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Supports Nichols Street site for permanent farmers market
This is a response to Christine Miller’s letter in regard to locating the Farmers’ Market at the fairgrounds (“Move market to fairgrounds,” page 6, Nov. 4 Journal).
I agree that it would be wonderful to see the fairgrounds develop into a thriving community resource, but I do not support the idea of moving the Farmers’ Market there.
I am striving to develop a small farm that generates a living income for myself and my daughter, and supplies healthy sustainable food to our community. The fairgrounds does not offer an attractive or affordable option for the Farmers’ Market. We would likely be situated on the dark north side of the main building (a cold and unappealing space even if enclosed and heated with outdoor heaters) and paying unsustainably higher lease fees.
Though I can not afford any loss of market sales income that a move to the fairgrounds might entail, my larger concern is that there would be little potential for the market to provide income growth.
The central core of Friday Harbor is the natural intersection point between farmers and their customers, particularly with visitors interested in local agriculture. The Nichols Street site would support the growth of local farms through greater market exposure while contributing to the revitalization of Friday Harbor at a time when economic development is of particular importance.
I hope that there are other organizations better able to financially shoulder a move to the fairgrounds to begin the community process of revitalization there.
San Juan Island Farmers Market Association