West Seattle Farmers’ Market moving out of the lot, into the street

(WSB photo from 2012)
For the past few years, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market has moved out into California Avenue SW once a year, during the Junction Association‘s fall Harvest Festival. Starting this summer – that’ll be the market’s new permanent location, year-round. As announced on the WSFM website, the move is set for Sunday, June 14th:

We’re taking it to the street! Join us on this historic day at the beloved West Seattle Farmers Market.

Our first year, in 1999, was the beginning of a neighborhood institution; a place for families and neighbors to connect with local farms and get the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables – and many other wonderful farm products and local foods.

This year, in 2015, after much planning and hard work, we’re moving the market to the street, where we’ll have more room and an improved layout, and can create an even more inviting Sunday morning destination in the heart of the Junction.

The market will be on California between Alaska and Oregon – both of those east-west streets will remain open on market days. Susan Melrose from the West Seattle Junction Association says that merchants are supportive of this – they’ve been in discussion for months – and that the launch day on June 14th will be “a very festive day” with music in the streets – more details to come.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: In response to some questions in comments – Chris Curtis of the WSFM says the street closure is envisioned as 7 am-4 pm, and reminds us that there will be more parking, since the lot that’s currently used will be open to vehicles again. Street-closure costs related to this are being borne by market management, according to WSJA’s Melrose.

58 Replies to "West Seattle Farmers' Market moving out of the lot, into the street"

  • Dan March 17, 2015 (5:04 pm)

    Shutting down one of the main north/south arterials *every Sunday morning* seems a bit much. Fruits and veggies are great, but getting around town is important too.

  • Colleen March 17, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    So this is every Sunday now? Even in the winter?

    • WSB March 17, 2015 (5:12 pm)

      Starting June 14th. Yes, winter included.

  • onion March 17, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    Does the plan include opening up some of the lot parking to offset the lost on-street parking spaces this will make off limits? I know the farmers still need to park somewhere, but it would be good to open up as many parking spaces just west of the junction as possible.

  • Colleen March 17, 2015 (5:20 pm)

    Did they say how many more vendors that adds? Is there a commitment from the new vendors to be there year round? Were there a lot of vendors not getting slots currently? I know that’s a lot of questions but I am curious on the cost/benefit of this, especially in winter.

    As someone who drives from south of the junction to Admiral every Sunday I find this a bit much but I am interested in seeing the numbers backing this up.

  • iggy March 17, 2015 (5:21 pm)

    I wonder if Metro knows about this. The 22 and the 128 will have to be rerouted. The 22 has tight connections with its one bus an hour, so reroute could mean the driver doesn’t get a bathroom break.

    • WSB March 17, 2015 (5:30 pm)

      It’s been under discussion for months – we first heard rumblings a long time ago – I don’t know if this affects your concern about the bus routes, but again, it’s *one block*, the block between Oregon and Alaska, and those two streets both stay open. The online map doesn’t show the 128 running on that block: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/schedules/128/map.html

  • Jared March 17, 2015 (5:31 pm)

    I think this is great!

  • CanDo March 17, 2015 (5:43 pm)

    Yay… That will be fun!

  • optimism-rules March 17, 2015 (5:47 pm)

    Drive around it Dan!

  • Theresa0003 March 17, 2015 (6:10 pm)

    Yay!!! Cannot wait for the day when more of California Ave will be closed to car traffic! This is a great start!

  • West Seattle Hispter March 17, 2015 (6:10 pm)

    I like the days when the Junction is closed to traffic (Harvest Festival, WS Street Fair, WS Car Show), but my only lament is the dearth of parking.


    Would like to see a few food trucks at the Farmers Market.

  • kumalavula March 17, 2015 (6:15 pm)

    i talked to one of the vendors in the fall a out
    this move and she was excited! apparently this has been tossed around for a while and it’s a welcome
    change from the perspective of the farmers who bring their awesome assortment of goods. they do this in ballard and it lends a more cohesive air to the whole thing being able to stroll along the length of vendor line.
    i’m all for it!!

  • TW March 17, 2015 (6:16 pm)

    Great news!

