Great Party on Opening Day and We’ll Do It Again on Sunday June 16 10-3

Sun, great food, great music and great people; on Opening Day Mercer Island Farmers Market was THE place to be.  Don’t miss out, join us this Sunday June 16th. 20130613-220614.jpg

At the Music tent Hot Cider String Band . Expect dancing, singing and fiddle power.

At the Children’s table, hunt for slugs and snails and set a slug trap. Kids will be helping in the garden.

Garden Days continue!  Get plant starts and arts for the garden. 20130612-120141.jpgNew this week Nixon Hill Container Gardens, just set out and enjoy. And, learn about the Seattle Chinese Garden.

Vendor & Farmer News – Buns on Wheels organic hamburger truck and Island Apiaries honey return. Strawberries & cherries will be in abundance.

Get ready for the 2nd Annual Pie & Desert Baking Contest on June 23rd sponsored by MI MIYFS bakeoff no dateYouth and Family Services. If you bake how about entering the contest?  http://www.mercergov.org/files/PieContestRulesEntryForm.pdf If you are more the ‘eater’ type you could be a judge for the people’s favorites. This was a real hit last year so don’t miss it.

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What’s On Your Shopping List for Sunday June 9th?

Start planning some great meals you can put together with the fresh, seasonal, local,Last of the asparagus from Collins Family Orchard for 2011.

organic, sustainably and lovingly raised or produced products from the Mercer Island Farmers Market.   Available to you in less than a week on Sunday June 9th 10 AM – 3 PM.

* Breakfast:  coffee, tea, bagels, breads, jams,  amazing sweet rolls and muesli
* Any meal: eggs, salmon, cheeses of many kinds, breads & baguettes, houmus,  pickles, salsa & chips and apple ciders (ask at Tonnemaker’s )
* Dinner: asparagus, salad greens, tomatoes, green onions, broccoli, pasta, assorted cuts of beef, pork, lamb and poultry

AND Strawberries are coming! strawberriesskagit

Your Sunday is About to Get A Lot Tastier!

Mercer Island Farmers Market Opening Day is less than a week away. There will be some great new vendors to shop  with – here’s a tasty sample of a few of our faves. See Farmers & Vendors for a complete list.

  • Dog Mountain Farms is bringing chicken and duck eggs & poultry. MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Located in Carnation they raise animals humanly on pasture without antibiotics or hormones.
  • High 5 Pie is a local bake shop from Capitol Hill that uses Grandma Molly’s favorite all-butter pie crust recipe to create both classic sweet and savory fillings. Just imagine a slice of High Five pie with a cup of MIddle Fork Roasters coffee!hi5pie
  •  Willie Greens is a family-owned organic farm that has grown to 55 acres and produces fifty to sixty varieties of vegetables and berries.Willie Greens They are committed to providing only the freshest, organic and seasonally grown produce available.
  • Willapa Hills Cheese located in SW Washington,  returns with a wonderful assortment of artisanal cow and sheep cheeses, fresh, aged and blue. willapacheese

Free Cake!!

Not only do we have free cake at our birthday party, (if you come a little early, you might hear Mayor Bruce Bassett congratulate our Market board of directors and the whole MI community for supporting our market for the last 5 years,) and a chef demonstration at 11:30, we keep the party going into the night with a food truck round up at Music in the Park! That’s right, folks, you don’t have to cook lunch or dinner if you don’t want to, just leave it to the pros. (I highly recommend the seared ahi tuna from Big Food, either on grilled flatbread or on a bed of rice.)

My market plan is to drag my friend Lauren, who has NEVER BEEN TO THE MARKET (how can that be?  I don’t understand!) out for a little paddle board in the morning, then over to the market for some cake.

5th anniversary cake and berries?

Not sure we’ll have cream, but we will have cake and berries!

She will be so dazzled by the glistening array of fresh produce and delectable delights, she’ll be inspired to plan a week’s worth of menus.  Some juicy tomatoes, nectarines, bright peppers and crunchy snap peas, a little fresh pasta and salmon, some organic meat and chicken, a little crusty bread and organic goat cheese, a few salted caramels and then some aromatic coffee, she’ll find it all.  She’ll be blown away by the Piccola wine in a bag, and Camp Robber jams, and she’ll have to try some of Purdy’s Pickles.  Lauren is an amazing cook, and will likely appreciate the ease of picking up prepared hummus and salsa and granola.  She will, of course, want some beautiful fresh flowers.  Maybe she’ll be so grateful I convinced her to come, she’ll even buy a bouquet for me!

