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Maple Valley Farmers Market

All about the Maple Valley Farmers Market

Two weeks and counting – Farmers’ Market Opening Day Saturday June 18th

June 4th, 2011 at 11:15 pm by Larry Baumgart
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Two weeks from tonight, we will be winding down  all of our months and months of planning that has gone into gearing up for our third season of our Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.  We have an impressive list of farmers, ranchers, food processors, prepared food vendors and artisans to carry us through our 16 week market season (June 18th – October 1st).   We have an amazing line up of live entertainment and some weeks, we have scheduled  two live performers per market day.  We didn’t plan on doubling up on our entertainment, however,  when I received telephone calls from entertainers, especially local talent, who wanted to perform at our market,  I simply couldn’t say “no”!    Saturday June 18th, we will be celebrating the opening of our third market season with our very own Maple Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra – a Symphony Orchestra playing live at a Farmers’ Market, our Farmers’ Market…who would have ever thought that this could be possible! And to make their appearance is more special, this is their third year  performing for us and our community! 

I have been experiencing some trepidation of late, wondering whether our farmers will have produce, fruit and flowers to bring to our market in two weeks.  Wondering whether some of our farmer stalls will be empty as we begin our third season.  It’s really hard to anticipate what “Mother Nature” will bring us over the next few weeks – I am hopeful that it’s lots of warm and sunny weather to ripen up all of those crops. God only knows that our farmers deserve it!   I recently called one of our Eastern Washington soft fruit farmers to learn how his crops were doing.   I was told that his cherry orchards are about two to three weeks late but he hopes to have cherries at our market on Opening Day.  One of our Western soft berry farmers called me a few weeks back and informed me that they were  two weeks out before they would  have ripe berries to bring to market.  I told her that I was pleased with her news because our market didn’t open up for three weeks – she laughed!   Fresh cherries and berries at our market – cherries and berries picked on Friday and delivered fresh to our Market Saturday morning.   I know this too be true and I can hardly wait!

Today I ventured out and visited three Farmers’ Markets to learn firsthand whether farmers were in fact  attending Farmers’ Market with their produce and flowers piled high on the tables in their 10×10 piece of real estate aka stall space.  I was told by the Farmers’ Market Managers that some farmers have delayed coming to market, however there were a number of both Western and Eastern Washington farmers in attendance with fresh herbs,  apples, asparagus,  leeks, radishes and lots of flowers on display.  As we progress into the growing season, the market stall spaces will become  more and more bountiful with the fresh produce, fruit and flowers that we are all eagerly waiting for.  We have to remember that all of the produce, fruit and flowers sold at our Farmers’ Market is  grown in Washington  State, we do not allow produce from California, Mexico or any other  far off places.  So I would say to our customers, be prepared for perhaps less quantify and diversity of product but the quality and freshness of what our farmers offer us will be unbeatable!

Two weeks from tonight, all of our preparations and planning will be pretty much completed and we will be ready to go.  Hopefully I’ll be going to bed early and getting a good night’s rest in anticipation of an amazing opening of our third season of our Market.  A 16 week market run of “It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Contact Information:  (425) 463-6751  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarkt.org.  “friend us on FACEBOOK”

Three Weeks and It’s Here Folks! Maple Valley Farmers’ Market

May 28th, 2011 at 8:16 am by Larry Baumgart
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Well, three weeks from tonight, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be getting much sleep as it will feel like Christmas Eve waiting for jolly Old Saint Nicholas to arrive with lots of surprises to stash under our Christmas tree.   Three weeks from tonight will be the night before our Maple Valley Farmers’ Market opens up for its third market season.  Anticipation, excitement, wariness, anxiety,  fear and panic  will be my bedroom companion throughout the long wary night (along with my Bentley boy – my standard poodle!) until my alarm clock wakes me up at 5:30 a.m. to begin the magical day of welcoming back old familiar faces and greeting new faces as we begin our third farmers’ market season. 

The interest in being part of our “It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”community gathering spot is strong and continues to grow.  This is a sign of a healthy, successful  and sustainable farmers’ market.  It  takes community’s support to sustain a successful farmers’ market and we are well on our way.  We have all worked very hard to get to this point in our infancy of farmers’ market stature and our future does looks bright!

This year so far, we have 26 farmers, ranchers and food processors; 6 prepared food vendors; 23 artisans (Note: we would like more artisans to apply to our market); 18 entertainers; 1 Young Entrepreneur (Note: we would like more young entrepreneur’s to apply); 12 non-profits and amazingly 17 local business sponsors!  17 local businesses stepped up to the ” fresh & locally grown produce basket” to support our cause because they believe in what we are trying to bring to our community and they want to be part of this amazing journey. 

 It is interesting to reflect back to the time when we were just starting to talk about bringing a farmers’ market to our City (four+ years now) and we were faced with some  visible resistance, notably by a very few, clamoring together and chanting that we would be taking away business from the “brick and mortar” local businesses.  However the contrary has been proven to have happened -  on Saturday mornings during our Farmers’ Market season (June 18th – October 1st), our local businesses have seen an increase in their number of customers and in their sales.  Now that is what I call successful partnering with local businesses! 

