From the Editor by David Staats: A fresh look at farmers markets

dstaats@idahostatesman.comJuly 9, 2013 

Staats, David

David Staats

SHAWN RAECKE — Shawn Raecke/ Idaho Statesman Buy Photo

The Capital City Public Market is more than a farmers market. It's a phenomenon.

People make it so. By far the biggest of the Treasure Valley's farmers markets, the 19-year-old market draws thousands of shoppers each Saturday.

They come to buy fresh local produce and local artisans' work, of course. They also come to see and be seen. The market is social in the classic sense, with people talking to each other not via social media but face to face. On a Saturday like July 6 - 68 degrees at 10 a.m. with a gentle breeze, and small clouds breaking up the sun - the outdoor market is especially pleasant.

For certain businesses, the market is a great opportunity. Take Brown's Buffalo Ranch, of Nyssa, Ore., one of the vendors Boise writer Lennon S. Reid talked to for this week's cover story. Owner Garrett Brown told Reid he relies on the market and the new Boise Farmers Market for more than half his annual sales.

Reid's piece also explores the schism that led to this year's establishment of the Boise Farmers Market under former Capital City market director Karen Ellis. One issue contributing to the split involved allegations that a few vendors used their Capital City booths to resell items they didn't actually grow or make.

Reid explores the business side of smaller Valley markets, too. His article starts on page 20.; Twitter: @IDS_DavidStaats

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