History of Struggle at the San Juan Island Farmers’ Market
Farmers’ markets are exploding in numbers all over the country in recent years due to an increased demand to reclaim the right to know who grows food and what it contains. While many studies exist to address this growing trend in farmers’ markets, most research centers on how consumer demographics and behaviors limit the success or failure of a market. This study fills in for the lack of focus on farmers and the detailed process of how they drive a farmers’ market into being. Through semi-structured interviews with 14 farmers in the San Juan county region, this study seeks to address the challenges that occur during the establishment of a farmers’ market. Analysis of these interviews yields many varied answers to these two questions: 1) what is the purpose of a farmers’ market according to farmers and 2) what obstacles do farmers face when establishing a market? The history these farmers tell helps understand how a farmers’ market can become a thriving infrastructure for small farmers in a rural town. This case study will contribute to a body of research that analyzes market histories to create better models for future market communities.