State of The State's Farmers Markets

January 31, 2011

    It may be the middle of winter, but the state’s farmers markets are thinking

ahead to another growing season. The Washington State Farmers Market Association held its annual conference Friday

and Saturday at Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.
    The WSFMA provides

resources and education to its 110 member markets, lobbying in Olympia, and offers the group insurance that

markets need to legally operate.
    Association president Joel Wachs said the conference drew

a wide representation of members from all across the state and even from Moscow, Idaho.

The conference is an opportunity for growers, vendors, and market managers to learn from experts on growing and

sustaining successful farmers markets. Washington has seen a precipitous growth in the number of markets, from

just 8 in the late 1970s to roughly 150 today.
    Wachs said Washington has embraced farmers

markets, with new markets forming each season. He attributed that rapid growth in part to the local community

aspect of farmers markets.
    Despite the growth in the number of markets, 2010 was a tough

year from both an economic and growing season perspective. Washington State Farmers Market Association President

Joel Wachs joined Isaac Kaplan-Woolner to update on the state of the state’s farmers markets.

/>    This is the first year that the annual convention has been held at The Sleeping Lady, which

was chosen in part for it’s central location in the state.


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