Maple Valley Farmers Market

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Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Looking for 2012 Vendors and Volunteers

April 8th, 2012 at 5:39 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     While the weather certainly doesn’t seem like spring yet, Maple Valley Farmers’ Market season is only 81 days from opening for its fourth season. In preparation for the June 16 Opening Day, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is currently looking for individuals interested in being part of the 2012 Maple Valley Farmers’ Market. There are plenty of opportunities for residents to help this volunteer-run Market flourish—the Board of Directors loves to help match potential volunteers’ talents with the needs of the Market.

     Vendor applications are now available, and residents should consider joining the Market vendors this year.  Are you an artist? A seamstress? A weaver?  Does everyone beg you for your canned green beans or your secret-recipe vegetable dip mix? Do you have local garden space you’ve been dying to plant with herbs or heirloom vegetables or sunny-bright flowers? Join the Market, and become one of 40+ vendors each week visited by an average of 1350 visitors during the four-hour market day.

         You might also want to consider being a busker at this year’s Market. Buskers—a new word for many in our community—are street performers who may be actors, singers, musicians, jugglers, mimes, human statues, magicians, acrobatics, tumblers, cyclists, puppeteers, or other types of performers. Victoria Laise-Jonas, Market Manager, said, “We are absolutely thrilled this year to invite local buskers to share their talents and entertain our shoppers.  While we cannot pay them for their services, they will be allowed to demonstrate their special talents and take tips from grateful fans. We are looking forward to opening up this opportunity to all ages, all talents and skill levels.  Those interested should check the website for details.”

     No time to volunteer? Nothing to sell at the Market?  No talent to perform? Still want to be a part of the Market?  There are 2012 sponsorship opportunities available.  The Market couldn’t function without its sponsorships,  ranging from $50-$2,500.  A list of 2012 sponsors is available on the website.  Information on all of these opportunities is available at  www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org Friend us on “Facebook!”   NOTE: This post was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is Gearing Up for a Fourth Season

March 8th, 2012 at 9:04 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     The sunlight is visiting more frequently, the daylight is less reluctant to depart, a handful of the flowering cherry blossoms farther north are starting to bloom, and a few of our more-ambitious neighbors are planting their peas and lettuce.  All of these indicators of spring mean that it won’t be long before the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market season kicks off for its fourth season!  While Opening Day is still about 90 days away on the calendar, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors is currently looking for individuals interested in being part of the planning for Maple Valley’s own local farmers’ market. There are plenty of opportunities for residents to help this volunteer-run Market flourish—the Board of Directors loves to help would be-volunteers’ talents with the needs of the Market.

     Vendor applications are now available, and residents should consider joining the Market vendors this year.  Do you have a craft?  Do you make a homemade specialty product? Do you have local garden space you’ve been dying to plant? Join the Market, and become one of 40+ vendors each week visited by an average of 1350 visitors during the four-hour market day.

     Not a volunteer? No time to become a vendor?  Still want to be a part of the Market?  There are 2012 sponsorship opportunities available.  The Market couldn’t function without its sponsors, and the sponsorships range from $50-$2,500.  A list of 2011 sponsors is available on the website.

     Victoria Laise Jonas, co-founder and Market Manager, is one of the Market’s most ardent fans.  She said, “Our ‘Saturday Morning Place to Be’ Maple Valley Farmers’ Market continues to grow and change, but it remains unique in that it is able to offer a gathering place for local farmers and artisans to provide quality products to our customers. Not only can one shop, but you can actually visit with each vendor face to face.  Where else can you see the person who grew your food, or made your apron, or bottled your jam, or grew your flowers, or crafted your earrings?  Help us continue to keep the Market vibrant and fresh by joining us as a volunteer, vendor, or sponsor.” 

     Information on all of these opportunities is available at  www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  Friend us on “Facebook!”    NOTE: Article written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas

 

 

 

 

     On Saturday, October 1, accompanied by a steady mist of rain and a brilliant array of harvest-time fruits and vegetables, the third season of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market came to an end. With 80 total vendors and approximately 21,000 visitors during the sixteen-week season, Board President Victoria Laise-Jonas could scarcely contain her enthusiasm.  She said, “This season was by far the best yet. With a record number of vendors at the market this year, the attendance was significantly up, and our overall sales for the market were up.  It was a great third year and it was due to our vendors, customers, volunteers, local non-profit organizations, our local sponsors, and the City of Maple Valley and the Tahoma School District, major co-sponsors of our very own Market.”

