The fruits, vegetables and other assorted labors of regional food producers will be featured this weekend, as the Moscow Food Co-op presents the second weekend of their annual “Taste of the Palouse” event.
The event, in its fourth year, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the co-op in downtown Moscow.
Sarah MacDonald, co-op communications and in-store events coordinator, said the event helps promote the symbiotic relationship between consumers and the producers of their favorite local products through face-to-face interaction.
“It’s just really important for us to support our local foods community and our local farmers,” she said.
This weekend’s event will feature about a dozen vendors set up with tables full of information and samples of their products, MacDonald said.
She said in the past the event was held as a “taste fair” and was not restricted to local vendors. That often leads to chaotic, crowded situations.
“Every bare spot on the floor was taken up,” she said. “You could barely get through the aisles.”
Reducing the event to mostly local vendors helped keep order in the store, and also helped give needed face-time to local businesses that lack large promotional budgets, said McDonald.
Non-Palouse area vendors are still allowed, though. McDonald said vendors this year include a cheese producer from Montana and another vendor from the Portland area.
New this year, she said vendors had the opportunity to put their items on sale at the co-op, and many took advantage.
In addition to sales, the store is doing giveaways of local products for those who “like” the Moscow-based grocer on Facebook. Giveaways include bottles of wine, blocks of cheese, a pound of coffee, and candy bars, McDonald said.
“Taste of the Palouse” is one of several events the Moscow-based grocer puts on.
Others include a cheese festival held later in the year, as well as a Earth Week “Bag It” campaign from April 15 to 22, which will feature giveaways, promotions and education about reducing plastic consumption.
McDonald said last year’s event, in which the co-op got rid of plastic bags from their check-out counters, received recognition from the city of Moscow and other local businesses.
The Co-op also has several outreach programs for community education, including their Good Food Film Series, a once-a-month screening of different environmentally and agriculturally-focused films.
The Co-op is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, and is located at 121 E. 5th Ave. in downtown Moscow.