The beets are back in town

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market open for the season April 30

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

With the onset of sunny spring days, a big part of Sandpoint’s seasonal transition returns this weekend, with the kickoff of the 2022 Sandpoint Farmers’ Market on Saturday, April 30. Market hours will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday and 3-5:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Oct. 1.

A selection of produce at the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market. Photo by Ben Olson.

An institution since 1988, when a handful of vendors gathered to sell garden produce, the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market has grown into one of the hottest activities for locals and visitors alike. Featuring dozens of vendors selling everything from locally-grown produce to arts and crafts and jewelry, the market’s opening day signals the official beginning of the warm seasons in Sandpoint.

“Opening day is an exciting day for everyone,” said Kelli Burt, who is entering her fifth season managing the market. “I get to meet new vendors, check in with returning vendors and reconnect with our customers. It’s like the first day of school after summer vacation.”

Burt said the winter season is usually spent reviewing vendor applications, booking live music and applying for grants to help cover costs during the season.

For Burt, the return of locally grown produce is one of the most exciting aspects of the market’s annual return to Farmin Park, at the corner of Third Avenue and Oak Street.

“I really look forward to fresh vegetables at the start of Market season,” she said. “The first few weeks of the market is a really sweet time of getting to know the newcomers and catching up with returning vendors. The market community really is a special place and I love connecting with vendors and customers.”

Burt said this year will see quite a few new vendors, as well as past vendors returning to offer their farm, food and craft specialties.

Local band Oak Street Connection will play live on opening day from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and live music will be featured at every Saturday Market. 

The market is also a proud participant of the SNAP/DUFB program. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which bolsters the food budget for people in need. DUFB stands for Double Up Food Bucks, an Idaho program that matches your fruit and vegetable purchases when using the Quest Card. Customers with an EBT can visit the manager’s booth at the market to redeem funds to purchase food from vendors. Thanks to the assistance of the Idaho Farmers’ Market Association, the Community Action League, Kaniksu Land Trust and the Bonner Community Food Bank, the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market is able to double the withdrawal amount of customers up to $10.

According to Burt, the market is more than just a place to buy produce and crafts, it’s a big piece of Sandpoint’s community.

“The Farmers’ Market is a cornerstone of the Sandpoint community and has been for over 35 years,” she said. “For a relatively small town we are really blessed with a wide variety of dedicated and innovative farmers. We have a short growing season and farmers are still able to grow an incredible amount of food.”

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