Plans for new farmers market in M-F underway

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MILTON-FREEWATER -- Plans for a new farmers market are taking root here.

Mike Mathisen, a Hermiston resident who helps manage the Umatilla Farmers Market, has been developing plans for a market this year in Milton-Freewater.

"The excitement is really contagious," Mathisen said in an e-mail.

Though still actively looking for the right site for the project, Mathisen has nailed down several other details.

The new market would take place Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m..

The mid-week timing would work around other markets already established in the region: Umatilla's on Thursdays, Pendleton's on Fridays, and markets in Hermiston, Pasco and Walla Walla on Saturdays.

"The goal is to have some vendors go to Milton-Freewater, Umatilla, Pendleton and Hermiston, making a very strong network of fresh-produce markets," Mathisen said.

It's a lofty plan, he said. But he believes it would further bolster the success of other markets and spread the vendors options for selling their products.

He hopes to open this year with a mix of five or six growers, three or four food vendors and five or six crafters, as well as a few wineries or specialty booths.

Those interested in joining or learning more can visit www.mffarmersmarket.com.

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