Thursday, January 19, 2012

University District Farmers Market

Danny Valdovinos & Simon Thwaits

Every Saturday a group of farmers comes to the University Heights parking lot to set up tents and sell what they have grown and produced. It is one of several year-round farmers’ markets in Seattle. As you will see, merchants turn out every week no matter what the weather is. We went on a slushy Saturday to see what was for sale. These farmers offered everything from fresh fruits and vegetables and meats to hot veggie quesadilla lunches and produced goods such as juice and cheese. Of course, as the farmers themselves drive to Seattle to set up shop, everything sold at the market is locally grown or produced.

Farmers markets are an interesting example of DIY urbanism because they unite urban with rural. In an era where people often purchase produce that is grown either across the country or in another continent, these markets allow urban residents access to relatively locally grown foods.  In Seattle’s case, the farmers’ markets are certainly DIY urbanism, as they are set up and taken down all in the same day by the farmers themselves (perhaps an opposition to this can be seen in Los Angeles’ permanently constructed farmers market at The Grove). Without the farmers’ desire to sell their goods directly and without the demand from citizens, these markets would not otherwise be part of the urban scene.

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