A campaign encouraging people to visit Skagit Valley’s farm stands is back for a second summer.

Farmstand Fresh, which runs through August, features 14 local farms from vegetable and flower growers to meat and cheese producers.

Genuine Skagit Valley, the federally registered trademark that promotes Skagit Valley agricultural products, runs the program.

Genuine Skagit Valley Director Blake Vanfield said the campaign increases the visibility of local farm stands and encourages people to visit the Skagit Valley in the summer months.

“Early on we have Tulip Festival and we also have the Harvest Festival, so the months in between there is an incredible bounty from farms from fresh cheeses to ice creams to berries and eggs and meats,” she said.

The campaign is encouraging people to stay several nights in the Skagit Valley, eat at local restaurants and cook with products purchased from local farm stands.

As part of the campaign, shoppers can sign up at participating farm stands for a free 15-minute Zoom session with a local chef on cooking and baking with local ingredients.

Farm stand shoppers can also enter to win a $25 gift certificate to an area restaurant and a two-night stay at Candlewood Suites in Burlington.

Vanfield said the idea is to encourage people to continue some COVID-19-era habits, such as buying directly from farms and cooking at home.

After a big bump in sales last year, business has been steady this season at Waxwing Farm, an organic vegetable farm south of Mount Vernon, said owner Arielle Luckmann.

“I think that speaks to people being excited about shopping from farm stands and making it a regular habit,” she said.

She said buying from local farm stands directly supports farmers and the products are fresh and nutritious.

Participating farm stands include: Blackburn Gardens; Blanchard Mountain Farm; Bow Hill Blueberries; Harmony Fields; In Tended Fields; the Island Hospital Farm Stand; La Conner Gardens; Mesman Farm; Mossy Gate Flower Farm; Perkins Variety Farm Stand; Samish Bay Cheese; Schuh Farms; Skiyou Ranch; and Waxwing Farm.

More information is available at genuineskagitvalley.com/farmstand-fresh.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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