WASILLA — The Wasilla Farmer’s Market is back in action with plenty of vendor participation and a growing number of local customers through the first two weeks of the season. A moderate crowd cycled through to browse booths at the market’s usual location near Wonderland Park June 9.

“This is what we look forward to every week,” Wasilla Farmer’s Market vendor Dana Avugiak said.

Eric and Susan Bush run the market on behalf of the Wasilla Knik Historical Society. Susan said it was slower during the first week, but she’s noticed an immediate increase in foot traffic, and she’s confident they’ll see a lot more people when the locally grown produce starts coming in over the next few weeks.

An assortment of vendors sold various goods ranging from jams and honey to furniture and pottery at the Wasilla Farmer’s Market. Susan said there are several new vendors participating in this year’s market. She said it’s encouraging to have so much interest.

“We’ve got a good variety… I’m getting a lot of calls from people this year,” Susan said.

Last year’s market fared pretty well in spite of the pandemic. She said they had to start later than usual and the scope was scaled down to accommodate for social distancing.

Avugiak sells a variety of home-baked goods, homegrown produce, and homemade gifts through Wildcraft Neighbors, a side business venture she started two years ago. She said it’s been slow and steady so far this year, appreciating the return of tourists.

“It’s been good to see the out of staters again,” Avugiak said.

Eric and Susan sell homemade pottery at their own booth as they manage the grounds through their small business, The Pottery People. While there’s a variety of options to choose from, the butter dish has been their top seller for several years. Susan said they recently changed their name from E.B. Pottery since so many people refer to them as the “pottery people.”

“It’s a lot more catchy,” Susan said.

Avugiak said that she’s thrilled to be able to share the fruits of her labor, whether it’s actual fruit jams, vegetables from her garden, or unique gifts sewn by her own two hands at the Wasilla Farmer’s Market.

“This is a great market. I love it,” Avugiak said. It connects small-scale producers to customers.”

Avugiak said this is the only place she sets up her booth and appreciates the affordable venue charge, and overflowing support from her fellow vendors.

“I think everyone is really supportive of everyone else. If somebody asks me, ‘do you have any zucchini?’ and I don’t have any zucchini, then I’m more than happy to point them down the road to someone who does have zucchini. I think the more successful we all are, the more everyone benefits together,” Avugiak said.

The Wasilla Farmer’s Market runs every Wednesday through mid-September from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’re currently seeking food truck vendors. For more information, call 907-357-1464 or visit wkhsociety.org/wasilla-farmer-s-market.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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