’tis the season for temporary markets

I believe temporary markets are an indicator species for a healthy neighborhood economy. Today I visited two: the Forsyth Farmers Market and Craft Scout Holiday Market.

Craft Scout Holiday Market

For the past three years I’ve visited the Craft Scout market to do Christmas shopping. The market attracts about two dozen local craft makers to the ballroom of Savannah’s American Legion. Vendors sell jewelry, leather goods, ceramics, art prints, and other crafty sorts of gifts. The market attracts a healthy crowd.

Forsyth Farmers Market

Savannah’s Forsyth Park hosts a weekly farmers market. While cool weather likely kept many folks home today, the market often draws many shoppers. The market managers do a great job of retaining a variety of vendors. While we could potentially do almost all our grocery shopping at the farmers market, we rarely are organized enough to pull that off.

I find it fascinating that in spite of the year-round farmers market in Savannah, the vendors still rely on portable structures. While this approach allows the market to adapt to seasonal changes, it places a burden on each vendor to supply a table and shelter. It also makes the market look more improvised than established.

Market Stalls outside the Grove Arcade in Asheville

I was impressed by the approach that I witnessed in Asheville, North Carolina. These simple structures near the Grove Arcade provide vendors with a bit of shelter and a surface to display their goods. They fit neatly between the sidewalk and a row of parked cars.  They also show a graceful approach to accommodating a temporary market in an urban area.