Proctor Farmers Market now year round

By Michael Swan on December 4, 2010


Here we are, clamped firmly in winter's dismal, rime-curdled armpit, and I'm in full-on hibernation mode. Fortunately, my projected schedule for the next two months includes plenty of worshipping the space heater, taking hot showers and slaughtering my friends at Scrabble; but even triple-word-score beatdowns eventually get old. So I'm thrilled to hear every second Saturday I can still visit my friends at the Proctor Farmers Market. Here's the press release:

With the beginning of its Winter Market Season, the Proctor Farmers' Market becomes the first year-round farmers' market in Pierce County. The Proctor Farmers' Market will be open once monthly on every Second Saturday during December, January, February, and March.

While already having the longest regular season in Pierce County, opening the last weekend in March, and operating every Saturday until Thanksgiving, the Proctor Farmers' Market's Board of Directors realized that vendors still have fresh items available and customers are still looking for farm-fresh foods during the winter. According to Board President Bruce Larson, "We're giving local farmers an opportunity to sustain themselves year-round."

"This is the answer that we can now give to our customers who ask us how they can eat local, fresh produce in the off season," says Valerie Foster of Zestful Gardens, one of the over twenty vendors who plan to sell items at the December market. Other vendors at the market will have honey, meat, cheese, eggs, smoked fish, shellfish, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jam, pickles, filberts, rain barrels, coffee, and fresh pasta. Cheryl the Pig Lady is thrilled because her regular customers eat meat every week and are glad to be able to get local meat year-round, "This is our peak season for production," says Cheryl, who plans to have pork, lamb, beef, and a little goat meat at December's market.

The weather is a main issue in preventing farmers' markets from operating year-round. Will customers actually brave the weather to buy fresh food? When the farmers' market surveyed customers to find out, they found that about 99% of customers said they'd attend a winter market. "Time will tell, but customers were overwhelmingly enthusiastic and thankful about the prospect of a winter market," says Market Manager Jessica Troy.

The Market will continue to process EBT, credit, and debit cards during the Winter Market at the information booth. The Proctor folks plan to operate in rain or shine...but not snow! For up-to-the-minute weather updates, please check their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, join their email update list (by emailing them at, or call the market phone at 253-961-3666.

The Proctor Farmers' Market will be open at its' regular location on North 27th Street at Proctor Street in Tacoma. The Winter Market hours will be from 10-1.