Mad for the Market
April 25, 2008
Washingtonians are mad for farmers markets, according to the Seattle P-I‘s Debera Carlton Harrell. Attendance at Seattle’s 13 neighborhood markets — including the ultra-famous Pike Place Market — has skyrocketed in the last year, reports the Seattle-based Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. The year-round Ballard Sunday market and University District Saturday market have reported record numbers, says Carlton Harrell: the Ballard market clocked more than 5,600 shoppers on a recent Sunday, compared to 3,000 the year before; the U District market saw $2.2 million in vendor profits last year.
I’m guessing all this talk of carbon footprints and organics and locavorism is the culprit behind this farmers market explosion. And not a moment too soon, say I. Why wouldn’t we want to support our local farmers? Why wouldn’t we want to eat fresher-than-fresh produce that hasn’t been carted thousands of miles? Doesn’t this make sense? Am I bonkers? Of course, finding leisure time to browse ‘n’ buy at a farmers market can be a barrier to some. Perhaps the push to make more markets available in more areas can help curb the time crunch.
Want to find a farmstand near you? Seattleites can check out the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. For markets in the Puget Sound area, try Puget Sound Fresh. Beyond that? Visit the Washington State Farmers Market Association.
Photo: My pal Justin, December 2006. I hope he doesn’t mind.