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Last Last Market?
Diamond stepping down

The final Mazama Community Market of the season ended with a tribute to Ann Diamond, who started the 11-year-old Wednesday gathering, and who is stepping aside as market maven.

Produce vendors Dave Ford and his partner Nancy Leland thanked Diamond for the years she’s made the community gathering possible and special. They also presented a gift of homemade goat milk soap to Diamond and Dana Christiansen, who has helped with the event.

“The market was Ann’s idea,” Christiansen told Grist, “but she asked for some help so I did [pitch in].”

Diamond, the local physician who started Winthrop’s Country Clinic, was in constant motion Wednesday making sure customers felt welcome, the vendors were happy, the dozens of kids were having fun and the $1 raffle tickets were selling.

As the market was getting underway, Diamond told Grist she was concerned that it would be the final market, period, if people don’t step up. “I think there is enough individual interest,” she said. “If people will do one market [each], I’m willing to help.” But after 11 years of being the leader, Diamond said she is “volunteered out.” (Winthrop’s market master for the last five years, Samantha Carlin, is also looking for a replacement.)

Ford, who with Leland grows vegetables and sells them as Mazama Organics, told those gathered that he is exploring whether the Mazama market can move next year to the Mazama Store property and somehow be combined with the store’s popular Wednesday Pizza Night. There hasn’t been as much customer crossover as expected, he told Grist; people who attend pizza night tend not to walk the block or so down the road to attend the market.

Unlike the Saturday Twisp Farmer’s Market and Sunday Winthrop Market, which have paid coordinators, rules and vendor fees, the Mazama market has been a much less formal affair. Nobody is paid. There are no rules, and vendors can sell whatever they want whether or not they grow or make their products. Another big distinction is that dogs always have been welcome and free to romp and play at the Mazama market.

It also has been a family affair. Held at the Mazama Community Center, there has been room for kids to play. Diamond said there have been times when 40 kids came.

One of the ways she’s been able to add special touches is by running a weekly raffle. Tickets sell for $1 and vendors donate some of the prizes. Last night, Diamond bought pizza with raffle proceeds so the 11-member Hoodoo Marimba Band, which provided entertainment, would have dinner.

As her final raffle as market maven began, Diamond started to address the crowd. Fighting tears, she skipped the speech and went back to having fun, leaving little doubt that the Mazama Community Market has been an 11-year labor of love.


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Have a comment? >>

Interesting comparison between the open Mazama market and the ones in Twisp & Winthrop. The Twisp Farmers Market seems to have more regulations every year. The public interest tables at the entrance are gone, with nothing replacing them most of the season. Gone also are the seated massage people. The changes are due to more regulation. You can find the 6-page set of "policies" here:

If you do or don't like these changes, or would like to make other comments/suggestions about the Twisp Farmers Market, please attend the annual meeting of members and customers. It is Saturday afternoon, Sept 14, after the market ends at noon.

Personally, I like variety, quirkiness, and surprises in these community gathering places more than regulations.

Randy Brook


I'd like to visit with people running for public office at Market.The Twisp Market allowed them to set up tables in the past, and for many, its the only chance to visit face to face.

Dave Sabold