Kootenai County Farmers' Market kicks off 32nd year

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - - The Kootenai County Farmers' Market opens for their 32nd season, but when you're a maker's market, you can't just show up to the event and set up a booth.

"We double check that everything that is grown and being sold there being grown by the farmer," explained Jan Gilstad, vendor and manager of the Wednesday Farmers' Market

The Kootenai County Farmers Market is jam-packed this year, with plants and fresh flowers, produce, crafts, fresh eggs and even meat. Many vendors have been getting ready for it since the season wrapped last year.

Diana Lillefloren and her husband manage Idaho Livestock. They'll be returning for their seventh year to sell all-natural, Angus beef from cattle born and raised just a few miles away from the market.

“We sell pieces like two-packs, or ground beef and  roasts, we have all cuts of beef there,” she said.

The award-winning ranch does not sell to retailers but always returns to the market for their loyal followers.

"People just come back and say it's the best beef they've ever had," added Lillefloren.

The market also has its share of homemade treats, like mini pies from Lil' Punkin Pie Company

"I literally pick the fruit and make it in to pie," said owner Linda Swenson.

She grows the fruit on her farm, and bakes the pies the morning of the market. They've become so popular, it's hard to keep up with demand.

“People always know when I've ran out of cherries because my cherries have pits in them because I'm not that great of a pitter,” she added.

The products might be great but what makes this annual market special is the vendors that return week after week and year after year.

"We ask that the people that are actually selling in the booth be a part of the makers process so that they can understand and know exactly what they are giving to the customer," Gilstad said.

The Kootenai County Farmers' Market runs through September. On Wednesdays it is located at 5th and Sherman in downtown Coeur d'Alene from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturdays, you can find it on the Southeast corner of Highway 95 and Prairie Avenue from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.