By Josie Hinke, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Neighborhood Farmers Markets
Secluded from the busy streets, in the upper parking lot of the Phinney Center Blue Building, the Phinney Farmers Market arrives every Friday, June through September, to bring farmers and fresh local produce to the Phinney Ridge-Greenwood neighborhoods. Farmers travel from all over the state, from Sequim to Mount Pilchuck, to bring their produce to the market.
The farmers market offers a unique outlet for farmers and shoppers to directly engage one another in a way that doesn’t happen anywhere else. Let’s meet some of the farmers who frequent the Phinney Farmers Market!
Teresa and Matt of Tampopo Farm enjoy their time at the market as an opportunity to engage with shoppers who are passionate about plants and produce. The pandemic was a motivator for many people to try their hand at gardening, and Teresa says that it has led to many engaging conversations at the markets, with people asking for advice or wondering about growing methods.
Chubby Bunny Farm is nestled on about two acres in the Cascade Mountains near Mount Pilchuck, WA. Farmers Michael and Melina work the land entirely on their own, with no employees to share the load. Chubby Bunny Farm focuses on vegetables, pigs, ducks, and, of course, rabbits.
Following a minimal waste ethos, their rabbits’ diet is balanced with leftover vegetables from the farm. The two are beloved at the Phinney Farmers Market, where they greet newcomers and regulars with warm smiles.
Hayton Farms has been a reliable source of all kinds of produce for five generations. These days you’ll see Angelica with a market tent full of berries, but when Thomas and Sarah Hayton established the farm in 1876 on Fir Island in the Skagit Valley, they grew grain and made hay to feed Seattle’s workhorses.
In the 1900’s Hayton Farm transitioned to a dairy farm, and in the 1950’s Leroy and Irene Hayton turned the whole operation into a row crop farm. These days Leroy and Irene’s son Robert Hayton and his wife Susan Hughes-Hayton continue to make hay and focus on a small number of specialty crops, while Angelica, the youngest Hayton Farmer, has grown a booming berry business.
Alvarez Organic Farms has been family owned and operated in the lower Yakama Valley since Hilario Alvarez started the business in 1981. They are conscious of the impact their 80 acres can have on the environment, and they installed a state-of-the-art irrigation system in 2014 to aid their water conservation efforts.
The Alvarez family is as community conscious as they are environmentally conscious, donating the majority of their leftover market produce to food banks throughout the Puget Sound area. Alvarez Organic Farm is a true farmers market and community staple.
You can meet these hardworking farmers and many more at the Phinney Farmers Market every Friday from 3 to 7 pm through September 30.