Luck was with us as rain and wind held off during our traditional season’s last day for the Chili Cook-Off. It was a huge success again this year, thanks in part to the wonderful volunteer groups; the Market Foundation, Des Moines Dollars for Scholars and Southwest Seattle Business & Professional Women’s Foundation, who all will share in the proceeds.

This year all the prizes were voted on by the tasters.

  1. First Place (team 11): Lifepoint Church
  2. Second Place (team 9): 12th Man Chili (Wesley Homes)
  3. Third Place (team 4): Chili Today – Hot Tamale (Judson Park)

Best Team (team 10): Nibbles

Over 400 tasters participated in this year’s event. First place won by 20 votes, second place won by 20 votes and third place won by 2 votes.

P1000487 (1024x768)

P1000492 (1024x768)

P1000498 (1024x768)

P1000496 (1024x768)

This being the market’s third season at the North end of the Marina, it continues to grow and improve. Both shoppers and vendors comment that it is THE place to be on a Saturday. Market manager Rikki Marohl said “this year was devoted to improving vendor selections by adding more farmers, as our name implies.” People surveys show visitors continue coming from a wide area of South King County. Opening Day saw the SeattleFoodTruck.com’s Truck-In, drawing a record crowd of 8,000 shoppers. Food Trucks are a popular addition to the market.

At the end of the season saw the beginning of the Healthy Eating program from the partnership between the King Conservation District and the farmers market to help feed low income seniors in our area. Each qualifying senior is given a $10 voucher each week to use at the market. This program is funded thru the 2015 season. Look for a campaign next spring to inform the public about the program and where they can sign up.

Next season will be the markets tenth anniversary. This winter the market staff will be working on lots of new and fun things for the 2015 season, and of course, sampling new market wines to bring to our customers.

The Farmers Market Board would like to thank all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, patrons and the ever present Marina staff for helping to make this the most successful season ever.

Board President Wayne Corey added:

“The market has become such an integral part of our community and with the establishment of the Endowment Fund two years ago, it will continue into the future.”

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays and check for this column starting again in the spring.