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Week 56 - Boise Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Guy Hand

For the 56th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on the Boise Farmers Market and the market manager, Tamara Cameron. City Counsel Person, Real estate agent and Tacoma native.

4EVRGRN: Hey Tamara, tell us a little about yourself.

TC: I have worked for the Boise Farmers Market, in one capacity or another, for the past five years. I have been the market manager for the past two years. The Boise Farmers Market operates outdoors from April through October and our Winter Market operates indoors November through the last Saturday before Christmas. This year we are operating as the Boise Farmers Market Drive-Thru. 

We also have the Boise Farmers Mobile Market which runs from Memorial Day through September each week, with 16 different stops around Boise, Monday  through Wednesday. The "veggie van" sells produce, eggs, bread and honey to our community during the week with a special focus on those who can't make it to our farmers market on Saturday. 

1) What’s the best part of a PNW farmers market? Our Farmers Market Community! The best part of the Boise Farmers Market is the direct relationship between customers and growers and producers. This friendly environment that fosters local food conversation isn't duplicated anywhere else. And, of course, the opportunity to eat local. . .  The local produce! Our farmers market - the Boise Farmers Market - is a local food-centric farmers market with at least 51% farmers and ranchers and local ingredients included in almost all food products. There's nothing better than fresh locally grown salad mix, carrots, tomatoes, corn, etc. And, if you are a meat eater, a locally grown grass fed steak to go with it! 
2) Has Covid changed how you operate at the market? Our number 1 concern this season is the safety of our customers, vendors and staff. We are operating the BFM Drive-Thru Farmers Market as a way to distribute local food to our community as efficiently and safely as possible this summer. Here is more info: https://theboisefarmersmarket.com/bfmdrivethru Here is a video that shows the process: https://vimeo.com/422228647 We are distributing between 650 and 750 orders of local food each week. We have 53 vendors participating. Online sales are Tuesday/Wednesday for Saturday pickup. Customers reserve a time, then shop our online store. Here is the storefront: https://boisefarmersmarket.localfoodmarketplace.com/products Our customers like the safety and convenience of this model.

3) Favorite PNW meal? Currently we are in love with grilled veggie and protein skewers (zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic cloves, pre-cooked beets, carrots or potatoes, peppers, corn, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, salad turnips all work in your favorite combinations with beef, elk, goat, chicken, rabbit, pork, salmon) with a large portion of tomato watermelon salad on the side! So Summer. 

4) What is different about your farmers market from other PNW markets? We are a traditional local food focused with at least 51% farmers and ranchers at our market. Our other vendors use local ingredients in their products. Boise is unique - the biggest city in Idaho. Our farmers market is urban and rural at the same time. Small enough to be friendly and warm and big enough to have a great selection of produce, protein and products. We are pretty sure our drive-thru concept is unique in the PNW right now. 

5) One misconception you’ve heard about the PNW? We are mostly hicks from the sticks. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are a smart, sophisticated, unpretentious bunch who love a good conversation over a plate of local food and a craft beer or glass of local wine. We also love it casual. . . sometimes with a cowboy hat.

6) When you’re not at the market, what’s your favorite PNW activity? Hiking in the Boise Foothills, enjoying the Boise River Greenbelt or exploring the Owyhee Canyonlands. 

7) What makes the PNW unique? People are friendly and neighborly. We care deeply about our small farmers and ranchers, their land, and what they contribute, with both their products and their lifestyle, to our PNW community. 

    We wish Boise Farmers Market the very best in all their endeavors and hope that if you live in Boise or visit you'll give them a visit. In the meantime stay up to date with at www.theboisefarmersmarket.com or on  www.instagram.com/boisefarmersmarket or at www.facebook.com/theboisefarmersmarket .