Maple Valley Farmers Market

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Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Accepting Vendor Applications for Season Six – February 2, 2014

February 4th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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This year’s Market season will run for 16 consecutive weeks, beginning Saturday, June 21, and running through Saturday, October 4. Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas said, “Our Farmers’ Market has become a highly desirable destination point for our community, and we do anticipate that our vendor stall space will fill up quickly, so if folks are interested in participating this year – apply early!”

The Farmers’ Market is seeking applications from farmers, processors, prepared food vendors, and artisans/crafters.  Interested vendors should check info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or call 425 463-6751.

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market – “It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”  Friend us on facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Annual Chili Cook-Off Heats Up the Farmers’ Market – Saturday, September 14th!

September 9th, 2013 at 8:24 am by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     A steaming-hot Chili Cook-Off event is a fitting celebration for a summer marked by an amazing stretch of rainless days, warm nights, 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 at Four Corners Safeway Plaza.

     Olive has arranged for $275 worth of cash prizes, including $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place,  $50 for 3rd place, and $50 for People’s Choice, all for a $15 entry fee for returning chefs, and a no-cost entry for chili cooks entering the Cook-off for the first time. 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 12:05 p.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 larry@payrollsolutionswa.com, 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 must attend the cooks’ meeting at 9:30 a.m. and must submit their chili by noon. Awards will be given at 1:30 p.m.

     As always, nonprofit booths have a standing reservation at the Market, and this weekend Ensemble Ballet Theatre (EBT) of Maple Valley will host a booth. According to its website, EBT offers dance rehearsals, performances, classes, and costumes at no cost, with a “nominal membership fee required” (http://www.ebtballet.org). Each year EBT stages professional style ballet productions of “The Nutcracker” in the winter and a classical ballet in the spring.   In addition, Maple Valley City Council will answer questions and provide information, and the ever-popular Master Gardeners will return for a horticultural visit. Finally, representatives of Tahoma School District will be available to answer questions about the November school district bond issue to build a new high school,  and remodel and realign existing ones.

     Musical entertainment will keep the chili’s heat blasting with Clifford Okamoto, who has been playing guitar for forty years, as well as harmonica and ukulele. Okamoto’s music is primarily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and JJ Cale, and MVFM visitors can enjoy his renditions beginning at 11:00 a.m.

     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 honey, meat, dairy products, bread, lavender products, sweet potato pie, olive oil, flavored nuts, and too much more to mention…customers will need to wander through the Market for awhile to get a glimpse of all that is offered.

     This Saturday is the fourth-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 5 at Rock Creek Elementary School from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. each Saturday. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  All MVFM fans are encouraged to “Friend us on FACEBOOK” or follow us on Twitter.   NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

It’s the 5th Annual National Farmers’ Market Day at the MVFM! Saturday, August 10th

August 8th, 2013 at 2:46 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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      To qualify for membership benefits in the Washington State Farmers’ Market Association (WSFMA), Maple Valley Farmers’ Market must submit a yearly vendor roster showing at least five vendors who are classified as “farmers.”  These farmers must raise the produce, plants, or animals that they sell on land they own or lease/rent in Washington or in counties bordering Washington. The farmers also may process produce grown on their property into a value-added product, such as jam, cider, or salsa. To further insure that farmers are the main thrust of the Maple Valley’s Farmers’ Market, the WSFMA requires that the total combined gross annual sales of processors and/or resellers not exceed the total gross annual Market sales of the farmers.

      With such a strong emphasis on the farmer—the essential backbone of all farmers’ markets–and to further promote awareness of farmers’ markets and of the contributions farmers make to daily life in America, it makes sense that MV Farmers’ Market will celebrate Saturday, August 10, as National Farmers’ Market Day. As our community has experienced for the four previous seasons and the first half of Season Five, local farmers’ market offer affordable and healthful products sold directly from the farm in their freshest possible state, increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children and families, which can help promote child health and reduce childhood obesity.  In addition, farmers’ markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems, supporting family farms, revitalizing local communities, providing important outlets for producers, and providing the opportunity for farmers and consumers to interact.   When visitors come to their local market this Saturday, they should make it a point to introduce themselves to our farmers and thank them for the role they play in sustaining farmland in America and for bringing fresh local produce to our community.           

