The size and scope of the farmers' market "industry" is wide and deep, and operators often have the advantage of being ingrained into the community.
edures; and many run comprehensive web sites.
The farmers' market has been a fixture for 20 years on Granville Island, in Vancouver, B.C. Weekly sales of $1,000 plus per square foot are not uncommon. The Boulder, Colo. farmers' market, one producer reported, garners between $7,000 and $15,000 in weekly sales.
Madison's Dane County Market on the Square boasts 300 vendors which sell locally grown and produced products. More than 18,000 customers visit the market each weekend.
"The essence of our market is that we insist that each vendor is a producer, and the producer must be at the stand," said Mary Carpenter, market manager. "There are no crafts, just Wisconsin cheese, preserves, meats and produce from a 33-county area."
Perhaps the most noted of markets is Seattle's Pike Place Market, which started in 1907. Today, 9 million shoppers each year select from the 300 vendors, nine of which are produce farmers.
The most recent produce expansion has been with the market's Organic Farmer Days. Beginning in mid-June, two days a week are set aside for additional farmers to set up stands expressly for organic items.
"Pike Place Market has responded to supermarket competition by striving to set itself apart as a specialty food center with a diversity and quality of food items," said Mark Musick, farm specialist.
Santa Monica's Wednesday Farmers' Market grosses between $130 and $830 per farmer per day. "We have one flower vendor who does $5,000," said Laura Avery, farmers' market coordinator for the City of Santa Monica. Total market sales range between $60,000 and $90,000 per week for the Wednesday market.