On Beacon Hill we are blessed with a wide variety of produce. From the overflowing displays at McPhersonâ€™s, to the tidy convenience of Red Apple Market, we have several opportunities close by. But Iâ€™m a firm believer that a healthy economy needs a wide variety of participants and part of that formula needs to be a way for individuals with little or no money to get their foot in the door. I do my best to shop locally but I also have an extra soft spot in my heart for micro-businesses. I have a strict personal rule to never pass a childâ€™s lemonade stand without buying something.
It is with this spirit that I was happy to see an impromptu farmers’ market popped up on Beacon Hill this last Friday in the parking lot along Beacon near the VA hospital. Iâ€™m not sure how it got organized or if it will even happen again, but if you happen to see the tents set up there, itâ€™s worth a stop to check it out. We bought a variety of locally grown vegetables from the half dozen stands that were set up including eggplant, corn, and green peppers, but they also had many foods that I was less familiar with, such as bitter melon.
Clearly, from the amount of foot traffic that was at this unadvertised event there is a sustainable demand for this type of service on Beacon Hill, but I would love to see a more permanent and accessible area created somewhere for such a market. Imagine a mini Pike Place Market where not only seasonal foods but handmade arts and crafts could be found. An area like this could become the heart of our neighborhood—and a boost for all of the businesses in our area if we are able to attract shoppers from other regions.
Are there too many farmers’ markets in Seattle? Apparently some folks think so, according to an article in Seattle magazine. In the article, Chris Curtis of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance says that the organization has chosen not to sponsor markets in neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill or Genesee because the organization is in “a holding pattern,” and they don’t think there are enough farmers or customers to justify opening a market there.
Others seem to disagree, however, including Zachary Lyons of the Seattle Farmers Market Association, which will operate six markets this year including the new one in Georgetown, which will combine the farmers’ market with an antiques and crafts market. “To suggest weâ€™ve somehow reached a saturation point is, to me, just absurd,” says Lyons.
There are 18 neighborhood markets in Seattle this year, but still none on Beacon Hill. Our nearest markets are in Columbia City, and now, Georgetown. And while it’s not a “neighborhood farmers’ market,” we have MacPherson’s — and they are open every day.
Should Beacon Hill have a farmers’ market? Do you think the Seattle area is oversaturated with farmers’ markets?
David Gackenbach reminded us of something we haven’t mentioned on the blog, but have via Twitter: Marination Mobile brings their truck o’ deliciousness to North Beacon Hill (near Amazon and Jose Rizal Park) most every Thursday around lunchtime. Check their web schedule, or follow them (curb_cuisine) on Twitter.
* * *
Keyunda Wilson at Van Asselt Elementary writes to invite everyone to a Community Play Day at the new Van Asselt site (the former African-American Academy, 8311 Beacon Avenue South) on Thursday, September 24 from 3:30-5:30 pm. The event will feature active playground games, face painting, and environmental education. Everyone is invited to participate.
* * *
Among King County’s new liquor license applications, we notice this one:
Notification Date: 9/18/2009
Business Name: JAVA LOVE CAFE’
Business Location: 2414 BEACON AVE S, SEATTLE, WA 98144-5035
Applicant(s): LATIN BROTHERS INCORPORATED; RODRIGUEZ, OSCAR; CESTRO,
GUADALUPE; PRICHARD, TIMOTHY; RODRIGUEZ, JOSE LUIS
Liquor License Type: SPIRITS/BR/WN REST LOUNGE +
Application Type: ADDED/CHANGE OF CLASS/IN LIEU
License Number: 085750
This weekend, our neighbors in the Central District are celebrating Juneteenth with a festival at Pratt Park (all weekend) and a parade Saturday afternoon! The Juneteenth Celebration Parade startes at 12:00 noon. The parade route begins at 25th Avenue and East Alder Street, and continues along East Alder, 23rd Avenue, East Yesler, and 20th Avenue South to Pratt Park where the parade ends. The parade will include a Kiddies’ Parade, a Dogs on Parade Fashion Show, and much more! Be aware that there will be street closures in the area around the parade route.
While we on Beacon Hill are still waiting for our own farmers’ market, the new Market on Wheels is opening this weekend for our neighbors in South Park. Annie Farber writes to tell us, “South Park residents will be selling a great variety of products ranging from food products and plant starts grown in the neighborhood (more local than any farmer’s market!) to tamales and enchiladas made fresh on site to art, clothing and jewelry they make. Come buy from local Seattle residents working to make an impact on their community through encouraging a local economy!” It’s from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm tomorrow and every third Saturday each month through September 19. The location is 14th Avenue South and South Cloverdale Street, in the Napoli’s Pizzeria parking lot.
A land use application has been completed for 4878 Beacon Avenue South, the Grown Folks Coffee site, “to allow a four story, 15 unit residential building above 2,970 sq. ft. of retail located at grade. Parking for 15 vehicles to be located within the structure. Existing structure to be demolished.” Comments may be submitted through July 1 at the site linked above. There have also been some land use decisions in the North Beacon area recently, including two parcel subdivisions in the Urban Village Overlay area: here and here.
Skillet, the folks who serve bistro cuisine in an Airstream trailer, have an idea:
Hey skillet nation !!
we have an idea we would like to implement. Seattle doesn’t have enough street food, and we want to help change that. We are toying with the idea of creating a weekend street food market. We would like to have a parking lot of some kind perhaps in a neighborhood say ballard, fremont, cap hill, udistrict, beacon hill etc…where us and maybe 5-10 other street food vendors could set up for a saturday and sunday during the day and perhaps even into the evening. I believe it could be a great experiment (and successful) and perhaps couple it with some farmers, musicians etc…anyways…if you have any suggestions or perhaps a location…please don’t hesitate to email me (josh) at firstname.lastname@example.org…
and thanks…we want to make seattle the epicenter of street food..!!!
Beacon Hill currently lacks a farmers’ market. Something like this would be an interesting alternative. Perhaps at El Centro, next to the train station (once it’s opened)? An event like this would draw visitors to the neighborhood, potentially helping the Hill’s economy, as well as giving us something interesting to do on the weekends. However, it’s possible the local restaurateurs would feel threatened by potential weekend competition. Have an opinion? Let Josh know at email@example.com.
This Wednesday, October 22, is the last day of this season’s Columbia City Farmers Market, and the season will end with a colorful, glittery splash: a children’s pumpkin decorating event, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Pumpkins and squashes, along with paint, glitter, feathers, etc. will be supplied by the Market.