Mission Farm & Flower Market enters its third season with more vendors and questions about its potential size

The Mission Farm and Flower Market debuted in 2015. It begins its third season in May along Johnson Drive.

The Mission Farmers Market will enter its third year this spring with more vendors. This increase also leads one to wonder about the extent of market growth at its current location.

The market has been located in green space along Johnson Drive west of Nall since its inception. Emily Randel, who led the market project for the city, said 15 vendors is the maximum that can fit in a front row along the street. City has 15 signed vendors for this year, up from 12 last year and 9 in his first season. “We have a good number of vendors, but we could have more,” Randel told city council recently.

The Johnson Drive location wasn’t originally intended for a market, Randel said, but sellers like the visibility on Johnson Drive. Some city council members also like Johnson Drive.

The idea for the market grew out of a downtown visioning process that proposed the city to “do things on the public side that would make the area more attractive and active,” Randel said. This vision also called for an amphitheater in the Johnson Drive area. The question of a structure for the market was also raised.

Mayor Steve Schowengerdt said it was unclear that a structure that would provide weather protection was even feasible in the Johnson Drive area. But, he said, it can be more difficult to keep suppliers long-term without one.

City Administrator Laura Smith said one structure was not entirely ruled out. City ownership of the former Harleywoods construction site could provide an opportunity.

This year, the market will hold a food truck launch party on May 2. The opening day of the market will be May 6.

Terisa K. Carn