       The farmers’ stands will be in abundant array this Saturday, as they are on every Market Saturday. Farmers this week include Jose Bautista, Xee Yang Gardens, Hayton Farms, Seeyee Ch Mai Houa Gardens, Julio Silva Outlook Produce Farms, Lor Vegetable and Flower, Bees in the Burbs, Debbie Frank’s Gone to Seed, Children’s Garden, Cha and Shaw Farm, Sweet Briar Farm, Calhoun Family Fruit, Lavender Valley Farm, Ayala Farms, Lopez Farms, Thistlewood Farms, and the Mason Jar. They will be selling fresh vegetables, including beets, garlic, squash, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, and chili peppers; fresh fruits, including berries, peaches, apricots, and plums; fresh flower bouquets; herb pots; locally-made wine; honey; and USDA-approved, grass-fed beef that is farm-grown and free of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.  Visitors can chat with the farmers to learn how and where the item is grown, and how recently it was harvested (sometimes that same morning!), while they admire the hard work and great love that farming entails.  With seventeen farmers’ booths, visitors can certainly fulfill their entire week’s produce shopping list before moving on to the 19 stalls displaying processed foods, meats, wine, milk, arts and crafts, and sugar-haven, hand-baked delights.

     In addition to all of the food and farmer choices this Saturday, local non-profit organizations include Master Gardeners and Cedar River Church of Christ, and busker/trumpet player and junior high student Peter Seely will be back for another week of sidewalk entertainment.

     At 11:00, the band Train Wreck from Covington will performs a variety of rock and roll, country, and pop favorites. Tony Garcia is the designated front man, who plays bass and shares the main vocal work with Brad Naybert, the main guitar player and vocalist. Mark Arnold, percussionist, provides rhythm and drive for the band on his South American Cajon, while Gordy Birse plays guitar and mandolin, and sings harmony. Train Wreck’s music is a mix of country, folk, rock, gospel and bluegrass. Visitors to the MVFM won’t want to miss these versatile and talented musicians.

     While it’s National Farmers’ Market Day, it’s also a great day for customers, so arrive bright and early this ninth Saturday of the fifth season of your local Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, the “Saturday morning place to be” from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  All MVFM fans are encouraged to “Friend us on FACEBOOK or follow up on Twitter.”   Note:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

    Saturday mornings are made for gentle beginnings, for a leisurely start to the day, for treating oneself after a long week.  “What better way to indulge oneself than to visit Maple Valley’s very own Farmers’ Market?” asks Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas. 

     Visitors to the Market don’t even have to eat breakfast before arriving, as a wide array of breakfast treats is available. EJ’s Custom Catering offers breakfast frittatas, breakfast burritos, soups, salads, pasta dishes, BBQ pork, and mango berry lemonade –all prepared by local Maple Valley chef and caterer Eric Elmer, who utilizes locally grown, organic, natural products to craft freshly-prepared comfort foods both at the Market and in his jobs catering weddings, receptions, business events, family parties, and even home meals.

     Another Market favorite is George’s Bakery, an “old-fashioned scratch bakery” owned by Joseph McKeown and Kathy Stokesberry, who have a storefront in North Bend and who began to sell at farmers’ markets five years ago.  Bakery delights include their best-seller, plate-sized fresh donuts, along with challah bread and sandwich bread, apple cinnamon loaf, sticky buns, and cookies. Stokesberry advises Market shoppers to watch for George’s Bakery’s upcoming seasonal peach pie, which will be made with fresh peaches from Calhoun Family Fruit, a MVFM vendor, who, according to Stokesberry, “grows the best soft fruit ever!” George’s Bakery sponsored the Donut Art for children, a popular event earlier in the season.

