Posts Tagged ‘buskers’

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.

Clive Barry

December 18, 2011

Clive Barry performing at Ballard Farmers Market on December 11, 2011. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bob Goldstick

November 13, 2011

Bob Goldstick performing at Ballard Farmers Market on November 6, 2011. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For more info on Bob Goldstick, see his website.

Sunday, September 11th: As We Remember, Remember That We Are A Community!

September 11, 2011

One of Seattle's newest fire trucks, at only six weeks of age, sprouts Ballard Farmers Market flags. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many of us are reflecting on the last 10 years today, and the horror of September 11, 2001. I choose not to dwell on the darker images of that day, or the 10 years of wars and hostility that have followed it, but instead I recall fondly the way our nation, and indeed the entire planet, came together in the days immediately following that terrible day — came together as one big global community, regardless of who we were, where we were or what we believed. We did so in much the same way we rallied for tsunami relief along the Indian Ocean or in Japan, for tornado relief in Joplin, Missouri or for earthquake relief in Haiti. The difference was that in addition to simply human compassion, we reacted to an act of blind rage and hatred with love and togetherness, and we remembered that true heroes are those who run toward the danger in order to save others, not sports stars, captains of industry, beautiful & famous people or politicians.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Get your $30 bag of whole coho salmon today! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And while we have heard countless stories of firefighters and police officers sacrificing their lives to save countless office workers in the World Trade Center towers, one seemingly forgotten story was that there was a farmers market operating at the base of one of the two towers that morning. I recall hearing extraordinary tales of heroic actions by that market’s managers as they scrambling to evacuate market vendors as quickly as possible, as debris and burning jet fuel showered down around them. One manager, already burned, reportedly helped hold open doors to one of the towers to help expedite its evacuation. Many vendors at the market that day lost their vehicles and equipment, and suffered injuries. And as a community, farmers markets across the United States, including here in Washington, raised thousands of dollars to send back to New York’s Greenmarket system in order to help the affected vendors.

A Mother's Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Community. Inclusiveness. Family. Openness. These values are all at the heart of what farmers markets are. I think we, as human beings, can learn a lot from farmers markets. Farmers markets have existed as long as there has been human civilization. They have survived every tyrannical government. They were at the core of the American Revolution. They are bastions of democracy and free enterprise. They welcome the entire community, regardless of race, gender, age, occupation, wealth, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation…

Another busy Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Want to learn about another place? Start with its farmers markets. Every travel show tells you that. And when you see images of markets all over the world, they differ little. Sure, what vendors have on their tables will change with the climate and cultural tastes, but they are all places where people have come, set up their tables, stocked them high with their products, and the surrounding community comes to shop. Indeed, before the advent of the modern grocery store, farmers markets were the grocery store.

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

You may notice I am dragging out some older photos today. I do so to honor and celebrate the family that we call Ballard Farmers Market — one of the most special communities to be found anywhere. The vendors, buskers, customers and market staff at your Ballard Farmers Market come from all walks of life. And yet, every Sunday, we come together as one big family. Sure, we have our problem children, and we don’t always agree on everything. But ultimately, we have each other’s backs. We give a rat’s behind about each other. So consider this post as sort of a family album. And let us remember that we are not just a community, we are community. And in so doing, let us remember what community is.

Wynne Weinreb and Scott Beaton of Jerzy Boyz Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are old-school hippie farmers, corporados who gave up the rat race to become food artisans or jewelers, artists, community activists, multi-generational orchardists and people who taught themselves how to bake bread. Some of us travel less than a block to get here. Others travel 350 miles. But what you find here is authenticity — authentic human interaction and commerce. There are no nameless, faceless corporations here. No hidden agendas or exported jobs. No strangers. We are we, and we are right here in front of you, and you come here to mingle with us, support us and be nurtured by us. And isn’t that what community is supposed to be?

MoZo rockin' the Market on May 24, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We don’t just nourish your body. We nourish your soul. We are singers and songwriters, poets and performers, human statues and blues-singing shoe shiners. We put a smile on your face, a hop in your step, and we make you feel alive.

The Dante behind Dante's Inferno Dogs. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As you wander through your Ballard Farmers Market today, perhaps with thoughts of this day 10 years ago, take a moment to think about how far we’ve come in 10 years. Ballard Farmers Market first moved onto Ballard Avenue in October 2001. While some have been focused on anger, hate and revenge since then, we, as a community, have built this beautiful event, and around it, we have built… yes… a stronger community.

John Huschle from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just look at all of the new businesses that have joined us here on Ballard Avenue over the last 10 years. The strength of our community has made our neighborhood flourish while so many others have struggled. It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child. It takes a village to raise, well, a village!

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

Look, your Ballard Farmers Market isn’t cool or trendy. It is home. It is family. It is community. It is a spiritual event in that it has spirit. It connects us to each other, and in so doing, it connects us to ourselves.

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

A lot of hard work goes into making your Ballard Farmers Market happen every week, but we find ourselves saying out loud on a regular basis that it beats working for a living. We get to call farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans, artists, chefs, street performers, and all of you our friends and family. And we get to celebrate our community with you every Sunday. I’ve equated it with going to church, which often gets me raised eyebrows in response. But hey, we are getting together every Sunday to nourish our bodies and our souls, to gather with family and friends in celebration of community and to promote honest human values. What’s that sound like to you?

Crowds battle their way into Nash's stall to gather up the farm's delicious winter roots, made all the more sweet by cold winter weather. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So as you wait in line to get that perfect head of cauliflower today, or that basket of beautiful plums, be sure to remember to take a moment to appreciate what you are in the midst of — what you are part of — because it is very special. Thank the heavens, and thank your farmer. And wish this for every community on earth.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Because despite our differences, we are much more alike than we are different. We are all sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. Let community be our mantra. Eat it up like a ripe Market donut peach. Let it be victorious over the bitterness that is spewed around us. Remember what your Ballard Farmers Market feels like, and try to make that feeling happen all week long.

The Rat City Roller Girls, and some folks dressed as carrots, celebrate local and community at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, bad things happened 10 years ago. Terrible things. The question is, how are we going to let it define our future? Me, I kinda like the spirit around here. We are a local farmers market community that is connected both to its surrounding community and to a national and global market community. We care about each other. We always will. Can we take this energy, and the energy of togetherness and compassion we experienced in the days after September 11, 2001, and put it back in charge over the hate, war, greed and bitterness? I certainly hope so.

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.