After a teaser of sunshine and warm days, the rain came back just in time for the first Farmers Market on April 28th at Bayview Corner, but that didn’t keep anyone away. A local group of marimba players were cheering up shoppers as they browsed through the first offerings from farmers and crafters from around South Whidbey Island.
The current crop of garden apprentices – Annie, Tran, and Kathryn (minus Grayson who was visiting family in Denver), and the new Gleaning Coordinator – Brandi, met up with Lissa, Produce Manager for the Good Cheer Food Bank, to learn the process for gleaning produce from the Bayview Farmers Market. The first step was to grab the cart and a few sturdy plastic totes.
Checking in and grabbing the cart from the Good Cheer Garden shed
Next the crew headed over to the market, about a 5 minute walk through the Good Cheer garden and past the historic Bayview building. Aiming to arrive just before the market closed, so that farmers and shoppers wouldn’t feel crowded by the gleaners, the crew made their way through the market, with Lissa providing introductions to the some of the farm partners as they wound down from a fun and successful first market of the season.
Heading through the garden and off to market
Good Cheer has many long term partners in the local farming community, and the warm relationship is evident in the welcoming smiles and cheerful hellos from folks like Bill from Bur Oak Acres and Arwen from Skyroot Farm. Annie and Nathanial from Deep Harvest, and Stephen and Amy from Foxtail donated kohlrabi, kale, and radishes. Other gleanings included bok choy, salad mix, a few early season herbs, and collards.
Stopping by Deep Harvest’s farm stand to visit Annie
After quick stop at Lesedi Farm and African Food for samosas and a detour past the tiny free library, the gleaners made the short walk back to Good Cheer to weigh in and record the day’s catch. Donations are tracked, bins labeled, and produce stored in the walk-in cooler for repacking and distribution on Monday morning.
Not a bad haul for the first market of the year!