Almost Very Last Market of 2012 Sunday October 14! Very Last is Sunday November 18th – Harvest Market

October 14 is Vendor & Volunteer Appreciation Day– We extend our deepest appreciation and thanks to the great businesses and individuals who’ve supported the Pumpkin heads - MIFM in October 2010. (Photo by Julie Sarkissian)market this season.  Without you, there is no market!

  • Breakfast for Vendors, sponsored by the MIFM Board of Directors
  • Volunteers will be treated to shopping discounts by most of our vendors.  Volunteers, report to the Information Booth to get started.

At the Children’s Table: Decorating Pumpkin Heads a favorite of the kids (and some adults).

  • Special thanks to JUDY WITMER who has voluntarily organized and run the Children’s Table for 5 Years!

On the Music Stage: Strange Nails Alternative / Soul / Funk

The Harvest Market returns on Sunday November 18th.  You’ll find many things you need for Thanksgiving dinner including cranberries. NEW  this year the vendor mix will include local artists & artisans who create the very highest quality arts and crafts.

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Market Bags, Cider Press and Bluegrass!

This week at the market we have another shopping bag giveaway.  Please click on Tote Bag Coupon to print out the attached coupon and bring it with you.  As you shop the market, ask each vendor you purchase from to validate your coupon, then stop by the information table for your free red market bag.

Children’s Table:  It is time to bring out the apple cider press. Judy Witmer will, once again, teach kids how to operate this important piece of our Washington State heritage.

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, 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)
Music: Down the Road – traditional bluegrass http://www.downtheroadband.com/

As our summer winds down and the evenings cool off, Mercer Island Farmers Market wishes our Jewish friends L’Shana Tova’, a very happy new year. We have what you need for your holiday recipes: apples and honey, smoked salmon, chicken for roasting, beautiful beets and greens, and even gluten free challah bread. The L.A. Times has a dozen beautiful recipes, including this one for Cilantro-Tomato soup with Syrian meatballs:

Recipe: Kibbeh bi’kizabrath (cilantro-tomato soup with Syrian meatballs) – latimes.com

Finally, if you have purchased a $5 coupon book (thank you!) please be sure to use your coupons.  Our neighborhood sponsors would love to see you!

September 25th Mercer Island Farmers Market Event News

The Mercer Island Farmers Market volunteers have organized music and a few educational events for this Sunday’s farmer market. In addition to these activities from the MIFM, we are so pleased that two other groups—the City of Mercer Island and IslandVision—have organized events this Sunday around the farmers market.

Sampling Table: Apples

Organic Gala apples from Tonnemaker Family Orchard at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Organic Gala apples from Tonnemaker Family Orchard at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The MIFM’s Events Team volunteers are planning another sampling table for this Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., they will be sampling various apples from our farmers.

The MI Farmers Market has an embarrassment of apple riches with dozens of varieties now being brought to market by our farmers: Akane; Gala; Golden Supreme; Ginger Gala; Honey Crisp; Jonamac; McIntosh; Mollie’s Delicious; Prima; Sugar Crisp… This will be a great opportunity for our community to try many of these and learn about their different colors, tastes, textures, and uses.

Music: Garrett and Westcott

This Sunday’s music at the market will be by Seattle-based, accoustic duo Garrett and Westcott.

Children’s Table: Amazing Squashes

Organic Delcato, pumpkin, and acorn squashes at the Five Acre Farm booth at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Organic Delcato, pumpkin, and acorn squashes at the Five Acre Farm booth at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Mercer Island preschool teacher, Judy Witmer has planned another Sunday of fun and educational activities at the kid’s table. She always finds great hands-on ways for our community’s children to learn about gardening, farming, and the environment.

This week’s theme is “Amazing Squashes.” So while the kids are learning about these fruits at the children’s table, be sure to check out the great squashes now appearing at our farmers’ booths.

