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Our Mission and History

The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is committed to supporting and strengthening Washington's small family farm businesses by creating and operating vibrant, successful neighborhood farmers markets.

To meet our mission we provide effective direct sales sites for our region's small farmers, while also educating consumers about local farm products and the importance of supporting and preserving local farmland. In addition, we have been at the forefront of advocating for low income benefits programs to ensure equal food access.


1993 - Founder Chris Curtis and community volunteers organize the University District Farmers Market, prioritizing farmers and food.

1994 - 1997 - The U District Farmers Market grows and Chris Curtis advocates to community groups and governmental agencies to increase direct-market sales opportunities for local farms (eggs, dairy, meats, fish), SNAP/EBT (then called Food Stamps) are accepted at the market.

1998 - Led by Karen Kinney and volunteers, in consultation with Chris Curtis, the Columbia City Farmers Market opens.

1999 - Chris Curtis opens the West Seattle Farmers Market.

2000 - Chris Curtis and Karen Kinney join forces and appeal to the city for support to start a non-profit Farmers Market organization, the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA).

2001 - NFMA gains federal recognition as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is encouraged by the City of Seattle to replicate their farm-focused market model throughout Seattle.

2002 - NFMA opens the Lake City Farmers Market

2003 - NFMA opens the Magnolia Farmers Market

2005NFMA opens the Broadway (now called Capitol Hill) Farmers Market

2005 - with help from Chef Tamara Murphy, An Incredible Feast fundraiser is launched and the Good Farmer Fund is started.

2007NFMA opens the Phinney Farmers Market

2007U District Farmers Market goes year round

2008West Seattle Farmers Market goes year round

2009 - The NFM begins distributing incentive dollars for SNAP/EBT users

2012 - The NFM creates the Fresh Bucks Program incentive program for SNAP/EBT users, which becomes the model for a city-wide program in 2013. 

2013 - U District Farmers Market celebrates its 20 year anniversary and moves to its new home on the Ave (University Way between NE 50th and NE 52nd).

2014 - Capitol Hill Farmers Market goes year round.

2015 - West Seattle Farmers Market moves to California Ave.

2015 - The Good Farmer Fund surpasses $100,000 in grants.

U District, 1990's

U District, 1990's

2017 - The Fresh Bucks program becomes an unlimited match for shoppers using SNAP benefits; funding secured long term through advocacy to include it in the Sugary Drinks tax.