Yakima Farmers’ Market adding new vendors this weekend

Yakima Farmers' Market
Courtesy: Yakima Farmers' Market

UNION GAP, Wash. — While things are a little bit different at the Yakima Farmers’ Market this year, staff are working hard to ensure people can get locally-sourced produce safely and efficiently.

However, market manager Don Eastridge said with the market currently limited to “essential” businesses only — excluding arts, crafts and entertainment — there’s not as many vendors as usual.

“The first week, I had eight farmers,” Eastridge said. “Not all of them wanted to come because of the situation.”

Eastridge has managed the market for the past 15 years and said this year has been particularly hard on their budget, the revenue from which comes largely from vendors paying for a spot to sell their goods.

“The vendors pay by the amount of space they use and if  I have 10 vendors compared to 30 vendors, it’s a big difference in what we take in,” Eastridge said. “The last two weekends, we have just barely made rent.”

The market is limited to one-way traffic and one customer at a booth at a time; vendors are spread out, with a truck or other vehicle between each booth to separate them.

“Vendors have to have face masks, the public does not,” Eastridge said.

Multiple handwashing stations are spread throughout the market and disposable gloves are available for customers upon request.

This week, Eastridge learned that the market could include vendors that sell hot food. He said they’re expecting to have Thai food, popcorn, kettle corn and other items for people to take on the go; about 15 vendors are anticipated this weekend.

The Yakima Farmers’ Market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday in the Sears parking lot at the corner of Valley Mall Boulevard and Main Street in Union Gap.