This past Wednesday, the Farmers Market association presented the options under consideration for placement of the Wallingford Farmers Market, which can not continue at Wallingford Center. Sadly, we were not there to enjoy the discussion. Fortunately, though, Zach Lyons from the Farmers Market Association e-mailed us the list of sites under consideration. They are:
- Lincoln High School lots (green): This is parking lot behind the Tilth, Smash, the Chili Pepper, etc. This seems like the best option to us, as it has lots of room. Apparently, though, the school kids use it in the afternoons, so maybe it’s no go. The Farmers Market Association folks are talking to the school folks and seeing what can be done.
- N 46th St West of Wallingford Ave (red): This is the street adjacent to and North of the QFC Parking Lot. The street itself would be blocked off on market day. Presumably, there would be some nice synergies with QFC (e.g., get the PCC and Trader Joe shoppers to come over and finish their non-market shopping at QFC), but the QFC people don’t necessarily see it that way.
- Meridian Park (blue): Where the Tilth Harvest Fair, etc. are, in back of the Good Shepherd Center. Goodness and beauty, except that it’s far away from the commercial center of Wallingford, so you lose all of the “serendipitous traffic” of people who just happened to be walking by on their way to the bank.
- Tully’s Parking Lot (orange): Behind Moon Temple, right across from Cutz on Meridian. Get a haircut, get a melon, get your melon a haircut! Perfect in many ways, except for its size. The Farmers Market Association has said they need a site that is “large enough to accommodate a minimum of 40 10×10 canopies, and ideally will allow enough space for approximately 8-10 vendors to expand during their high production months. The size must also provide space for aisles that meet all safety requirements and the loading/unloading needs for market operations.” The Tully’s lot is small and once its filled, it’s filled. Unlike the other areas under consideration, there is no wiggle room.
- Sledge (not shown): Though not an option proposed by the Association or steering committee, we believe this one may be the best: load the entire market onto a horse-drawn sledge that is dragged slowly down 45th St. It’s nearby everything at some point, no problems with schools, and you could charge the kiddies extra to ride the ponies.
So that’s the skinny. There’s still talk of moving the market to Saturday, but the main issue from our perspective is competition for vendors: many vendors who sell at the Wallingford market also sell at Saturday’s University District Farmers Market. Operations this small can’t all afford to operate multiple simultaneous stalls.
The Farmers Market Assocation folks promise to keep us updated. Expect another meeting in March.