Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thinking About The Traverse City Farmer's Market

As the number of farmers at a market grows the more need there is for a dedicated manager.

See: PhysOrg - As Farmers' Markets Grow, So Should Management

Traverse City is obviously outgrowing the downtown farmer's market as there are cars looking for parking and people packed in the aisle. It is a good place to see people and be seen but for many folks it is too crowded. Setting up alternative, competing markets is not a fair solution to anyone. Where can Traverse City move the farmer's market? You need a place downtown to support the core businesses. Ithaca, NY has their farmer's market right on Cayuga Lake. It is a large covered structure and has its own dock. Could Traverse City use the old zoo space next to the marina as a sprawling farmer's market?

Other cities (e.g., Baton Rouge, Chapel Hill) have their farmer's markets in parking decks. Traverse City has a parking deck downtown too. The farmer's market could potentially be moved to the top level on nice days and an interior level on rainy/snowy days. Offer free parking until 5 PM and all of a sudden Traverse City has a farmer's market larger than the current one, with plenty of parking, and still within walking distance to downtown.