Washington transplant Natalie Evans left Colorado to attend Seattle Pacific University, where she developed an affinity for the beauty of the Ballard Farmers Market. After earning her bachelor’s degree in French and literature, with minors in international relations and theology, she moved to Bellevue and started volunteering at the Bellevue Farmers Market. In 2015, she became the executive director of the market, which opens on May 17 and runs through mid-October. “I fell in love with the magic and mystery of it all,” she said of the Bellevue market. “The farmers market is a place/business that physically exists for exactly four hours every week. If you come anytime outside of that four-hour window, you’ll miss it, along with all the magic that happens in that space and time.” We caught up with Evans to learn more about her love of Washington agriculture.
I love to let loose through dancing! I’m currently taking salsa and bachata classes, and I love the social nights at Salsa Con Todo in Fremont.
To Grab a Drink:
Island Soul in Columbia City.
Mexico — hands down. There is so much vibrancy and complexity to each region that I find endlessly fascinating
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler and Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
A tie between Selena and Dirty Dancing. I can quote both by heart.
Instagram. So millennial of me!
Who Inspires You?
It might sound trite, but I find it truly impossible not to be awe-struck by every human in my life. I see stories of resilience, tenacity, love, and grit, and they each continually teach me about the person I want to be.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” — Ernest Hemingway
What’s the community benefit of having a farmers market in town?
Farmers markets are bridges between urban and rural. What other space is there for people to meet face-to-face with the farmers who grow the food they eat and feed to their families?
What made you fall in love with Washington farmers and produce?
I thought I knew what went into growing food, but I had no idea the sheer amount of knowledge, skill, and physical labor that’s involved. These farmers are entrepreneurs, business managers, soil scientists, botanists, meteorologists, marketers, and activists all rolled into one.
What’s your favorite bite to eat at the Bellevue Farmers Market?
Sun-warmed Sungold cherry tomatoes.
When people attend the market, what are some things they have to experience?
Use your senses. Take in all the colors and textures on the vendors’ tables. If there are samples available, try them — you never know what new treat or business you find yourself falling in love with.