As Marin County voters prepare for the polls on June 3, one measure -- to remake the setting of a beloved farmers market at the Marin County Civic Center -- seems poised to pass, amid a wave of public support.
[caption id="attachment_93140" align="alignright" width="424"] A rendering of the proposed permanent home for the Marin Farmers Market (credit: Agricultural Institute of Marin)[/caption]
Listed as "Measure B," the measure would allow the Marin Farmers Market to establish a permanent home at the historic site. The market has set up in temporary space at the civic center parking lot for over three decades, hosting over 200 vendors and thousands of patrons on a typical Sunday, said Bridgette Moran, CEO and executive director of the Agricultural Institute of Marin, which runs the farmers market and five others around the Bay Area.
While a permanent facility would come with a number of practical benefits, Ms. Moran emphasized that an established site would serve as a vote of confidence for Marin County’s agricultural producers looking to sell their products.
"Our farmers need to know that the future is secure," she said.
The Marin County Farmers Market has historically operated on a series of one-year leases with the county of Marin, occupying various areas of parking lot tarmac at the civic center according to available space, Ms. Moran said.
"We have no water, no electricity," she said. "We build this little village in a couple of hours, and take it down in a couple of hours. It's a lot of work."
The looming necessity to renew the lease has also created an air of uncertainty, even despite the widespread public and government support, she said.
"We renew it every year -- but there’s no guarantee," Ms. Moran said.