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Opinion: Impromptu farmers’ market shows what could be

September 25th, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Posted by Joel Lee

Photo by Joel Lee.

by Joel Lee

On Beacon Hill we are blessed with a wide variety of produce. From the overflowing displays at McPherson’s, to the tidy convenience of Red Apple Market, we have several opportunities close by. But I’m a firm believer that a healthy economy needs a wide variety of participants and part of that formula needs to be a way for individuals with little or no money to get their foot in the door. I do my best to shop locally but I also have an extra soft spot in my heart for micro-businesses. I have a strict personal rule to never pass a child’s lemonade stand without buying something.

It is with this spirit that I was happy to see an impromptu farmers’ market popped up on Beacon Hill this last Friday in the parking lot along Beacon near the VA hospital. I’m not sure how it got organized or if it will even happen again, but if you happen to see the tents set up there, it’s worth a stop to check it out. We bought a variety of locally grown vegetables from the half dozen stands that were set up including eggplant, corn, and green peppers, but they also had many foods that I was less familiar with, such as bitter melon.

Clearly, from the amount of foot traffic that was at this unadvertised event there is a sustainable demand for this type of service on Beacon Hill, but I would love to see a more permanent and accessible area created somewhere for such a market. Imagine a mini Pike Place Market where not only seasonal foods but handmade arts and crafts could be found. An area like this could become the heart of our neighborhood—and a boost for all of the businesses in our area if we are able to attract shoppers from other regions.

Joel Lee maintains the Beacon Hill Public Art website.

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Photo by Joel Lee.

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