August 2nd: Familiar Faces, Great Food, Our Favorite Market!


Janelle Stokesberry holding a chicken and a dozen eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Janelle Stokesberry holding a chicken and a dozen eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farms in Olympia. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farms is just one of the many farms represented at Ballard Farmers Market. Janelle Stokesberry, above, holds some of their eggs and chicken that you will find on the menus of many of Seattle’s best restaurants. It is local family farmers and food artisans like Janelle that make Ballard Farmers Market, and the products we find here, so special. It is my favorite farmers market. Is it yours? If so, vote for it now in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Market campaign. You have until August 8th to vote, so vote now, and spread the word. Click the link above. Then enter “Ballard” in the search field and click “vote”.

Hey Jose! Nice melons! (Alvarez grows many varieties of melons.) Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey Jose! Nice melons! (Alvarez grows many varieties of melons.) Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is Jose from Alvarez Organic Farms holding three different varieties of melons the farm grows. These smaller melons are referred to as “icebox melons,” and many of them are being tried and researched by Dr. Carol Miles of Washington State University.

Hey, by the way, Happy National Farmers Market Week! Yep, August 2-8, 2009 is National Farmers Market Week. Woohoo!

Behind every package of Pete's Perfect Toffee is, well, this guy. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Behind every package of Pete's Perfect Toffee is, well, this guy. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market offers many great products from many great personalities. Take Pete and his Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee, for instance. If you are one of the few folks who has never tried his toffee, swing by his tent today, and he’ll give you a taste. Mind you, there is no turning back. You will have to buy some. You know, Pete’s is just one small cottage business that has been incubated by Ballard Farmers Market over the years. Many of our vendors have gone from startup to legendary with the Market’s help. Others include Tall Grass Bakery, Veraci Pizza and Anita’s Crepes.

Sam holding some of Zane & Zack's award winning hot sauces. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sam holding some of Zane & Zack's award winning hot sauces. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of our true rock star vendors is Sam fromĀ Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company. Some people call their businesses “world famous,” though few have heard of them outside of their own neighborhoods. But Zane & Zack’s is, in fact, world famous, having won awards for their sauces and honeys far and wild. Above, Sam holds just three of their award winning products — winning top honors at the Scovie Awards and the Fiery Foods Festival. Another one of our award-winning vendors is Estrella Family Creamery, which has won awards at every major cheese competition on earth.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish brings to Market big personalities with its salmon and halibut. Why, you ask? Just for the halibut, but you already knew that if you have ever interacted with these guys. Ask them why it takes so long for them to smoke salmon. Ask them how fresh their fish is. Ask them just about anything. Then get ready for a great answer. Oh, and don’t forget to get your fish while you are there.

Communi-Tea Kombucha man, Chris Joyner, riding off from the Ballard Farmers Market with a bicycle trailer full of his display, and... is that a porta-potty? Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Communi-Tea Kombucha man, Chris Joyner, riding off from the Ballard Farmers Market with a bicycle trailer full of his display, and... is that a porta-potty? Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, Ballard Farmers Market is full of industrious, eco-minded folks like Communi-Tea Kombucha’s Chris Joyner, who often comes to Market with his full display on his bicycle. But what I love about this photo is that it truly shows just how much he can fit in a small bicycle trailer. Is that a porta-potty? Well, that oughta shame those other vendors with their big trucks, eh?

Ramon Ayala of Ayala Farms in Outlook examined the blossoms on one of his cherry trees in April, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ramon Ayala of Ayala Farms in Outlook examined the blossoms on one of his cherry trees in April, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ramon Ayala mostly grows asparagus. Lots of asparagus. He has 120 acres of it in Outlook, Washington in the Yakima Valley that he has been wholesaling. But this year, he decided to try his hand at farmers markets, and he started with us right here in Ballard. Above, he is inspecting the flowers on one of his cherry trees during my April visit to his farm.

That is just a small sampling of the many characters of the Ballard Farmers Market. How about you make your way down to the Market today to make the acquaintance of these folks yourself.

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3 Responses to “August 2nd: Familiar Faces, Great Food, Our Favorite Market!”

  1. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    Thanks for setting me straight on those awards, Sam, and I am sure you will win that Scovie in due time.

  2. Sam Says:

    Well not quite a rock star yet. Despite the fact that I have NO musical talent I aspire to one day attain that status.

    As for the awards, the products I am holding have won ribbons at the Puyallup Fair and ZestFest in Fort Worth Texas (International hot sauce competition sponsored by Chile Pepper Magazine). While the Golden Chile, which we have won in our two consecutive years entering is a great honor to win, the People’s Choice for hot sauce and Best in Show (Zane & Zack’s Honey-Chipotle Sauce) is truly the highest honor in the world. However, we are yet to win a Scovie (the other of the two most highly coveted awards in the industry).

    As for “The Market”, this is the one that always puts a smile on my face! If you want to bring a friend from out of town to the market, this is definitely the one. Pike Place is great for a few generic pictures and maybe a few too many encounters with panhandlers, but this market is the one for some real people watching, and did I mention, THE LADIES, THE LADIES? I have not had as many opportunities to do this market this year as in the past, but when I do, I usually end up with my cheeks being sore from smiling/laughing at people.

    Come see us! Do yourself a favor and try everything the vendors have to sample. For the most part you will be soo glad you tried it, unless it’s my Hellfire Habanero Cream Cheese. Then you might make tears.

  3. Dave Sieperda Says:

    Keep up the good work. “Local” is so important to the quality of our food and the local economy. I loved the pictures and the stories.

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