The final stop of the day before setting off for Oregon was the Bellevue Farmers Market. Set in a Church car park it had an incredible community feel to it – a band was playing, there was a wood fired brick oven serving pizza and children and their parents were stopping by to pick up groceries on their ride home from school.
For a small market with maybe 20-30 stalls it had the best meat representation that I’d yet seen. Three stalls in all. I had a good chat with two of them – the first Olsen Farms, are based close to the Washington/Idaho/Canada border and it was a 10hr journey to bring produce to the market. Like a number of people I’d spoken to, fuel prices largely affect the price of their produce as they have to drive vast distances to find a large enough market to sell to. Due to distance and logistics the produce is mostly frozen, with a few chilled sausages, and thermally processed sausages available fresh.
The second stall was Sea Breeze Farm, I’d already read about them as they sell at U-District Farmers Market on Saturdays. They’re a short 15min ferry ride from Seattle and have their own butchery, cafe and restaurant in the town of Vashon. They’re also the only producer I’ve seen at a Farmers Market to sell fresh chilled meat. They had a nice range of fresh sausages, meat cuts as well as some pates and bottled gravy and stock. If I have time on my return journey I’ll definitely be making an effort to swing by and take a look at their butchery.
I should also mention Veraci Pizza, I had a slice of their special for the day a prosciutto, rocket and mushroom pizza. It was truly excellent, and judging by the sheer volume of people taking boxed pizzas home with them by far the most successful stand on the market.