     And, word at the Market this year is that Jack is back!  After a year’s absence, Jack Emmons is back at the market with Mitzel’s American Kitchen’s shiny new food truck, straight from their restaurant in Kent.  Emmons said, “Mitzel’s is all about Northwest Fresh, serving up our famous fish and chips, juicy bacon cheeseburgers, fresh strawberry lemonade and delicious strawberry shortcake.” Mitzel’s also offers breakfast fare at the MVFM: biscuit sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, coffee and mocha frappes.  

     New to this year’s Market is Panda Dim Sum, operated by Jovy So, who offers hot Chinese foods prepared on site each day. Customers can taste dim sum, shrimp salad with crispy noodles, BBQ pork, and chicken Hum Bao, and quench their thirst with mango pineapple lemonade or strawberry lemonade. So says of her dim sum offerings: “They’re cute. They’re tasty. They’re Dim Sum.”

     Those with a sweet tooth might want to indulge in cupcakes, cheesecake cupcakes, cake pops, cupcake cones brownies, and sandwich cookies from Judy-Jo Tyler’s The Cupcakery. Tyler offers made from scratch baked goods that she says will make your “taste buds thank you.”

     Also making an appearance at this Saturday’s Market is Rainy Day Sweets, operated by Danielle Santos of Maple Valley. She will be selling cupcakes, cookies, and breads.

     Victoria Laise Jonas said, “All of these vendors are local business owners who have committed to the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.   Most signed up for the entire 17-week season and have not missed a Saturday.  Come say ‘hi’ to these wonderful folks!”

      While the breakfast treats fill the stomach and set a happy glow upon the day, the Market offers even more. Saturday is Fresh Fruit Pie Bake-Off, a competition open to youth (ages 17 and under), adults (ages 18-49), and seniors (50 and over).  This special event is sponsored by Always Best Care Services Eastside, owned by Patty Davis, a co-founder of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, and her husband Michael Davis. Those wanting to enter the pie competition must submit one completely homemade pie, including homemade crust, in a disposable tin. The filling must be fresh fruit only–no tarts, crisps, creams, meringues, pumpkins, or custards, etc., will be accepted. Pies, accompanied by the registration form and the recipe on a 4 x 6 card, may be submitted between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., and judging will begin at 11:45 a.m. Participants need not be present at judging time to win the prizes. Prizes range from $25 Market Bucks, (1st place in each division) to $5 in Market Bucks (3rd place in each division). All winners will also receive a ribbon and certificate.  Specific rules are available at http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/2013_Pie_Rules.pdf.

     In addition to Saturday’s food events—more than enough to quell even the most persistent hunger pangs—the Market will be ripe with farmers’ stalls, processed foods, flowers, nuts, pasta, vinegars, honey, plants, jewelry, clothing, hand-created children’s bibs and aprons, and candles. In addition, King County Solid Waste, Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, and Master Gardeners will make appearances and provide complimentary advice and information.

     Many customers visit each week around 11:00 so that they can enjoy the weekly musical entertainment.  This Saturday’s music is provided by Acoustic Couti, who performs familiar, traditional tunes ranging from acoustic swing, ragtime, blues, and jazz standards, to country blues. The Couti includes Phil Hansen on vocals and guitar, Cody Tedrick on lead guitar, and Lucy Potyokim on bass guitar.  The trio has performed at the Antique Sandwich Company and at Folklife 2013, among other regional performances.

     And, for further entertainment, the Market is adding buskers to its line-up, which, according to Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, provides an “added dimension to the atmosphere.” She said, “I received a lot of positive comments about having this type of performance outside our main market area.”  The season’s first busker, youth entertainer Peter Seely, who will be a freshman at Tahoma Junior High this fall, will return for his second appearance on Saturday. Seely, a four-year trumpet player, made his premier performance as a busker on July 13, and said that he decided to perform at the Market to gain experience in performing for crowds.  He said, “I was surprised by the number of customers who stopped to tell me to ‘Keep playing!’”  Others interested in busking should visit http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/Vendor-Info.html.

