Where to Buy Fresh & Local in Washington
Here are some of the best places to pick up the state's top crops.
There's more to the best farmers' markets, fruit stands and U-pick places in Washington than who has the crispest apples, the sweetest Rainier cherries and the plumpest potatoes. Indeed, the state’s most iconic spots to purchase produce boast the kind of sense of place, attitude and showmanship that keep people coming back for more, regardless of the season.
Pike Place Market
With street performers, flying fish and 200-plus merchants vying for attention, it would be easy to overlook Seattle’s freshest produce, but doing so would be a crying shame.
A weekly market held every Sunday in Seattle’s famed Norwegian neighborhood, this is one of the few Seattle farmers' markets to be open year-round.
All products here must be grown or made within a four-county area. That, and the daily entertainment Thursday through Sunday from April through October, is music to the ears of most.
Snow Goose Produce
This roadside stand sells local produce, specialty foods and fresh-caught Hood Canal shrimp, making it worth a day trip to Mount Vernon, just outside La Conner.
This open-air fruit stand near Leavenworth sits next to an orchard that grows 29 varieties of apple and 13 varieties of pear. It also sells local fruit, dried fruit, honey and jam.
Its location on I-90 between Seattle and Ellensburg may attract drivers looking to stretch, but its odd mix of local crops, gourmet food, wine and antiques brings people back.
Nicholson’s Orchard Fresh
Unless you pick them yourself, it’s hard to get apples much fresher than from a stand beside the orchard. This third-generation farm near Wenatchee sells organic apples and preserves.
A roadside stand on steroids, Smallwood's has a petting farm, egg factory, cow train and maze, plus a sales space featuring fruit, specialty foods, soaps and lotions.
What started in 1996 as a small Pasco fruit stand has grown into a destination, complete with a chocolate factory, specialty foods and corn maze, though the focus remains on produce.
Nothing says fall like a pumpkin slingshot. Train rides, ponies and a cider press make picking your own berries, apples and pumpkins fun for the entire family in Grandview.
It’s hard to find a U-pick with a greater sense of place than this North Bend farm where you can harvest your own blueberries in the shadow of Mount Si.
About the Author