Farmers Market Unlikely Despite Citizen Pleas

Even with the qualifier of being a “Northender,” we doubt the people who want fresh veggies during the growing season under the politically correct greenie label of “sustainable,” will be able to overcome the powerful CCDC urban renewal agency (Capital City Development Corp.) or the Downtown Business Association. Those outfits control the popular Saturday market.

The GUARDIAN suggested a year ago the city use the huge publicly owned lot at 30th & Fairview for a farmers market.
The City never even considered it. Not a councilor or other city official ever stepped up to get the ball rolling. It appears the motivation at city hall is to cater to the downtowners with no consideration for the populace. Instead they have left vacant land to grow weeds and nothing else. HERE IS LAST YEAR’s TRY:

Boise is awash in “surplus land” publicly owned, but unused for any public purpose. City officials offer hollow claims about selling the land to fund other projects, but they just can’t “gitterdone.”

The GUARDIAN–in response to a reader’s challenge–suggests a farmer’s market be made available immediately on the land at 30th and Fairview/Main. It is an ideal site for such a venture and it’s a “green” idea that is “sustainable” and if done right will have a small “carbon footprint” while being “healthwise.”

There is plenty of space for parking, easy access from all parts of town via the connector, proximity to the greenbelt for bikers and pedestrians, and it would encourage sale and consumption of locally grown food.

Producers could easily back into spaces and sell from their pick-up or van, erect awnings for shade and rain protection. We could have a “county fair” every weekend–just like they do throughout the world. If it appears to be a success, we could build a permanent facility–funded by bonds approved at an election of the citizens. There would be no major cost to taxpayers, since rent would be charged to merchants using the stalls.

There is nothing unique about the open market concept. It is done all over the world as evidenced by photos (below) the GUARDIAN has made at just a few places we have visited. The difference between an honest to goodness farmer’s market and the current Saturday market would be access to ALL citizens of Boise and the Valley and not just a promotion for downtown Boise merchants and rental payments to the CCDC.

Jump in with your ideas–anything beats what Team Dave and the current group of councilors has been able to accomplish with their land speculation during the past 4 years.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Makes too much sense and no politician gets power from the idea so it is doomed…

  2. CCDC please go away! Find another place to play. Just make it not Boise! What does it take to get rid of this group of people?

  3. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Apr 21, 2009, 6:46 am

    Saturday’s “City Market” (or is it called a “Farmer’s Market” again) has little to do with a Farmer’s Market. There are a few farmers and ranchers there; but it’s become more of a “Yuppies Market” as of late. Much like “Alive After Five” stopped being a family thing and more of a “Meet/Meat Market” long ago.

    Which is not to say that I don’t see the need for a real Farmer’s Market, because I do.

    I just think there’s a place for both.

    And, not to beat a dead horse into purée; but until we change how our fair city is governed and managed…

  4. I know people who are venders at the Capital City Market (as they love to call themselves). They are outraged at the yearly increases the venders have to pay. They are all encouraged to pass the cost on… to the consumers. But some of these folks know that it would just make fewer sales for them, so do not.
    As it is the market is a draw to the businesses downtown, the coffee shops, the stores. It is a place to be seen, meet other dog owners who do not pick up their poop, have lunch, take your friends from out of town. It is at its current location as a draw for the downtown businesses not for the people of Boise not for the venders.
    Sorry Guardian, no matter how much we may agree with you – it’s for the downtown association.

  5. The Statesman reported…

    “The department rejected the market’s proposal because for-profit entities aren’t allowed in any city parks, Director James R. Hall said in a letter to Lindsay Rose Medoff, who had proposed the market along with Bingo Barnes”

    That surprised me.. seems like there are lots of for-profit things in parks, but I guess they are all associated with non-profit festivals etc.

  6. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Apr 21, 2009, 8:40 am

    The Saturday Market is part of an alliance between Karen ? from the DBA and Max Clark of the CCDC (whom in years past had both been caught by yours truly counterfeiting free parking passes for vendors that cost the garages hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars in revenue).

    N 8th St – between Bannock and Main – is a “private” street “owned” by the CCDC. They have quietly been asserting this lately with Blue (Private) street signs and Yellow (instead of City White) parking lines.

    For good measure, they’ve installed extra cameras on top of the Idaho building to watch “their” street.

