Revolving doors ahead for Capitol Hill farmers markets

Capitol Hill residents who have grown accustomed to farmers markets on Broadway will need to brace themselves for changes.

The current Capitol Hill Farmers Market, operated by the same organization that sponsors the Fremont Sunday Market, intends to relocate to the Madison Valley.

According to organizer Jon Hegeman, who founded the Fremont Sunday Market, the Capitol Hill market is moving because of the general perception that its current location near Broadway is intimidating and thus keeps people away.

"It's not seen as a place to visit. It's unfortunate...but it's understandable," Hegeman said.

The Capitol Hill market has been at 10th Avenue and Pine Street since September.

The market will occupy a still-undisclosed lot in Madison Valley; its location will be announced once Hegeman has finalized the deal with the board of directors now managing the private property.

The new location would be a midpoint for Capitol Hill residents and for those who live in Madison Park and Madison Valley, where many of the customers come from, Hegeman said.

It also is undecided whether the market will operate on Friday afternoons, from 3 to 7 p.m., or on Saturday mornings, as the Capitol Hill market now operates. Participating farmers favor Fridays, Hegeman said, because of conflicts with other farmers markets taking place on Saturdays.

Once the deal is finalized, the Capitol Hill Farmers Market will immediately move to its new location. "We will try to implement it as expediently as possible," Hegeman said. "We're excited. We're hopeful [that it will happen soon]."

But local farmers market patrons should not be left in the cold for long. Starting on May 15, the Broadway Sunday Farmers Market will begin operations. Originally slated for operation last year and delayed when a suitable location could not be secured, the new farmers market will be located in the parking lot behind the Broadway Bank of America at the intersection of Broadway and East Thomas Street.

The upcoming Broadway Farmers Market is organized by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, a local non-profit organization that supports Washington's small family farmers and aims to educate consumers about sustainable food and farming practices.

The group also operates farmers markets in the University District, Lake City, Magnolia, Columbia City and West Seattle. Cooking exhibitions and live music are expected to be regular features of the new farmers market.

An opening day celebration is planned for May 15 and will include free horse wagon rides, live music from folk group Clallum County, face painting for kids by Animal Angels as well as local farmers selling fresh-picked produce, will be part of the festivities.

The market will be open Sundays through November 20 from 11 am to 3 pm.

Doug Schwartz is the editor of the Capitol Hill Times. Vera Chan-Pool is the editor of the Madison Park Times. Reach them at 461-1308 or

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