The History of the Farmers' Market at Sandpoint
Established in 1988
The Farmers' Market at Sandpoint was originally the brainchild of Lois Wythe, the owner of Peaceable Kingdom. She created and distributed flyers to explore interest in forming a community produce market in March 1988, asking the questions, "Would you like to put your garden to work? Are you interested in having high quality, locally grown vegetables available to buy?" She then arranged for a meeting place at the county extension office for those to whom the concept appealed, and was astonished when about 60 people showed up to discuss the formation of a farmers market.
Enthusiastic supporters quickly formed a core group to formulate a basic structure, secure a site, and create an organization. The City of Sandpoint agreed to allow the market to occupy Farmin Park and within weeks the market opened with about ten vendors, all offering produce, plants and flowers from their own gardens.
The market flourished and grew steadily each year. At first the management of the market was by volunteers but after 5 or 6 years of growth the market members decided to hire a manager to take care of setting up the market each season, to collect fees and answer questions from the public.
The market continued to grow and fill the park with festive sounds, produce and floral displays. Crafts were introduced first once a month, then twice and finally on each market day.
Today the Farmers' Market is an integral part of the community life and an important source of entertainment, family outings, and healthful food. It has become a well-organized, friendly place to visit for locals and out of towners alike.
The market salutes Lois Wythe and her vision and all who made the dream a reality of Sandpoint!
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Farmers Markets in Sandpoint here is a very interesting article.