Maple Valley Farmers Market
All about the Maple Valley Farmers Market
After many days this spring of beautiful, sunny weather, it’s easy to convince oneself that summer has arrived…except for the fact that it isn’t summer in Maple Valley without the Farmers’ Market. Finally, however, those who have been impatiently waiting for the MV Farmers’ Market can relax. The fresh-from-the-ground produce, the hot coffee from Mitzel’s Food Truck, the unique artisan creations, the brilliant flowers, and the freshly-made pastries will be in full array on Opening Day on Saturday, June 15.
Season Five will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with nineteen scheduled farmers/ranchers, six processed food stalls, seven prepared food vendors, and ten artisans. Nonprofit groups Cedar River Church of Christ, Girl Scout Troop 41113, King County Solid Waste, Shadow, Master Gardener, and Maplewood Pony Club will each host a stall. In addition, one of our sponsors, Meridian Valley Property Management, will have a booth stall.
At 10:00 a.m., the Opening Ceremonies will commence. Jessi Jumper will sing the National Anthem, local Girl Scout troop #4113 will present the flag, and Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas will recognize key volunteers and sponsors. Additionally, the elegant strains of Maple Valley Youth Symphony will enliven the Market. Laise Jonas said, “We have a full market on opening day and are hoping for a bright, sunny day. This year we will have five hours of shopping delight, and we so look forward to welcoming back our hundreds of local customers as we begin our 17-week run of the ‘Saturday Morning Place to Be!’”
While fans of the Market will eagerly welcome returning vendors, many new vendors will also grace the grounds of Rock Creek Elementary. Lor Vegetable and Flower, Rafael Lopez Farm, The Mason Jar, Pike Place Nuts, and Sophaloaf’s Pet Food are new farmers and processors joining the Maple Valley Market for its fifth season. Those who prefer their food already-prepared may want to try out the all-new Panda Dim Sum, or the returning Mitzel’s, back after a one-year absence, and housed this season in its new food truck. New artisans include Karen Wilken’s Kissed by the King soaps, Atanaska Adams’ bath salts, and It Sparkles Jewelry. Youth entrepreneur Dylan Hohn will sell Dylan’s Doohickies.
With something for every shopper and with all items made or grown locally, Maple Valley Farmers’ Market from 9:00-2:00 at Rock Creek Elementary is definitely the Saturday morning place to be! More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at email@example.com. Victoria Laise Jonas, Manager of the MVFM, urges MVFM fans to join its 710 Facebook friends, to“Friend us on FACEBOOK,” and follow us on Twitter. Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas
Area residents have only two more lonely Saturdays to survive without the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market before its gates open for Season Five on Saturday, June 15, at 9:00 a.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. The Market will stay open until 2:00 p.m. this year, adding an additional hour to its previous weekly schedule at the request of customers and farmers.
“To help promote the upcoming grand opening of this year’s market season, we will have our 2013 poster available for businesses to put in their storefront window,” notes Victoria Laise Jonas, Market Manager. Those businesses interested in obtaining a poster should contact Laise Jonas at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will personally hand deliver one or two posters. In addition, a special treat to all of our loyal customers, a free poster will be waiting at our Information Booth for all who spend a minimum of $15.00 on Opening Day!
In reviewing this year’s Vendor Roster, Laise Jonas notes that there are 25+ farmers, ranchers and processors already signed up, with a high number of returning vendors. In addition, there are a number of returning popular prepared food vendors, including George’s Bakery and EJ’s Catering, and after a year’s absence, Mitzel’s American Kitchen is returning, this year bringing its new food truck.
The Farmers’ Market continues to recruit crafters and artisans for the 17- week run. Typically, crafters/artisans only sign up for a limited number of weeks at the market, so there is still space available for them to have a stall space. Those crafters/artisans interested in learning more about the Farmers’ Market are encouraged to contact Laise Jonas.
As has been the practice since the beginning of the Farmers’ Market, and as a service to the community, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will once again offer two booth spaces per market season to non-profit and other local greater Maple Valley area community groups, subject to availability and approval by the Market Manager. The booth space provides an opportunity to inform the community about the group’s purpose and activities. While the space is not to be used for distributing political or religious information, organizations may request donations and hold raffles. Those wishing to sell items for fundraising purposes must have them pre-approved, and these items must not compete with existing vendor’s products. Non-profit organizations are also highly encouraged to volunteer for one market day set-up or take-down to support Market endeavors. To obtain additional information, local non-profit groups should contact Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas at email@example.com or (425)463-6751.
