Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Markets in Winter

If you think that you have to wait till May for the farmers' markets to open, you've got another think coming. On the cover of today's FoodDay section of the Oregonian there's an article I wrote titled "The Soul of the Winter Market" that attempts to dispel the rumor that all you'll find at a winter market is rutabagas and parsnips.

The article describes our two winter markets, one at People's Co-op every Wednesday from 2 pm to 7 pm, the other being the Hillsdale Farmers' Market on alternate Sundays from 10 am till 2 pm (check the website to get the schedule).

Oh, and there's a pet peeve I like to call "The Mystery of the Wandering Apostrophe."

As you may notice in the story, there are at least three different uses of the apostrophe when referring to farmers' markets. Portland Farmers Market uses none. People's Year-Round Farmer's Market makes the farmer a singular entity, and Hillsdale likes its farmers to be a group and refers to itself as the Hillsdale Farmers' Market. This makes writers crazy and can make us look inconsistent and/or stupid. So can we please decide how and where the apostrophe belongs and stick to it? Thanks.

Photo from Wild Garden Seed.

7 comments:

christa said...

great article, kathleen! and i love your comment about the apostrophe. :)

kab said...

Thanks! It was a fun one to do...hope people come away with a different idea about winter markets.

And the wandering apostrophe just one bugs the heck out of the OCD part of me!

tommy said...

My vote is for "Farmers' Market." That's how I usually write it, anyway. It is, after all, the market of (possessive) the farmers (plural).

kab said...

Yes, I agree. It does beg the question of how in heck (or who, for that matter) they decided to do other ways.

kab said...

From our friend Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek comes the following:

The plural possessive form is the correct usage. The singular describes the activity of a farmer, i.e., "The farmer's market area includes Portland and Beaverton." Dropping the apostrophe is nonsensical because "farmers" is a noun, not an adjective. The appropriate adjectives are "agrarian" and "agricultural."

Thus, in the text of an article the plural possessive reigns. However, even if the "Portland Farmers Market" is a grammatical abomination, that is the name given to that particular market, and must be used. You can express your discomfort by using quotes, or the very useful [sic]. Or you can evade the issue and say: the farmers' market in the Park Blocks of Portland.

Anonymous said...

Living in Southern Oregon, i sure appreciate your articles on urban living. You keep me coming back to Portland and you keep me laughing - the apostrophe dilemma. Thank you K.B. -Nadine

kab said...

Thanks, Nadine! I love knowing that you enjoy reading the blog!