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Meet the Producer: Stone City Farm

Posted April 27, 2018

Local, Seasonal, Personal.

The rising sun breaks up a sleepy fog that blankets the land, causing roosters to crow, chickens to stir in their coops and goats to bleat as a new day begins on Stone City Farm. Kathleen Nece is the owner of Stone City Farm, a family business that produces all-natural goat milk soap on their picturesque property, just south of Olympia in Tenino, Washington.

After a close friend developed a sensitivity to certain skincare products, Kathleen read the ingredients of a soap her and her family had been using and was surprised at the number of chemicals. In her search to find something more natural and safer for her family, she decided to try her hand at soap-making. Kathleen’s homemade soaps became so popular among friends and family that she decided to turn her hobby into a business, and in 2013, Stone City Farm was born. All of their soaps are made from a mixture of milk from their goats raised on their farm, olive oil, coconut oil, castor, oil, Fair Trade palm oil, beeswax, and essential oils for scent or exfoliating ingredients.

Goat milking, oil mixing, pouring, curing, cutting and wrapping soap can be a long and tedious process, but the final product is worth the effort. “Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it absorbs 80% of what it comes into contact with,” says Kathleen. “So starting with the basics of what you’re washing yourself with is really important to me.”

In addition to making soap, Stone City Farm also offers handcrafted wood gift boxes, teak soap decks and spa cloths, all produced by Kathleen and her family. The quality of every product that comes from Stone City Farm is a testament to the passion and commitment the family has to making their small business work. Their motto, “Love my goats! Love my soaps!,” says it all.

You can find Stone City Farm’s craft table at Pike Place Market seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., and online at stonecityfarm.com.

Happy Earth Day! Everyone knows Seattle is all about being green and to show our support we decided to let you in on a little secret. Pike Place Market has reserved parking just for electric vehicles (EVs)! Easily identified by green paint outlining the space, are nine parking spaces reserved for EVs, located in the MarketFront Parking Garage located at 1901 Western Ave. Need to charge your car? No problem. Each parking spot has access to a charging station that cost $1 per hour to use in addition to the hourly cost of parking. 

For those that don't have electric cars, there are more than 200 parking spaces available in the Market's parking garages. Park before 9 a.m. and get Early Bird parking for $15! For more information on parking at the Market visit pikeplacemarket.org/public-market-garage.

Did you know, every year more than 100 teachers participate in the Pike Place Market Education Program? With the click of a mouse, myriad educational materials about the Market's history are available in the form of lesson plans, activitiesand curriculum guide! Designed to meet Common Core standards, these resources are provided for teachers to use the Market as a subject suitable for social studies, math, art and language arts units.

Unable to take a trip to Pike Place Market? You can recreate a farmers market in your own classroom and use our interactive farm map to show students where fruits and veggies are grown all around Washington state. All lessons reinforce the Market as Seattle’s original farmers market and point to how Pike Place Market’s farm team has evolved and adapted to the changing wants and needs of consumers and farmers. To learn more about the Education Program visit pikeplacemarket.org/education.

At Northwest Tastings, beautiful wood-paned windows offer amazing views of Elliott Bay by day, and the lights of the Seattle waterfront, ferries and the Great Wheel by night. Located on Pike Place Market’s Lower Level 5 (just down the ramp from Uli’s Sausage, next to the Miniature Car Dealership), Northwest Tastings is a collaboration between three local artisanal producersSoulever Chocolates, White Heron Cellars and Glondo's Sausage Coas well as rotating offerings from local cheesemakers.

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Meet Local Painter Ernesto Ybarra

Posted April 2, 2018

You’ve likely seen the bright, colorful and culturally diverse artwork of Ernesto Ybarra, one of the faces of our “Local, Seasonal, Personal” campaign. We’re diving a bit deeper to introduce you to Ernesto and what inspired him to become a painter.

In 2015, as a relatively new craftsperson, Ernesto Ybarra, started selling his paintings on-and-off at Pike Place Market. Last year, he decided to make the jump to sell in the crafts market consistently. As a young man, Ernesto tried to cultivate his artistic talent through photography but ultimately found his creative freedom limited behind the lens of his camera. In search of a medium in which he could fully express himself through, he decided to try his hand at painting and never looked back.

As a self-taught painter, Ernesto has developed his distinctively vibrant style over the past 18 years. Natural inspiration for his art include his Mexican-American culture—stating “there are no rules of color in Mexico, which can be seen in the overuse and clashing of colors in Mexican art”—but much more than a Mexican artist, Ernesto emphasizes other influences on his work, such as time spent living California and New Mexico, or things he’s learned about life and his role as a son, grandson, brother, father and colleague.

When asked what he wants people to know about the Pike Place Market, Ernesto had this to say:

“There’s more to the Market than what people first think of—there’s a whole world of hardworking people, expressing themselves through their work and literally putting themselves on display for people to look at. The artists here are incredible and inspiring. We support each other and encourage each other to grow. I encourage visitors to take time to appreciate the art and to learn about the artists.”

One of Ernesto’s favorite memories at the Market is when one day after he had set up his display of paintings, a couple walked up to his table. The wife looked over his pieces, pointed out one and said, “I like that!” When her husband asked why she liked it, she simply replied, “I just do,” and bought the painting without even asking the price.

You can find Ernesto and his paintings set up in the North Arcade or, when the weather starts to warm up, on the sidewalk just outside the North Arcade.

If you’re looking for the perfect Easter ham or leg of lamb, biscuits and breads for brunch, candy or toys to fill the Easter basket, or eggs to dye and hide, stop by Pike Place Market and explore all of the plentiful options!

Order your Easter ham or leg of lamb from Don & Joe’s Meats, Bavarian Meats or Pike’s Pit BBQ.

Grab warm biscuits from Honest Biscuits, delicious breads from Le Panier, or traditional Easter Russian Apple Kulich from Piroshky Piroshky.

Serving wine or mimosas? Check out Wilridge Winery, Northwest Tastings or the cellar in the upstairs of DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine.

Fill up those Easter baskets with chocolates from indi chocolate, candies from Sweetie’s, and little toys and trinkets from shops like Ugly Baby, Pike Place Gifts, Robot vs Sloth or Market Magic and Novelty Shop.

And of course, you have to dye some eggs! Hop by the Market Creamery for your choice of eggs, available in a large assortment of sizes and varieties.