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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

City of Portland starts messing with farmers' markets

Speaking of City of Portland bid solicitations, here's a doozy from the "Office of Sustainable Development" (such pretentiousness): They're undertaking a study of farmers' markets in town.

The City seeks an analysis to define the current state of farmers markets within Portland and the potential for growth in this direct-market channel that will encompass the following four elements:

• the critical elements for an economically viable farmers market in Portland

• the potential for expansion of farmers markets in the City

• potential strategies that will grow and enhance the direct-market channel

• the economic impact of farmers markets.

What the heck is this one all about, aside from shelling out $100,000 to the expert for a report? Aren't the farmers' markets in town doing fine without much help from the city, thank you very much?

Comments (5)

That they are willing to spend $100K for a consultant study of this complexity is astounding. Just one more clear signal that the City has too much of our money and the people in charge really don't know beans about managing it responsibly.

Bet if they worked with staff and students in PSU's MPA program they'd very likely get a better product. Just less boilerplate.

Portland's Office of Sustainable Healthy Thriving Prosperity Solutions Development appears to have a problem with focus.

this "study" seems par for the course.

If they "help" the farmers' markets they way they've "helped" Saturday Market, they'll all be out of business soon.

Our farmers and local markets need help, albeit not necessarily from the city. Havana Cuba, about the size metro Portland grows 50% of it's food locally and has 1000, yes 1000 farmers markets. By growing food locally you create a huge reduction in green house gasses which means the glacier on Mt. Hood might melt a little slower. We need to start depaving our Parks and Walmart parking lots and replace them with fruit trees, wind turbines, and solar panels.

One thing that may limit the growth of farmer's markets in Portland is the number of farmers. Some newer farmer's markets I've been to, such as one in Lents, seem pretty small.

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