Emerson-Garfield hopes farmer's market will spark revitalization | Community Spirit
There's a new farmer's market in town and the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood wants Spokane to know that they are very much active and alive. In just 60 days the neighborhood council took the idea of a weekly farmer's market and made it a reality.
“We started talking about the idea of a farmer's market and the ramifications and what a positive impact it could have,” explains E.J. Iannelli, the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council Char. The hope is that the market will be the start of a much needed revitalization to the area.
The tired North Monroe Corridor was promised a revitalization project that never took flight and left the neighborhood surrounding it feeling like they didn't really matter. Iannelli and the rest of the neighborhood council is trying to make it clear that the neighborhood is very much there, very much active and does in fact matter.
“I think the north side has a self-esteem issue,” explains Iannelli. He adds that the neighborhood needs something to be proud of and needs a reason to be proud of where they live. The farmer's market is one step in turning the negative dialogue around.
“Why should the South Hill have all the fun?” Iannelli asks.
After knocking on a few area doors looking for a location, the council members happened upon Knox Presbyterian and asked if the market could use their parking lot. The church, which has been searching for ways to re-invent itself in the wake of dwindling membership, was excited at the prospect and jumped on board.
“It was this really beautiful collaborative effort,” explained Iannelli. Emerson-Garfield also partnered with Project Hope and was given great advice and guidance from the people at South Perry's Thursday Market. Neighborhood council members and community members all played a part in every aspect of making the market happen in such a short time frame.
The prospect of having a farmer's market in the area has created quite the buzz, Iannelli says that neighborhood’s Facebook page, website and blog have seen a huge increase in web traffic, in fact it's the most traffic they've ever seen. During the inaugural market, people were trickling in to enjoy ice cream, live music and great local offerings. Five of the current 15 vendors are from within the Emerson-Garfield neighborhood.
For the Emerson-Garfield it's all about building community and building a presence. Half an hour into the first day of the market it's not clear if it will return next summer, but the organizers are hopeful. The goal is to have at least 30 vendors a week by the end of the season.
You can visit the Emerson-Garfield Farmer's Market every Friday through October 18th. The market runs from 3pm-7pm in the parking lot at Knox Presbyterian Church, 806 W. Knox, right on the corner of Knox and Post.