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Maple Valley Farmers Market

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Preserve the Tastes of Summer—it’s “You Can ‘Can It!’” Day at Maple Valley Farmers’ Market July 20th

July 17th, 2013 at Wed, 17th, 2013 at 9:55 pm by Larry Baumgart

     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

     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  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.



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