Enumclaw opens farmers market survey to residents

Area residents are invited to share their views regarding a farmers market in the Enumclaw/Buckley vicinity.

Area residents are invited to share their views regarding a farmers market in the Enumclaw/Buckley vicinity.

The survey, now available on the city of Enumclaw website, is an initiative of the Food, Beverage and Agriculture Committee, appointed by members of the Enumclaw City Council.

The genesis of the committee sprang from the city’s Economic and Strategic Plan and – according to its mission statement – the group exists to “facilitate, attract, retain and promote the food, beverage and ag tourism industry.”

Making up the seven-member, citizen committee are Donn Bauer, Liz Clark, Richard Corella, Dan DeVries, Ed Hoffman, Andrew Ledbetter and Neal Sanders. City Councilman Hoke Overland serves as the liaison between the group and the council.

The survey is found by visiting the city website. Participants are asked to identify themselves as potential customers, farmers and vendors or as representatives of a local business. Small posters decorate business windows throughout downtown, also serving to drum up interest in the survey.

Wide-ranging questions look to determine – among other things – customers’ fondness for markets, what offerings they like to see at markets and how far they would travel to shop. Other questions deal with favored locations and the most appealing times and days to attend farmers markets.

The survey also asks respondents if they would be willing to help plan a market in the area or volunteer if a market were established.

Farmers markets have grown in popularity during the past couple of decades. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show there were more than 8,500 markets last year in the United States. Fifteen years ago, the number was about 3,000.

Presently, Buckley operates a small farmers market at Thunderbird Park. Also close is a larger market in Maple Valley on the grounds of Rock Creek Elementary School. Both operate Saturdays during the summer season.

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