Remembering Stoney Plains Organic Farm's Bob Meyer

Bob Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm working on his tractor. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm. This is my last week as the official voice of your Ballard Farmers Market. My upcoming post for Sunday will be my last regular post. So I thought I would spend these last few days taking a walk down memory lane with you. I'd like to start off with the legendary Bob Meyer.

Bob Meyer founded Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino in 1978. Around the same time, he also co-founded the Olympia Farmers Market. Later, he participated in the creation of the University District Farmers Market and the Pike Place Market Basket Program, and he also played a role in the formation of the Farmers Own Cooperative. Before his untimely death in 2002, he vended his produce at farmers markets throughout Thurston, Pierce and King counties.

Bob Meyer working in the greenhouse at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo courtesy Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Bob served on the board of Tilth Producers of Washington for many years, and as board president of the Olympia Farmers Market. He was recognized as an authority on organic farming, and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to up-and-coming organic farmers. Bob was also a pioneer in the development of farmers markets in Washington State, including the formation of the nation's oldest statewide farmers market association here in Washington in 1979. Bob never shied away from sharing his opinion, and he always brought passion to every issue he faced, and every market he attended. In fact, before he began farming, Bob worked the better part of 30 years as a union organizer.

Bob Meyer Memorial Pickles made by me in 2013 using Stoney Plains organic pickling cucumbers. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But for Bob Meyer’s tireless energy on behalf of farming and farmers markets, many of us would not be here today. He indeed remains one of the great giants in the history of our community, and his legendary spirit lives on in all of us he touched. I share this photo, above, of pickles I made in 2013 from Stoney Plains cukes because it was Bob and his wife Pat who got me pickling back in my first year in the farmers market world in 1991 at Olympia Farmers Market. I think of Bob fondly every year as I make more of them.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bob's legacy continues through the hard work of his wife, Pat, and their sons and grandchildren, who still sell about many farmers markets in Western Washington today. Stop by and say 'hi' to son Terry, above, next time you visit your Ballard Farmers Market!