  • Jason March 17, 2015 (6:21 pm)

    That is awesome! Bonus for the shops on that block too, with all the new apartments the plus side is the farmer’s market and local shops (hopefully) will see a lot more business.. And I’m pretty sure the metros already turn on Alaska – I’m also pretty sure that this has been worked on with the necessary parties and permitted, they’re not just shutting the road down and hoping they don’t get caught.

  • JVP March 17, 2015 (6:37 pm)

    This will be cool! I’ve always liked foreign cities that close down a street for a sunday event, or even some that close their streets every evening after 7pm (not saying we should do that here).
    Adding food truck would be great. I also hope they keep it a true farmers market. One thing I love is that there’s not all those “street fair” vendors selling trinkets, nick-nacks and other junk. It’s a real farmers market.

  • maplesyrup March 17, 2015 (6:45 pm)

    I’ve seen this type of thing in other countries and it’s very cool. Cars can figure out another way around.

  • Colleen March 17, 2015 (7:00 pm)

    The current Seattle Markets vendor rules say there’s no room for non-farm food so it seems like food trucks wouldn’t be a part of this.

  • NW March 17, 2015 (7:06 pm)

    I hope it’s been budgeted into this new change there being a thorough cleanup afterwards of debris from the street gutters and sidewalks!

  • h March 17, 2015 (7:43 pm)


  • cj March 17, 2015 (8:36 pm)

    This is an excellent idea. I have thought for a long time thought the Junction area should be closed off permanently for the 2 or 3 blocks where all the restaurants and small businesses are so maybe this will get us closer. The junction should not as some say be considered as a major arterial. We need to work a way around that and just let buses through. I have nothing against cars but they need to be more isolated from pedestrians.

  • M March 17, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    Echoing the concern about what this will do to traffic on a major arterial. Why not block off the east/west streets instead?

  • Chris March 17, 2015 (9:55 pm)

    This is a really great positive move for the junction. The reroute for cars is a very minimal impact. And if you’re going south of the junction to Admiral every Sunday you should be taking a bus anyway.

  • Sue March 17, 2015 (10:17 pm)

    M, the east/west streets are where the buses run, so it would have a lot more impact.
    I live 2 blocks from there. The impact to cars for a reroute can be significant – during the junction festival you can often wait several lights to make a turn. And people race down my street on a normal day – this will only make the traffic flow worse.
    Personally, I’d like to see them shift the hours a bit. I almost never get there (despite how close I am) because that’s the time I’m in church or having brunch afterward.

  • aa March 17, 2015 (10:44 pm)

    Colleen say no ‘non farm’ food. I always wonder about that because the tall grass bakery, biscuits, other bakery, candy. Don’t get me wrong I like some of these businesses, but they don’t come from farms.

  • Sue March 17, 2015 (10:50 pm)

    Chris, as for “if you’re going south of the junction to Admiral every Sunday you should be taking a bus anyway,” are you aware that there are only 2 buses that travel that route without a transfer, and on a Sunday they run every 30-60 minutes? Not particularly convenient. When I go that route on a Sunday (Gatewood to Admiral) it’s because I’m going shopping at PCC, and that’s not happening on a bus.

  • Mike March 17, 2015 (11:13 pm)

    Everyone should walk, without shoes. No cars, no busses, no bikes, no shoes.
    Honestly, as long as people know about this and METRO can figure out a re-route for buses…good. Once everyone knows about it, they can plan accordingly. I’ll gladly drive in circles looking for parking.

  • Christ March 17, 2015 (11:26 pm)

    This is a great idea, stop whining naysayers. Park somewhere else, drive somewhere else, stay away if it’s that big of a problem for you.

  • newnative March 18, 2015 (12:10 am)

    The 128 definitely does not run on California between Oregon and Alaska. I doubt the 22 does either. I would imagine the parking spaces taken up by the market would be negated by the freed up spaces in the parking lot.
    I love the phrase, non-farm food.

  • S March 18, 2015 (1:39 am)

    Great! I support this fully! Too bad about the food truck restriction though.

