After a successful opening day of the Yelm Farmers Market on May 27 and full summer season, the market officially wrapped for the year on Sept. 30.
Numerous vendors were out on McKenzie Street for the final market of the year, including Andrea Saffer with Indulgence Sweets and Treats. Saffer, a former pastry chef, runs a cottage bakery and bakes out of her home. This is her second year participating in the Yelm Farmers Market, she said.
At the final market, Saffer had a plethora of seasonal sweets on hand, including pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, apple butter snickerdoodles, her popular brownies, chocolate babka and more.
“It’s been a good experience at the Yelm Farmers Market. There’s generally a nice, steady flow of traffic that comes through here,” Saffer said. “I am really passionate about what I do. I’m really excited about making interesting flavors, growing my business and seeing where it goes.”
To see more of Saffer’s products, go to Indulgence Sweets and Treats’ self-titled Facebook page.
Karla Borschinski, with Bee Forever Apiary, said the market is a huge opportunity for local vendors to introduce their product to community members. She noted that her business is the “oldest,” or longest-returning vendor at the market.
“It’s very important to support your local farmers. You know where the food comes from. We as bee keepers are also farmers. We all have tough times because we depend on nature, and suddenly things like early frost happen, and crops can’t grow,” Borschinski said. “For us, it’s very important to have close contact with the community, and the community can then rely on us.”
She said her business has 60 hives that provide the honey, bee pollen and goat milk soaps that she sells at the market. She and her husband pride themselves on being homesteaders, able to live from and off the land.
“We’ve been doing this since 2001, but we started small for ourselves. It grew and grew, and my husband’s idea was to create pollination for this area,” Borschinski said. “We started expanding our beehives and looked for outlets. Here at the Yelm Farmers Market, I like it because there’s so much contact with people. There’s a lot of information exchanged, and I like that.”
Hidden Prairie Farm was another vendor on hand at the final farmers market of the year. Tammy and Steve Owens said their business has grown quite a bit in its six years of operating.
She said the business started out selling soaps and lotions with goat milk but expanded to other products made from alpaca, goat and sheep fiber. She also has her cottage license, where she utilizes fruits and vegetables from the farm for different baking products and jam that she sells.
Hidden Prairie Farm has been at the Yelm Farmers Market for three years, and Owens said it has improved every year.
“It’s been pretty steady and busy every time we’ve been out here,” Steve Owens said. “I think it’s good for all the small businesses to be able to have a place to participate with their vendors. The community really appreciates being able to buy local products, things that are made here.”
He added that he and his wife have only missed three Saturday markets this year, and they enjoy when the market coincides with events such as the Barbecue Rally or different festivals at the Yelm City Park or community center.
“We see a lot of families all the time just hanging out, having a good time, especially in the summer,” he said. “The market is very well run. Jon [Jamieson] does a great job with the farmers market, and we’re a little community here. We know each other and work together well.”
Yelm Farmers Market manager Jon Jamieson, who’s held the position since 2018 but has been involved in the market for much longer, said the 2023 weekly market was a great experience, and the decision to move the event fully outdoors was successful.
“We truly have one of the greatest communities in the state, and we are very excited for the future. We can’t wait to start again next year and grow into an even more amazing local farmers market,” Jamieson said. “We had a great final market for the season with a good turnout and great sales for the vendors. The (Dog Day of Summer) event in the park was also a great addition for the final day.”