RUBBING ELBOWS WITH THE GREEN THUMBS
Year-round hundreds of Seattleites visit the West Seattle Farmers' Market each Sunday. As they browse the tables of the 35-plus regular vendors, they fill their baskets and bags with fresh vegetables, fruit, honey, wine, cheese, baked breads, chicken, beef, and cut flowers.
"We consistently see 2,000 to 2,500 visitors weekly," said Chris Curtis, the Seattle neighborhood Farmers' Market coordinator. "The people in the neighborhood are especially loyal."
"I see people walking up to tables and greeting the farmers by their first names, asking them how their week was. It’s a very warm and inviting neighborhood."
So too are the businesses. "In 1999, we were approached by the Junction and the business community to coordinate a market here," explained Chris. "They even provided us with a parking lot for a site. On our first day, we had nearly 4,000 people in attendance and the farmers sold out early in the day. We knew the community was really behind us."
And that support continues today. "I recently attended an event in West Seattle and passed out fliers. Every single person I spoke with talked about how much they loved the market."
The West Seattle Farmers' Market is one of six markets in the city modeled after farmers' markets in California that sell only food products. Studies have shown this type of market is better for local farmers because people are solely focused on buying their food for the week. This is one of the reasons Chris believes the West Seattle Farmers' Market is so popular.
"Because we're held on a Sunday, there's more of a relaxed atmosphere," said Chris. "People come to shop for the entire week and they stay at the market longer than in other neighborhoods. It's a very small town feel, with people taking the time to catch up with friends and neighbors."
That feeling of community extends to the farmers, many of whom travel hours to sell their goods. "I see people walking up to tables and greeting the farmers by their first names, asking them how their week was. It's a very warm and inviting neighborhood."
The West Seattle Farmers' Market is located in the Alaska Junction at the corner of SW Alaska and California SW. It is open 10am to 2pm on Sundays year-round.