The Nampa Farmers Market is celebrating its 32nd season in 2020. Becoming an integral part of the community, and while the Nampa locals are the core of its bustling market, customers and treasure hunters come from all over the southwestern Idaho area to shop around.
A variety of purveyors from farmers, crafters, food vendors, and bakers set up shop each Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 AM to 1 PM, selling their goods from the last Saturday in April through the last Saturday in October in Historic Downtown Nampa at Lloyd Square Park.
The market has grown since it’s 1989 roots of only a few vendors and customers to an average of 60 to 70 vendors per week, booming with more customers every year that offer a large variety of produce, foods, crafts, plants and flowers from local vendors. Nampa native, Shelby Copland, frequents the Nampa Farmers Market every year with her two kids. “I definitely spend way too much money when I’m wandering around the bakery booths and the local produce stands”, says Copland, “I’m hoping to see Peaceful Belly’s produce out there a lot this year with their move to Caldwell.”
Shoppers that explore the length of the market (between Front and 1st Street South and between 13th and 14th Avenue South) will also see groups of fellow shoppers gathering around local musicians and entertainers that add to the celebratory ambience. The Nampa Farmers Market spotlights specific local bands every weekend to support local artists.
During the market season, however, the area can get very busy and at times congested with a lot of people. The Nampa Farmers Market provides a shoppers survival guide for the best experience:
1) For the best selection of produce come early.
2) Bring change and small bills. The market also accepts credit and debit cards, and EBT.
3) Ask the grower what's new and how do they use their product (any recipes?).
4) Bring your own bags. Some vendors also recycle shopping bags.
5) You may want to bring a cooler on wheels to keep produce, meat and other perishables fresh until it gets home.
6) If you bring your canine friends please make sure they are leashed and under control by your side at all times. Your dog must be child and dog friendly and well behaved. Not everyone is a dog lover - be considerate. Keep your dog away from produce and other food products (This means both head and tail ends). Be prepared to always clean up after them.
7) The market is a great way to decompress and mingle with your neighbors!
The overall mission of the Nampa Farmers Market is of course the experience, but also supporting local business. Businesses offering merchandise all over the board are eager to apply as vendors to get their products displayed amongst crowds of people. The Nampa Farmers Market makes this a simple process, allowing anyone to apply, by going online to their website and simply downloading the necessary paperwork to get started.
The market even goes a step further for promoting local businesses by sharing photos and business information for all the vendors on their social media pages like Facebook. This makes it easy for shoppers to know who’s coming, what they’ll have and what to look forward to starting April 28 and continue to give informative updates until the end of October.
The smells, the sounds and the camaraderie are what make the Nampa Farmers Market such a celebrated event for both Idahoans and state-wide visitors. When compared to the rest of the Treasure Valley, the Nampa Farmers Market is special, as it brings a larger voice to the local business economy and the art scene than anywhere else.