Johnson’s Heritage Farmstead owners Rodney and Michelle Johnson moved to the area two years ago from Alaska where they had enjoyed participating in farmers markets for more than a decade.
Once on the Palouse, they sought the right fit for continuing their market tradition, selling handmade soaps and vegetables to the public.
The Johnsons found the right fit in the Latah Farmers Market, which despite a rainy outlook to the weekend, kicks off its second market season today at the Troy City Park. The market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and every Saturday through Oct. 8.
There will be live music, hot food, coffee, baked goods and other vendor items to include produce, handmade goods and locally raised meats. About 25-30 vendors are expected today, according to market manager Erika Sattler, with that number expected to grow as the season progresses.
The Johnsons knew they wanted to get involved in a farmers market, but wanted to start on a smaller scale. Rodney Johnson said the Troy market gave them that opportunity.
“It’s just one more viable option for people,” Johnson said.
Rodeny Johnson said the management of the market was another draw, because the organizers also were vendors and knew what other vendors could need when getting prepared. Johnson said last year there were local youth at the market to help set up and take down booths, which made it easier.
Of the vendors, many are in the youth category, Sattler said. Youth vendors are those younger than 18 and last year made up about 20% of the market’s vendors. Many are returning this year for another market season.
“Being able to foster entrepreneurship in the younger generation is really exciting,” Sattler said.
The vendors at the Latah Farmers Market are from Latah County and a few of the surrounding counties. Sattler said the purpose of the market was to create a smaller market for many of the home-based businesses to gain a footing.
Sattler said that while the Latah Farmers Market happens at the same time and day as the larger and more established Moscow Farmers Market in downtown Moscow, the goal is not to compete. She said there is enough room for both Saturday markets in the area.
In addition to the Saturday market, an offshoot market will be established in Potlatch from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning July 6 at the Potlatch Depot. A number of the vendors in Troy had produce that needed to be sold more frequently than once a week, Sattler said.
Johnson said the opportunity to be a vendor at the Potlatch market was a great idea and they are excited to be a part of that market, too.
Nelson can be reached at email@example.com
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Latah Farmers Market
WHERE: Troy City Park, off Highway 8
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 8
ON THE WEB: latahfarmersmarket.com/
ALSO: A Potlatch Farmers Market will debut from 4-7 p.m. July 6 at The Depot, 185 Eighth St., in Potlatch. That market will run weekly through Sept. 28.