Archive for the ‘Neighboring Businesses’ Category

Ballard Farmers Market Named Best in State

May 7, 2015



Ballard Farmers Market is very honored to be recognized as the Best in Washington by Cooking Light magazine.  The article paired one excellent farmers market in each state, with a recipe created by an excellent chef of a fine restaurant in the market area.  Ballard Farmers Market was paired with Chef Jason Miller of Crush.  Located in the Madison Valley, very close to our sister market Madrona Farmers Market.  Click here to see the whole article:

We are proud and happy to also see the recognition of  Skagit River Ranch and Foraged and Found Edibles, who are mentioned in the article.  Without their consistently fine contributions to every week’s market, we would not be shining so brightly. I want to give a shout-out to Renee Erickson, restauranteur extraordinaire, for mentioning Ballard Farmers Market, and to Nicole and Chef Jason Miller, owners of Crush.  It is a tremendous honor to be in the company, not to mention to have the acknowledgement, of some of the biggest stars of the fine restaurant world that is here in Seattle.

Hope you click on the article, it is great to see success and recognition for farmers markets all around the country.  To our supporters goes our heartfelt gratitude.  Without you, we couldn’t do anything like this.

Sunday, December 18th: Frenzied Final Purchases, Fond Farewells, An Amazing & Unusual Year!

December 18, 2011

Smoked holiday hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy holiday hams, Batman! Yup, Olsen Farms has a slew of freshly smoked hams for your holiday table. Be it for Solstice, Christmas, Festivus, Zappadan, Kwanzaa, or Chanukah… okay, maybe not Chanukah… but these beauties are awesome, and you can tell your guests it came straight from the farm! Yeah, they took a little longer to get here this year, but that’s okay, right? I mean, you know why it takes so long to smoke a ham, don’t you? Cuz it’s hard to keep them lit! (Can I get a rimshot?)

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We know you are scrambling to get all your holiday shopping done now, and there is no place better than your Ballard Farmers Market for that. Lotsa local loveliness and deliciousness to be had. Like these fragrant candles from Ascents Candles. They are made using the finest essential oils and oils that do not produce toxic smoke in your home. Of course, you can also get beautiful odorless candles, too, for your table during your holiday feasts, so the scent doesn’t interfere with your ability to taste everything. And Julianna has got some gift boxes of votives and some cool new sizes of candles this year.

"Mistlefaux" from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s that holiday favorite, mistlefaux, from Alm Hill Gardens. Since the real stuff doesn’t grow around here, we’ve got the next best thing! BTW, now’s as good a time as any to remind you that we will be taking a holiday break for the next two weeks, since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays this year. The staff and vendors of your Ballard Farmers Market will be spending those days with friends and family, or eating Chinese and going to the movies, but we’ll be right back here on Sunday, January 8th. So remember to stock up on food stuffs from your favorite farmers today!

Holiday breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some sweet holiday breads from Tall Grass Bakery? Some almond bread and stollen will brighten up any holiday feast. Of course, they’ll have their full line of baked deliciousness today, too, so stock up for the holiday break. It freezes great!

A pear gift box from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everyone is getting in the holiday marketing spirit around your Ballard Farmers Market. Even those crazy cats at Collins Family Orchards. They’ve rolled out several different gift boxes, like this one full of pears. If you’re gonna give someone a box of fruit, shouldn’t you at least make it truly special by including the name of the farm that grew it? Otherwise, it is just another box of fruit!

Japanese knotweed honey from Tahuya River Apiaries. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was kind of an off year for the bees this year, since the snow level was so low so late into spring. We got to learn from Tahuya River Apiaries this year that honey, too, is seasonal. But one flower in abundance for the bees to pollinate in the Olympic Mountains was Japanese knotweed, and the result is this beautiful, dark wild Japanese knotweed honey from Tahuya. Now, wouldn’t that be a sweet stocking stuffer! Think of the charoset! And hey, it’ll boost your immune system, too!

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know why it takes so long to smoke a salmon? Wait, have you heard this one before? Well, in any case, Wilson Fish has smoked whole sides of king salmon they caught off the coast of Washington this past summer. Blow the roof off of your New Year’s Eve party when you bring a platter covered with one of these!

