What is a better way to spend your morning than at a farmers’ market? An ideal market should be one with no carnival rides, no troubling dogs, but a lot of laughs, interesting people, and good food! The West Seattle Farmers Market is no exception.
Located in West Seattle Junction between California and Alaska avenues, the West Seattle Farmers Market is a fast-growing market that is operated by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance.
The market boasts over 70 vendors in peak season. It has an eclectic variety of fresh organic produce, artisan crafts, flowers, and locally made food. There are plenty of free samples to try from numerous vendors each week. The farmers’ market also has a variety of unique animals for petting, including pigs, sheep, and chickens.
In addition to fresh produce, dog owners can find locally sourced pet treats for their pups at this farmers’ market. Read on and find out more incredible products that the market has to offer and tips that will help you do the shopping easily.
Where to Park and How to Access the Market
The West Seattle Farmers Market is located at Alki Beach Park on Southwest Alaska Street. From downtown Seattle, take Highway 99 to the exit for California Avenue SW or Fauntleroy Way SW. Drive west on California, turning right onto Alaska Street SE.
Although parking is free, there is no reserved parking for the market. All of it is on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you arrive early, you will get a better parking spot, closer to the market. The closest two paid parking lots are Lincoln Park Garage and Parking Lot F. There are also metered street spaces along California Ave SW from S Edmunds St to SW Charlestown St.
If you decide to drive to the farmers’ market, be aware that both Safeway and High Point parking lots are busy during market hours. If you’re not lucky enough to snag a spot at these places, you can decide to park in Westwood Village Shopping Center, 3800 SW Genesee St or Alki Elementary School.
Why You Should Visit the West Seattle Market
Do you live anywhere near the West Seattle Farmers Market, or are you a person that enjoys fresh produce? Then this market is worth stopping by. You will find fresh produce, local crafts, prepared food, and live music at this market.
A visit to the West Seattle Farmers Market is a great way to get acquainted with the local farmers and food producers, sample some fresh fruits and vegetables, and stock up on some locally-produced products.
The good thing about this market is that it operates every Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM all year round. Regardless of the weather, you can be assured to find a wide variety of fresh produce, flowers, and handcrafted goods available to buy. The market has everything from handmade pet toys to locally grown produce.
The fact that it is open every Sunday year-round means that you can shop at your own convenience. If you are trying to get groceries on a tight schedule, you can pop over to the market at lunchtime or right before dinner, or on a Sunday when you have more time on your hands.
Products Sold at the West Seattle Farmers Market
Here is a rundown of the different types of food you can find at the West Seattle Farmers Market.
- Fresh produce
There is a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available at the market, including apples, tomatoes, squash, kale, beets, and potatoes. The Farmers Market also offers a large selection of herbs such as basil, cilantro, and chives.
In this market, you will get handmade crafts such as ornaments, pottery, and jewelry. Some vendors also offer artworks including paintings on wood or canvas, along with mixed media works that combine painting and sculpture in interesting ways.
- Baked Goods
If you have sweet teeth, you will be pleased to know that you can find cookies, cupcakes, bread, and all sorts of other tempting treats here. The Great Harvest Bread Company has a stall at the market on most days, which offers up all sorts of delicious bread options. The Daily Dozen makes gluten-free desserts like brownies, cookies, and muffins, while Honey & Butter sells their famous bread pudding.
What the Market Offers Beyond Fresh Produce
West Seattle Farmers Market is a must-visit for you and your family. This market has so much to offer and is an unbeatable way to fill your kitchen with fresh local fruits, vegetables, and flowers while supporting local farmers and producers.
- Tasty Eats
The market features quality produce and plants, handmade crafts, and baked goods. But it also includes plenty of food vendors. Enjoy everything from gourmet meat pies to cheese fondue, Thai noodles to sweet treats like crepes and homemade ice cream. The market also includes an assortment of unique ethnic foods, such as artisanal chocolate truffles.
- Local Artisans
Enjoy the opportunity to support local artisans by browsing their booths and buying their handmade wares. You will find a wide range of items from pottery, stained glass, and dolls to hand-blown glass floats, paintings, jewelry, and more. The West Seattle Farmers Market has been a venue for many talented artists over the years.
- Free Entertainment for Your Kids
The market’s main stage hosts free entertainment every week during the summer months. Local musicians, dancers, jugglers, and stilt walkers put on shows that are sure to please everyone in the family. If you have time before or after shopping for local produce, baked goods, or crafts, be sure to stop by.
How to Save Money at the Market
One of the best ways to save money at the West Seattle Farmers Market is to use the coupons that they offer. These coupons can be found online, in local magazines and newspapers, or handed out by the farmers directly. The biggest benefit to using these coupons is that you will get a discount for buying fresh produce from your local farmers.
