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South Sound U-Pick farms and farmers markets

Summer is a perfect time to visit fruit stands and farmers markets. Photo credit: Viktor Hanacek

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Washington state is known for its diversity of fruits and vegetables. And there is no better time than summertime to get out, enjoy the weather, and pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here in Pierce and Thurston Counties, there is an abundance of farms and markets to consider visiting. A slice of what they offer is served up here:

Duris Cucumber Farm: Don't let the name fool you. Based in Puyallup, this is a cornucopia of fresh strawberries, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash, and a host of green and pickling cucumbers. There is also a roadside market offering local fresh fruit and vegetables. For more information, visit

Charlotte's Blueberry Park: This Tacoma neighborhood park covers 20 acres and hosts more than 3,300 bushes which produce five varieties of blueberry. No pesticides or fertilizers are used on the plants. And the best part? There is no charge to pick the blueberries. To learn more, visit

Gile Blueberry Farm: Bring the kids for a day of picking pesticide-free blueberries, or have someone at the farm pick them for you. A family-owned and operated venture located in Olympia, fun is sure to be had by all. For a preview, visit

Spooner Berry Farms: An historic South Puget Sound favorite located in Puyallup, this farm produces fresh-picked strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries - to say nothing of its corn! Curious? Visit

To learn more about where to find a U-pick farm in the South Puget Sound area, visit

Adding more choice and diversity to the fun of shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables are farmers markets. As my mother used to say, these markets support local farmers and their produce let her prepare better food.

Lakewood Farmers Market: Located in Steilacoom Park every Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m. through Aug. 30, visitors can shop for fresh produce and flowers, grab a bite and a drink from one of the food trucks, and kids can enjoy yard games set up just for them. To learn more, visit

Point Ruston Farmers Market: The view of Commencement Bay and the variety of shops is worth the drive. Mix in a variety of fresh produce, flowers, locally processed foods like pickles, pasta, baked goods and more, and you will not be disappointed. Other Tacoma Markets include Broadway downtown, Eastside on 56th, and Multicare on MLK Jr. Way. Check it out at

Olympia Farmers Market: Wanna go big?  This market features fresh produce from local farms, plant starts, flowers, meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, wine and a whole lot more. Open Thursday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October. Stop by to learn more.

Farm Fresh Market: You can get hungry just reading about this market. Located in Olympia, it features fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables; however, it also offers wagyu beef, lamb, natural pork and fresh local organic chicken. To increase your appetite, visit

Yelm Farmers Market: For those who want to step outside suburbia and head out into the countryside, this farmers market offers not only farmers produce and fruits, but also artisans, bakers, beekeepers, and leatherworkers. Open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct 29. Interested? Visit

To learn more about area farmers markets and fruit stands, visit and

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