Lizzie from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For several years now, we’ve all had the pleasure of working with Lizzie from Lyall Farms. She has kept us in apples and sweet potatoes and then some, always with a blinding smile on her face. But alas, while Lyall Farms will be back with us come January 8th, Lizzie will not. She is heading out on a major life adventure to a great city that straddles two continents, half a world away. For our sake, we hope to see her return someday off in the future, but for now, we wish Lizzie happy, safe journeys fertile with years of grand stories. Stop by Lyall Farms today, load up on sweet potatoes for the holidays, and wish Lizzie well. Hey Lizzie, send us a post card, eh?

Terry from Quilceda Fars. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also bid a fond adieu to Terry Whetham and Quilceda Farm. Terry has been bringing us delicious goat meat for years, teaching us of its nutritional value, giving us recipes, and helping us to understand why it is the most commonly eaten meat on earth. Well, Terry has decided to pack it in. No kidding. (Uh, sorry.) Yes, Terry is retiring. He’s heading off to greener pastures. (Again, my apologies.) Actually, I think he’d expect nothing less than a good razzing sendoff from me. Perhaps what I will miss about Terry the most is how much good-humored grief he would give me every week. Just ask any of the vendors around him. They will testify to the back-and-forth we had. So stop by with a gold watch for Terry, and make one last purchase from him. After all, he’s got your goat!

Jerry Pipitone from Pipitone Farms out standing in his field. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of the true characters of the farmers market world is Jerry Pipitone of Pipitone Farms, a.k.a., the Rock Island Brand. For more than 30 years, Jerry has cranked out some of the finest apricots, peaches and Italian prunes, as well as garlic, shallots, jams, dried herbs, heirloom Italian tomatoes and more. He has been a great leader in both the farmers market and organic farming communities, and he has been quite simply a hoot to have around, always with a bad joke or a crusty story. Well, Jerry, too, is retiring. I had the pleasure of visiting him at his farm on Rock Island, just down river from Wenatchee, this past spring, where I captured this photo of him out standing in his field. I look forward to visiting him again out there, in retirement, and maybe taking in a game of bocce ball with him.

And as we honor these wonderful folks as they leave us for their next stages of life, let us take a moment to remember two lovely ladies who graced us with their musical talents many times over the years here at your Ballard Farmers Market — Arwen and Teresa Morgan. Arwen and Teresa (Arwen’s mother) played together in their family’s band, The Cutters, but they also individually busked at the Ballard Farmers Market, Arwen playing fiddle, and Teresa playing hammer dulcimer. Sadly, we lost both of these lovely, talented women in 2011 — Arwen in July and Teresa in late November. You can learn more about both women, and share your own thoughts via this Facebook page, which includes information on a memorial service being held this evening for Teresa in Magnolia.

Brunching on the Garden Patio at Bastille. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, let us look back with fondness on what has been, perhaps remarkably, a remarkable year here at your Ballard Farmers Market, and for Ballard in general. As the Market keeps getting bigger and better, Ballard itself continues to grow in international prominence as a food mecca, and just generally a cool place to be. Your Ballard Farmers Market won “Best Farmers Market” again from both the Seattle Weekly and Seattle Magazine, and we came in a respectable #8 in the America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest, garnering the most votes of any market on the West Coast. And we got to watch our influence continue to spread over Ballard with the opening of seemingly countless new eateries, bars and food related businesses. Remember 10 years ago, when we first moved the Market to Ballard Avenue? There were tumbleweeds blowing down the street on Sundays. Now, during the worst economy in 80 years, Ballard is booming, and all the celebrated chefs of Seattle want to open up shop here. National and international magazines cannot mention Seattle without mentioning Ballard. And the beauty of it is that we’ve built a robust local economy here in Ballard around small, local businesses. Heck, our friends and neighbors at Bastille built their restaurant around the Market, and they built their menu around its farmers. Thank you, Ballard, for being so kind to us, for supporting our vendors, and for embracing the spirit of local upon which this Market stands. And here’s to a great 2012!

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Thursday, Feb. 4th: Ray’s Boathouse Presents: Sustainable Story #2: Farmers Market Fishers

February 3, 2010

Ray’s Boathouse presents the Fishing Vessel St. Jude & Loki Fish Company dinner on Thursday, February 4, 2010, in the Boathouse Dining Room

Joe Malley of St. Jude Tuna. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering on Shilshole Bay (6049 Seaview Avenue NW), Seattle continues its year of farmer, fisher, rancher, cheese maker, brewmaster and winemaker dinners featuring our many quality local purveyors. Join us as we celebrate Ray’s 37-year commitment to sustainability and buying local!