Remember…only two lonely Saturdays until the opening day of this long-anticipated fifth season of Maple Valley’s own local Farmers’ Market. Residents should mark their calendars now, as the celebrated kick-off to this season will be an event not to miss. On Saturday, June 15th, Rock Creek Elementary School’s play yard area will be swarming with canopies and vendors, graced by a ribbon cutting ceremony and the talented performance of the Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, who will again entertain listeners as they have done the previous four seasons. Come re-acquaint yourself to all of the possibilities that a Farmers’ Market has to offer–after all, “It is the Saturday morning place to be!” Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas
Returning MVFM Vendors, Potential Vendors & Volunteers— Open House Saturday May 18th 10:00 a.m. – NoonMay 10th, 2013 at 6:49 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
With a little more than a month before the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market opens for business on June 15, it is almost time for the annual Vendors’ Orientation. This year’s Vendor Orientation will be held at Rock Creek Elementary School on Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The Orientation is for those vendors already signed up and for potential vendors looking for additional information. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, encourages all vendors and those considering a Market booth to attend. “Come to get all of your questions answered, meet other existing vendors or potential vendors, meet the staff and volunteers associated with the Market, receive objective and encouraging feedback, and finalize your paperwork! This will be well worth your time,” said Laise-Jonas. Potential volunteers are also encouraged to attend to meet staff and to find out how they can best share their time and talent to “make our local Market the best one in the area!”
There still remains space for local farmers and growers, processed food vendors, and artisans and crafters to register for a stall. Last season an average of 1425 customers visited the Market each Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Since the Market will be open this season until 2:00, the potential for customers and purchases is even greater, according to Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager. “I wish to encourage everyone considering this wonderful opportunity to think about the potential it offers…not only in terms of sales and some added income, but in providing a venue for your talent and hard work, and in helping our community to buy goods in their own backyard. Not only that, but you’ll get a chance to see all of your friends and neighbors at our fabulous Farmers’ Market!” While all vendor applications are being accepted, the Board is especially looking for artisans/crafters.
Applications and further information are available at www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or (425) 463-6751. Friend us on “Facebook!” Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas
With only 46 days before the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market throws open its gates for Season #5 on June 15, there still remains space for local farmers and growers, processed food vendors, and artisans and crafters to register for a stall. Last season an average of 1425 customers visited the Market each Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Since the Market will be open this season until 2:00, the potential for customers and purchases is even greater, according to Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager. “I wish to encourage everyone considering this wonderful opportunity to think about the potential it offers…not only in terms of sales and some added income, but in providing a venue for your talent and hard work, and in helping our community to buy goods in their own backyard. Not only that, but you’ll get a chance to see all of your friends and neighbors at our fabulous Farmers’ Market!” While all vendor applications are being accepted, the Board is especially looking for artisans/crafters.
A Vendor Orientation will be held at Rock Creek Elementary School Saturday, May 18, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. This Orientation is for those vendors already signed up and for potential vendors looking for additional information.
Applications and further information are available at www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or (425) 463-6751. Friend us on “Facebook!” Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.
As they anticipate and make plans for the June 15 Grand Opening of the fifth season, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors is seeking to increase the number of volunteers at the Market. “Since this is a non-profit organization staffed almost solely by volunteers,” Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas said, “it makes sense to reach out to our community and to expand our volunteer base. With an average 1450 customers each week, we know that there are dozens who would love to help plan one of our Special Events, volunteer as a greeter, help out with our children’s activity table, work at our newest addition to the market – our “Produce Sampling Table” or help with set-up and take-down. To sweeten the pot for our set-up and take-down folks, we even offer $5 in Market Bucks per shift. Just think of the great things you can buy at our Market with $5! We welcome both adults and teens sixteen or older, and you can volunteer for as little as one week if you wish.”