Many of these coupons are for specific items, so be sure to read them carefully before you decide to use them. The best way to save money at the market is to walk around and find something that looks good, then ask if there are any coupons for it.
Another great way to save money at the West Seattle Farmers Market is to purchase things in bulk. Many items can be purchased in bulk and transported back home. Some examples of things you can buy include pepper.
You can purchase peppers in bulk, chop them up and store them properly so they do not spoil quickly. These make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and other meals where they can add some extra flavor without being too overpowering. When purchasing peppers in bulk, make sure they aren’t limp or wilted, as this is an indication that they are not fresh.
Bring your own bags or baskets. The market does not provide bags, baskets, or boxes. Therefore, shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers so they can carry home all the fresh produce they buy. Also, you should know that plastic bags are not allowed in most markets because they’re considered environmentally unfriendly.
Also, don’t forget to bring your own containers for juices and jams. Many vendors offer fresh juices and jams that they sell by the pint or quart jar. You will want to bring your own containers if you want to take these items home with you. It’s a great way to save money and promote an environmentally friendly market.
Essential Tips for Navigating the Marketplace
Navigating the West Seattle Farmers Market can be a little daunting, given all of the booths, tents, and people. Here are some tips for enjoying your visit:
- Buy Produce in Season
The best way to save money at the market is to buy produce that’s in season. Not only is produce in season cheap but it also tastes better.
- Taste Before you Buy
Before you make a purchase, be sure to taste whatever food item you are planning to buy. This is especially important with meat and other perishables. Try different vendors for produce or meats so you can get a feel for what you like the best.
- Bypass the Expensive Stuff
At the West Seattle Farmers Market, there are always going to be more expensive items and more affordable ones. Just because something costs more does not mean it is necessarily better quality or tastier than an item that costs less. If you have your heart set on something super expensive, try looking for an alternative that is less expensive but still just as good.
- Don’t Go Hungry
Hunger makes people do crazy things like overspending on food items they do not need or want. If you are hungry you might end up tasting everything and anything in the market.
How to Pick the Best Produce
Picking the best produce does not have to be complicated. You simply need to know the specific vegetables you want and the duration before your next shopping. For instance, if you are going to be cooking for a week, you need to buy only what is necessary.
Also, when buying vegetables you should know that certain vegetables taste better when grilled, for example, squash or eggplant. Each vegetable has its unique life cycle and there are different ways to prepare them.
The first thing to look for when buying fresh fruits and vegetables is color. Brightly colored fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals. The brighter the color, the more phytonutrients they contain. These phytonutrients are some of nature’s little antioxidants that help protect us against disease and aging.
Also, look at the underside of the fruits and vegetables. For instance, the underside of a tomato or an apple tells us a lot about what we are getting. It should be smooth or uniform in color; avoid spots or cracks as they can harbor bacteria.
On the other hand, berries should be bright in color and plump. If they are wilted or shriveled on top, that means they are old. If you want to buy green beans, look out for those that snap but do not break easily. When you buy those that snap, they will be firm and crisp and when cooked they will also be delicious and tender.
While appearance can be a great way to help you choose the sweetest fruit or vegetable, sometimes it can be misleading. Sometimes you can see a great-looking fruit but upon tasting it brings the sour or mushy taste. Tomato can also look good but upon cutting it, no juice comes out to indicate that it was picked too late in the season.
Therefore, you need to get practical and sometimes insist on testing the vegetables and fruits to ensure that you go home with the best. Do not be afraid to be picky about what you buy either. If something does not look right, do not buy it. If a farmer will not let you look at an item closely before buying it then you would ask yourself why.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
In fact, every time you visit the West Seattle Farmers Market, you are likely to see something new. With so many choices, it is easy to go overboard at the market, so here is some advice when you are trying something new.
If you have never bought it before, start small. If you are buying garlic scapes for the first time, do not buy a whole bundle. Instead, buy one or two scapes and taste them in your recipe. If you like it and want more, come back next week and buy more.
Look for vendors who offer samples. Garlic scapes are just one example of a product that vendors at the West Seattle Farmers Market offer up for sampling purposes. Bring your own container and ask if you can try some of their product before buying them in bulk.
Visit the West Seattle Farmers Market Today!
The West Seattle Farmers Market brings a great vibe for anyone looking for a relaxing and productive way to spend their Sunday afternoon. You are sure to find fresh veggies, flowers, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, and more.
There is always something new and exciting in the market. Whether you are a first-time attendee or a seasoned pro, the above tips will help you get the most out of your time at the West Seattle Farmers Market.