Market finished for 2008?

The city of Snoqualmie is canceling its 2008 summer farmer’s market, due to a lack of vendor interest.

A public hearing on the decision is scheduled for Monday, May 26, before the Snoqualmie City Council. The council will take action on the market cancellation on Monday, June 9.

Organizers had difficulty getting vendors due to competition with other regional markets, and planned to move it to Fridays to get more vendors.

Gas prices played a role in the difficulty of competing with larger markets, Laurie Gilbertson, director of the Snoqualmie Farmer’s Market, told the Valley Record.

“With gas prices the way they are, and with the weather we’ve had, the farmers are heading to the largest markets, where they can get more bang for their dollars,” she said.

For 2008, Gilbertson had only one local grower on board. That simply isn’t enough for the market to work. Customers are looking for fresh produce, and if there aren’t enough vendors, “they wonder what’s going on.

“It’s kind of a dog chasing its tail,” Gilbertson said. “Without the farmers, we don’t have the customers. And without the customers, the farmers don’t want to stay.”

The Valley’s many weekend summer events also compete with the market.

Gilbertson has suggested moving the market to Fridays.

“Saturdays in our area are just out of the question,” she said.

Gilbertson encouraged the city to canvass the community and find out what residents want out of their farmers market. She said that Snoqualmie residents need to get on board, volunteer and run activities to help make future markets successful.

Last year was the first time the city ran the market.

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