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May 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Farmers markets come and go for 2012 season

phinney1.jpgSay goodbye to the long winter months of kale and parsnips, and hello to long tables of local spring asparagus and rhubarb. The 2012 farmers market season is off and running, with the Broadway Sunday market already drawing crowds and Columbia City opening tomorrow (May 2).

The Seattle area will have at least one new venue this year when the Shoreline Farmers Market debuts June 16. But the fun, energetic young Georgetown market won’t return for 2012 — the Seattle Farmers Market Association, which made a 2-year run at the market, told the community that “with great regret” they wouldn’t run it this year, although they hope to return “as the numbers of people who visit the great Georgetown area begin to rebuild along with its roadways and bridges.” The association’s Zachary Lyons tells us that the Interbay market was also cancelled.

Plenty of sites have interesting new and/or notable vendors and features. Here’s a sampling, along with opening dates:

New at the Broadway market, Juice Box, run by two professional cooks, features fresh juices like apple-beet-carrot-ginger and watercress-zucchini-cucumber-apple-lime. The juicers are Brandin Myett and former ballerina Kari Brunson, who started a personal and business partnership while cooking for Ethan Stowell. The couple’s new venture drew long lines opening day at Broadway, as did Malaysian street food vendor Kedai Makan, operated by Kevin Burzell (who has cooked at Poppy, Monsoon, and Ba Bar) and fiance Alysson Wilson.

Organizers of the Queen Anne Farmers Market (opening June 7) believe that (in addition to loads of farmers) they’ll have the city’s biggest gathering of food trucks and producers at their market, including Honest Biscuits, Buns on Wheels, Juice Box, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Big Food, Los Agaves, Maximus/Minimus, and many many more.

I’m glad to see a new ice cream maker, Social Ice Cream, whose owner trained with one of my favorites, Parfait. Social will be at the Lake Forest Park and Shoreline markets.

And two markets, Wallingford and Columbia City, will open early to give chefs a chance to browse and buy before the general public arrives.

New at the Columbia City market, look for crops from Amaranth Urban Farm, a rare urban farm in Seattle. Pinch Bakery (also at Broadway and Magnolia markets) will have savory and sweet galettes using local and seasonal ingredients, while Bob’s Skinny Fries features locally grown deep-fried potatoes with dipping sauces.

The Phinney market’s newcomers will include organic, locally sourced baby food from Ladybug Organic Kitchen, pupusas using locally sourced produce and meats from Lily’s Salvadorian Catering (also at the U District year-round market).

Here are opening dates for a sampling of the markets in and near Seattle. If you want to highlight other good ones, add ’em to the comments. (And remember, the Ballard, University District and West Seattle markets run year-round):

Bellevue: The market at the First Presbyterian Church (1717 Bellevue Way N.E.) runs 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, starting May 10, while the market at the First Congregational Church (752 108th Ave. N.E.) runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, starting June 10.

Burien: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, starting May 3.

Columbia City: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, starting May 2. (Open to chefs only from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.)

Edmonds: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, starting May 5.

Lake City: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, starting June 14.

Lake Forest Park: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, starting May 13.

Madrona: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, starting May 18.

Magnolia: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, starting June 9.

Mercer Island: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, starting June 10.

Phinney: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, starting June 3.

Pike Place Market Express at Seattle City Hall (City Hall Plaza between Cherry and James streets): 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, starting June 19.

Pike Place Market Express at South Lake Union (410 Terry Ave. N.): 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting June 21.

Queen Anne: 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting June 7.

Shoreline: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, starting June 16.

Wallingford: 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, starting May 30. (Open to chefs only from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Edited 5/9 to remove a quote calling Amaranth Farm Seattle’s only urban farm. Thanks to Scott Behmer for reminding us of City Grown and Lettuce Link’s projects.

Rebekah Denn photo of the Phinney Farmers Market a few springs back

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