With a projected growth in volunteers, however, the MVFM Board also needs someone to coordinate the volunteers. This job can be done entirely from home, and consists of entering volunteer information into a database, scheduling the volunteers, and then giving a reminder call or email the week of the scheduled shift.
Those interested in volunteering in any capacity for the Market should check the website at http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/Volunteer.html. With only 81 days until the Grand Opening, volunteers are encouraged to sign up without delay. Maple Valley Farmer’s Market…”It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.
Despite the chilly temperatures and rainy nights, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Board is already making plans for Season #5, which opens on June 15. With a 2012 average weekly attendance of 1450 visitors, a seasonal total of 75+ vendors during the 17-week Market season, chef demos, weekly live entertainment, special events, and opportunities for local non-profits and educational organizations, the MVFM has, according to Market Co-founder and Manager Victoria Laise Jonas, “exploded beyond our wildest dreams.” Laise Jonas said, “The Market went from a seemingly improbably vision back in the winter of 2008-2009 to a major success almost overnight, and it continues to build momentum each year! We are so appreciative that our entire community has embraced our local outdoor Farmers’ Market. We are indebted to each and every one of our loyal customers and to the many folks involved, behind the scenes, in making our dream become a reality! We are enthusiastically planning for additional vendors and new special activities which will be wonderful new additions to this year’s Market!”
A strong Farmers’ Market cannot exist without quality vendors and performers. The MVFM Board encourages all interested in selling their farm goods, prepared foods, or art/craft products, or in providing musical entertainment to check the website at http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/Vendor-Info.html. The Market also seeks sponsors for the 2013 season; more information is available at http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/untitled1.html.
Questions, comments, and suggestions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. or by contacting (425) 463-6751. NOTE: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.
Kim and Jack Emmons of 4-Corners John L. Scott, along with their team of friends and colleagues, will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.Their support of breast cancer will continue all month, as they sell hotdogs each Saturday and Sunday at Safeway 4-Corners, with proceeds directed to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Kim, who is on the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors, has coordinated all four of the MVFM’s Breast Cancer Awareness Days. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, said, “We are thankful for all of her efforts and commitment to eradicate breast cancer within our lifetime. Kim has been a long time supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness.”
Another group represented at Saturday’s Market will be MultiCare, who is a founding sponsor of our Farmers’ Market. In addition, many Maple Valleyites are familiar with Kristi Blair, a local Maple Valley resident. Blair started a foundation called “Wings of Karen” in honor of her mom, Karen Denmark, who battled breast cancer for three years before finally succumbing to the disease in 2008. Representing Valley Girls and Guys and the 3-Day will be Karen and Michael Crowe. Karen’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer almost seven years ago, just six weeks before her wedding. Also in attendance will be Sherry Kuzan, RN, who serves as the Breast Health Specialist and Manager of the University of Washington/Valley Medical Clinic Breast Center. In addition to all of the informational booths to feed the brain, Saturday’s Market will feed visitors’ soul with its weekly musical entertainment. This week’s singer is Louisa Benitez, who performs some Brazilian songs in Portuguese.
If that’s not enough to draw visitors to this final Saturday, the cookie-decorating opportunity is certain to appeal. George’s Bakery, a North Bend favorite, and a highly-ranked destination has been a star of MVFM for these last two seasons. Children and adults alike “ooh” and “aah” over the bigger-than-life, dream-come-true baked goods at this booth. On this final Saturday, Joe McKeown , owner of George’s Bakery, will sponsor a gingerbread cookie decorating event, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and lasting until all of the gingerbread cookies disappear. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market President, urges everyone with a sense of artistry and a child-like adoration of frosting to attend this fun event. Laise-Jonas said, “Joe and his partner Kathy have been so supportive of our Farmers’ Market, and we are so lucky to have them vend at our market. I believe everyone with a sweet tooth would agree! Independent bakers are becoming fewer and fewer, and I am thankful that they have chosen to be part of our Farmers’ Market family.”
