Has the Phinney Farmer’s Market Run its Course?



Hey everyone!  I am working on my editorial to be published in my neighborhood’s quarterly newspaper The Review. It’s due in the next day or so.

I thought I would post my current draft here to see if anyone would be willing to give me some feedback.   Quick feedback, especially on what I can cut or streamline, would be most appreciated!  Right now it is about 53o words and needs to be cut to about 350-400.

You can email me klotzc@uw.edu or leave comments here in the blog.

Thanks all!




Has the Phinney Farmer’s Market Run its Course?

Elsewhere in this issue, Jeff Cornejo explained that sometimes the PNA cancels programs that lose momentum.  When the expense and effort of putting them on outweighs the benefits they create, we turn our resources to something else.  Currently, PNA and Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets (SNFM) are discussing whether to discontinue the Phinney Farmers Market.

The market is one of the things I love about our neighborhood.  Almost every Friday between June and October, my neighbor and I head over to the Phinney Center.  It’s our weekly ritual to have dinner together at the Farmers Market.  Sometimes we buy a few veggies before running off to other adventures.  Sometimes we linger longer to enjoy a pleasant afternoon visiting with friends and neighbors.

The Farmers Market clearly benefits the neighborhood and the PNA community in many ways–bringing local healthy produce to the neighborhood, connecting us with local farmers, bringing more people to the PNA and neighboring businesses, and creating a fun, family-friendly weekly community gathering.  Why would we cancel it?

No matter how well it serves the community, a farmers market can’t thrive if its vendors aren’t making money and the organizers aren’t covering their costs.  SNFM was reluctant to start a market here because they didn’t think it would support itself or be profitable for farmers.  So far they have been right.

Phinney has always been an underperforming market.  It’s small. Attendance is OK, but revenues are weak, and have not been growing.  In many years our market has not covered its operating costs.  In the current model, those permitting and staffing costs are paid by the farmers based on their daily sales.  In 2015, the Phinney Farmers Market was more than $9,000 short.

Vendors say they enjoy our market.  It has a nice vibe, but it’s not profitable.    Farmers need to sell their produce where they can leave with an empty truck and a full wallet.

Since we, as a neighborhood, benefit more from the market than the vendors and organizers do, if the market will continue, it is on US to make it happen.  What can WE do?

Got big ideas?  Got time/energy? Got connections?  Join the Market Action Team at the PNA.  Devise strategies for making our market viable. Take action to make them happen. Leverage community resources to help our farmers market thrive.

Does your business benefit from having a farmers market here?  Sponsor the market.  Help cover the operating cost gap so we can keep the market in Phinney!

Got cash for good food?  Got friends? Buy a little more of your weekly produce here at the Phinney Farmers Market.  Make it your Friday ritual.  Bring friends!

Can’t come but want to contribute?  Make a directed donation. Donate to the PNA or NFMA to support the Phinney Farmers Market.

In the week I have been gathering information to write this article, I have heard many ideas for how to close the revenue gap–from business sponsorships, to  ‘bring a friend to market’ or ‘round up for the market’ campaigns,  to running a beer garden at the bottom of the slides.  We need more ideas, and we need you help to make the Farmers Market thrive.


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