The Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
The Mercer Island Farmers Market had the perfect autumn weather for its October 2nd market: 60s and sunny. Our community turned out for our local farmers and for several fun and educational activities: a Power Hour with free coffee; a chef demonstration by chefs from Stopsky’s Delicatessen; the master gardeners; pressing apples at the children’s table; music; and tree distribution by the City.
Helen Martin (left) and Julie Sarkasian, MI Farmers Market board member and treasurer, during the Power Hour at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
We started off the MIFM with free coffee thanks to one of our Power Hours. These Power Hours are a reward—and a caffeine boost—for the early birds who show up for the first hour of the farmers market.
The October 2nd Power Hour was sponsored by Helen Martin, who many know through her extensive volunteering for various organizations including the Rotary and the Mercer Island Arts Council.
Thank you Helen for sponsoring the event and supporting the Mercer Island Farmers Market.
Chef Demonstration: Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olive Tapenade by Stopsky’s Delicatessen
Stopsky’s Delicatessen returned to the Mercer Island Farmers Market to do their second chef demo of the 2011 market season. Back in June, executive chef Shane Robinson came to the market to prepare salmon. This time chefs Austin and Michael came to the market to prepare Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olive Tapenade, which is Stopsky’s take on Israeli salad, a mixture of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and parsley.
Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, demonstrating how to use a mandoline to slice shallots during a chef demo at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
Austin did a wonderful job not only explaining and showing how to make the dish, but also discussing basic kitchen techniques and terms. He taught our community about:
- the importance of keeping your working area and cutting board clean and organized;
- the pitting of olives using the flat of a chef’s knife;
- the meaning and value of mis en place—a French culinary term to describe preparing and organizing all of the ingredients for a recipe before beginning to cook; and
- maybe most importantly, safely using a mandoline, a slicing tool.
The finished Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad and Olive Tapenade by Austin, sous chef at Stopsky's Delicatessen, at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
Thank you to everyone at Stopsky’s Delicatessen, especially Shane, Kelly, Austin, and Michael, for coming to the MI Farmers Market for the chef demonstration. We hope that you had a great time and that you will come back for a few chef demos next market season.
Children’s Table: Apple Press
Judy Witmer, Mercer Island pre-school teacher and MIFM volunteer, helping a young boy press apples at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
Judy Witmer did it again; she came up with another fun, educational activity for our community’s children. This past Sunday she brought an apple press to the MIFM in order to show how apple cider is made.
Our community’s kids had a great time turning the wheel and pressing the apples as well as tasting the fresh apple cider by Rockridge Orchards, whose booth is just across from the Children’s Table.
Thank you to Judy for doing what seems impossible: week after week coming up with something educational and exciting for our children to do. Thank you as well as Rockridge Orchards for helping make the activity so special.
The Master Gardeners answering questions at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
The Master Gardeners were back at the MI Farmers Market for another Sunday of answering our community’s questions about gardening and lawn care. This is a great time to head over to their booth to ask about the best practices for the fall and winter.
We really appreciate the volunteers at the Master Gardeners coming each Sunday to help teach our community.
Jazz Connection playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
The musical entertainment for the MIFM’s farmers, volunteers, and community was by Jazz Connection.
What really impressed us was how versatile the group was, almost like the Swiss Army knife of sextets. They seemed like a dozen groups in one: sometimes a set was just a duo with a vocalist and a guitar; other sets they were a jazz trio; yet other sets a sextet… At a certain point we just stopped keeping track of the different combinations and just enjoyed the group’s music.
A big “thank you” to the members of Jazz Connection for coming down to the MI Farmers Market on Sunday.
City of Mercer Island Native Tree Distribution Program
City of Mercer Island employees distributing native trees to Mercer Islanders at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on October 2, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)
Thanks to a grant from the King Conversation District, the City of Mercer Island has been distributing native tree varieties to Mercer Island residents at the MI Farmers Market. These trees are available to any Mercer Island resident for $5.00 per tree. The types of trees that have been available are Vine maple, Western red cedar (two-gallon size), and Mountain hemlock.
This coming Sunday, October 9th will be the final day of this program. So this Sunday, be sure to head down to the MIFM to pick up some native trees for your yard.