Archive for the ‘Farmers’ Category

Ballard Farmers Market Named Best in State

May 7, 2015

COOKING LIGHT E-MAGAZINE

NAMES 50 BEST FARMERS MARKETS IN THE NATION

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:

http://www.cookinglight.com/healthy-living/travel/best-farmers-markets

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.

Some Ballard Farmers Market Success Stories

March 6, 2015
Autumn Martin returns today with her Hot Cakes! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin with her Hot Cakes at Ballard Farmers Market back in 2009. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In the People’s Republic of Ballard, and especially at your Ballard Farmers Market, we know great, local food and drink. So it is no wonder your Ballard Farmers Market has been home to, and indeed a launching pad for, many now very familiar and celebrated names in the local food and beverage industry. And as I continue my personal countdown to retirement from this blog, today I celebrate just a fraction of the extraordinary folks with whom we have shared the street over the years, and the success they have so deservedly achieved.

Like Chef Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes, now with her own storefront just a block up from the Market. Most days, there is a line out the door there to eat her delicious chocolatey creations, but did you know Hot Cakes got its start right here on the street at your Ballard Farmers Market? Yep. We couldn’t be more proud of you, Autumn. And just look at all of the press, from all over the world, she’s getting!

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This photo is from 2010, when a camera crew from Food Network Canada arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market to feature Veraci Pizza on their street food show, Eat Street. You probably see Veraci’s mobile pizza ovens all of town — heck, all over the Northwest. Besides their storefront on Market Street, they have a depot on 15th Avenue on Crown Hill will dozens of the trailers. You will also find them in Spokane, in Oregon and in Idaho. But did you know that they got their humble beginnings right here with us many years ago? Back then, they just had one, and then two trailers. Wow. We just love a great success story!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Firefly Kitchens got its start in a shared kitchen space in Frelard in 2010, introducing Seattle to what has now become one of the biggest trends in food: fermentation. They gathered up local veggies from area farmers and allowed them to naturally ferment with delicious and nutritious results. We liked them so much, we directed them to the Good Food Awards in San Francisco in January 2011, and low and behold they won! And they’ve been winning ever since! And while you can now find their products at finer grocery stores throughout the area, the finest grocery store for them is still right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Farhad from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farhad from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, we all still miss us some Farhad, who retired from Tall Grass Bakery last September. So I thought I’d pay homage to him one more time whilst also reminding all y’all that Tall Grass Bakery also got its start with us, way back when your Ballard Farmers Market was wedged into the Fremont Sunday Market at 34th & Fremont, before Fremont was redeveloped and the Market moved to Ballard in 2000. They, too, shared a kitchen with another bakery back in the late 1990s. Now, they make some of the best bread in Seattle out of their storefront on 24th Avenue NW and bring it to you here at your Ballard Farmers Market, as well as other markets and restaurants all over King County.

Market Master Judy Kirkhuff with Nash & Patty Huber of Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Market Master Judy Kirkhuff with Nash & Patty Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In 2008, American Farmland Trust gave Nash Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness their annual, national Steward Of The Land Award. It is just one of many awards Nash has won over the years for the hundreds of acres and many farms he has not only kept in farm production in Clallam County, but that he has rejuvenated, rebuilding the soils, working with the local climate, and developing his own varieties of seeds that would thrive there. The result is a farm that is at its peak of production all winter long while many other local farmers are home reading seed catalogs or vacationing in Mexico. And like Bob Meyer, whom I saluted yesterday, Nash, too, has pioneered organic agriculture in Washington and helped many an up-and-coming farmer along the way!

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, it is hard to imagine a farmers market around Seattle in August and September without the dozens of varieties of organic peppers from Mabton’s Alvarez Organic Farms (currently prepping their soil for the 2015 growing season!). Don Hilario Alvarez, the farm’s patriarch, is a classic American success story — a true example of an immigrant who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, scrimping, saving and investing, until he became one of the most admired organic farmers in the nation. Way back in 2004, ATTRAnews, the newsletter of the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, celebrated him in a feature story in their issue about Latino farmers.

Roger Wechsler of Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Roger Wechsler of Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 2010, Seattle was host to the American Cheese Society Awards, and frankly, our Market vendors mopped up the floor with its competition. And the winningest of all of your Ballard Farmers Market’s cheese makers was Samish Bay Cheese, taking home four separate awards. Stop by and take a tasting tour on any Sunday right here, and you will understand why!

Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ever wonder what makes the Seahawks and the Sounders play so well? We like to believe it is because they eat eggs and chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Need I say more?

Tacos from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tacos from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oscar Mendez comes from a family of great Mexican cooks, and our markets are proud to have fostered them. Now, Oscar’s Los Chilangos lays claim to being the only mobile taco stand sourcing its animal protein locally. He get it directly from local, sustainable and humane farmers, fishers and ranchers right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. He gets rockfish from Wilson Fish, beef and pork from Olsen Farms, and eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Best of all, his food is wonderful!

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I round out this tribute to the achievements of the many vendors we quite frankly consider our family… heck, our children… with neither the last nor the least of our award-winning, storefront opening, international media starring market heroes. This is Brent Charnley from LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards). One of our state’s oldest wineries, the fact that it is certified organic makes it even more unique. Rarer still, it is located in the Puget Sound Appellation, Washington’s coolest, dampest wine-grape growing region, producing many Germanic varieties of grapes, and a few French, that just simply won’t grow elsewhere in Washington. And the list of awards their wines have won over the years is, frankly, almost embarrassing. Stop by for a taste to find out for yourself, and then take a great bottle, or three, home this Sunday!

Remembering Stoney Plains Organic Farm’s Bob Meyer

March 5, 2015
Bob Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm working on his tractor. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Bob Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm working on his tractor. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

This is my last week as the official voice of your Ballard Farmers Market. My upcoming post for Sunday will be my last regular post. So I thought I would spend these last few days taking a walk down memory lane with you. I’d like to start off with the legendary Bob Meyer.

Bob Meyer founded Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino in 1978. Around the same time, he also co-founded the Olympia Farmers Market. Later, he participated in the creation of the University District Farmers Market and the Pike Place Market Basket Program, and he also played a role in the formation of the Farmers Own Cooperative. Before his untimely death in 2002, he vended his produce at farmers markets throughout Thurston, Pierce and King counties.

Bob Meyer working in the greenhouse at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Bob Meyer working in the greenhouse at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Bob served on the board of Tilth Producers of Washington for many years, and as board president of the Olympia Farmers Market. He was recognized as an authority on organic farming, and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to up-and-coming organic farmers. Bob was also a pioneer in the development of farmers markets in Washington State, including the formation of the nation’s oldest statewide farmers market association here in Washington in 1979. Bob never shied away from sharing his opinion, and he always brought passion to every issue he faced, and every market he attended. In fact, before he began farming, Bob worked the better part of 30 years as a union organizer.

Bob Meyer Memorial Pickles made by me in 2013 using Stoney Plains organic pickling cucumbers. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bob Meyer Memorial Pickles made by me in 2013 using Stoney Plains organic pickling cucumbers. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But for Bob Meyer’s tireless energy on behalf of farming and farmers markets, many of us would not be here today. He indeed remains one of the great giants in the history of our community, and his legendary spirit lives on in all of us he touched. I share this photo, above, of pickles I made in 2013 from Stoney Plains cukes because it was Bob and his wife Pat who got me pickling back in my first year in the farmers market world in 1991 at Olympia Farmers Market. I think of Bob fondly every year as I make more of them.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bob’s legacy continues through the hard work of his wife, Pat, and their sons and grandchildren, who still sell about many farmers markets in Western Washington today. Stop by and say ‘hi’ to son Terry, above, next time you visit your Ballard Farmers Market!

Midweek Update for Thursday, January 22nd: Seahawks Chow!

January 22, 2015
Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of his delicious chickens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of his delicious chickens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that the Seahawks (and the Sounders, actually) get chickens and chicken carcasses from our very own Stokesberry Sustainable Farm? Yup. They use them for stock and such. See, it is just one more way that our two very successful football teams take advantage of every opportunity to help their players be the best that they can be… in this case by feeding them high-quality, humanely-raised, delicious and nutritious certified organic chickens from a great local farm.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

If that weren’t enough, legend has it that Russell Wilson will only eat duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. He has been said to watch the team chef take those eggs out of the Stokesberry carton and crack them into the pan, just to make sure that’s what he’s getting. Lesson, if you want to be the best, you have to put the best in your body!

Go Hawks!