Of course, the core of the Market, even in its final hours, is the vendors. Smart shoppers will find the perfect fall treasures among the huge mounds of orange pumpkins, freshly-picked white and yellow corn, apples, squashes, onions, eggplant, peppers, brilliant flower bouquets, and other freshly-harvested harbingers of fall. It’s also visitors’ last weekend until next June to stock up on the array of balsamic vinegars, local honey, meats from Lind’s Meat, biscotti and bakery bread for the freezer, and fresh goat cheese, as well as all of the artistic creations (Christmas shopping, anyone?). Remember that none of these items will be available again until June 2013! All of the processed food vendors will be at the Market on Saturday, as well, offering biscotti, hot soups, wraps, cookies, sandwiches, cupcakes, and more—both breakfast and lunch goodies are plentiful.
It’s the end of a highly successful MVFM season and a day not to be missed. Stop by and savor the experience, on this final Maple Valley Farmers’ Market. It’s the “Saturday morning place to be” from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at email@example.com. Note: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas
A steaming-hot Chili Cook-off event is a fitting celebration for a summer marked by 48 rainless days and sunshine streaming its way right into September. Local home chefs and cooks are urged to join in this tasty chili-cookin’ competition sponsored by Ross Olive of State Farm Insurance in Maple Valley.
While Olive has arranged for prizes, including $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place, and $50 for People’s Choice, the chili cook-off also serves as a fundraiser for the Farmers’ Market. For a $5.00 donation, the public will be able to sample all of the competing chili recipes, while helping to fund the operational costs of running a non-profit 501c3 Farmers’ Market. Sampling starts at 11:00 a.m., and interested tasters should plan to arrive early, as last year’s chili sold out way earlier than expected. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, commented that she expects this year’s event to be as popular as last year’s, an “event that the community embraced to help sustain our local farmers’ market!”
Those interested in exercising their culinary muscles should quickly contact Larry Gholston before all of the spots are filled; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 206.291.5736. More specific information about the chili cook-off, and how to enter, is available at MVFM’s website at www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket, under the “Events” tab. Those interested in participating should note that they can arrive as early as 6:30 a.m. to set up their space and must turn in their chili for judging at 11:00 a.m.
As always, nonprofit booths have a standing reservation at the Market, and this weekend Fountain Court Senior Living, an assisted living facility that also offers independent living cottages for seniors, will host a booth. In addition, Maple Valley City Council will answer questions and provide information, and the ever-popular Master Gardeners will return for a horticultural visit.
Musical entertainment will keep the chili’s heat blasting with the Maple Valley Big Band, a group of mostly local musicians who enjoy playing the great music from the big band era of the 1930′s and 40′s. Musician Ted Argo says, “We usually have five saxophones, four trumpets, and four trombones, as well as a full rhythm section. It is exciting music that will make you want to get up and dance! We are open to any experienced musicians that want to participate in playing swing and Latin, boogie-woogie and beautiful ballads. Stop by and enjoy the rare opportunity to hear live big band music!”
Even with so many events taking place, it is impossible to overlook the core of the Market—the farmers with their brilliant array of fresh, local, fall produce; the prepared foods whose tasty aromas drift lazily through the fall air; the artistic creations that lure visitors’ gazes and pocketbooks; the gorgeous armloads of flowers that adorn the flower stalls; and the varied array of unusual and locally-made items including jam, cheese, meat, dairy products, bread, lavender products, hot sauce, and too many more to mention.
Visitors, however, will want to take special care to visit the Liberty Alpacas booth, a Maple Valley farm new to the MVFM this year. After recognizing the advantages of alpaca ownership and having had prior livestock experience and professional business experience, Jeff and Lorrie Williamson started raising alpacas in 2007. Their website states, “As newer breeders, the ‘alpaca learning curve’ is fresh in our minds, and we can relate to questions and anxieties about starting up an alpaca business. We use a daily hands-on approach with our young stock and intentionally keep our herd small for the best farming practices. Currently, we are raising our herd of Huacaya alpacas, focusing on a colored program with bloodlines such as Premier Absolute, Hemingway, Snowmass and Accoyo Victor. As well as raising these beautiful animals, we are the Pacific Northwest authorized distributor of MSA green panel equipment for small livestock. One can never have too many alpacas or green panels! We invite you to arrange a visit and see what alpaca life is all about.”