You should bring a friend along tomorrow, too.  We can all meet up for cake! After we fill our market bags and bellies, we can all go home and take a nap, and regroup later at Mercerdale Park for some pizza or veggie quesadillas or gourmet burgers, and listen to Garrett & Westcott (Garrett and Westcott Home) croon the blues. Afterwards, we’ll dance our way home and sleep like well-fed, happy babies.

  • 10:45 – 11:00 Bruce Bassett  Congratulate the MIFM Board  and the community supporting market for the last 5 years
  • 11:00 – 11:15  Recognition to Aljoya as the Golden Apple Sponsor
  • 11:00   to 1:00 or when supplies run out:   Sampling Berry Shortcake until supplies run out (Kari Fisher and Jackie
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Chef Nathan – Salmon over Green Tea Noodles
  • 5:30 – 8:30  MI Food Trucks & Mostly Music in the Park, Come for Dinner & Music

Cat/Cows and Jazz Squares at the Market 7/22

Stretch and bend! and jump! jump! jump! It’s time to pull out your yoga moves and jazz hands. This Sunday at the market we celebrate Mercer Island in Motion, with help from Lori Hallow and Maria Bliss, and the Texas Swing sounds of Fred Fast and His Frettin’ Fools. All ages are invited to participate.  

In addition to our Sampling of Summer Drinks – Infused with fresh market herbs and fruits, we will also be sampling berries! 

Other market news:

Alvarez Farms will have Cukes, carrots, green beans and new crop garlic, Walla Walla sweet onions, all varieties of squash, garlic braids, and 10 varieties of new crop potatoes. If you have a favorite recipe for potato salad, please share it below, and we will post on this blog.

Heaven Scent Lavender will have fresh lavender bouquets for sale.

Here is a list of our 2012 Winners from the Pie and Dessert Baking Contest:

PIE

1st PlaceSummer Harvest Berry Pie            Tanya Bednarski and Miranda Johnson (13 yrs old)

2nd PlaceRaspberry Cream Pie                    Ellena Jones

DESSERT

1st PlaceNectarine, Blueberry and               Cynthia Shifrin

Strawberry Galette with

Macadamia and Oat Crumble

 

2nd PlaceRaspberry Peach Crumble             Kindred McQueen

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

1st PlaceRaspberry-Filled Devil’s Food Cupcakes             Carina Williamson

 

Chef Demo Today at 11:00

Please join Chef Brock Johnson, from Tom Douglas Restaurants’ Dahlia Lounge, at 11:00 today, as he demonstrates how to prepare seasonal specialties at the Mercer Island Farmers Market.  Expand your cooking repertoire, watch a master at work, or simply taste some excellently prepared fresh food.  Whatever your motivation, come down and check it out.

While you are here, stop and say hello to  our own Diane Larson, from Mercer Island Florist, as she demonstrates how to arrange fresh spring blossoms into original and creative displays. She really is quite magically talented.  You have to see it to believe it!

Missing Mercer Island

I have been waiting seven long months for the return of the farmers market to Mercer Island – it is one of my favorite things about living here. (Other favorites include paddle boarding on Lake Washington, all the cashiers at the north end QFC, cocktails at Stopsky’s, and the MISD music program.)

So opening day is this Sunday, and I am out of town!

Granted, I am in very lovely Knoxville, TN for the US Rowing Youth National Championships, where things are warm and sunny, but I really want to be back on the rock for Sunday. What I most want is to catch up with all my market friends, those people I rarely see during the rest of the year, but run into just about every Sunday, like Howie and Gina Schneiderman. I want to have a chat with the friendly family from Crown S Ranch, and exchange pleasantries with the cute Italian pasta seller.  I want to reserve my order for 4 orange cranberry scones from Snohomish Bakery and  sample some spiced apple cider from the cider guys.  There are two empty  cider jugs in my garage, taking up space since last Thanksgiving, waiting patiently to be refilled.  I want to dance in the street, or at least tap my toes and enjoy the live swing music, and the little kids who dance with abandon. I want to see what the Master Gardeners have going on, and check out all the new food trucks I’ve been reading about.

The Mercer Island Farmers Market continues to evolve and improve, and each year I love it a little bit more.  You won’t see me this weekend, but look for me in July, pulling my red wagon, sitting on the curb eating my lunch, or socializing my way down the stalls. If you go on Sunday, and you really should, let me know what looks good. I’m thinking of all my favorite summer recipes: bruschetta and spanikopita, fruit crisps and pasta primavera, swiss chard quiche with goat cheese, my kids’ favorite purple potato salad with yogurt and scallions and mint.  Sniff  the flowers for me, hug your friends, welcome back the wonderful farmers and vendors, and tell them I say hello.