Ballard Gathering for Black Lives Matter

Sunday morning, a modestly sized group of our neighbors turned out at Bergen Place Park to support the growing Black Lives Matter protests in Seattle and across the world. Among the attendees was D6 Councilmember Dan Strauss, who gave a speech encouraging attendees to take their energy beyond Ballard and show up at the “We Want to Live” march at Othello Park later that day.

Ballard In Full Color, Part 2

Local artists and businesses have teamed up to beautify Ballard storefronts while they remain boarded up during Washington’s “stay at home” order.

Thanks to all the local artists who provided their talents to brighten up the neighborhood!

Ballard In Full Color: Ballard Mural Project

Local artists and businesses have teamed up to beautify Ballard storefronts while they remain boarded up during Washington’s “stay at home” order.

Ballard Music Venues: The Tractor and The Sunset Host Staff Fundraisers

The Tractor Tavern, Ballard Ave.

Hey Tractorians!

Our staff has always been more than just people who work here at the Tractor.  We keep this thing going like a family-run business.  Because that’s what it is.  It’s been devastating having to shut these doors, but what’s been worse is hearing from our staff how hard it’s been for them to qualify for unemployment.  The government is working to make exceptions, but these folks need our help now.   We have 16 full and part-timers, all will be getting some unemployment (eventually),  but we also have some  regular ‘gig’ workers receiving no help.

The Sunset Tavern, Ballard Ave.

Hey y’all! We hope you’re doing all right since we saw you last at the Sunset!

Unfortunately, as you might imagine, times have been tough for all of us at the Sunset since we’ve had to shut down to help battle the spread of the coronavirus. Due to the unique nature of the music industry, a lot of our staff unfortunately doesn’t qualify for unemployment protections and are really hurting due to this sudden loss of income.

Ballard Farmer’s Market

For the first time in 20 years, the farmers markets are not open. We have been hard at work connecting our beloved farm and food businesses to store shelves, wholesale opportunities, neighborhood drop-points, and resources to ensure they remain strong through this unprecedented closure.

Seattle Farmer’s Market Association Mailing List (sign up Here)

Support local farmers: Donate to the Farm Relief Fund

See an up-to-date list of vendors Here

Call to Designate Farmers Markets as Essential

This is an open letter to the City of Seattle. The Seattle Farmers Market Association (SFMA), whose mission is to support and strengthen Washington’s small family farms, will collect responses and deliver the public’s support and concern to City offices who are coordinating the food supply during the COVID-19 crisis.

March 22, 2020

To Mayor Durkan & City of Seattle Partners,

It is our firm conviction that farmers markets are an essential part of Seattle’s food supply and that they should remain open, along with grocery stores, during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are gravely concerned about the abrupt closure of farmers markets at a time when food supply chains and our economy are under threat.

The truth is, if we cannot support and strengthen our region’s farmers during this crisis, that many small farms will not recover from the market closures and that our local food supply and regional network of farmland will be forever changed. Moreover, farmers markets serve shoppers who rely on using their SNAP and SNAP-incentive benefits like Fresh Bucks to purchase fresh food. For those who have already withdrawn benefits at the markets, they cannot now use them at grocery stores.

We are calling on City of Seattle leaders in local government to:

1) Designate farmers markets as an essential business and exempt them from the blanket suspension of permitted events;

2) Work with market management organizations to approve operating plans that support public health orders and CDC guidance on distancing, sanitation, and employee health, and;

3) Commit to closing the policy loophole that lumps farmers markets in the City of Seattle with events, festivals, and other street-use events.

We urge leaders in Seattle to take the actions above, and ultimately to ensure that Washington’s small family farms can continue to provide a vital service in feeding the community during a time of increased need. Other jurisdictions have made declarations allowing healthy members of the public to leave their homes to conduct “essential business” including grocery shopping and banking. Those declarations have been made in San Francisco, CA (, San Mateo, CA (, Minnesota (, in Maryland (, and in Pennsylvania ( Additionally, the guidance received from Governor Inslee’s office (March 13 and 16) affirms “Farmers markets are not included in today’s proclamation/ban. We are treating them like grocery stores.”

– Agriculture is essential for safe and reliable food supply and we are committed to doing everything within our power as market operators to ensure the safety of our staff, vendors, and the public, including:

– Staying informed: We will proactively work with our local health departments, cities, and landlords to keep the markets operating as part of our local, resilient food system.

– Distancing measures to ensure shoppers maintain 6 feet of distance apart.

– Suspending all food sampling until further notice.

– Canceling music entertainment, tours, and eliminating seating to reduce the accumulation of crowds in an effort to keep all customer traffic “in transit.”

– Limitation or elimination of prepared foods, per public health guidance; ensuring any food is served “to go.”

– Hand washing stations available at the information booth for anyone to use

– Enforcement of hand-washing: Market Vendors are trained not to operate until their hand-wash station (where required) is set up and they properly wash their hands

– Cash/SNAP/EBT/Incentives Must be accepted and all Vendors must separate cash handling from food handling, as usual

– Frequent cleaning of market surfaces with disinfecting wipes and other standard cleaners before, during, and after the market

– Public education on hand-washing, COVID-19 symptoms, sanitation, and only touching what they intend to purchase.

Most of the farms we serve earn 80% or more of their household income from the farmers markets. As business owners, they are not eligible for unemployment benefits. There is currently no safety net for farmers, who play an essential role in our economy and fulfill a basic need, nor are they eligible for the Small Business Stabilization Fund if they are not located in Seattle.

Your consideration of Washington’s small family farms, and the Seattle shoppers who rely on the markets for a regular supply of fresh, nutrition food from short supply chains is critical and we urge you to act today.

Sincerely, Seattle Farmers Market Association

Sign and share the letter, Here