Salmon Creek Farmers Market finds new home

Site will require some paving upgrades

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian social issues & neighborhoods reporter

Published:

 

A vacant lot behind a busy gas station will have to do for the second season of the Salmon Creek Farmers Market.

The new location, a rectangular acre of land behind the Wayside Shell station and store at 1309 N.E. 134th Street, was announced recently by market mastermind Ann Foster. It’s next to the Salmon Creek Foursquare Church, an urgent care clinic and fitness club Curves for Women. It’s alongside a parking lot, but right now it’s an open field.

“We’ve always had our hearts set on the Kaiser-Albertsons area east of I-5 (on Northeast 20th Avenue),” Foster said, “but that just can’t seem to happen.” Meanwhile, she said, property owner Dale Lang of Lang Plaza, a stone’s throw west of I-5, came forward and offered this chunk of his land.

All the site needs to make the market fly is some basic paving so the field doesn’t turn to mud. That’s what Lang, Clark County Public Works and the market itself have agreed upon, Foster said.

“Their requirements are that the parcel be improved,” she said. “We’ll be grading and gravelling it.”

Foster’s only remaining problem is figuring out what that might cost and how she’ll pay for it.

“I don’t know. I trust it won’t be a showstopper,” she said. She wants to use recycled asphalt, she said, because it’s economical, stable for anchoring canopies and smooth enough for strollers and wheelchairs.

Foster is still zeroing in on exactly how much of the one-acre parcel the market will really occupy. She’s figuring on approximately 35 booths, but there’s more figuring to be done. Meanwhile, she’s hoping for donations or in-kind help that will get the improvements done in time for a June 16 opening.

The plan is for the market to be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through September, she said.

Traffic will be an issue, Foster acknowledged. It’s nearly impossible to make a left turn out of the new site. This stretch of Northeast 134th Street is heavily travelled and just yards from the tangled-up intersection of two freeways, Northeast Highway 99 and 20th Avenue. In fact, the market was bounced out of its original location on a stub of Northeast 139th Street north of Fred Meyer after just one year because it was in the way of a project to create a new I-5 interchange to relieve the congestion.

“Frankly there’s no place in Salmon Creek that doesn’t have parking and traffic issues,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll have our share. It’s likely to be chaos. But it’ll be good chaos.”

To get involved or learn more, visit http://www.salmoncreekfarmersmarket.com.

Uptown site reboots

Another, smaller farmers market is getting ready for launch in Uptown Village in downtown Vancouver.

What was once Craft in the Village, a monthly marketplace for original music, artwork, food and crafts, will become the Urban Growers Market. It’ll be held 4 to 8 p.m. on the second Friday of every month, starting in May and running through October, in the One World Merchants parking lot, 2315 Main Street.

The Urban Growers Market will be a venue for small backyard growers, farmers and food vendors, according to a statement from organizer Sunrise O’Mahoney. Plus, it will continue to offer the marketplace for local crafters and artisans to sell their wares that Craft in the Village used to provide.

There will be a farmer’s co-op table, a barter table and even a children’s space for kids to sell what they’ve grown. The focus is on sustainability, food access and community involvement.

Craft in the Village used to be held on the first Friday of the month, but the Urban Growers Market will be the second Friday so it doesn’t conflict with First Friday Art Walk held farther downtown. The opening of the Urban Growers Market is set for 4 to 8 p.m. May 13.

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor or getting involved, visit http://www.urbangrowersmarket.com.

Scott Hewitt: 360-735-4525 or scott.hewitt@columbian.com.