Blitz the Seahawk was the star of the show during last week's Farm to Table Farmers Market, as Sky Valley residents flocked to Traveler's Park in Monroe to be photographed with the spirited mascot.
And although Farm to Table Coordinator Molly Daniels had additional themed events planned for upcoming weeks, including Bearcats Day and Harvest Festival, she has had to conclude the market for this season due to unforeseen complications with a nearby property owner.
"We are so thrilled with how successful this first year has been, and we can't wait until next season,GÇ¥ Daniels said. "Unfortunately, we found out recently that because of the success and how many people have come to support the market, we are no longer able to use our space on Ann Street and Traveler's Park.GÇ¥
The issue came down to parking. Farm to Table vendors and customers typically used the southeast corner of the Grocery Outlet parking lot, which will no longer be available. The city of Monroe is working with Daniels to locate potential locations for her specialty events and next year's market.
"The city of Monroe has been fabulous in helping us scout new locations,GÇ¥ Daniels said. "They are being incredibly helpful in all of this, but their hands are tied since it's private property.GÇ¥
Daniels kicked off the Farm to Table Farmers Market on July 15, after recognizing the community need. The market took place from 3-7 p.m. every Wednesday, and often incorporated themes, including "Christmas in July,GÇ¥ "Dog Days of SummerGÇ¥ and "Kids Vendor Day.GÇ¥ It gave new farmers, such as Orange Star Farm and Rainy Sunday Ranch, the opportunity to showcase products alongside experienced farmers like Tualco Valley Produce and Skagit Sun Berries.
Throughout the season, Farm to Table vendors offered fresh produce, pasture-raised chicken, handcrafted jewelry, home d+¬cor, fresh eggs, locally produced wine, hot food and more. Adam's Northwest Bistro & Brewery owner Chef Adam Hoffman operated the Farm to Table beer garden each week, offering up his custom craft brews. There were live musical performances and activities for kids, including face painting by Ninyel Masterjohn and balloon animals by Sean the Balloon Guy.
Last week's lively blue-and-green event featured a record number of vendors showcasing a variety of clothing, hair accessories, jewelry and home d+¬cor, much of which incorporated a vibrant Seahawks theme.
The appearance by Blitz the Seahawk was made possible by Main Street dentist Dr. Jeremy Johnson, who sponsored the mascot.
Whackadoodles and Wanderlust artisan Staci Scheffer featured a variety of handcrafted jewelry created out of upcycled silverware. Her leather cuff bracelets featured sayings like, "Spekulation bout that action,GÇ¥ "Hawk-a-holic addicted to Seattle footballGÇ¥ and "God, family & Seahawks in that order.GÇ¥ Scheffer and her husband, Todd, make necklaces, rings, bracelets and other custom items out of sterling and silver-plated flatware retrieved from thrift stores, antique shops, garage sales and flea markets ' basically wherever they can find it.
"We love the idea of up-cycling discarded silverware to give it new life,GÇ¥ Staci said. "We don't mind if it's "chippy' and old. We don't care if it's faded, rusty or worn. We love the story behind it, the history within it and the patina on it.GÇ¥
Annie Reason to Craft owner Autumn Snapper displayed a selection of pint-sized blue and green headbands, bibs festooned with the Seahawks logo and onesies fit for any 12th baby. Snapper's mother, Lil' Whimzees owner Valerie Adkins, featured her own selection of handmade products, including Seahawks diaper changing pads and Seahawks-festooned fleece ponchos.
The market boasted consistently strong attendance throughout the season, receiving widespread support from the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the city of Monroe, local business owners and city officials.
Daniels is working to secure a location to hold her Bearcats Day event, the Harvest Festival and next year's weekly market.
"A new location is in the works for the 2016 season, and we are very excited to bring the Farm to Table Farmers Market back next summer,GÇ¥ Daniels said.
For more information on the Farm to Table Farmers Market and to see photos from past events, visit www.facebook.com/farmtotablemonroe. To contact Daniels, email email@example.com.Photos by Chris Hendrickson Shiloh and Brayden Bassetti enjoyed spending time with Blitz the Seahawk last week.Seahawks-themed made from upcycled silverware by Staci and Todd Scheffer.
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