Meet Your Farmers Market Vendors: Woodring Orchards

Note: Thank you for your patience during the 3 week break in this series. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The sun is shining, it’s time to switch from hot to iced coffee drinks, and the University District Farmer’s Market was hopping this morning at 9 am. The line for Skagit River Ranch’s eggs was 6 people deep, but Woodring Orchards was still relatively quiet. When I asked Dale Nelson of Woodring about this, he revealed that it’s always slow for the first half an hour or so. People tend to grab their meat and veggies and then wander over to check out his wares.

Luckily for me, the brief lull in customers gave me a wonderful opportunity to interview Dale and find out a little about Woodring Orchards.


Woodring Orchards

How Long At The Market: Woodring Orchards has been at the University District farmer’s market since it’s inception.

Where Else Do They Sell: They have a permanent booth at Pike’s Place Market and they sell at Columbia City, West Seattle, Phinney Ridge, Broadway/Capitol Hill, and the Edmunds Farmer’s Markets.

What They Sell: Woodring Orchards sells a variety of low sugar, natural, homemade fruit butters, chutneys, spreads, and jellies. Dale is a chocolatier by trade and also makes a variety of kettle toppings including Caramel Sauce, Praline Caramel, Hazelnut Chocolate, Semi-Sweet Chocolate, and White Chocolate Marzipan.

Favorite Product: Dale wouldn’t say what his favorite product was. He likened it to choosing a favorite child.

Favorite Part of the Market: Dale likens the farmer’s market to a large friends and family get-together. He enjoys talking with the other farmers and of course, meeting the people who shop there.

Vegan?: Yes! All of the fruit products are vegan. Most of the chocolate and dessert toppings are not, but Dale strives to meet the needs of his customers and recently created a Sugar Free Vegan Chocolate Sauce with Agave Nectar. The Agave Nectar takes the place of any honey or sugar in the product and is safe for diabetics as well. (As a personal note, the diabetic in my own family has no issues with Agave Nectar). This sauce is also fat free. I’ve tasted it and it’s quite good.

Low Sugar: Dale uses as little sugar as possible in his products. There is no high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in any of this products. Many of the caramel products you find in the stores are made with HFCS and caramel flavoring. Dale uses only pure, natural ingredients. He sells several sugar free products including Apricot, Blueberry, Marionberry, and Red Raspberry preserves.

Pickles: Named after his son, Parker’s Pickles come in mild and spicy varieties. Also available are pickled green beans, asparagus, beets, and soon, okra.

Drinks: Dale loves experimenting and the past two weeks, he’s has Ginger Lemonade. This is also sweetened with Agave Nectar, so it’s safe for diabetics. The only ingredients are lemons, ginger, lemongrass, and agave nectar. He mentioned a raspberry drink that he’s working on as well.

Local: Woodring Orchards is based in Monroe, WA. They have 15 acres in Goldbar, WA and they try to support other local farmers with whatever they need to purchase.

Woodring Orchards
Monroe, WA

5 Comments so far

  1. John (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying the Agave Nectar products and checking its effects on my blood sugar.

  2. John (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

    Oh, and wouldn’t it be great if anyone inspired by these posts to try a new vendor (or even the market in general) told the vendor they read about them on metblogs? =)

  3. Zee (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

    I just wanted to say that I love these Meet Your Vendors posts!

  4. Patricia Jane (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

    John: Yes, it would be wonderful if any of our readers mentioned this series to the vendors!

    Zee: Thanks! I really enjoy doing them.

    Coming Soon: Skagit River Ranch, a cheese series, and visits to the Wallingford and Queen Anne Farmer’s Markets!

  5. Patricia Jane (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

    Oh! And one thing I forgot to mention… if you buy anything from Woodring that comes in a glass bottle or jar, bring your empty jars back. They will recycle them for you!

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