Posts Tagged ‘Ballard’

Another Sad Loss for the Ballard Farmers Market Family

March 25, 2015
Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya and her daughter Alexandria.  Smiling as usual. Photo Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 Anita Vizcaya passed away in her sleep, after a productive day of making candles in the farm house kitchen and going to bed happy.  Her family is grateful for the mercy that she left this world peacefully and without pain.

All who knew her, realized that Anita was a wonderful mother and friend.  Alex and Anita were a team, working together with a shared respect and love between them that was unmistakable.  One of her favorite quotes, and the one that her family named as her memorial statement is from “On Motherhood” by Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  

Anita was born in Mt Vernon, Washington, and grew up on her parents’ farm, Jessie’s Berries. Located in Skagit County, the farm was named by her father to honor Jessie, Anita’s mother, when they began farming in the late 50’s.  Anita took on a greater share of the farming as her parents grew older and the farming became harder for them.  And like so many small farmers must, she worked full time in a real-world job too.  She retired last year from the Tesoro Refinery, after a long and illustrious professional career.  

Long after Anita’s Dad passed away, the 3 Vizcaya women worked diligently to keep the berry farm productive.  We benefited from  their hard work.  Their ever present beautiful and infectious smiles were glorious gifts to all the people who came to the market, not to mention the marvelous berries they brought to us each week.  

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Energetic and full of the love of life, Anita’s passion was drawing and painting, which she pursued during the dark and wet winters on Fir Island Rd in Mount Vernon.  Anita  is survived by her mother, Jessie, her sister, Ofelia, brothers, Alfredo and Javier, son-in-law Daniel, and of course, her daughter Alexandria.  

Their family was open and loving to each other and so they know that she did not want the family to organize a memorial service.  Instead, she insisted they go to Hawaii and enjoy the beauty, warmth, and comfort that Aloha can provide in a time of need.  

Yet, in her good natured way, she understood that some in her extended family, friends, and co-workers might want to have a recognition of some kind.  The family has informed us that they won’t be accepting guests for a while, but if you find yourself going by their farm, they will have a guest book on the front porch for you to share your feelings.

We who worked so many years together with Anita at the market, would like to invite her fellow vendors and her customers to join in recognition of the beautiful person that she was, by stopping at the Market Information desk to share memories of her with an entry in the Anita Vizcaya Remembrance Book we will have available there.  In lieu of flowers/gifts, it was her wish that donations be made to N.O.A.H.   All notes of condolence you wish to leave with us, will be forwarded immediately to Anita’s family.

To Our Friend and Supporter: We Won’t Forget Your Love

March 18, 2015
imagesIn Honor of Our Affection for Larry Woelich

We lost a great friend this past week.  Someone who would never miss a Sunday at the Ballard Farmers Market.  Larry Woelich, a long-time visitor at the market and well known by most of us who work here, passed away peacefully last week, at the age of 78.

Larry always looked for the best: in people and in the foods he bought each week.  Although he filled a huge rolling basket with vegetables, meats, flowers, fruit, eggs, and candy, we knew he gave away much of it to his many friends, with whom he worked, and to his family.

His generosity was grander than the elegant clothes he wore every time he visited us.  And after shopping, his great treat to himself, and often one or more friends, was to enjoy a brunch at Bastille Cafe, followed by a few puffs of a smelly cigar as we waved goodbye to each other for the day.

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We all are hoping that you are enjoying a big party right now, one at least as fun as the Holiday Galas you invited us to for so many years.  

Larry always made us feel special and we will always remember.  