     Come for the beautiful fresh foods, local products, and lovingly-handcrafted products; come to support local entrepreneurs; come for the pie contest; come for the music; come to see your neighbors…but don’t miss the seventh Saturday of the fifth season of your local Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, the “Saturday morning place to be” from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.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 days of summer are so magical that many wish they could preserve the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes for revisiting on a grey and rainy fall day.  With a visit to Saturday’s Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, however, area residents can at least learn to preserve summer’s tastes with a canning demonstration beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas organized the event after learning last year to can pickled beets and dilly green beans, both of which she purchased at the 2012 MV Farmers’ Market.  Laise Jonas said, “I make a big batch and then reap the rewards of my time and patience. I especially enjoy knowing that I have a supply of canned products on hand when I am entertaining or having a family get-together.  This year I plan on making more pickled beets, and I will be trying my hand at making salsa.” Laise Jonas urges area residents to do the same by attending the canning demonstration and shopping the 16 farmers’ stands for canning ingredients.

     Community volunteer Samantha Morgan, a five-year Maple Valley resident, will be making an informal presentation on the art of canning.  Morgan noted that she started canning about 13 years ago to “steer my family to minimally processed foods. My son has multiple food allergies and an autoimmune disorder that causes his body to see certain foods as parasite type invaders. One of his big triggers is corn, and it is hard to find anything at the store that does not contain corn in one form or another. The more I learned about how awful some of the food-like substances that we eat are, the more I wanted to can. My family has started refusing ‘store bought’ versions of many products; in fact, when we ran out of tomato soup last winter, they were devastated. I love to can tomatoes, as they are super versatile and can be canned many different ways so that you never get bored. Last year my homemade Bloody Mary mix was a huge hit!”

     In addition to the regular array of processors, artisans, and prepared food vendors, non-profit booths this Saturday include Shadow Bog, PEO, Wilderness Animal Hospital, St. George’s Church, Maple Valley Writers, and Maple Valley Food Bank and Emergency Services.  A fresh produce sampling booth will be available for all visitors to sample fresh, local produce at its peak.

     Music also creates memories that can be filed away for winter savoring, and this week’s music will be provided at 11:00 a.m. as Tori Whitten, now in her fifth year of public performing, shares some of her country and pop music repertoire.  Whitten, who has been singing since the age of three, is sixteen years old and travelled to Nashville in 2010 to record four original songs.  She has performed this year at Bloomsday in Spokane, where she was voted #1 for Entertainment; the Portland Rose Festival; Meeker Days, Maple Valley Days; and The Mercantile in Enumclaw. On Saturday Tori will be joined by her friend Grant for some acoustic songs. More information and samples of her music can be found at http://artistecard.com/ToriWhitten.

     This year’s Market welcomed back Hayton Farms from Mt. Vernon, growers of organic strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Angelica Hayton is the fifth generation to work her Fir Island farm, established in 1876. She said, “Farmers’ markets were the perfect extension to our summer stand at the end of the driveway. They have put us in touch with knowledgeable and appreciative customers and supporters. After many years of selling our berries at the markets and getting asked if we were organic and having to say no and explain why not and how we treated the plants/fruit, it is so exciting and rewarding to finally be able to tell our customers that we are certified organic.  Not only do we feel that the plants are much healthier, we are so proud of the end product and love dispersing it throughout the community via farmers’ markets.” Hayton’s berries have been known to sell out at the MVFM, and are a popular item for visitors.  This Saturday’s visitors may want to take home some berries and try their hand at jam-making and canning.

     The MVFM Board wishes to remind all that Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is “the Saturday morning place to be!” this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School on Maple Valley Highway.  More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  Victoria Laise-Jonas, President of the MVFM, urges MVFM fans to “Friend us on FACEBOOK” or follow us on Twitter mvfm2013.     NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

 

It’s Kids’ Day at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market! Saturday, July 13th

July 7th, 2013 at 7:56 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     While every day at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is “kids’ day,” this Saturday, July 13, is the tsunami of all Saturday Markets, at least in the eyes of the younger set. Games and prizes, face-painting, Donut Art sponsored by George’s Bakery, free tattoos and giveaways at the Kinder Swimmer Booth, and a visit to the renowned Mrs. Utter Butter and the new bee box will make this Saturday’s Market Day the highlight of the season for children of all ages.  And a returning favorite activity for the younger set is our annual Scavenger Hunt!  No Maple Valley child should miss this special day.

