Wednesday, September 30th: Finish The Season With Chef Dustin Ronspies, The Wallingford Big Band Orchestra & Great Food!

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table carefully poaching salmon during his cooking demonstration on June 17th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. As we reach the end of the 2009 season at Wallingford Farmers Market, come celebrate this extraordinary year with us today. Stock up for the cold, dark, wet months. Enjoy another of Art of the Table's Chef Dustin Ronspies' brilliant cooking demonstrations. And dance to the music of the Wallingford Big Band Orchestra.

The Wallingford Big Band Orchestra performing at the Madrona Farmers Market last Friday. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you visit the Market today, take time to thank your favorite vendors for their hard work producing great, fresh, delicious and nutritious local food for you. In fact, take your thank you a step further. Buy a ticket for a Market vendor to attend a thank you party for them on November 1st, hosted by Ray's Boathouse and presented by the Seattle Farmers Market Association. Tickets are $35 each, and whatever funds are not used to cover the cost of the event (we figure about $10 per ticket) will be donated in SFMA Market Tokens to local food banks for their clients to use at our farmers markets. And for each ticket purchased, the purchaser will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win two spots at the party with the vendors, SMFA staff, local chefs and Market buskers. Tickets are available at the Market Information table.

David from Full Circle kept his produce, and himself, alive with his mister bottle. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This indeed was a remarkable year at your Wallingford Farmers Market, made all the better with all the remarkable people who make it happen. We will always remember Dave from Full Circle Farm hosing himself down when it was 106 degress in July.

Crystal brightens up the Tall Grass tent on opening day, clearly happy to be welcoming a new year at the Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about Tall Grass Crystal on opening day, way back in May, brightening up the Market, as she has every Wednesday since.

Raul from ACMA Orchards shows of the first of the season cherries just after they arrived, mid-market, on June 3rd. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raul from ACMA Orchards proudly showed off the first cherries of the season in early June.

Market manager Jessica Vets hits me with the "Equalizer." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about my comrade in arms (literally, in this case) blasting me with the "equalizer" on the hottest day in Seattle history.

John, from Sea Breeze, showing off fresh chicken and pork. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or Sea Breeze Farm's infectious Smiling John slinging incredible fresh meat and poultry, along with all the farm's other deliciousness, all summer long.

This sign hung at a farmers market vendor's booth means it accepts FMNP checks. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The waning market season means that now is a great time to use up any remaining Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks. If you or someone you know received Senior or WIC FMNP checks this year, use them before the Market goes on its winter hiatus. Just because the checks say they are good until the end of October does not mean that the Market will still be here for you to spend them into October. The last day of the Wallingford Farmers Market for 2009 is Wednesday, September 30th. Use your checks now, while it is still easy to come your Wallingford Farmers Market. Oh, and the Market accepts Food Stamps, too. Inquire at the Market Information table.

Okay, for the last time this year, if you want to know what you'll find at your Wallingford Farmers Market today, like hazelnuts and strawberries and winter squash, just click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner, and we'll see you today at the Market.