Master Gardeners

Gordon Polson of the King County Master Gardeners answering a gardening question from a Mercer Islander at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on June 12, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Gordon Polson of the King County Master Gardeners answering a gardening question from a Mercer Islander at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on June 12, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

As on previous Market Sundays, the Master Gardeners will be available at the MI Farmers Market to answer your gardening and lawn-care questions.

IslandVision Fall Community Picnic

IslandVision, a Mercer Island organization dedicated to creating a more sustainable community, is planning to hold their Fall Community Picnic on Sunday. From noon to 3 p.m., they will be at the Train Playground in Mercerdale Park. IslandVision was instrumental in helping start and run the Mercer Island Farmers Market in its early years.

The group encourages everyone to come down to meet its board and members. They are interested in hearing the community’s ideas for new IslandVision activities and events.

City of Mercer Island: Native Tree Distribution

As part of the City of Mercer Island‘s efforts to encourage the planting of native trees, the City will be distributing trees at the Mercer Island Farmers Market this Sunday, September 25th, as well as on Sunday, October 2nd and Sunday, October 9th.

The trees are available to any Mercer Island resident at an expected cost of $5.00 per tree. The types of trees that will be available are Vine maple, Western red cedar (two-gallon size), and Mountain hemlock. This program is supported with funding assistance from the King Conversation District.

Trees play an important role not only in maintaining our Island’s natural beauty, but also in our environment by:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint by sequestering carbon in trees. Trees, especially large conifers like Western red cedar, remove the greenhouse gas CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis;
  • Reducing stormwater runoff. Mature trees can hold up to 100 gallons of water during storms; and
  • Increasing wildlife habitat, especially when done in conjunction with the removal of invasive species such as ivy and blackberry.

September 18th Mercer Island Farmers Market Event Highlights: Market Totes, Music, Kids Table

Besides the great chef demo by Tracy Green and her students from the Newport High School Culinary Arts program at last Sunday’s Mercer Island Farmers Market, the day was filled with fun and educational events.

2011 Mercer Island Farmers Market Reusable Bags Are Here!

Susan Kleiner, nutritionist and Mercer Island Farmers Market supporter, with three of the four Mercer Island Farmers Market totes on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Susan Kleiner, nutritionist and Mercer Island Farmers Market supporter, with three of the four Mercer Island Farmers Market totes on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

At last Sunday’s MI Farmers Market, we began to give away the 2011 market season reusable bags. As in previous years, the bag has a new color, which is blue this year.

After picking up her 2011 Mercer Island Farmers Market tote at the information booth, Susan Kleiner posed for a photo with it along with market totes from 2009 (green) and 2010 (orange). Dr. Kleiner is a Mercer Islander, huge support of the MIFM, and a nutritionist, who conducted two tours of the MIFM for our community earlier this year.

While picking up this year’s market bag, she explained to the volunteers that the only market tote that she is missing is the one from our first season in 2008, which is tan.

Do you have all four season’s totes? If you, please let us know.

To get a 2011 market tote, come down to the farmers market on Sunday, pick up a coupon from one of the vendors or from the information booth, and shop the MIFM. The farmers will mark on the coupon the amount of your purchases. Once you have bought $30 of local, fresh produce, bring your filled out coupon to the information booth and exchange it for a reusable bag.

We gave out nearly 200 bags on Sunday and supplies are limited.  So be sure to get to the MIFM this Sunday to get your 2011 market tote.

Children’s Table: Spiders

Judy Witmer and three children learning about spiders at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Judy Witmer and three children learning about spiders at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Judy Witmer developed yet another fun and educational activity for the children’s table at this past Sunday’s MIFM.

The theme was “Amazing Spiders in Your Garden.” Judy had live spiders in sealed plastic tubes for the children to examine and reference books with plenty of photos and drawings for the children to read and browse so that they would have a better understanding of the role that spiders play in our gardens.

In addition, Judy brought string and other materials so that the kids could build their own “spider web.”

