Farmers’ market put off until spring of ’09

People waiting to sample local, freshly grown produce at Auburn’s International Farmers’ Market will have to wait one more spring.

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2008 4:00pm
  • News

People waiting to sample local, freshly grown produce at Auburn’s International Farmers’ Market will have to wait one more spring.

“We did not have enough farmer commitments to start up this year,” said Auburn City Councilman Bill Peloza, startup chair of the market’s steering committee. “We felt that to be successful, we needed more farmer interest. So we will begin in May of 2009.”

Peloza said the committee, which meets twice a month, decided from the beginning not to proceed until it had a strong base of at least 20 farmers. They had commitments from only six or seven farmers.

Peloza said the Auburn market will be a partnership between the cities of Auburn, Algona and Pacific. He said it will be the first partnership of its kind in the Puget Sound Region.

King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer’s office puts out a Farmers’ Fresh Guide every year. Peloza said the upcoming guide will feature the market’s new logo and an article announcing the partnership’s plan to set up a farmers’ market in downtown Auburn by the spring of 2009.

“Most of the farmers’ markets that we have researched start in a May-June time frame and go to September or October,” Peloza said.

Peloza said the steering committee is looking for farmers and vendors, a farmer’s market manager and additional committee members.

It already has submitted to the federal government an application for $75,000 worth of federal assistance to help acquire a manager and promote the 2009 season. Peloza said the committee also has contacted Sound Transit and has gotten a preliminary go ahead to use the plaza at the Sounder Transit Station.

“It’s under used, and we think that if we do this on a Saturday we will have beaucoup parking to take care of that situation,” Peloza said. “We’ve got a lot of citizens living in our core area, and this will be perfect for them to purchase fresh produce.”

Peloza said the committee hopes to hear from artisans as well.

“We are looking at some crafts, but very little. From what King County has told us, too many crafts can kill a farmers’ market. So we are going to limit crafts to like 10 percent of the whole project,” Peloza said.

Anyone interested may contact Peloza at 253-261-3235.

“We are also trying to get the Muckleshoot Tribe in on this. We want to fill that Sounder Station, and that will take a lot of folks. I think the community is ready for a farmers’ market,” Peloza said.

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ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter
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