Wednesday, March 17, 2010

University District Farmer's Market

Rachel Miller

In the last decade, the Farmer’s Market has become a welcome and ubiquitous addition to Seattle Neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Farmer’s Market Alliance counts seven markets within Seattle’s boundaries, with demand for additional locations. The University District Farmer’s Market, located in a parking lot on the corner of University Way and NE 50th St. is one of the oldest of the markets. It was founded in 1993, and has since become an integral part of the University District community. Open on Saturdays, year-round, the U-District Market hosts between 30 and 60 vendors, depending on the season. During the week, when the market is not open, the location is a pay parking lot, serving local businesses and students. On Saturday morning, when school is not in session, the market takes over. This adaptive use of space activates the area throughout the week.

Like many markets, the U-District market begins at 9 am, and closes at 2pm. When I visited the site only a half an hour after it opened, the market was already packed. It was surprisingly foggy and quite cold, around 35 degrees, but those in attendance had bundled up and were shopping with gusto. The U-District market hosts vendors selling a variety of products: soap, wine, prepared foods, meat, flowers, and cheeses, to name a few. All of your food shopping for the week can be purchased in one trip.

The U-District market is located in an area with a strong existing community network. Within a one block radius of the market is the University District branch of the Seattle Public Library, a P-Patch, the University Heights Community Center, stops for popular bus lines, and residences. This connectivity creates a community campus which enables neighbors to interact with one another, learn, and participate in community functions, all actions which help a build strong, healthy, and successful neighborhood.

View University District Farmer's Market in a larger map

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