      Several new farmers and producers made appearances this year, including Hayton Farms–freshly-picked, succulent berries; Cha Farms–fresh flowers, bouquets, and vegetables; Lind Custom Meats—custom smoked jerky, summer sausage, pepperoni, and smoked cheese; Grapevine Farm Alpacas—gloves, socks, hats, scarves, sweaters, and yarn; Ramon Ayala Farm–fresh fruit and produce; Bees in the Burbs—local honey and honey products; Covington Creek Nursery–trees and shrubs, herbs and vegetables, flowering annuals, perennials and unusual “hard to find” plants;  and a Taste of Eden–oils and vinegars.  New vendors of prepared foods included Mitzel’s–breakfast and lunch items; Theo Dorres Aromatics—hand-blended, flavor-infused artisan teas; G & T Enterprises—shaved ice; and Island Bites—Filipino and Hawaiian food items. New artists this year included Berwyn Smith Alluvion—wood products and planter boxes; Lissy Lou Designs–jewelry, note cards, wood bowls, wooden pens; The Quilter Heron—quilts, table runners, placemats, potholders; Uniquely Yours—feather design jewelry and hair accessories; Palouse Lautrec Woodworking Studio—garden art, wood working, and home accessories; Bohemian Rhapsody—sewn home accessories; Ducky’s Designs—silk-screened t-shirts; Artistry in Wood by Ed–wood bowls, platters and home accessories; and many youth entrepreneurs selling their hand-crafted products for the first time. And, of course, every Market Saturday was enhanced by the live performance of a local musician, many new this year, as well as a wide array of non-profit groups.

     While the addition of a new portable classroom at the Rock Creek Elementary and the corresponding loss of vendor space could have thrown a damper on the Market, the Board just rearranged the vendor tents and kept the Market vibrant and bustling.  Third-year vendor Lori Gommi of Mama Rizzo’s Biscotti, said, “All the vendors were wonderful and by the time the Market was over, we all felt like family.  I miss them already!  Each year the Market gets better.  I have quite a few regulars and therefore look forward to seeing all of them again next year.  There were three babies born during the Market, so it’s increasing whether we want it to or not.  Word is getting out about our Market and more and more and more people are coming to it!” 

     Elizabeth Hooton of Maple Valley’s Lavender Valley Farm noted, “I have been at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market since day one and each year it gets better.  Being a part of the local farmers’ market has not only helped my business grow, but I also love getting to interact with the other vendors and locals who come out to support it.  They have become my second family and I am already looking forward to next year!”

     Laise Jonas notes that the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Board of Directors played a critical role in the success of this market’s season.  She is appreciative of their commitment to sustaining a local Farmers’ Market and said that their hard work is paying off.  She added, “In addition, there are some amazing volunteers, actually behind-the-scenes-superstars, whose talents and dedication have made the Market what it is today!”

     Plans are already underway for the fourth season of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, the “Saturday Morning Place to Be,” which will commence on Saturday, June 16, 2012.  Anyone interested in joining in the planning phase for next year’s Market should contact Victoria Laise Jonas, @info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or (425) 463-6751, or friend us on FACEBOOK.    NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

Don’t Miss the Season Finale of Maple Valley Farmers’ Market, Season 3 – Saturday, October 1st

September 26th, 2011 at 11:04 am by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     It hardly seems possible that the third season of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will draw to its close Saturday at 1:00.  Final Saturday or not, there will be no quiet exit for the Market—rather, the day will be packed full of celebration events. Breast Cancer Awareness will be the theme of the week, a fitting tribute since Maple Valley’s own incredibly successful local team, Valley Girls and Guys, led the state and nation in fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, raising more than $320,000 by the second day of the walk. To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Day, everyone who wears pink to the market will get a surprise at the Information Booth.  In addition, local 3-Day representatives will be at the Market, as will Multicare. And, Kim and Jack Emmons of 4-Corners John L. Scott will have a breast cancer awareness information education booth set up, along with free giveaways (Note:  the Emmonses will also be fundraising at Safeway every weekend in October. Come support the cause and get a free hotdog!). 

     Joining  in the non-profit booths will be Sandy Bruce of Covington Quilt Guild; Stephanie Thomas with King County Master Recycler Composter Program; Clare Nance and the Green Team from Tahoma High; Maple Valley City Council; and the Maple Valley/Enumclaw Master Gardeners. Fortunate MVFM visitors can get their questions answered while they are filling their Market bags with the freshest of produce for the week ahead.