     Kids are always drawn toward food, so they should check out George’s Bakery’s plate-sized donuts, certain to open children’s eyes as wide as the donuts themselves; Chelane’s shimmery fresh cane sugar fruit jam; the produce vendors’ succulent fresh fruit; The Cupcakery’s enticing cupcakes; and the nuts from Straus Bavarian Nuts and Pike Place Nuts, in addition to the remaining of the 23 total farmers/processors’ booths. Brilliant bouquets of flowers, milk, samples of flavored balsamic vinegar, freshly-made pasta, brilliantly-colored produce, and plants will entrance both the younger and older sets.  EJ’s Custom Catering, with its pulled pork, breakfast burritos, frittatas, assorted artisan salads and soups, and mango berry coolers may start children begging for some change, and the other prepared-food booths will also set stomachs rumbling. An array of art will also be available on Saturday, with jewelry, soap, children/adult aprons and clothing, art glass, and much more. 

     To enhance the focus on the younger set, Kinder Swimmer Light of Life Preschool, Kinder Swimmer, and will have non-profit booths this week, and they will be joined by the Master Gardeners, Multi Care, Shadow Bog, and the Maple Valley City Council.

     And, if parents or grandparents want to expose the younger generation to live music, they can wander over at 11:00 a.m. to listen to a Seattle pop grunge band from Maple Valley. Mascots for the Rat City Rollergirls, Dace and Arielle Anderson run a 501(c)3 nonprofit music school, Dace’s Rock ‘n’ More Music Academy. According to their website, http://www.zazzle.com/sealthlive/about, their band, Sealth, which is based out of Seattle, “blends a potentially dangerous cocktail made of equal parts hometown grunge and classic rock with a heavy dose of hairspray.” The band combines musical influences ranging from Poison to Pearl Jam and Yes to Neil Young and takes pride in juxtaposing choreographed dance moves with wailed “angst shrieks,” and then exploding into an “epic blues-inspired guitar solo.” They are “a potent mixture of grunge with a heavy dose of hairspray,” and Market visitors can see them at 11:00 on Saturday. In addition, Dace Anderson is the exclusive Entertainment Sponsor for this year’s market season.

     Those visiting the Market unaccompanied by minors may be interested in Covington Quilt Guild’s Outdoor Quilt Show, who will share their love of quilting with a large booth of HUG quilts (charity quilts), a magnificent raffle quilt, a number of prize-winning quilts, and a sample of small quilts that will be available at their annual show on August 2, 3, and 4.  In addition, Market Manager Victoria Laise Jonas will hang some of her quilts around the Market place.

     And, both children and adults will want to visit one of the new farms joining the Market this year–Mason Jar Farm from Enumclaw, selling fresh, local, free-range eggs; veggie starts; plants; and locally grown produce, veggies, and berries. Owner-operator Jenni Minnis, an Enumclaw native, is a first-year farmer’s market entrepreneur and is also selling at the Orting Farmers’ Market. Her 9.5 acre farm boasts two acres of produce, as well as a greenhouse, and her sustainable farming operation carefully adheres to the principles of organic farming.

     Minnis’ passion is the people at the Market, and she especially enjoys those repeat customers who return to buy the following week. She also loves the Market student interns and volunteers who “have saved me so many times and literally make it so much easier.” She enjoys the fact that Maple Valley’s Market is very well-organized and that its “location is really good. It’s not always just local people, but includes many who are returning from Mt. Rainier or other destinations.”  Minnis’ passion is getting kids reconnected with food, teaching them about canning and where food comes from. She loves to host groups at her farm and welcomes visitors. She lets kids experience farm chores; do blindfold taste tests on mustard greens, kale, and lettuce; and lets them see where their food originates.  Those interested in visiting her operating farm can email Minnis at plateaugirl@comcast.net and can get more information on her website, http://www.themasonjarfarm.com or on her Facebook page.