I would like to recognize  our local businesses/organizations who support our efforts in bringing the best Farmers’ Market possible to our City.  They support us….we, in turn,  need to support them!  So, a drum-roll please:  Tahoma School District, the City of Maple Valley, Johnson’s Home & Garden Do-It Center, Wilderness Animal Hospital, Voice of the Valley Newspaper, Money Mailer of the Cascade Valley,  Maple Valley/Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce,  Cedar Grove Composting, Multi-Care Maple Valley Clinic, Ross Olive State Farm Insurance and Financial Service,  Maple Valley Properties, Dace’s Rock ‘n’ More Music Academy,  Always Best Care Senior Services, Maple Valley Signs,  Able Embroidery, Just for Them Gift Baskets, Party Etc/Dollar Etc.

Three weeks to go……

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Contact Information:  (425) 463-6751  info@maplevalleyfarmersmarkt.org.  “friend us on FACEBOOK”

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Update

April 8th, 2011 at 11:03 pm by Larry Baumgart
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It’s  a quiet, very quiet Friday evening at my house.  My Bentley boy, my standard Poodle is sleeping on the floor, next to me as I work in my office. I’m sure he thinks he is doing an admirable job of protecting me from harm!  Bentley is an incredible dog, a wonderful companion and his presence always brings a smile to my face.

So I thought I’d take advantage of my “quiet time” this Friday evening and send out acceptance letters to our 2011 Maple Valley Farmers’ Market vendors.  I have received a significant number of applications so far from returning vendors along with new vendors (farmers, prepared food  and artisans) interested in joining our farmers’ market family.  Note:  Application deadline is the end of April.

As I review the returned applications, especially from our local produce and flower farmers, I must confess that I am very concerned for them and for the sustainability of their livelihood. In particular, our northwest weather has been very cold and wet of late which is not conducive to growing abundant crops. And then there is recent flooding that has occurred alongside the Snoqualmie River where a number of local farmers have secured farmland to grow their crops.  A farmer friend of mine told me that many local farmers have been hit pretty hard with early crop damage and/or failure  this year. But in his next breathe, my friend also tells me that “they are farmers and they will persevere!”  I agree, farmers are rare soles, they are the salt of the earth and they will persevere.  I am hopeful that all of my farmers will have an overabundance of quality of produce and will experience a very profitable market season – they deserve it!

As the third season of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market nears, it seems a good time to reflect on the success of the first two seasons.  In fact, it seems that the farmers’ market has integrated so well into our community that it’s a challenge to think of summer Saturday mornings without the farmers’ market.  It appears that our community has truly discovered the social benefits of our farmers’ market and have embraced our motto “It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”  We are very fortunate to have acquired a strong partnership with the Tahoma School District and the City of Maple Valley as they both have been co-sponsors of our market from the very beginning. All of us embrace the sense of community that our very own farmers’ market has to offer our local residents.

I want to give a “shout out” to my friend Jim Hanna who has once again volunteered to recruit and line up our live entertainment for our 16 week run.  Jim has been with our Farmers’ Market from day one and I am so appreciative of his support, efforts and of his talent too!  It’s amazing that we have live entertainment every single week,  16 weeks, simply amazing!

And lastly, I do want to get the word out about our Young Entrepreneur vending opportunities.  As a service to our community, with a specific emphasis to our youth, we offer vending opportunities to our local young entrepreneurs (students who attend school within the Tahoma School District boundaries).   We have many incredibly talented youth, who live in our community and  we want to provide them with an avenue to sell their hand-made items.  To obtain additional information, please visit our web-site: www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or contact me at (425) 463-6751.

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market Begins 3rd Season Planning

March 11th, 2011 at 8:24 pm by Larry Baumgart
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The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market  has begun  preparations for its 3rd market season with approximately 40+ weekly vendors planned for the entire 16 week market season.  Farm fresh seasonal fruits & vegetables, organic produce selections,  cheese, eggs and meats.  Find great selections of plants, herbs, flowers, freshly baked pastries, breads, jams, honey, special sauces and spreads, and pickled vegetables.  Great selection of one-of-a-kind hand-made arts and crafts made by our local artisans.  On-site food vendors – great for breakfast and lunch!  Enjoy the  sweet sounds of our local live entertainment every Saturday morning!  Master Gardeners, cooking demonstrations and weekly special events planned. Free pet-sitting while shopping at our market!

We are currently accepting applications from farmers, processors, prepared food vendors, artisans and entertainers. To become a vendor, volunteer, sponsor or to learn more about our market, please visit: www.maplevalleyfarmersmarket.org or call (425) 463-6751.  In addition, sign up and follow us on FACEBOOK!

Official opening day of the 2011 Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is  Saturday June 18th at Rock Creek Elementary School.

Maple Valley Farmers’ Market

“It’s the Saturday Morning Place to Be!”

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