Carnation Farmers Market on hold

The Carnation Farmers Market has provided fresh food and produce for the community since it began 15 years ago. SnoValley Tilth will no longer be hosting or managing the market. Carnation Farmers Market/courtesy photo

CARNATION—SnoValley Tilth has decided to suspend hosting or managing the Carnation Farmers Market.

However, the organization is prepared to assist the community in keeping the market alive. A representative of SnoValley Tilth said she hopes the market “will continue with a new, more sustainable structure.”

The market is typically open every Tuesday from May through October at 3–7 p.m. At the request of the city of Carnation, SnoValley Tilth has hosted the market since 2005. Since then, it has been providing the community with fresh food and produce.

“We are hoping someone will stand up and do the work to keep the market alive,” the representative said.

In the last 15 years, the organization provided the community with fresh, locally grown products and has given farmers an outlet for their crops. It also educated the public about the importance of local agriculture and the value of farming.

“We have strived to promote a greater sense of community and encourage local business development.”

At the market, people would find farm-fresh produce, raw honey, farmstead eggs, wood-fired rustic breads, pastries, meats, ice cream, fruit and organic berries, wines and nursery plants—all which were locally grown or crafted.

“Our visitors come to buy farm-fresh produce and other products, enjoy weekly live music and art, watch chef demonstrations, and support the businesses in their neighborhoods.

“Each of our vendors and food artisans offers visitors great products and service.”

The SnoValley Tilth Board of Directors created a committee to study the market and assess its effectiveness in supporting the farming community. According to a news release, the board voted at the end of the market season to suspend hosting the event.

“The market has not had vendor or community turnout. It is not sustainable.”

The committee evaluated the model of the market, current vendors, local community support, city of Carnation involvement, survey results and feedback from past farmer vendors.

The studies found that SnoValley Tilth’s traditional Carnation Farmers Market business model was not sustainable. The organization said it concluded that the community should manage the market.

Now, the organization is ready to transition the market over to the community. SnoValley Tilth said it will assist new market leaders with upfront support, including vendor lists, marketing material, grant writing and help in securing nonprofit status.

“The market is loved by the community and will be successful if community members step up to run it.”

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