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public market | by brian glanz
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public market

This is 2 of 4 in a series from Pike Place Market's 100th birthday, 17 August 2007.


Anne and Larry from Rainbow Ranch sell produce on the cobblestones during Pike Place Market's 100th anniversary, including blackberries of which Mango Power Girl took a macro snap.


Pike Place is hallowed ground in Seattle. In 1907, the city government began this market to bring farmers and the people together. For-profit grocery stores were pricing food unfairly, abusing both people and farmers. Seattle took a stand for social and economic justice and as on its 100th birthday shown here, the Market still stands.


Seattleites have voted time and again to grow and support the Market. Today it's a nine acre historical district teeming with artists, street musicians, and unique shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Its original purpose is still served and you can meet the producer, year round, on Pike Place.


Also part of the Market's legacy are Seattle's vibrant neighborhood farmers' markets. My wife and I visit our weekly neighborhood farmers' market year-round, and there are more of them per capita in Seattle than any other American city.


Even then, Seattle is home to the Puget Consumers' Co-op or PCC, America's largest natural food co-op. We're member-owners ourselves, along with tens of thousands of other locals. Profits from nine regional PCC stores are returned to the community. Bringing things full-circle, the PCC Farmland Trust provides land for small farms growing organic food. At our neighborhood markets and at Pike Place Market, too we meet farmers supported by our community's collective effort at PCC.


This education of the Seattle food consumer and our superior food system is part of the legacy of our Market. Environmental and economic sustainability, and better health through fresh and organic foods, are not fads or new hopes here. For many in Seattle they have long been a way of life. A sense of community, pride in unique, artisanal goods, and fairness in trade and transactions are not long lost values -- they are the beating heart of Pike Place Market, itself often called the soul of Seattle.


See original Market-sourced recipes by Mango Power Girl and see more than 100 more (and better :) photos in my wife's flickr set for Pike Place Market. She's also a Moderator of flickr's Pike Place Market Group.

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Taken on August 17, 2007