On behalf of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance Board of Directors, I am writing to share with you some exciting news. After a thoughtful national search, we are pleased to announce that Jennifer Antos has been selected as our new Executive Director. Jennifer’s first day with us will be very soon, June 13, 2018.
We received tremendous interest in the position and were faced with a formidable, but enviable, task of selecting our next director from a very rich pool of applicants. We are confident that Jennifer’s passion for our mission, inclusive leadership style, and significant strategic planning experience will help lead our team and our markets to even greater impact and opportunity for farmers and vendors.
Upon accepting her new job as our Executive Director, Jennifer remarked, “I am honored to have been selected as the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market Alliance’s next leader as we advance our potential to serve our regions farmers, improve access to fresh local food, and inspire customers to support that effort. Chris has laid an immense foundation for the future, and I am truly looking forward to working with her and the wider community in support of this mission.”
A native of the Puget Sound, Jennifer comes to us with more than 15 years of experience in program management, nonprofit finance, event operations, and customer experiences, most recently at IslandWood, an environmental education organization on Bainbridge Island. Observes Jennifer, “the common thread has been about providing customers with positive and purposeful experiences that support a greater mission.”
Our Founding Executive Director, Chris Curtis, will support Jennifer’s successful transition into her new role then remain involved with us by working on special projects through the end of the year. We really appreciate the thoughtful transition that she has enabled, ensuring NFMA’s continued success after she departs in 2019.
Chris reflects; “It’s been gratifying to see how many talented and passionate people were interested in working with the NFMA and bringing it to its next level of growth, sustainability and success. Jennifer is entering a wonderful work environment filled with the best market management team in the region and an administrative staff that has provided quality and strategic leadership to the NFMA and Farmers Markets across the country for the past 20 years. Everyone here at the NFMA is looking forward to working with Jennifer and passing on what we know and value. I know we are all inspired to think about the best possible future for the NFMA and to continue our hard work on behalf of local farms, local food and successful markets”.
I also want to offer thanks to our Search Committee Chair Jacqueline Gjurgevich and the other members of the search committee who helped us identify Jennifer from a tremendously talented pool of applicants.
I hope you will all join the NFMA staff and Board of Directors in welcoming Jennifer. We look forward to having you meet Jennifer in person at her local market in West Seattle or at one of our other six markets sometime later this summer. If you have any questions or comments about this announcement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Board of Directors
There are so many organizations that are doing good work here in Seattle--here are a few reasons why the Neighborhood Farmers Markets are a great place to GiveBIG on May 9th!
Give Big for Food Access
The Neighborhood Farmers Markets (NFM) are at the forefront of food access initiatives in Washington State. Our markets supported $500,000 towards food access in 2017, which included SNAP dollars, Fresh Bucks, WIC and Senior Checks, Helping Harvest vouchers, and food bank donations. And with the matching limit lifted in 2018, we have seen a dramatic and exciting rise in the Fresh Bucks redemption rates. These dollars go directly to our Washington state farmers and bring fresh produce into low-income Seattle households. When you give to NFM you are supporting feeding more families fresh, local, and healthy produce. Give Big for the continued growth of food access programs at the Neighborhood Farmers Markets.
Give Big for Farmland Preservation
NFM farmers grow food on over 10,000 acres of cultivated land in Washington State. From all corners of the state farmers have been able to continue farming due to their viable revenue streams at the Neighborhood Farmers Markets, thus keeping farmland as farmland instead of commercial development. And this means more farms can continue growing food for all of us and more farmers can have access to viable land. The future of farming depends on the land availability and accessibility, and each week at market, your support keeps the Washington state farms robust and thriving. When you give to NFM you are supporting keeping Washington farms on quality farmland for many years to come. Give Big for preserving Washington farmlands.
Give Big for small farms and sustainable agriculture
NFM markets serve as an incubator for small farms and businesses in Washington. Our markets provide an opportunity for businesses to enter into a low-risk, sustainable marketplace to get up and running and get their name into the community. Small Washington farms need a space where they can get a price for produce that allows them to make a living, and direct-market options are key to keeping small farms vibrant. When you buy food from a farmer at your Neighborhood Farmers Market, you are directly helping our local farms and families and you can be certain it is produced by that farmer, which keeps our local food systems strong and sustainable. When you give to NFM you are supporting sustainable farming methods that are better for the environment, the community, and human health. Give Big for sustainable growing practices and supporting family farms.
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!