Beaverton Farmers Market.... and now
When I started managing the BFM in 1996 there were 28 farmers markets in the state. Now there are about 175. The farmers market movement in the entire country was gaining momentum as people found the combination of access to superior local food products and the personal connections they made with the sellers – it was a better way to buy groceries. It succeeded because the community embraced the market from day one. I have always felt extraordinarily blessed to have had the support of the City of Beaverton and our community, and to this day, after 27 years, there is no other place I'd rather be on a Saturday morning than at the market.
There are 175 farms and businesses on our roster, many of whom survive because of their success at the market. Over the years we have provided hundreds of small entrepreneurs with the means for launching a business and ways for small farms to not only survive but thrive. My hope is for this symbiotic relationship between consumers and producers to continue in a mutually beneficial way, keeping the market strong for generations of market goers.
Market days are only one day of the week, and we are closed in December and January. It is hard for a lot of our producers to survive on sales from 5 hours/week. It would be great if shoppers would support our local businesses by ordering from them online or visiting their brick-and-mortar places. When you see a market product in a store like New Seasons or Made in Oregon, buy it instead of competing products. If you are in a liquor store select beer, wine, or liquor that you have seen or tasted at the market.
I have heard a few complaints that farmers markets are more expensive than some stores. That may be true in some cases, but I would ask shoppers to understand that a lot of my small businesses do not have the luxury of buying supplies on the scale that bigger stores might have. Quite often the person working the booth is the same person who during the week is driving the tractor to till the fields or cleaning the kitchen after a long day of cooking. They're doing their best to provide market goers with the best value they can for a quality product.
Beaverton Farmers Market
Southwest Hall Boulevard, between Third and Fifth Streets, Beaverton