Thursday, September 6, 2012

Arlington is America's Favorite Small Farmers' Market!

This week, we got some big news. Great news!

Arlington was bestowed the title of America's Favorite Small Farmers' Market!

American Farmland Trust's annual contest seeks to determine which farmers' markets can rally the most support from their community and collects votes from market lovers. Markets were judged in their size category: Small, Medium, Mid-Sized, and Large. So many visitors of our little community market voted for Arlington that our market was named #1 Small Market in America!

The Arlington market downtown on Olympic Avenue

We are so honored to have been given this title by the residents of our community. We are also excited that so many Arlington residents expressed their love for the resource the market is. As a volunteer-run organization, we can't express how grateful we are for your support!

Market organizers Samantha & Audrey display the market's mascot

Why does Arlington love the Arlington Farmers' Market? Let us count the ways:

Flowers from SnoCounty Farms

1. We are a truly local market. The hands you pass your money to are the hands that grew, crafted, or baked what you're buying (some shift-relief excluded!).  There's nothing like the relationships that develop when farmers are recognized and thanked for the work they do every week, and that proximity is hard to find--certainly absent at the grocery store.

Garden Treasures farmer Mark showing off his cheddar broccoli

2. We foster a community gathering space. There are so few places in our society these days where you can freely mingle with your neighbors, no entrance fee required. Drift through the rows of tents at the Arlington market, and you'll hear people laughing, kids playing, and friends recognizing each other.

Arlington Library's Helen plays Head Shoulders Knees and Toes with the kids

3. Free activities! We host kids story time and kids crafts every week, invite local musicians to play, and do yoga in the park. The farmers' market is a great place to spend the day!

Matt of Misty Mountains Farm sitting with his herbs and artisan bread

4. We love our hometown. Most of our vendors live right here in Arlington, and they have a heart for our community. They don't drive into town, pack up, and tally their receipts. They care about their shoppers, because they are also neighbors. Their kids attend our schools. You'll see them in line at the movies. The shoppers and vendors at the market aren't just buying and selling--they are investing in each other.

Biringer Farms with raspberries grown just outside of town

We know that there are exciting things on the horizon for the farmers' market. Next season will be even better than this one. Thank you, Arlington, for your support!

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