  • Mike March 18, 2015 (7:16 am)

    This is great. The market will be featured more prominently and parking will be opened up for those who choose to arrive by car. For the market to thrive we need as many buyers as possible to take part. Lets not worry whether they arrive on bare feet, on bicycle, car, bus, drone, or parachute. Just get to the market and buy good food. Now how about some crafts and music to help draw even more people? Love the idea of creating a ped only zone in the junction. Is this really being considered seriously? where do I sign the petition?

  • Jen March 18, 2015 (7:28 am)

    I can’t find any information on the hours that the street will be shut down. The market runs from 10-2 but I would imagine the street will be closed longer to accommodate set up and take down time.

  • JoB March 18, 2015 (7:39 am)

    this will make the market more accessible

  • miws March 18, 2015 (7:39 am)

    According to the Metro Route Map for the 22, and my own observation during a recent, not so frequent anymore, visit to the Junction, the 22 indeed runs down California southbound, turning from Oregon, after leaving the Terminal on 44th:



    IIRC, back when the 128 had its Terminal on 44th, north of Alaska, on Sundays, (and Saturdays several years previous to that), when it didn’t run all the way to Admiral, the 128 would leave its Terminal, turn left on Oregon, left on Glenn Way, easy left on Alaska.


    My best guess is that they would do the same with the 22 in this case.



  • iggy March 18, 2015 (7:46 am)

    Actually, the 22 does run on California between Oregon and Alaska on its Southern direction route. The layover is behind the Wells Fargo Bank (don’t know the cross street) facing toward the north. To go back south it turns right on Oregon, right on California and now facing south for its trip to Arbor Heights.

  • Kim March 18, 2015 (7:47 am)

    I love this idea! Every time the streets are closed in the junction, it seems like more people come out to play.

  • junctioneer March 18, 2015 (7:58 am)

    Love this idea too. Hope it means more people shop there, which means more vendors, which means better market. Seems like a big step for the market to become more interesting. Also, maybe more visits to those shops…

  • sam-c March 18, 2015 (8:28 am)

    I think this is a great idea. I love walking around the junction when the streets are closed. However, I am curious about the costs? it seems like whenever the community is excited about other street closing activities, like the Harvest festival and the West Seattle parade, there’s lots of agonizing (from the Junction ? I don’t know) about paying for the street closure permits.

    now, they can afford it every Sunday? Who is paying for it?

    • WSB March 18, 2015 (8:34 am)

      Sam, the parade is not a West Seattle Junction presentation. The costs there are for closing more than a mile of California SW.

  • sgs March 18, 2015 (9:19 am)

    Seems like a lot of work for a 2 hour market. I thought it was just fine as it was.

  • sam-c March 18, 2015 (9:22 am)

    Ok, That makes sense. But I am sure there are still some street permit costs for closing down the street every weekend. I was just wondering who pays for it ? It is probably more affordable than the parade but someone still pays for it, right?

    • WSB March 18, 2015 (9:36 am)

      SGS, it’s four hours. Sam, I just asked Susan Melrose of WSJA, since we’re all here at Husky Deli for the historical-survey launch. She says the costs are completely being handled by the Neighborhood Farmers’ Market Alliance, which manages markets including West Seattle. They apparently also get special rates for this type of cost because the city wants to encourage “activating streets.” And for anybody who is doubting, Susan says the merchants are beyond excited about this, expecting it to further enliven business on Sundays. (One merchant we talked to during our conversation with her says there’s also a sense of pride that this could become the biggest Farmers’ Market in the city!) – TR
      P.S. for the question about street-closure hours, we need to follow up with NFMA but it’s expected to be early in the morning (6ish) until breakdown is complete (4ish).

  • Colleen March 18, 2015 (9:37 am)

    If you look on their vendor page, you can see the requirements (http://seattlefarmersmarkets.org/vendors/become-a-vendor) and they do say ” For non-farm food businesses: our market schedules have no more room for food vendors at this time” as odd as non-farm Food sounds. Reading all of that, it doesn’t seem welcoming to a Food Truck, which is a bummer.

    I’m still hoping we’ll see numbers from them of how many more vendors have committed for year round, how many they turn away, things like that. I’m also curious to see what the expect for foot traffic increases, and if this will get re-evaluated to see success. The last couple of times I’ve been up there this winter, there didn’t seem like enough vendors to fill the current spot, so I’m having trouble seeing the justification (especially in the winter months.) Right now, it seems more pain than anything. The True Value corner is scary enough when the streets are open, I’m not looking forward to every Sunday of that.

