Friday, June 17, 2011

Phinney Farmers' Market 2011

I'm pleased to report that the Phinney Farmers' Market is much improved this year, at least during the three weeks that it's been up and running.

This year the market moved from the lower parking lot at the Phinney Neighborhood Center to the upper parking lot. The new location is much more visible from the street, which is always good for business. The old location was "L" shaped, with prepared food vendors like myself tucked in the corner that bent away from most of the other vendors. At the new location we're integrated much more gracefully with the rest of the market. We're even next to the music, which always helps. Folks linger to listen and while they're there, they buy food.

Another important change has been the fact that they now allow dogs. At some point in the past, the administration had made the decision to make this a dog-free market. Some dog owners stopped coming specifically because they disapproved of the decision while others simply found it inconvenient to leave their dogs home during a Friday evening jaunt.

I'm always surprised at the good behavior of most of the dogs I see at farmers' markets. But I remind myself that I'm seeing a preselected sample: bad dogs don't get to come to the market. One farmer friend has a theory that days when you see a lot of big dogs at the market tend to correlate with high sales, while days when you see a lot of small dogs tend to correlate with lower sales. I'm not sure how you could objectively verify that theory, but it does intrigue me.

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