Farmers market sprouting


Staff writer

The Sears side of the Seatac Mall parking lot will soon become the site of booths bearing fruits, vegetables, flowers, seafood and locally made Adirondack furniture.

The Federal Way Farmers Market is scheduled to open June 19 and operate every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Oct. 30.

So far, 30 farmers and artisans have signed up, said organizer Rose Ehl. The goal is 40.

Ehl said city officials have discussed creating a farmers market for about two years. Market planners began talking to other Puget Sound-area market operators, like the Pike Place Market in Seattle, and last January they went to a market seminar. “That was a huge help,” she said.

As word of Federal Way’s market spread, so did interest in participating. The first farmer to sign up is the president of the farm bureau. He lives in Enumclaw and grows Asian pears, among other things. Another man, a member of the market board, has a farm in Auburn.

Tacoma’s farmers market organizer called to say they don’t have any more room and asked if they could start directing farmers to Federal Way. Before long, farmers were calling, Ehl said.

The Federal Way market received a $21,250 loan for startup costs from city lodging tax revenue, allocated each year by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Vendors will pay the market for their booths, and the market will pay back the city over time for the loan.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

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