Q: What sparked the idea to create a farmers market in liberty lake?
Jim: I've been interested in farmers markets for nearly all my life and have had an
interest in the role a farmers market can play in improving the social fabric of the
community of a neighborhood. The role model for this market really came from the
Seattle Neighborhood markets. They were operating a series of neighborhood based
markets. I had the opportunity to see those. In particular the university market in the
U- district. It was a market that was based in a neighborhood it drew from and
support the acts in the neighborhood we looked at LibertyLake and the opportunity
the market would have to improve the social like and social fabric in the community. It
provides a place for farmers to sell products and not only supports access to local
food sources but also creates a gathering place for the neighborhood. I felt strongly
that having a market that you could walk to the market, ride your bike to the market.
easy access for those who live in Liberty Lake. That was initial concept to continue to
add to the social and community life of Liberty Lake and provide an outlet for farmers
to sell their products.
Susan: When we were kids we would drive out to Greenacres and the valley with the
family on Sundays and buy produce. We wanted that kind of feeling and I think you
get that from the market.
Q: What did you wish to accomplish first year?
Susan: Our hope was to have farmers and vendor show up. To throw it out and see what
Jim: The first year was to look at feasibility, try to determine if was feasible? Could we
find the right location, find sufficient vendors, how would the community respond to
the market. The first year, if anything, is a bit of trial and error finding a model that
was feasible and that the community responded to. The first season turned out to be
tremendously successful. We were able to get a very good core of vendors. People
that had been to other markets in Spokane and saw the potential in Liberty Lake. The
community responded almost immediately.
Q: Did you ever think the market would become as great a success as it is today?
Jim: I think we always hoped that, and again the model was the U- district we saw what
it could be so always had high hopes for the market. Everything wasn't successful. A
year after we started in Liberty Lake we started a market in Moran Prairie. Again
extending the concept of neighborhood markets. We ran it up there for 2 seasons.
That market was not able to make the connection with the neighborhood like the one
in Liberty Lake has made. I think the Liberty Lake market has fulfilled the vision we
had for it. It is truly a neighborhood based market.
Q: Where do you see the LLFm going into the future?
Jim: Like any institution, the market needs to grow and adapt as times change. It
always important to continue to look for and find good vendors. One of the things I
hope that happens in the future is that the market is a catalyst for young people that
want to get into the agricultural area. That we can support and incubate those young
people that want to go into farming, raising of produce, or becoming food artisans.
We want to encourage those food artisans within our community and region. We
want this so that we can have a better range of food products available at the
market. It continues to be a source for community based activity.
Susan: I don’t think we need more vendors it is about quality of vendor. It is about the
atmosphere of lets go meet our neighbor.