     A highlight of each week’s Market is its musical entertainment.  This week’s foot-tapping music will be provided at 11:00 by Josh’s Junction of Olympia, WA, featuring acoustic resophonic and acoustic guitar, along with a variety of other acoustic instruments. The group plays a mix of folk, country, blues, bluegrass and old-timey music, and enjoys performing at community events.

     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 on Trip Advisor, City Search, and Yelp, 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 and Kathy McKeown , owners 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.  A special vendor this week will be Piercy Farms of Moses Lake, who are bringing huge mounds of  orange pumpkins,  freshly-picked white and yellow corn, and other bountiful fall vegetables.  They will join the other farmers selling apples, squashes, onions, eggplant, peppers, 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 for your freezer, fresh goat cheese, and organic granola, as well as all of the artistic creations (Christmas shopping, anyone?).  Remember that none of these items will be available again until June 2012!  All of the processed food vendors will be at the Market on Saturday, as well, offering hot soups, hamburgers, cookies, sandwiches, bagels, 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 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.

Business Expo and Harvest-time Produce at Maple Valley Farmers’ Market – September 17th

September 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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      Why should area residents attend the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market this Saturday?  For one, time is running out—the Market has only three Saturdays remaining this season.  In addition, it’s prime harvest season for delicious apples and squash and pears and peaches. And, to add yet another reason to come to the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market this Saturday, it’s the second annual Prime Time Business Expo at the Market.

     The Business Expo, presented by the Greater Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the Lake Wilderness branch of KeyBank, provides an opportunity for the community to browse the products and services of local businesses.  Local businesses will have demonstrations, displays, promotional materials, and door prizes inside the gym at Rock Creek Elementary from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Admission is free, and door prizes will be awarded.  Kevin Patterson, Chamber of Commerce President, said, “This is a great opportunity for the community to discover or become reacquainted with many of our local businesses in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. It’s free, there are some great door prizes, and it’s a wonderful way to complete your visit to the Farmers’ Market.  The local businesses who have signed up so far include: Wilderness Animal Hospital, Millwork Outlet, Yummy Tummy, Carol’s Maple Valley Floral, Covington Copy it, Mail it, Fairwood CPA Services, BECU, Just for Them Gift Baskets, Aflac, Bella Fleur of Maple Valley, Junior Junction Day School, Edwards Jones, Vine Maple Place, The Loft Salon & Spa, The Water Distillery, The Blind Lady, Law Offices of David Moe, Party, Etc. John L. Scott, Holiday Inn, Cascades Chiropractic, Woody’s Floor Coverings, Tahoma Athletic Club, Custom Fit Nutrition, Thrive Community Fitness, Rejuve with Massage, Decor & You, Premier Designs Jewelry, Maple Valley Signs, MD Cote’ Medical Laser & Spa, SCSG & ERD Collections, Amway Global, MV Community Center, and Command Computers.

     One of this week’s Market non-profit booths will be hosted by the Tahoma Drama Booster Club.  Initiated in late 2008 by two parents who wanted to build support and help to grow the local drama program, the Boosters provide concessions and flower sales at local youth school productions, coordinate volunteer support, assist with drama production promotion, and apply for grants and financial support for the booming elementary through high school program.

     Another special event on Saturday is the visit by the Maple Valley/Enumclaw Master Gardeners, who arrive armed with multiple resources and a great deal of training to answer even the trickiest of gardening questions. Emily’s Sunshine Room, a business owned by a youth entrepreneur, will also join the  Market this Saturday.

     And, to add a lively spirit to the week, Gary Benson returns to the musical arena with a solo set of original and cover material and the  Pi-R Square Dance Club will entertain all with their square-dancing routines.

    Never to be forgotten, of course, is the foundation of the Market—the vendors.  In addition to the abundant local, fresh, harvest produce, the stalls are brimming with fresh flowers, cheese, dairy products, organic beef, jam, marinated vegetables, hot sauce, bakery products, prepared foods, breakfast and lunch items, beverages, and artisan products.  Visitors may want to pay a special visit to a vendor who has been with the Market since its inception three years ago—4-Ever Memories, owned by Christel Logsdon. Her booth sells an array of her creative hand-made products, including whimsical decorative solar yard lights, crocheted-top kitchen towels, washable microwave potato bags, hot pads and pot holders, shopping totes and fabric baskets, 100% cotton knitted and crocheted dish cloths, embroidered flour sack dish towels, and an assortment of aprons-half aprons and reversible full-sized ones. Logsdon’s booth will recall memories of one’s grandmother’s kitchen and will elicit a desire to do some old-fashioned baking.