     Victoria Laise Jonas, Market Manager, said, “Jenni is a delightful addition in offering up highly sought fresh eggs, veggie starts, plants and produce.  She mixes up her market stall, creatively designing unique home decorations that I can’t resist!  I am confident that Jenni will have a very successful market season and I encourage all of our customers to stop by her market stall and say, ‘Hi, and welcome her to Maple Valley!’”

     The MVFM Board wishes to remind all that Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is “the Saturday morning place to be!” this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School on Maple Valley Highway.  More information on Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is available at (425) 463-6751 or at  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  Victoria Laise Jonas, President of the MVFM, urges MVFM fans to “Friend us on FACEBOOK” and follow us on Twitter@MVFM2013   NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Red, White, and Blues Day at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market– Saturday July 6th

July 2nd, 2013 at 7:43 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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In a post-Independence Day extravaganza, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will celebrate Red, White and Blues Day on Saturday, July 6, from 9:00-2:00. Festivities include a Watermelon Eating Contest at 10:30 a.m. and a Patriotic Hat Day Contest–those who wear a patriotic hat will earn a Market Buck to spend at one of the varied vendors.

To further the patriotic theme, the Veterans of Foreign War will participate in a short program at 10:00 a.m., and Friends of Troops from Shepherd of the Valley Church will also host a booth.  The group was founded in 2003 by Mrs. T.A. (Louise) Brown, who wanted to help military personnel in Iraq.  Starting with the names of five military police, she sent prayers, care packages, and postcards, and held annual “Welcome Home, Hero” celebrations for military personnel who served in war zones.  Current projects include collecting t-shirts and elastic-banded gym shorts for wounded troops, as well as sending boxes to Afghanistan filled with high-protein snacks and personal care items.  More information can be obtained at Saturday’s Market or by emailing Barbara.L.Jensen@comcast.net

As always, 40+ vendors will offer freshly-picked, health-inducing fruits and vegetables; custom meat; milk; just-made baked goods, including freshly baked sweet potato pie, sandwiches, soups; fresh nuts; honey; pasta; dazzling, inexpensive flower bouquets with local, in-season flowers to brighten any home; juried and unique jewelry; wood products; lavender products; locally-bottled wine; garlic spread, and plants.  In addition, homemade jams, spices and vinegars will again tempt the palate and bring vivid reminders of the Market all year long.

With a further nod to the week’s theme of Red, White, and Blues Day, the day’s music is bluegrass and more, provided by the five-member band Convergence Zone beginning at 11:00 a.m.  The band has performed at numerous openings, concerts, and  in Stanwood at the Lights of Christmas festival.

For the second year, Maple Valley Farmers’ Market features JudyJo Tyler’s The Cupcakery, featuring made-from-scratch-in-Maple Valley cupcakes, cheesecake cupcakes, cake pops, cupcake cones, sandwich cookies, other cookies, and candies. Cupcakes come in multiple flavors, including her new wine-flavored cupcakes and cheesecake cupcakes, and varied sizes, and can also be ordered online or by phone, and then delivered free of charge to The Spot Coffee and Wine in the Maple Valley Town Center. Tyler is a member of the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce and uses the kitchen at Black Diamond Masonic Lodge. She has sold her goodies previously at the Auburn Farmers’ Market, the Kent Farmers’ Market, Maple Valley Days, the Auburn Fourth of July Celebration, school bazaars, and Cutter’s Coffee Shop. Local residents can see Tyler driving her Chevy Equinox around town, decorated happily with cupcake graphics, and can order some of her goodies at her website, www.thecupcakeryofmaplevalley.com.

Whether it’s the freshest produce, fruit, and flowers around town; fresh watermelon; the unique products made by local entrepreneurs; the music; the delicious food items; the artwork; or the chance to catch up with neighbors and friends, Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, held from 9:00-2:00 this Saturday at Rock Creek Elementary, is definitely the “Saturday morning place to be!” For more information about the Farmers’ Market, visit our web-site www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or e-mail us at: info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  Friend us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.   Note:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

 

 

Finally, It’s Opening Day for the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market!

June 8th, 2013 at 8:49 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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             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  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  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 info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.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 info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org 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

 

 

 

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

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