Reasons to Celebrate: March is National Soup Month and Ides of Spring is Upon Us

March 14, 2015

Jerry Baxter, the man behind Got Soup? Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soup is nutritious, delicious, and makes everyone feel better, no matter what the day is like.  We are proud to have Jerry Baxter bringing his handmade soups, always made from local and organic ingredients, every week. Got Soup? has what you need for this Spring weather. This week’s selections are Thai Peanut and Chicken, and four Vegan Soup Choices:  Hot & Sour Mushroom, Green Risotto, Vegetable Chili Verde, and Coconut Red Lentil Dal, and Broccoli & 3 Cheeses. A hint from our busy market master is to “Be sure you have one or more of these soups in your freezer for those times when everyone comes home hungry, tired and needing to eat right away.”  These are real meals, made from local farm produce that are ready in no time at all.  And while the soup is heating, you can add a hearty side dish, such as Cornbread with Caramelized Apples and Onions with Thyme.  Find it on our website at in the Recipes section.   This is an easy, elegant and yet quick answer to those moments you need a dinner fast.  They are also excellent for those times, like the Ides of March, when only comfort food will do.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farm in Port Angeles. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of, “We continue to bring everything of the highest quality that you could possibly need for your kitchen table from local producers” category, how about local Saffron? This herb adds a perfect and sumptuous flavor to feed your soul and body.  Ballard Farmers Market is proud to be the exclusive outlet for Jim Robinson, who grows this delicate herb at his farm in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains in Port Angeles, Phocas Farm. This is superb saffron that has become a favorite with many of the best chefs in Seattle. Why buy Iranian-grown saffron marketed as “Spanish” in the Big Box stores, when you can get better saffron locally?  Use it to flavor your chicken & rice soup and experience greatness.

Speaking of Chicken!

Are you feeling a bit windblown and dreary these recent damp Spring mornings?  Maybe a little grey, or mossy,  or perhaps even chilled? Ballard Farmers Market has the cure for that.  Chicken broth made lovingly out of these products from our impeccable farms.  Place the washed bird into a deep pot, add water, a chopped onion, garlic, a dash of salt, and dry herbs you love.  Bring to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it begins to fill your home with comforting aromas.  Turn off the heat, let sit until you can place the pan into your fridge.  Let it get cold.  Remove the meat from the bones and put back into your broth.  Add any great veggies you love, roots first, and simmer again. Coarsely chop greens and add to the pot about 10 minutes or less before you want to eat.  Serve with a garnish of your choice.  Try finely sliced Swiss Chard or spinach from Colinwood Farm, shredded cabbage, collards, or kale from Nash’s,  Growing Washington, Stoney Plains Farm, or Kirsop Farm, and garnish with mint or cilantro from Children’s Garden.  You get the idea, Ballard is seeing more of these leafy gems appearing every day.

If you need some chicken broth immediately, stop at the Stokesberry Sustainable Farm to pick up a nice cup of the warm and soothing broth that they make at the farm.  You’ll be glad you did.

Check out all of the fine choices available from the local farms at Ballard Farmers Market.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

SeaBreeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market.  Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

SeaBreeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Skagit River Ranch. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skagit River Ranch. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm Copyright Zachary D, Lyons

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm –  They also offer hot broth at the Market or frozen and ready to take home.  Copyright Zachary D, Lyons

Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, these beautiful Fuji apples, and a great variety of other wonderful fruit, including dried fruit, can be found at Tiny’s Organic Produce. These are perfect for an energy boost or as an added ingredient in cornbread.  Check out our recipe pages at  Just in case you want to mix it up a little, you can also find a very easy and delicious recipe for Potato and Leek Soup while you explore the recipes. 

Your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your home, from  all the freshest fruits and veggies, meats, seafood, poultry, cheese, to baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on.

Wednesday, March 11th: Oysters, Holiday Hams and Spring Flowers! Yeah, Spring is Coming!!!

March 11, 2015

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Did you miss oysters at your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday? Welcome back Hama Hama Oyster Company after their little hiatus last week.  This family business has been farming oysters since 1922, and they provide some of the finest, sweetest oysters you will find anywhere. Plus, they pickle them and they smoke them. Yes, today is a happy day indeed. Oysters are back, baby!


A holiday ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to order that ham for Easter Sunday. Can you believe that Easter will be here in only three weeks? Time does fly!  Stop by Skagit River Ranch, Olsen Farms, Sea Breeze Farm or Samish Bay Cheese to place your order.  They’ve got them on sale right now, and getting an order in to your favorite grower is the best way to assure you have one ready to go when April 4th comes around.  You know these are some of the best hams you can find anywhere, so don’t miss your chance.

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, it may be early but it sure looks like spring!  Alm Hill Garden tulips and all of our favorite Hmong farmers with their variety of spectacular flowers have returned to Ballard Farmers Market. Welcome them all back and pick out one of their fabulous bouquets to brighten your day, or the day of someone special.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market.   Plan on visiting the goodness this coming Sunday.