       The Market’s bounty is a poignant treasure, for the clock is ticking on this third season, with only three remaining Saturdays. Open from 9 a.m. – 1:00  p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary, the Market is Maple Valley’s “Saturday morning place to be!” 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 weather was chilly for so much of the summer that Saturday’s second annual Chili Cook-off at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is a timely event. Ross Olive, of State Farm Insurance and Financial Service, at Chateau Business Park in Maple Valley, will again sponsor the Chili Cook-Off.  Olive believes that it is important that local businesses support these types of events, as they are the cornerstone of our community.    

     As a sponsor, Olive has arranged for prizes, including $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place and new this year, $50 for “People’s Choice”. The chili cook-off also serves as a fundraiser for the Farmers’ Market and Olive is proud to partake in this annual fundraiser for the  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 10:00 a.m., and interested tasters should plan to arrive early, as last year’s chili sold out way earlier than expected.  Victoria Laise-Jonas 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!” Specific information about the chili cook-off, and how to enter, is available at MVFM’s web-site at www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket, under the “Events” tab.

      As always, nonprofit booths have a standing reservation at the Market, and this weekend Clare Nance, Tahoma High Science teacher and the school’s “queen” of recycling, will join her Green Team environmental club in a booth with loads of green information.  In addition, Stephanie Thomas of King County Master Recycler Composter Program will be at the Market to solve those tricky composting dilemmas. The Maple Valley City Council will have an information booth set-up and our very own Tahoma Cheer Boosters will have a booth to raise money for their cheering activities.

      Musical entertainment will keep the chili’s heat blasting, as Tori Whitten, now in her third year of public performing, shares some of her country and pop music repertoire.  Whitten, who has been singing since the age of three, is fourteen years old and travelled to Nashville last summer to record four original songs.  More information and samples of her music can be found at ToriWhitten.com.

      With so many events taking place, it would be possible 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 should also check out the newest artisan, designer Karen Jacobs of Uniquely Yours Feather Design.  Jacobs creates feather earrings, feather necklaces and feather hair clip, adding a new artistic dimension to the Market. 

      Only three more Saturdays remain 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 1 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 info@maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  All MVFM fans are encouraged to “Friend us on FACEBOOK.”  NOTE:  Article written by Brooke Dillon and posted  by Victoria Laise Jonas.

 

Celebrating Local Sports Day at the Farmers’ Market this Weekend – Saturday September 3rd

August 30th, 2011 at 8:10 am by Victoria Laise Jonas
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      Baseball, soccer, football, lacrosse, volleyball–the community of Maple Valley is bursting with sports teams for every age and interest.  Given the health benefits of both exercise and healthy eating, the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will celebrate local youth sports participation by presenting a surprise treat to those youth who wear their sports uniform to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, September 3.  Uniform-wearing youth should go to the Information Booth to pick up their gift.

     To support the healthy eating component of the Market, visitors will want to visit their favorite of the farmers’ booths, offering fresh, ripe late-summer harvest bounty; bright flower arrangements; cheeses; eggs; milk; organic meat; and more; but they may especially want to check out the newest vendors.  A Taste of Eden offers northwest premier specialty olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars and blends. 

     In addition, the prepared food booths are always popular, and the newest booth will make you think that you’ve just washed up on the Hawaiian Islands or in the Phillippines.  Island Bites is owned by Maple Valley’s own Marites Descargar,  who grew up cooking Philipino foods and then married a Hawaiian, adding even more island recipes to her culinary repertoire. A first-time entrepreneur, Descargar offers meat/veggie  and banana lumpia, an item similar to spring rolls and popular in Indonesia and the Philippines.  Additionally, she offers ensaymada, a sweet bread served with whipped butter and sugar; marinated chicken skewers; a plate lunch including rice, macaroni salad, and Kalua pork, which has been slow-cooked for 10 hours with Hawaiian rock salt and liquid smoke ; and pansit, a Philipino noodle dish with shredded pork or chicken , that is served with one lumpia.  Her foods will make you smell a tropical breeze!