Community-Service/Non-Profit Booths: Mercer Island Boy Scouts and Mercer Island Sister City Association

The Mercer Island Boy Scouts' and Mercer Island Sister City Association's booths at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Mercer Island Boy Scouts' and Mercer Island Sister City Association's booths at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The MIFM hosted two important Mercer Island organizations—Mercer Island Boy Scout Troop 624 and the Mercer Island Sister City Association—in our community-service/non-profit booths.

Both organizations used the opportunity to teach to the our community about their mission and activities.

Music: Yaamba Marimba Band

Children dancing to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Children dancing to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

As they did earlier this season, the Yaamba Marimba Band were a huge hit with our farmers, volunteers and shoppers.

Throughout the market day, their infectious music got people, particularly children, dancing, spinning, jumping, kicking and…well..just plain moving. At one point, the volunteers saw one little girl doing handstands to their music.

Children dancing to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Children dancing to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Another demonstration of their popularity was the produce donations by our farmers.

One of the ways that the MIFM compensates musicians for playing the market is through these donations. The market’s farmers always give generously to thank the musicians for entertaining them and the customers throughout the market day. But this past Sunday they really showed their appreciation in a way that was unprecedented with several shopping bags and two boxes of produce for the members of Yaamba to divide among themselves.

Teenagers dancing in a circle to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Teenagers dancing in a circle to music by the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 18, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Perhaps the strangest moment demonstrating just how appreciated the band’s performance was just before the close of the farmers market. At this time, over a dozen teenage girls formed a circle in front of the music booth and began dance. It was all so spontaneous and unexpected.

Everyone at the Mercer Island Farmers Market hopes that the members of Yaamba had as much fun playing at the market as we did listening and dancing to their music.

We also want to extend an invitation to Yaamba to come back next year.

September 11th Mercer Island Farmers Market Events Highlights: Music, Sampling Table, Children’s Table

In addition to the commemoration for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 that the Mercer Island Farmers Market held this past Sunday and the chef demo by Kurt Daimmeier of Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro, there were several other events and activities.

Music

Patrick Daugherty (left with electric guitar), Bert Bertram (center with trombone), and Joe Ross (right with acoustic guitar) playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Patrick Daugherty (left with electric guitar), Bert Bertram (center with trombone), and Joe Ross (right with acoustic guitar) playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Musician Joe Ross returned to the MIFM. Joe last played at the market over July 4th weekend. This Sunday, he was joined for a few sets by another popular Mercer Island musician, Patrick Daugherty, who has been a musical mainstay of the MI Farmers Market, playing consistently throughout the market season, as well as in previous seasons volunteering as music coordinator.

In the afternoon, Joe was joined for a set not only by Patrick, but also by Bert Bertram, who played the trombone. We aren’t sure, but this might be the first time that a trombone was played at the MI Farmers Market. Over the years, there has been an extensive array of instruments played at the MIFM: guitar; banjo; bass; clarinet; harmonica, accordion; saxophone; steel drum; marimba…We love how the list and diversity continues to grow.

Thank you, Joe, Patrick, and Bert, for the great music.

Sampling Table

Kari Fisher (left in red top) talking with a family about the different varieties, tastes, and textures of the peaches at the sampling table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Kari Fisher (left in red top) talking with a family about the different varieties, tastes, and textures of the peaches at the sampling table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

In the morning, MI Farmers Market board members and volunteers, Tanya Bednarski and Kari Fisher, organized a sampling table featuring fresh peaches grown by our farmers.

There were Angelo’s peaches from Collins Family Orchard, Selah, WA, J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchard, Orondo, WA, organic donut peaches from Billy’s Organic Garden, Tonasket, WA, and Diamond Princess peaches from Tonnemaker Family Orchard, Royal City, WA.

We want to thank Tanya and Kari for taking the time on such a beautiful day to put together this educational activity as well as Billy’s Organic Garden, Collins Family Orchard, Martin Family Orchard, and Tonnemaker Family Orchard for supporting it.