  • Bob formerly of west seattle March 18, 2015 (10:50 am)

    What a great idea when I was involved in the neighborhood association, we wanted to close off California and reroute traffic permanently.Have northbound go one side street and southbound go on the other side street. cannot remember now which is which but see what Montrose California has done and it is a charming community. I am all for get the cars away from the junction.

  • Sue March 18, 2015 (11:43 am)

    Colleen, the market has always had less booths in winter since it’s just not the season for many of the farms with fresh produce and flowers. Once spring happens, it will likely flourish again with vendors. I know a lot of the time you’ll see a new vendor in winter, or one that’s there every 2 or 3 weeks, and they’ll tell you they’re only there for the winter, as there’s no more room in the summer months. I hope that will change with more room on the street, that there is room for all vendors who want to be a part of it.

  • G March 18, 2015 (12:05 pm)

    Bob formerly of West Seattle,

    Similar to what they do over here in the San Fernando Valley, Bob. The busy, fabulous Studio City market (OMG the produce!)takes up several blocks of a street running parallel to Ventura with vendors on either side and a middle open walkway for easy access to either side. I think this set-up is more appealing and would work better for WS. Do wonder about the winter months, though, and whether the anticipated bonanza for local businesses is going to materialize.

  • Jenny March 18, 2015 (2:38 pm)

    Fantastic! So excited about this!

  • Cheryl March 18, 2015 (3:16 pm)

    Wonderful news IMO! Always loved the rare Sundays when the market moved to the street (Harvest Festival, for example). Kudos to the organizers for making this happen!

  • Kathy March 18, 2015 (7:04 pm)

    This will be great! And another great use of the street in the Alaska Junction would be for a few restaurants/cafes or delis to apply to create a Streatery in the parking space in front of their place. With the apartment units going online there will be a lot more foot traffic in the Junction and a street cafe will attract business when weather permits.

    The deadline has been extended for Streatery applications to March 30th.


  • Jill March 18, 2015 (7:29 pm)

    Love it!

  • Susan March 18, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    Fabulous news! Chico CA closes several downtown streets for a farmers market every Thursday evening during the growing/harvest season. It’s a fun experience with a great community vibe.

  • Anne March 19, 2015 (11:00 am)

    I hope the expansion will bring back Booth Canyon Orchard from Twisp and their large variety of heirlooms!

  • Dereck March 19, 2015 (2:41 pm)

    I feel people need to read before they post. If they read they would know there answer. And the buses don run along that piece of road so lets not hear about the buses ok

  • ellenater March 20, 2015 (11:30 pm)

    This is fabulous news!! This is the best thing to happen in West Seattle in a long time. I can’t wait!! Current market is way overcrowded. It will be so much nicer and so much more fun now. Great decision!

  • Sue March 21, 2015 (9:55 pm)

    Dereck, you are wrong about the buses not running down that road – the southbound 22 does. See map here: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/schedules/022/map.html

  • Ridge March 22, 2015 (7:30 pm)

    My wife was one of the two bakers at the B&O Espresso on Capital Hill for 15 years. We now run our own bakery specializing in pies and cakes. We are currently at the U-District farmer’s market. As long-time West Seattilies, we are so excited that the market is expanding and we wil be able o have a booth there starting in June! Can hardly wait, Ridge and Adrienne McCoy of Adrienne’s Cakes and Pies

  • Jen March 22, 2015 (9:10 pm)

    Ridge – would be so great if there are gluten free items in your offerings. B&O was the first cafe I visited in Seattle in 1980!

  • Aly April 3, 2015 (9:09 am)

    My family loves our weekend outings to the WS Farmers Market. It is a family affair – our little ones are learning about fresh food, supporting our local farmers, and we often run into other families from their school. The ability to buy fresh, organic, and support local farmers is priceless. But, I also want to point out the value this adds to our community. We gather together once a week to participate in shopping local, connecting with our neighbors, and in the end feeling a sense of pride about being Westies. I am all for this and think it will only strengthen what is already really great about WestSea.

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