    The City of Boise has very little to nothing to do with the administration of it’s own Downtown. The CCDC controls it all. And the DBA is their “must join” deb’ employment agency / mafia whose biggest (only?) boast is the planters cum ashtrays / puke buckets found downtown.

  7. I bet Winco, Albertsons and the Boise CoOp (in name only, ha it’s a membership club) are part of the DBA and well connected with the CCDC. They certianly don’t want to see a real viable farmers market or a bazaar forming in Boise.

  8. Serendipity
    Apr 21, 2009, 3:04 pm

    I agree with whoever said “yuppy’s market” for the Sat 8th St downtown deal, and with Dog about the Coop, which is a farce–it is distinctly NOT a co-op, and it’s even more of a yuppy market due to its out of sight price habits. Anything sold on SALE there isn’t worth buying–that’s why it’s on sale!

    As for the Tahiti example–notice all the plastic wrap. At least in Sat’s. market in BOI, the use of plastic is kept to a minimum. In Thailand and India, increasingly plastic is being downgraded if not ousted, because animals were dying from ingesting food-contaminated plastic–e.g., India’s wandering sacred cattle.
    In Laos, market plastic crap is ruining canals and wetlands, not to leave out roadsides full of it.They havent’ caught on there, yet.

  9. If you want to see some outstanding young people and what they have done to draw attention to our use of plastic, drop by the Shadow Hills Elementary School tomorrow at 1:30. They collected the shopping bags from grade schools all over the city for ONE WEEK! These are the bags in which families bring home their groceries. There are TWO, ONE THOUSAND POUND BALES of them! A very effective visual!

  10. All those farmer’s market photos are from 3rd World countries.
    Is that a backhanded shot at the city of Boise?
    If not, it should be…

    EDITOR NOTE–First one is from Seattle and the others are all over the world as you note. I guess the message is, “if you want a farmers market, make it happen. If you want promotions for downtown, say so.

  11. Has anyone noticed the new chain link fence that has gone up around part of the lot at 30th and Fairview? What’s up with that?

  12. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Apr 22, 2009, 8:43 am

    “…if you want a farmers market, make it happen. If you want promotions for downtown, say so.”

    That’s why they’ve stopped calling it a “Framer’s Market” and hold it on “their” “private” street and the Grove (also “private” / Gbad).

    Karen/DBA and Max/CCDC also could care less about input from the merchants affected. Just ask the merchants on the West Side of the street (like Dawson’s Coffee) who have had to contend with the ass end of the booths forever, how cooperative those two are about alternating placements so all can benefit.

    National Chains and Krick, Inc (who sits on the CCDC board) on the East Side of Street, and little locals on the West Side.

    YOU do the math!


    What a great way to spend an early Saturday Morning. Cuppa cawfee from Dawson’s, shortbread from Zeppole’s and my favorite bench to watch a sleepy corner of our world come alive.

    And the “Berry People” who stand in line for hours like they’re waiting for Ramones tickets.

    It’s a feast for the senses!

  13. Just wanted to comment on mistaken identy, there is in fact a Karen Sander who is with the Downtown Boise Association and a Karen Ellis who runs the market, they are in fact two different people. I wish when people comment they would at least have the facts. Also the farmer market is not run in any way by the DBA.

  14. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Apr 23, 2009, 2:18 pm

    1. That’s why “she” was named as Karen with a question mark.

    2. It’s not the “Farmer’s Market”, it’s now called the ” Capital City Public Market ” (Capital, not Capitol. Freudian slip?). Which – by the way – is not registered with the Idaho Secretary of State.

    3. Ah yes. Deniabilty. While it may not be “run” by the CCDC/DBA, it is most certainly run by them (and they “own” the street). Please spare us the semantics!

    4. There are the facts, and then there is the truth. The “facts” are rarely what they seem. Especially when you’re talking about Boise’s Shadow Government.

  15. Has anybody bothered to take a look at the area of 30th and Main on a Saturday? Seems like a lot of traffic is already parking there from the Boise auction. Lots of high speed traffic will promote a dangerous environment for pedestrians, children and the disabled. Do your homework before you suggest this site.

    Boisecynic asked about the fence that just went up on the lot. I believe that they will be storing some of the new garbage containers there until June.

  16. I agree with B.A.T. Idaho is a dangerous environment for pedestrians, children, and the disabled. Do your homework before moving here.

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