With colder seasons approaching, the Bellingham Farmers Market vendors prepare to either alter their products or close for the remainder of fall and winter.
After a busy summer, community members can expect to see new items being sold as vendors selling fresh flowers, produce and other warm weather-specific products undergo a seasonal transition.
Osprey Hill Farms, a produce and poultry stand at the market, plans on remaining at the market every weekend through Nov. 18. After that, they will transition to online ordering where customers can utilize home delivery or pickup options.
Additionally, in the winter season, Osprey Hill Farms focuses on products that are specific to colder seasons, such as meats, broths for soups and homemade immunity-boosting syrup.
“Within the next couple of weeks, we'll have an elderberry-like immunity syrup,” said Anna Martin, a staff member of Osprey Hill Farms. “You've got your soup and your broth in your bones but also elderberry syrup, which has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for influenza, cold and viruses.”
During the first market in October, Happy Valley Carnivores, a plant stand, closed up for the season. Ian Bivins, the vendor of this stand, uses fall and winter to do most of his plant maintenance.
“The colder months are about getting ready for the next season,” Bivins said. “And so that means cutting back dead foliage. It means dividing some of our mother plants to make genetically identical babies.”
Throughout the summer, Goose Creek Flowers has become well-known among market regulars for its garlands of bright orange marigolds. However, with the flower-growing season coming to a close, Anais Forester, the vendor of this stand, plans to transition to selling flowers that she’s been drying year round.
Forester expects to see a slight decrease in profits during fall and winter but is hopeful that her dried flowers will still attract market attendees.
“I think honestly, there might only be a slight decrease because dried flowers are so popular now,” Forester said.
Sarah Grainger, the interim director of the Bellingham Farmers Market, is in charge of managing the layout of vendors at the market. During colder seasons, she alters where vendors are located in anticipation of harsher weather conditions.
“Crafters and vendors with smaller items will move inside the pavilion because earrings and other light-weight things can get blown around by the weather,” Grainger said.
Asche Rider, a certified business advisor at the Small Business Development Center and regular shopper at the market expects this seasonal transition to create a fluctuation of attendance to the market.
“Seasonality always comes with influxes of business and then quieter times,” Rider said in an email. “When it’s busy it’s nice for businesses as there’s more income. When it’s a quieter time it can be nice to have a slower pace, but that also comes with less revenue, which occasionally can lead to challenges.”
Since Osprey Hill Farms’ last day selling at the market will be Nov. 18, the farm will be selling fresh turkeys. This market acts as a “harvest fest,” said Martin, for the farm and many other vendors as they bring holiday goods and hope to attract large crowds.
While vendors make this seasonal transition, Whatcom residents can expect to see a new variety of goods sold at the market as winter arrives. Vendors and market staff encourage the community to continue to attend the market despite the changing weather.
“We can do so much, we have so much power in buying locally,” Martin said. “It’s small and it seems insignificant sometimes, but it’s powerful. You might be spending a bit more on local, but you’re having a profound impact.”
The Bellingham Farmers Market will remain open through Dec. 16 every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bellingham Depot Market Square on 1100 Railroad Ave.
Sophie Cadran(she/her) is a city news reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a second-year journalism student at Western with a minor in communication studies. In her free time, she enjoys getting outside with friends and family, reading and swimming.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org