unlike some other places, so we were very thankful for that. However, prior to that, the first few markets of the year usually were smaller, with fewer vendors coming."

The beginning of this year's market will be focused on the vendors, Naff said.

"We do a few activities at different times in the year, but not at this point ... It's more of just starting the market and giving everybody the opportunity to come and get some produce, taste food and see if there's anything from the craft vendors," she said. "(Its) just a chance to connect with people that they may know in the community and the vendors they are used to coming and seeing. That's the main emphasis."

According to Naff, the market accepts several different payment methods as well.

"We do accept EBT cards," she said. "So anybody who has EBT cards, or if they have cards through the (Women, Infant and Children) and senior programs, they're welcome to come and use their cards at the yellow market booth to get tokens that they can use to purchase items at the qualifying vendors ... It helps a lot of families and older people who have those benefits."

Naff commented not only on the market's benefit to the community but also its benefit to the vendors.

"All of our members are small businesses of one type or another," she said. "A couple of the farmers have farm stands on their farms, and then coming to the Moses Lake Farmers Market gives them another opportunity to reach more people. There are small farmers, like garden farmers, basically, (and) it gives them an opportunity to sell their produce without having to have a lot of people coming to their homes."

The market is also in a different or more central location than many of the farms.

"I'm specifically thinking about some farmers who have farmstands; one is south of Othello, near Basin City, and the other is (in) Royal City," she said. "So for them to go to the market, that opens up a totally different group of people."

The physical location of the market has changed over the years, but Naff said the current spot in McCosh Park is working very well.

"It is a good place. (There is) quite a bit of parking in the parking lot," she said. "We have some spaces where vendors are able to be in the shade if they have products that are prone to melt or get warm. It's nice also during the summertime when it gets hot."

This year's season will be the first with a new market manager, Christina Haguewood.

"We're pretty excited about having Christina on board, given that she has experience from working in the Pendleton area working for the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce, including doing events associated with the Pendleton Roundup," she said. "We're pretty excited to have her with her experience coming from that ... We're still in the transition, but it's going smoothly."

Naff said her favorite part about the farmers market is seeing and visiting with both vendors and people from the community.

"For me, that's the big aspect of it that I like," she said. "We're always excited about the first day of markets. It's always fun to have everything starting back up again."

Gabriel Davis may be reached at