Just a few hours before the season opening of the Queen Anne Farmers Market, heavy rain drenched volunteers as they struggled to set up. “It was a torrential downpour,” explained Maria College, co-founder of QAFM. “My hair was flat. It looked like I was in a pool.”
But just as the market opened, the rain stopped, and neighbors began to walk along the expanded rows of vendors on West Crockett Street. Local farmers offered a wider selection of fresh produce, meat and cheese, including new additions like Vicki Brown’s “The Little Brown Farm” from Whidbey Island.
“She makes amazing goat cheese. She’s getting popular around the country,” said College. In the same booth, Useless Bay Wines — also from Whidbey Island — had some recommendations for wine and cheese pairings.
Over at the chef’s tent, chef Seth Caswell of Emmer and Rye demonstrated how cook up some great seasonal dishes sourced straight from market vendors.
Popular food artisans like Veraci and Grateful Bread (back this season after a one-year absence) mixed among food trucks like Where Ya At Matt and Maximus/Minimus. Musicians Red Dog (below) and Vince Martinez and friends entertained market-goers from two tents.
Market organizers were able to squeeze more vendors in more places, using the same footprint along Crockett and behind Queen Anne Ave — and they’re nearly at maximum capacity for the space.
“It looks to me like it did mid-season last year, on our first day. So I think it’s looking really full and great right away,” College said, adding that more press about the market this year may attract more people from outside the neighborhood. “I think it’s a great opening day,” she said. “Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I think this is the best one.”
The market runs every Thursday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. from June 7 to October 11.