This Saturday is the third-to-last Saturday to enjoy the wonders of Maple Valley’s own Farmers’ Market, so there is no time to waste. The “Saturday morning place to be” is winding down for the season, but there is still ample time to savor its riches, as the Market continues through October 6 at Rock Creek Elementary School from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. each Saturday. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at email@example.com. All MVFM fans are encouraged to “Friend us on FACEBOOK.” NOTE: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.
The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market offers many delights–live music, artistic creations, delicious prepared foods, a chance to mingle with friends and neighbors, and a chance to slow down one’s busy life and wander from stall to stall, admiring each vendor’s presentation and passion. But the core of the Market is the opportunity to purchase freshly-picked, locally-grown, health-enhancing foods offered right in the heart of Maple Valley.
And, so, this Saturday at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Visitors can admire the brilliant colors and flavors of fall produce—tomatillos, an array of bright peppers, succulent honeydew, brilliant tomatoes, juicy peaches, makings for the most delicious salad imaginable, crunchy apples, and much more—all local, fresh, healthy, and much of it organic. Not feeling like chopping? Try a fresh loaf of bread from George’s Bakery in North Bend; sample flavor-enhancing oils and vinegars, sauces, or preservative-free jam; buy gluten-free gourmet items, fresh goat cheese and smoked cheese, beef sausage and jerky, or locally-made wine; or treat your mouth to just-picked berries or a bite of sweet potato pie. Visitors can leave the Market laden with bags of produce certain to add bright color and great taste to kitchens that are too often littered instead with fast-food trash, and can help their families gain a renewed appreciation for the meaning of the word “fresh.”
Lake Wilderness Arboretum will have a booth at the Market this week, as well, offering residents a great chance to learn more about this beautiful treasure right in our own community. And, Sugar and Spice Alpacas will bring their alpaca family to Saturday’s Market—always a delight for visitors young and old, and adults may want to learn about the classes offered by owner Marisa Dobiash. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, said, “I personally took a class from Marisa and made a wool scarf. I loved learning how to work with the wet wool technique and made a beautiful pink, beige, green and tan scarf. Marisa was a very patient instructor who shared a wealth of information on working with raw alpaca wool.”
Music is an essential part of every Market Saturday, and this week will feature a Seattle pop grunge band from Maple Valley. At 11:00, the band Sealth, playing together since 2006, will provide its sweet therapy for tired feet and weary souls. Sealth is comprised of teachers from the Rock ‘n’ More Music Academy: Dace Anderson on guitar, vocals; Arielle Young on guitar, piano, vocals, and Mitchell Fund on vocals. They’ve enjoyed fame in the Seattle area: playing the national anthem for about 4000 people at Key Arena in Seattle before a Rat City Rollergirls bout in June; releasing an album on iTunes called “Vaguely Familiar” in 2009; and producing a film that they played at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival in 2010. The group often plays community festivals including Maple Valley Days, Covington Days, Cornucopia Days, and Kent 4th of July Splash, and fundraisers, including Rock ‘n’ More, Gilda’s Club, Valley Girls and Guys. Interestingly enough, the musicians also work jobs outside of music: Arielle is a graphic designer who has had art shows in Maple Valley, Issaquah, Bellevue, and Redmond; Dace has had columns run in newspapers in Maple Valley, Kent, Black Diamond, Kent, and Tukwila; and both Arielle and Dace are mascots for the Rat City Rollergirls roller derby. Mitch works as a quartz miner. Visitors to the MVFM won’t want to miss these versatile and talented musicians, and will also want to thank Dace Anderson for supporting the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market this season as an Entertainment Sponsor.
The joy of Saturday’s Market will be a bit bittersweet, as only three more Saturdays remain before the season ends on October 6. Stop by and savor the experience, as the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is the “Saturday morning place to be” from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All MVFM fans are encouraged to “Friend us on FACEBOOK.” NOTE: This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.
The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will hold its 3rd Annual Home-style Chili Cook Off on Saturday, September 22nd at Rock Creek Elementary School. This annual event is sponsored by Ross Olive State Farm Insurance and will be a judged event with cash prizes being awarded for 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place and People’s Choice Award winners. Public sampling of all the chili entries will be available, beginning at 11:00 a.m., for a $5.00 donation to the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.
Space is limited. Cooks interested in learning more about this contest are encouraged to contact Larry Gholston at email@example.com or (206) 291-5736.