Chef Peter Birk, of Ray's Boathouse, performing a cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market on November 15, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This story begins in 1976, when Ray’s was the first restaurant in Seattle to purchase a wholesale fish buyers license. “This enabled us to buy fresh fish directly from the fishers, with no middlemen compromising selection. Over the years, Ray’s has developed enduring partnerships with the best fishing vessels in the Northwest, who value our business as much as we value their commitment to quality. The result: we get the absolute highest quality fish available, and so do you.”

Loki Fish Company at Ballard Farmer Market in May 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ray’s is pleased to feature two of its excellent fisher friends from the Ballard Farmers Market ~ Joe Malley with Fishing Vessel St. Jude, and Pete Knutson with Loki Fish Company. The menu is available on Ray’s website. $65.00 per guest. Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are available from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Please call 206.789.3770 ext. 3.

Ballard: Meet Snacks! (Brought to you by Dante’s Inferno Dogs)

January 29, 2010

Dante's Inferno hot dogs at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Dante’s Inferno Dogs well. They set up their sausage carts every Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market to serve a steady stream of hungry Ballardites (and a few touristas), and you’ll find their carts set up all of the city outside clubs, at special events, basically wherever you’d find a hungry crowd. Now, the Dante behind Dante’s Inferno Dogs — Dante Rivera — has opened a storefront right here on Ballard Avenue to satisfy your sausage jones seven days a week, and to offer you access to all sorts of other goodies from around the neighborhood and throughout the Ballard Farmers Market.

Toby preps my dog in the background while lots of Ballard Farmers Market goodies are for sale in the foreground. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! Ballard Bodega will be celebrating is Grand Opening tomorrow, January 30, 2010, from noon-5 p.m., with an open house party. “Please stop by for complimentary Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Dirty Chips, and… BEER! Children’s activities, too! LIVE music by The Atlas String Band! Also… many of our local vendors will be onsite promoting their products hosted by Snacks!” says the Snacks! Facebook page.

Snacks Ballard Bodega, brought to us by Dante's Inferno Dogs, just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find Snacks! Ballard Bodega tucked away in the little parking lot between King’s Hardware and Bop Street Records on Ballard Avenue.  The proper address is 5219 Ballard Avenue NW. Look down through the parking lot, toward the canal, and you will see the Snacks! sausage eating corral. (I realize that many of you are sniggering like Beavis and Butthead about now.)

Out front of Snacks! you'll find their sausage eating corral. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snacks! sausage eating corral (I’m gonna keep saying it until you collapse from the giggles) comes with a view (sort of) of the ship canal, festive lights, and places to lounge with your dog, protected from the elements by umbrellas 365 days a year. Step through the portal and door a few steps, and you will find all sorts of deliciousness.

Just a sampling of the Ballard Farmers Market goods you'll find at Snacks all week long. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dante is a community oriented kinda guy, and he has committed a fair chunk of real estate in Snacks! to offering up myriad products from Ballard Farmers Market vendors and other neighborhood businesses. When he calls Snacks! a “Ballard Bodega,” he means it. So now, if you crave a bottle of Rockridge cider or Zane & Zack’s hot sauce, or maybe some of Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee, in the middle of the week, Snacks! has got you covered.

Toby works the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, the real stars of the show at Snacks! will always be the dogs. And honestly, being an ex-pat New Yorker who found his way to Seattle by way of Philadelphia, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about this Seattle tradition of applying cream cheese to one’s sausage (again, you start with the laughter). But Toby said, “Trust me.” So I okayed the addition of cream cheese, via the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love (which is not unlike a large calking gun, or maybe a cow ins… oh, never mind), to my jalapeno-cheese dog, then had him load it up with the works. He did not steer me wrong.

Enjoying my dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Needless to say, though I will say it anyway, it was one fine dog. Here I am, stuffing my pie hole with it, much to the delight of everyone else in the room, as it meant I was quiet for a few moments, save the odd “yum” and “boy-howdy, now that’s a dog” that slipped out of me.

So come join the party at Snacks! Ballard Bodega tomorrow (Saturday, January 30, 2010) from noon-5 p.m., and if you can’t make then, poke your nose in and check it out during your trip to Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday. It is a mere half-block away.