As market shoppers, we care not only where our food comes from, but where it goes when we don’t eat it. Food waste is an immense concern that is gaining more public knowledge these days. Cities like Seattle have the privilege of a city-wide composting system…but what about all the food in between the markets and our compost bins? Read here for a short list on how shopping at Farmers Markets can help reduce your personal food waste.
According to the Seattle Public Utilities site, “40% of food in the United States goes uneaten,” which is equivalent to about 20 pounds per person per month. This can happen anywhere from waste at our homes or in food distribution systems and grocery stores. What is amazing, however, is that by choosing where you shop for food alone, you can help change this statistic. As our friends at CUESA say, “The National Resources Defense Council estimates that if we reduced our food waste by 15 percent, we could feed 25 million Americans. Making sure food gets into bellies instead of the landfill also ensures that precious water, labor, and money aren’t squandered.”
Though we may be a tad bit biased (we LOVE our Farmers Markets!), we think that choosing to shop directly with the farmers is a great first step in alleviating food waste everywhere. Here are some ways that shopping at Farmers Markets can help decrease food waste:
An Announcement from our Executive Director and Founder, Chris Curtis
Dear Friends in the Farmers Market Community,
I am writing today to share the news that in June of this year I will be retiring from my role as Executive Director of the Neighborhood Farmers Markets. After 25 years of organizing, managing and providing leadership to the Farmers Market movement, I am ready to step back and pass the baton to a new NFMA Executive Director.
A change of guard for the NFMA is significant for lots of reasons. Not least among them is the fact I am leaving a job that has been a huge chunk of my working life and has meant the world to me. I’m thankful for so many years of being able to do meaningful work within the local farm and food community and I am so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish on behalf of local farms, start up artisan food businesses, neighborhood revitalization and community building.
Right now it’s hard to imagine Seattle without its network of excellent Farmers Markets, but I remember a time when there were no neighborhood markets. The U-District Farmers Market opened in 1993; an all-volunteer non-profit effort led by a group of passionate folks who shared my vision of a bold new prototype for getting local farmers into the city. (To give you an idea of just how grass roots we were, we ran the market out of my tiny home basement for 7 years.) From the beginning, we were lucky to be guided by a strong core of local farmers who strongly advised us that our success would hinge on prioritizing local farms and food. I’m so proud we’ve kept this core principle front and center all these years.
The Farmers Markets provide amazing gift options for just about anyone on your gift-list, so don’t forget to shop local for the holidays! Here are just a few of the many gifts available at our markets.
Be sure to check out these gifts and more at our year-round markets:
U-District (Saturdays, 9am-2pm)
West Seattle (Sundays, 10am-2pm)
Capitol Hill (Sundays, 11am-3pm: CLOSED 12.24)
See you at the markets!
We have a few businesses who got their start at our markets and have grown their reach far beyond. Starting this SUNDAY for Farmers Market Week (August 6-12) two of those vendors are giving back! Rachel’s Ginger Beer and Ellenos Greek Yogurt are both featuring a peak harvest Blueberry Peach flavor combo, the proceeds of which benefit the Good Farmer Fund. More about how we support farmers in need and how you can donate here.
Or just come to the markets and check out their offerings to support the fund. RGB is at Capitol Hill (Sundays), Columbia City (Wednesdays) and U District (Saturdays). Ellenos is at West Seattle (Sundays) and U District (Saturdays).
Blueberries + Peaches = Emergency Farm Relief!
Councilmember Johnson was instrumental in maintaining the U-District market’s current street permit and ensuring that our farmers and vendors would not be impacted by proposed sidewalk changes. Councilmember Johnson also maintains weekly office hours at the U-District market from 10 am – noon every Saturday. Rob and his team have been a huge support to the U-District farmers market. Please stop by their booth and say thanks for all their hard work on behalf of our farmers, our street location and our future success.
Find out more information about what Councilmember Johnson is up to here.
