By Sayde Walker
Tillamook Farmers Market Manager
If you’re like me, rainy days are best spent inside. They call for a second (or third) cup of coffee, a book, Netflix playing in the background and a fire in the fireplace. I love the rain just as much as the next #PNWnative, but I also can’t wait for longer, sunnier days.
Summer time of course means the start of the Tillamook Farmers Market, and thus my favorite of all my job titles. This year’s season opens June 15th and, per usual, will run each Saturday through the end of September from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of Laurel Avenue and Second Street.
With only four months out, that means it’s time to start recruiting vendors. Our application is again online, and can be found on both the Tillamook Chamber website and TillamookFarmersMarket.com. You can also find the link on both Facebook pages as well.
This year we are specifically looking for more prepared food vendors to give people shopping (and vendors) more choices for lunch. You can find our policies and vendor requirements online as well, or just email me and I can send those to you if you have any questions about whether or not your products meet the standard for a farmers market.
I am also out and about looking for sponsorships for the 2019 season; sponsors are recognized throughout the year in various ways depending on the level.. We have all kinds of programs you can choose to sponsor – such as our music tent. I can’t say enough how incredible our music line up is this year. So many favorites from last year returning (Buffalo Kitty, ZuhG, Dante Zapato), and a few brand new acts as well. To bring in a high caliber of musicians, we have to be sure to compensate them and sponsors can help offset these costs.
Another great sponsorship opportunity are our Kids Bucks program, which works in conjunction with the OSU Extension Food Hero booth. Kids under 12 who visit the booth and participate in some kind of food related activity receive a $2 voucher that they can spend at the Tillamook Farmers Market. Those that participate each week can get even more fun prizes.
We are also raising money for the Double Up Food Bucks program, which is returning in 2019. Folks who have an Oregon Trail Card can spend their SNAP dollars with eligible vendors at the Market, and receive a dollar for-dollar match up to $10 to buy extra fruits, vegetables, nuts and more. Just bring your EBT card to the Market trailer during the season and we will run your card and give you the match. Last year our Market did just over $3,800 in SNAP and SNAP match sales. However there is no funding for the match, so we take it upon ourselves and the support we get from Food Roots to keep this program going.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the TIllamook Farmers Market, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 503-842-7535. And be sure to fill out an application online if you want to join us as a vendor. It’s going to be a great season!