SFM was started eight years ago by a small group of farmers looking for a venue to sell their products. The market is run by the market council, who are voted in by SFM member farmers. It is surprising to me that someone would think this unfair or an unnatural outcome. This market council works to maintain the economic viability of the farmer members and provide a high level of produce diversity for a thriving market. We have been very successful over the last three years. This success, I believe, is largely due to our commitment to provide produce that is sold only by the farmers who grow it, and to support small local farms and the quality produce they bring.
Believe me, this success has brought all kinds of new problems. One of them is that we are outgrowing our market site, which has filled our limited stall space. Mr. Lindquist's complaint is that he was turned away with peaches, while his neighbor was allowed in with corn. We had four vendors selling peaches, and at that time we were selling out of sweet corn an hour after the market opened. It seemed clear who the market needed to bring in to fill the few open stalls. We are not happy to turn a farmer down, but it is a reality of our site right now. My experience with farmers markets around the state is that you just can't drive up on market day and expect to get in. These issues and many others come up daily. Does the market council make mistakes? You betcha. Can we make everyone happy? Not by a longshot.
As the discussion about moving this market and community involvement increases, so will the complexity of the issues. We understand that as the local community makes an investment in a permanent location, control of the market will change. This overworked board of farmers will need community input to help us grow, as long as it is done with respect for our empirical knowledge about markets and our knowledge about the needs of small farms. Should SFM be the successful downtown farmers market? We are already.
Jeff Herman & r & President, Spokane Farmers Market & r & Kettle Falls, Wash.
Dam Wrong & r & Referring to the caption on the picture of Grand Coulee Dam ("More Dam Plans," 5/18/06). You might want to inform the author that there is another blockage downstream called Chief Joseph Dam. Besides fish ladders, there is another way to get fish (salmon, steelhead) over the dams. It's called an elevator. It works on the Susquehanaa River in Pennsylvania.
Hey, we put men on the moon -- why can't we bring salmon and steelhead further up the Columbia?
John B. Williamson & r & Spokane, Wash.
Tom Never Again & r & The cartoonist Tom Tomorrow does wonderful artwork, for a narcissist. In the May 11 edition, his premise was erroneous, but he gets an "A" for being snide and counter-informed -- and a "B" for paranoia. How classy is that? His outlook matches his vocabulary, too. Methinks his "equalizing" revealeth much defensiveness. Thank goodness I don't have to read his works again. Ffffftttttt. Gone. Aaaahhhhhh! Back to watching fair and balanced news, and listening to our honorable, good president's amazing and philanthropic speeches.
And the air is much better, too!
Patricia Hammond & r & Spokane, Wash.
Bravo for Bloomsday & r & I'm an avid reader of your paper (although I don't always agree with the political slant of some of your columnists). However, I just felt compelled to e-mail you a heart felt "bravo" on your editorial in this week's issue ("Sweet Harmony," 5/11/06). I too am a child of the '70s (I was born in 1966), and I love the music of that decade. I never ran Bloomsday while growing up and just ran my first Bloomsday five years ago. Wow, what a great party! Now I run it every year and I regret not doing it sooner. You're right in your article, the world has grown too cynical and we need some more "sweet harmony" in our lives. Thank God for people like Don Kardong and all the great volunteers who make Bloomsday such a joyous event! And another great reason why we're so lucky to live in this great community.
Kyle Weir & r & Spokane, Wash.