Location: NE 125th st and 28th Ave NE, next to the Lake City Public Library
Market dates: June 8-October 5
Market Hours: 3pm-7pm
The Lake City Farmers Market was opened in 2002, originally set up in the Albert Davis Park. It is a popular local destination with over 30 farmers and food artisans who offer a great selection of delicious seasonal fruits, berries, organic produce, eggs, local baked goods, pasture raised meats, ciders, honey, preserves, ready-to-eat foods and more throughout the season. Activities for kids, free cooking classes, and other events schedules EVERY week. Next to a lovely park with picnic area, seating and shady trees. Free market parking in the underground Lake City Library lot.
Next week, more of our seasonal markets begin to open, so here's the low-down on the second of the next three! Stay tuned for one more market profile on Lake City.
Location: In Magnolia Village, W McGraw St and 33rd Ave W
Market Dates: June 3-October14
Market Hours: 10am-2pm
Magnolia Farmers Market began in 2003 and features over 35 family farmers and artisan food vendors, who make this Saturday farmers market a delightful weekly destination. Enjoy a wide variety of fresh, local, and seasonal produce included organic vegetables, heirloom lettuces, local berries, tree fruit, corn, squash, farm fresh eggs, artisan cheeses, pasture raise meats, raw honey, preserves, fresh pasta, local bakes goods, cut flowers, plant starts, and prepared foods. Special events include the Zucchini 500, live music, and free cooking classes. Plenty of on-street parking.
Next week, more of our seasonal markets begin to open, so here's the low-down on the first of the next three! Stay tuned for more market profiles.
Location: PNA Upper Parking Lot, Phinney Ave N and N 67th St
Market Dates: June 2-October 6
Market Hours: 3:30-7:30pm
Your favorite Friday night activity is rapidly approaching! Starting June 2nd, the Phinney Farmers Market will begin its 11th season! As always, the market will be your place for summer flavors, outdoor dinners, music, and community all right at the PNA. We’ve worked to get the best vendors to this market and they are sure to fulfill all your shopping needs. Come to the market to socialize with community members, talk to the farmers who grew all that amazing food, dance to live music with an ice cream cone in hand, and shop alongside your favorite neighborhood chefs… The ‘shopping list’ goes on!
With a new year comes new vendors, so be prepared to see some new faces at the market. Be sure to check out new meat vendors like Carl’s Cutting Board and Rathbun + Moore with specialty sausages, poultry, and eggs, plus some lovely fish products from Sena Sea Seafoods. There will of course be many delicious veggies from our new farms Chubby Bunny Farm and The Root Cellar, plus specialty veggie-based items like cashew cheese from Cashew Cottage and kale chips from Kale Love. For those sweet teeth, Frost Cottage bakery and Sweet & Savory will provide yummy new baked goods, and Gold Glen Creamery will have butter to spread on those if you need a little extra. And wash it all down with drinks from our new hard cider vendors Finn River and Greenwood Cider. And the best news? There will be so many more of your favorites to fill up those grocery baskets. See you there!
Today is the second day of the 2017 season for Columbia City Farmers Market, and we thought we'd give you a nice quick profile of one of our favorite markets.
Location: S. Edmunds St between 35th Ave S and 37th Ave S at Columbia Park, 98118 | Between Martin Luther King Way and Rainier Ave S
Market Dates: May 3 – October 11, 2017
Market Hours: 3pm – 7pm
The Columbia City Farmers Market has been open since 1998, and has grown with the diverse and cohesive community around it. In the heart of historic Columbia City, this lively market features fresh products from over 40 local farms. The market averages over 2,500 shoppers a day, with many families using the park to gather and picnic on market day. Live music, special events for kids and free cooking classes are offered throughout the season, plus great picnic opportunities in Columbia Park. Our vendors fill up S. Edmunds, Columbia Park and the adjacent Interagency School lot with all sorts of fresh, local foods and food products.
It’s getting to the point where you can get just about anything at farmers markets these days…so it’s not surprising that you can source your holiday cheer, too! We’ve put together some shopping ideas for all those different friends and family members in your life.