Willamette’s Summer Market (History of Farmers Markets)

History of Farmers Markets


Hi and welcome to another episode of Around The Neighborhood with me, Scott McMahon.  This is the show about the quest for fun, history, and mystery in our backyard.


And today, we’ll be heading back to another Wednesday at the Willamette Summer Market, but before we do, let’s take a cool stroll along the river and discover a little bit more about the history of farmers markets.


Apparently, the earliest known origins of the farmers market dates back over 5,000 years ago in Egypt, where the local farmers would trade their fresh produce along the shores of the Nile River.


A few thousand years later, and the first known market in what was to become the United States of America, was set up in Boston, Massachusetts in 1634.  Other colonial towns followed as farmers markets were established all over the country at that time.


With the industrial revolution changing lives and the creation of the grocery store, interest began to wane from holding farmers markets.  In fact for most of the 20th Century here in America, farmers markets were somewhat non-existent.


But during the 1970’s there was a pushback on processed foods which led to the desire to find fresh and healthier foods.


In the late 1970’s, California had an explosion of peaches.  Too many peaches were grown for the season.  The peach farmers tried to sell their extra supply at makeshift stands, but the laws at the time were so restrictive of selling any foods outside of a commercial facility that in protest, the peach farmers dumped all their excess peaches on the lawn of the state capitol.


So, in response, new laws were passed and a growth of farmers markets starting to pop up all over California.


But between 1994 to 2008, the interest in the local farmers market increased to over 300%.  The desire to support local farmers and have access to healthier foods, on top of, allowing other types of vendors to sell at these markets has only gotten more popular.


The Willamette Summer Market is part of the mission for the Historic Willamette Main Street organization that handles the preservation and promotion of Main Street in West Linn.  In the first episode of my special summer market series, I mentioned that there is a national organization that is designed to help all local main streets to promote their local history and heritage.


During this COVID-19 pandemic, the farmers markets have been the only place that many of these local and small vendors can do business.  Many of the summer events that these vendors normally sell their foods and goods at … have been cancelled.


So, with that said, let’s see how our local vendors are doing and maybe get a sampling or two of their amazing goods 🙂



Historic Willamette: http://historicwillamette.com

West Linn Historical Society: http://westlinnhistory.org/

Willamette Ale & Cider House: http://www.aleandcider.com/

Faballicious Sweets: https://www.faballicious.com/

Brain Freeze Shave Ice Bar: bfshaveicebar@gmail.com

Belamy Leather: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BelamyLeather

Anchor Masks: https://www.facebook.com/anchormasks/

Raw Oregon Honey: https://www.raworegonhoney.com/

Sommerlind Baking Company: https://www.facebook.com/SommerlindBakingCo/

Wayward Magnolia: https://waywardmagnolia.com/

Divine Dragon Designs: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DivineDragonDesigns

PakHye Goods: https://www.pakhyegoods.com/

Sugar Skye: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SugarSkye

Trail Brew: https://trailbrewpdx.com/

Dregs Vodka: https://www.dregsvodka.com/

Coin Toss Brewing: https://www.cointossbrewing.com/

Just Rum: https://justrum.com/

Xiong Garden: xionggarden44@hotmail.com

Bickford Farm: tnsssco@gmail.com

Parsons Farms: http://www.parsonsfarmsoregon.com/

Art of Laura Koppes: laurakoppes.weebly.com

Doolette Custom: https://doolettecustom.weebly.com/

Hand Painted Stationery: https://www.instagram.com/kpbdesignss/

Bandit Kettle Corn: http://banditkettlecorn.com/



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Scott McMahon, Real Estate Broker

Licensed in the State of Oregon

Premiere Property Group, LLC



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