Farmers Markets: 5 worth the drive

Summer is peak season for Washington's farmers markets. Home cooks tempt with stands selling Ethiopian stews, Mexican tamales and Indian curries. Craftspeople arrive with scarves made from locally sourced lambs wool and wooden furniture stained with British tea.

Feeling inspired, or just hungry? Grab an empty cooler or a picnic basket and plan a day trip to one of the state's more than 150 farmers markets. Follow this link to my latest Seattle Times story on "Five worth the Drive."  Newspapers have limited space these days, so if I had more room, I would have included the Bayview Farmers Market on Whidbey Island where I visited with a friend a few weeks ago. This market feels like an old-time country fair, with locals selling their homemade cheeses and jams and wine-tasting nearby at the cozy Taste for Wine. We stopped for lunch in Langley on the way back to Seattle. It was good to see the little town looking healthier than it did when I visited a couple of years ago for this story on how Washington's small tourist towns were surviving the economic downturn. If you make one stop here, make it Music For the Eyes, more like a museum than a shop. It's filled with carpets, jewelry and textiles imported by the owners, who worked for years in the foreign service in Central Asia. 

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