     In the non-food category, Michelle Young of Black Diamond will join the Market vendors with her U Rockit! Hair Trends booth.   Young’s feather hair extensions and hair tinsel extensions will add a glamorous note to  even the most chlorine-laden or summer-dry hair.

     Non-profit groups participating in the Saturday Market include  Maple Valley/Enumclaw Master Gardeners, who will help to solve visitors’ plant and garden puzzles; Cedar Grove Composting, one of the Market’s corporate sponsors, who will provide advice and answer questions such as, “Can I put my Starbucks cup in my compost?”; and St. George Episcopal Church, with information about their programs and church services.

     Market day would be incomplete without music, and this week’s group is Down the Road, a trio of bluegrass and American Roots music veterans from the Snoqualmie Valley area that includes husband/wife duo Cathi and Gary Davidson on guitars and vocals, and John Tubbs on mandolin and vocals.  According to their website, “the trio blends signature duet and trio harmony singing, a little yodeling, and clean, tasteful guitar-mandolin interplay to add a fresh, honest, straight-ahead voice to the world of old-time country, bluegrass, and folk music.

     With only four weeks remaining in the Market season  after this Saturday, Maple Valleyites should make certain that their Labor Day Saturday includes a trip to the MVFM.  The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is the “Saturday morning place to be”  from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each Saturday through October 1 at Rock Creek Elementary School. For more information, please visit www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org.  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.  Along with sandwiches and lunch specials, EJ’s Catering offers breakfast frittatas, breakfast burritos, and mango berry coolers –all prepared by local Maple Valley chef Eric Elmer, who utilizes locally grown, organic, natural, and freshly-prepared comfort foods.  His beautiful displays are certain to woo new customers, according to Laise-Jonas.

      Another breakfast option is The Daily Bagel, operated by local husband and wife team Mark and Laureen Dunning of Enumclaw.  The Dunnings began selling at other farmers’ markets in 2009, and added Maple Valley as a venue during the 2010 season. Laise-Jonas exudes, “There is nothing better than a hand-rolled, boiled and then hearthstone-baked warm bagel and cream cheese for breakfast—yes, they boil and bake their bagels right at the Farmers’ Market!”  The Daily Bagel’s morning menu consists of a variety of fresh baked bagels and bagel sandwiches.

      Another Market favorite is George’s Bakery, owned by Joe McKeown and Kathleen Stohesberry, who have a storefront in North Bend and who began to sell at farmers’ markets three years ago.  Their breakfast delights include plate-sized fresh donuts, assorted breads, and a wide variety of pastries such as cinnamon disks, pear-almond tarts, bran muffins, coffee cake, pan dowdy, and coffee cake.   Laise-Jonas commented, “Best of all, they use fresh fruit from our Farmers’ Market vendors!”

      New this year at the Market is Jack and Kim Emmons’ Mitzel’s American Kitchen.  The Emmons’ are the new owners of the longtime favorite Kent restaurant, and sell special Mitzel’s breakfast treats at the Market: fresh strawberry waffle bites, raspberry and cheezy bacon scones, and quiche lorraine.

      The most local breakfast establishment of all is Mama Rizzo’s Biscotti and More:  It’s a true family affair that includes parents Loretta and Jules Gommi, along with adult children Lorraine, Julie, and Michael at the booth. An assortment of lovingly-prepared, cooked-right-here-in-Maple Valley biscotti, coffee cake, and mini dessert bread loaves, can satisfy one’s morning sweet tooth at the Gommi’s “outdoor café.”

      Victoria Laise Jonas said, “All of these vendors are local business owners to the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.   They signed up for the entire 16-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. August 27 is Fresh Fruit Pie Bake-Off, a competition open to youth (ages 17 and under), adults (ages 18-49), and seniors (50 and over). Each participant may submit one completely homemade pie 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 recipe, may be submitted between 9:30 and 11:45 (Note:  pies will not be accepted after 11:45 a.m.), and judging will begin at noon.  Specific rules are available at http://www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org/Events.html.  Prizes range from $25 Market Bucks (1st place in each division) to $5 in Market Bucks (3rd place in each division).

     Music always sweetens the heart, and this week’s music will be provided at 11:00 a.m. by Ryegrass, a five-man band that has been performing a mix of traditional bluegrass, country, and contemporary music arranged for bluegrass instrumentation for the last decade. Band members include Lynn Oliver on banjo, dobro, and vocal; John Burke on fiddle and vocals; Paul Michel on mandolin and vocals; Chip Diemond on bass; and Maple Valley’s own Jim Hanna on guitar and vocals.

