Farmer’s Markets — Your Key To Healthy Living
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in our complex society can be challenging. Fortunately, the Puget Sound area is rich with wholesome opportunities as neighborhood farmer’s markets continue to grow in popularity and support of locally produced food. “The increases in the number of people coming to farmers markets is just phenomenal,” said Judy Kirkhuff, market master for Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets, a nonprofit group that oversees four markets. In fact, there are more than 100 farmers markets statewide, according to the Washington State Farmers Market Association.
These days, farmers markets are more than just produce, you’ll often find a broad range of offerings, from flowers to handcrafted cheeses and pastas, artisan breads, farmstead honey and cider, meats, eggs, herbs and other locally produced bounty. “Greater selection has yielded more shoppers, and vice versa, contributing to an upward spiral where both farmers and the public win,” said Chris Curtis, director of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, a nonprofit group that manages seven markets.
Farmers markets support a sustainable food system by offering regionally-grown produce that is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than what you’d get from a supermarket. It is also good for the local economy–buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business. Many farmers producing for a local market choose to diversify, growing a variety of crops instead of just one–a boon for biodiversity and your palate–since local crops are harvested at their peak of freshness and flavor.
The Benefits of Eating Seasonal, Locally Grown Food
- The food is fresh, nutritious and delicious.
- Locally-grown food does not cause as much pollution due to less travel time.
- Keeping family farms alive keeps rural landscape alive, supporting less sprawl.
- Spending your money where you live keeps your community thriving.
- Small, local farms are less likely to use hormones and more likely to raise grass-fed or free-range animals, and organically-grown vegetables.
- The shorter the route from the farm to your table (at home or in a restaurant), the more knowledge you have at hand and the more flavor you have on your plate.
What Does It All Mean?
Local: Locally grown produce doesn’t travel far, is fresher, and by definition, is seasonal. (Local does not always mean organic).
Organic: Organic foods cannot be irradiated, genetically modified or grown using synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or sewage sludge. Animals must be fed only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics.
Sustainable agriculture: A system that produces food in a manner healthy for consumers and animals, doesn’t harm the environment and provides fair wages to farmers.
Seattle-Area Farmer’s Markets
- Pike Place Public Market, year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm, between Pike & Virginia Streets 1st Ave Level
- University District Farmers Market, year-round, Saturdays, 9 am-2 pm, Northeast 50th and University Way Northeast
- West Seattle Farmers Market, year-round, Sundays, 10 am-2 pm, California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Alaska
- Columbia City Farmers Market, April 30-Oct. 22, Wednesdays, 3 pm-7 pm, Rainier Avenue South and South Edmonds (Columbia Plaza parking lot, 4801 Rainier Ave. S.)
- Broadway Sunday Farmers Market, May 11-Nov. 23, Sundays, 11 am-3 pm, entrances at Broadway, Thomas, 10th Avenue East
- Phinney Farmers Market, May 16-Oct. 3, Fridays, 3-7 pm, 67th and Phinney Avenue North (lower parking lot of Phinney Neighborhood Center)
- Lake City Farmers Market, June 5-Oct. 16, Thursdays, 3-7 pm, Northeast 125th and 28th Avenue Northeast
- Magnolia Farmers Market, June 7-Oct. 25, Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm, 2550 34th W. (Magnolia Community Center parking lot)
- Ballard Farmers Market, year-round, Sundays, 10 am to 3 p.m., 5300 Ballard Ave. N.W.
- Bellevue Farmers Market, May 15-Oct. 9, Thursdays, 3-7 pm, 1717 Bellevue Way N.E.
- Madison-Madrona Farmers Market, May 16-Sept. 26, Fridays, 3-7 pm, southeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way & East Union (this Market used to be further down the hill and nicknamed the MadCap market because it was close to Capital Hill)
- Queen Anne Farmers Market, June 19-Sept. 25, Thursdays. 3-7 pm, First Avenue West & Crockett Street
- Wallingford Farmers Market, May 14-Sept. 24, Wednesdays, 3-7 pm, corner of North 45th and Wallingford
- Edmonds Museum Summer Market, July 5-Oct. 4, Saturdays, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, downtown Edmonds on 5th Street from Main at the fountain to Bell and east up Bell Street around Centennial Plaza
- How to Eat Local
- Eat Really Local
- Finding Out Where Your Food’s From: The Food Map
- Slow Food Skagit River Salish Sea
- Farmer Chef Connection
- Cook Local
- Seattle Chef’s Collaborative
- Eat Well Guide Seattle: Local, Sustainable, Organic
- Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
- Community Supported Agriculture
If you make this recipe, snap a pic of your dish and hashtag it #kellylenihancooks. I'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
NOTE: All images and text on this website are protected by copyright. Please do not post or republish this recipe and/or images without written permission from Kelly Lenihan. If you want to share this recipe, please share the link rather than the whole recipe.