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Food for Thought: Investigating the Broadway farmers market on KNKX's Tacoma doorstep

Nancy Leson and Dick Stein enjoy a tasty Philly cheesesteak at the Broadway farmers market.
Geoffrey Redick
/
KNKX
Nancy Leson and Dick Stein enjoy a tasty Philly cheesesteak at the Broadway farmers market.

“It’s so much like the days of yore, when the marketplace was a place for people to meet and greet.”

That’s how food commentator Nancy Leson described Tacoma’s Broadway farmers market, after she’d spent a couple hours there with KNKX’s Dick Stein on a recent Thursday morning. It’s one of four around the city.

Nancy’s description is perfect. The Broadway market is full, but not crowded. The people selling things like produce, homemade cheese and wild mushrooms are friendly and ready to answer questions. And if you’ve heard Dick and Nancy, you know they had lots of questions. 

As I recorded, Nancy learned what ground cherries are, and some good ways to eat them. Dick learned that the meat in a Philly cheese steak sandwich is chopped up. And they learned that the Broadway market is one that participates in the Fresh Bucks program that boosts the buying power of those who use EBT cards. 

Many people don't realize that farmers markets, such as the one on Broadway in Tacoma, accept EBT cards.
Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
/
KNKX
Many people don't realize that farmers markets, such as the one on Broadway in Tacoma, accept EBT cards.

The feel of the market is one of community. Singers perform, families stroll and office workers pause their schedules for a lunch of South African cuisine. The idea of all kinds of people meeting on the common ground of the marketplace to chat, barter, buy and sell — that sense of togetherness is what we seek to highlight in our Connects reporting project.

Take a listen to this special edition of Food for Thought. You can find previous episodes here. Learn more about the other farmers markets in Tacoma: Eastside, Point Ruston and Proctor.

And look back at all of our Connects reporting on this page

Dick Stein has been with KNKX since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.