     As always, the non-profit booths will be filled at the Market and offering information to interested visitors.  This week SHADOW will have a booth and Kelin Doner, a young local entrepreneur will be selling her jewelry and other hand-made items.

     With 40+ vendors, the freshest of produce, jewelry and artistic creations, jam,  hot sauce, lavender products, beef jerky, gluten-free pasta, dairy products, and organic meat, the Market offers more than can even be sampled in a season!  And, with only five Saturdays remaining, time is running out to partake of and enjoy even a portion of the offerings.  And, yes, just ask Victoria Laise-Jonas, “The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is the Saturday morning place to be!”  The Market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each Saturday through October 1 at Rock Creek Elementary School.   NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

Calling all local pie-bakers! A community-wide Fresh Fruit Pie Baking contest is slated for Saturday August 27th at our local Farmers’ Market.  There will be three age divisions for this contest: Youth (17 & under), Adult (18-49) and Senior (50 & over).   Pie submissions must be FRESH FRUIT pies only; no tarts, crisps, creams, meringues, pumpkins, custards. etc. Pies can be dropped off, at the market beginning at 9:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (NOTE: no pies will be accepted after 11:45 a.m.), with judging commencing at noon.  Awards, certificates and ribbons will be handed out to the winning participants. The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is located at Rock Creek Elementary School –  25700 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road SE. For more information or to obtain a Registration Form, please visit www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.

Saluting our Military Troops at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market – Saturday, August 20th

August 16th, 2011 at 10:11 pm by Victoria Laise Jonas
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     Maple Valley Farmers’ Market will be celebrating its 3rd Annual MVFM Veteran & Troop Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 20, during normal Market hours from 9:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. at Rock Creek Elementary School. 

     Headlining the festivities, beginning at 10:00 a.m., will be the Master of Ceremonies for this special ceremony–retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Chuck Hardaway, locally renowned for his career as a military pilot.  Hardaway flew 104 combat missions in Vietnam and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Air Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Force Commendation Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He retired in 1977 after 22 years of military service, and then volunteered for seven years on the Area Council, ten years on the Maple Valley School Board, and two years on the Maple Valley City Council; he also served as chairman of the Seattle-King County Private Industry Council.  Additionally, for the past thirteen years Hardaway has written a popular weekly editorial column for the Voice of the Valley entitled “One Man’s Opinion.” On Saturday Hardaway will introduce the veterans and will speak about “The Cost of War.”

     In addition to conducting the opening ceremonies and flag ceremony, Maple Valley/Black Diamond VFW Post 50502 will host an information booth. And, Market visitors should make certain to see the City of Maple Valley Wall of Honor, a tribute to veterans and soldiers from the Maple Valley region, which will be on display at the Market.

     In addition to the recognition events specifically geared toward Veterans/ and Troops Day, Maple Valley Historical Society will host an information booth.  The Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization formed over 35 years ago, with a current paid membership of over 300 people and organizations. Its goals are to “teach people about the history of the Greater Maple Valley area, provide a means for people to do research on their heritage, and to showcase the history of the area through maintaining three museums with displays of the past” (http://maplevalleyhistorical.com/).

     Other participating non-profit groups include King County Master Recycler Composter Program, Maple Valley/Enumclaw Master Gardeners, and Peace Lutheran Church Preschool is planning special crafts for the youngsters.

     The Farmers’ Market season is over halfway complete on this tenth Saturday of the season, so Maple Valley residents will certainly want to visit the 40+ booths and stock up on fresh, local produce; cheese; baked goods; meat; fresh flower bouquets; beautiful hand-crafted artisan creations; and delicious prepared booths from the six booths selling breakfast and lunch items, organic tea, soup, and salad, and much more.

     The always-popular weekly entertainment will be provided by a return visit from Sealth, a pop grunge band from Maple Valley.  According to the group’s Facebook page, the band “blends a potentially dangerous cocktail made of equal parts hometown grunge and classic rock with a heavy dose of hairspray. Combining musical influences ranging from Poison to Pearl Jam and Yes to Neil Young, Sealth can at one moment be seen in the middle of a choreographed ‘dance move,’ then be heard wailing an angsty shriek just before exploding into an epic blues-inspired guitar solo the next.”

     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,” and to remember that the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is the “Saturday morning place to be.”   NOTE:  This article was written by Brooke Dillon and posted by Victoria Laise Jonas.

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