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Permanent home for Marin farmers market gets green light

Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 24 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a permanent home for the Marin Farmers Market was signed with the County of Marin.  This was truly a momentous occasion and offers an incredible opportunity for the Marin and Greater Bay Area community to invest in infrastructure that supports local food and farms. This exciting project has been in process for a number of years and we congratulate all who have worked to get us to this point, including AIM’s Board of Directors, staff and members, Marin County Board of Supervisors, County of Marin staff, and community members.  

Sunday Civic Center Market Tents_cropped

Now is the time to invite local eaters to join in and contribute to this visionary project.  AIM will begin advancing this project by first completing designs with the County of Marin, and concurrently raising funds (AIM's share of $1 million towards phase one and then $7-8 million for phase two and three), with an expected move in date of 2014 for phase one.  Contributions towards this incredible landmark project can be made through AIM’s website: www.agriculturalinstitute.org.
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After more than 8 years of searching for a location that would honor and enhance the 30 year old award-winning flagship and the first certified farmers market in Marin County, AIM has negotiated this exciting opportunity.  Located between the Thursday and Sunday Marin Farmers Markets sites, where overflow parking for both markets often goes – also known as the “Christmas Tree Lot” – the site will be greatly improved from its current state in numerous ways, including: grading, permeable paving, electricity, bathrooms, and a covering for the market to make the market more vendor and customer friendly, especially during the winter.

The project’s first phase will create a new graded parking lot as well as electricity and permanent restrooms.  Phase 2 will be a tensile structure with solar panels to cover the market.  The third phase will fulfill the long term vision for a building on the same site to be used for educational programs, trainings for vendors, retail space for local meats, cheeses and other products, as well as storage space and office space for AIM.  The entire project will raise the visibility and importance of local and regional agriculture by creating a community landmark dedicated to public education and to growing a healthy local food system.
This project will position AIM as an even more prominent leader in the local food movement.  We are excited to honor and celebrate local and regional agriculture by adding permanency to the wonderful 30 year old community institution – the Marin Farmers Market!
By Leah Smith
Agricultural Institute of Marin