Even with the sparse rain drops falling sporadically around town today, it seems spring has finally arrived, and with that comes, at long last, the opening of the Queen Anne Farmers Market season, which will kick off just one week from today, on Thursday June 2 until Thursday, October 6.
The market, which has always been under the wing of Queen Anne Neighbors for Responsible Growth (QANRG), is under new management this year after a disagreement arose between the QANRG and the market’s former director Julie Whitehorn, who has managed the market for the past two years. After many months of uncertainty, Whitehorn and the QANRG were unable to resolve the dispute and opted instead to go their separate ways rather than see the market suffer. Read Whitehorn’s resignation letter here (.pdf), and the QANRG’s press release introducing the market’s new staff team here (.pdf).
Still despite the changing of the guard, QANRG says the market will maintain many of the same staff members, volunteers and vendors from prior seasons, keeping consistent with the community that has grown around the market over the last four years.
“This year’s market builds on a successful 2010 season that saw customer attendance increase by 94 percent and the growth of a dynamic vendor roster of 64 farmers and prepared food vendors. In its fifth year as the fiscal sponsor, QANRG remains steadfastly committed to creating a sustainable market that can continue to serve the community for years to come,” QANRG President Scott Smith said in a statement released last month.
The market’s new manager, Jamie Collado, brings with her more than nine years of experience working in the local food scene managing restaurant operations, and has a particular interest in health and nutrition. While completing her preceptorship with Seattle Nutrition Action Consortium, Seattle and King County Public Health, she taught healthy eating classes for local teens, putting her undergraduate and graduate education in nutrition and exercise to work.
In addition to adding some new faces, this year’s market will also report to the QAFM Steering Committee, a group made up of former market staff, volunteers, and community members who will be charged with the task of overseeing market operations, community outreach and planning for the market’s long-term sustainability. (Read more about the steering committee in the QANRG press release linked above).
The new market also has a brand new website to match, but ther than that, very little will be changing at the market itself. Held at its usual spot on West Crockett Street between Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave W, the market will be extending its hours by a half-hour, going from 3 to 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. every Thursday through October 6. And each week the market will still be packed with great local vendors, live music, cooking demos, book signings, and more fun events. Check out the list of vendors scheduled to appear at the market this year here.
Want to get involved in the QAFM? Information on how to become a market sponsor by making a tex-deductible donation can be found here.
The QAFM is also still looking for volunteers for the upcoming season for everything from staffing the information table, to donating professional services such as web design or photography. If you’ve got a skill you’d like to share with the market, or would simply like to donate your time, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Decker at 206-854-0143 or YouMakeQAFMGreat@qafma.net.
We’ll give you the sneak peek at what’s on the agenda for the market’s grand opening next week, but in the meantime don’t forget to ‘like’ the market on its new Facebook page, and follow it on its new Twitter account.