Xiong Cha prepares a bouquet at his Xiong Cha and Cha Garden tent.
Xiong Cha prepares a bouquet at his Xiong Cha and Cha Garden tent.

The Queen Anne Farmers Market set up shop for their 12th season on Thursday, May 30, and customers reveled in coming out to support local farmers, bakers, winemakers, food trucks, prepared food vendors and musicians.

Market executive director Matt Kelly said there were more than 60 vendors, and it was a great day to start the farmers market. One reason being no cars allowed on West Crockett Street where the market is held.

“I hate having to tow people,” Kelly said.

Setup for the market began at noon.

Cat Majkowski, a Queen Anne resident and first-time market volunteer, was fitting bags on waste bins, putting up vendors’ tents and helping out. Majkowski has been coming to the farmers market for years and likes the variety, but said the farmers market is small.

“It’s just this one street, right? So, it would be nice if it was a little bigger, but sometimes they do span out there to the side street [First Avenue West]. But no, otherwise I think it’s a great market,” Majkowski said.

Market staff vet local farmers and businesses. All vendors are local, meaning they are a Washington state farm or business, and not part of a franchise. Farm products, processed foods and prepared foods must be grown or prepared in state with ingredients from Washington, according to Guide Lines and Policy.

“We have guidelines in place to require a minimum sourcing for all of our prepared food vendors to be sourcing no less than 10 percent of their ingredients from Washington agriculture,” Kelly said.

Sarah Holt is on the Queen Anne Farmers Market Volunteer Board, and has been a part of the market for about 10 years.

“Honestly, the best part of it is giving the community a place to gather face to face,” Holt said. “Another thing we love doing is taking small new businesses and giving them a sort of launching pad to gain notoriety and a large enough customer base to sort of fly off and become either a brick-and-mortar or a more established, successful business.”

The Queen Anne Farmers Market is independently run, and not part of the Seattle Farmers Market Association, which oversees the Ballard, Madrona and Wallingford farmers markets.

Pie Love owner Kelly Goodenough sells homemade pies. This is Goodenough’s third year at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, which she said is her favorite venue.

“I just feel like it’s more sociable, which is kind of what I’m doing, because I like to hang out in the summertime and have a good time and make pies and a little money on the side,” Goodenough said. 

McClure Middle School lets out next to the farmers market, and student Logan McVer likes walking around the market with friends after the bell.

“I like that it’s close to our school, so it's easy to walk to after school ends,” said McVer. 

Roots to Shoots provides $2 in “Root Bucks” for kids (3-12) to spend on fruits or vegetables. Root Bucks are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Queen Anne Farmers Market will be open until Oct. 10. Kelly said July 18 and Aug. 15 will feature a “Play Street,” where kids can safely play on First Avenue West. The street will also be used by the farmers market for the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct Picnic later this year.

Kelly said the Queen Anne Farmers Market is in the process of creating a five-year plan, which includes extending the season and opening the market for holidays. 

Goodenough said a winter holiday season is something she wants to see.

“I think it would be amazing if somehow we could have a market indoors during the wintertime,” she said.