Children’s Table

Judy Witmer talking with a parent and her children about snails and slugs at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Judy Witmer talking with a parent and her children about snails and slugs at the children's table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on September 11, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

Volunteer Judy Witmer developed another educational, hands-on activity for kids at the children’s table.

This past Sunday’s activity was “snail hunts and slug traps.” While some might have thought that kids might be put off by such “slimy” and off-putting creatures, there was, in fact, a great deal of enthusiasm for them.

Each week, Judy is a wonder coming up with a different fun activity that teaches our community’s children about gardening and food.  Thank you, Judy.

August 28th Mercer Island Farmers Market Event News

Once again the dedicated Mercer Island Farmers Market market manager and volunteers have put together another market day full of fun and educational activities.

Music

Matt Lome playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on June 19, 2011.

Matt Lome playing at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on June 19, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

This Sunday, Mercer Island resident and musician, Matt Lome, will be providing our vendors, customers, and volunteers with wonderful “music to shop by.”

Many customers might remember that Matt played at the MI Farmers Market in June, when the weather was very cold (Matt was wearing a jacket during most of his performance). This Sunday it is supposed to be in the 80’s, so we suspect that no jacket will be necessary for this coming market day.

Matt also is a music teacher. In June, one of his young students joined him at the MIFM. She really impressed everyone with her playing, singing, and poise. We all are hoping that another one of his students might join him this Sunday as well.

Kids Table

Materials for berry-ink painting at the Kids Table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011.

Materials for berry-ink painting at the Kids Table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011. (Photo by Alyssa Hatsukami)

Judy Witmer, Mercer Island Farmers Market volunteer extraordinaire, has developed another educational activity for our youngest shoppers. This Sunday, the Kids Table activity will be “making veggie prints from around the world.”

Thank you, Judy. We really appreciate all that you do, and we know how much the kids and their parents love the activities that you create.

Master Gardeners

Master gardeners providing advice to a Mercer Island Farmers Market customer on July 24, 2011.

Master gardeners providing advice to a Mercer Island Farmers Market customer on July 24, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Master Gardeners will be back for another Sunday at the Mercer Island Farmers Market, ready to answer all of your lawn, garden, and landscaping questions.

Community Service/Non-Profit

The Mercer Island Women's Club at the community service/non-profit booth at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on August 21, 2011.

The Mercer Island Women's Club at the community service/non-profit booth at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on August 21, 2011. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

The Swedish Medical Center Foundation and the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk are coming to the MI Farmers Market, where they will be in the community service/non-profit booth.

The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk is coming up on September 24, 2011. Be sure to stop by the booth to find out more about the event and how you can support this important cause.

August 14th Mercer Island Farmers Market Event News

It’s the Mercer Island Farmers Market’s 3rd Anniversary this week. Our first market day ever was August 10, 2008. Please join us this Sunday to celebrate our farmers and community.

Sampling Table This Sunday: Ice Cream

Volunteers celebrating the Mercer Island Farmers Market's first anniversary on August 9, 2009.

Volunteers celebrating the Mercer Island Farmers Market's first anniversary on August 9, 2009. (Photo by Joel Wachs)

To help celebrate this occasion, MIFM volunteers and board members, Tanya Bednarski and Susie Rosenstein will be sampling ice cream on Sunday. The ice cream has been donated by our two ice cream vendors: Molly Moon Ice Cream, Seattle, WA and Parfait Artisan Organic Ice Cream, Seattle, WA. Everyone at the Mercer Island Farmers Market would like to offer a big “thank you” to Molly Moon and Parfait for their donations and support of our farmers market and community.

Tanya and Susie will be offering ice cream samples beginning at noon and will continue to offer them while supplies last, which shouldn’t be too long knowing how much our customers love ice cream.

Music: Strictly Fest 2011

Hula-Hoopers dancing to the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011.

Hula-Hoopers dancing to the Yaamba Marimba Band at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011. (Photo by Alyssa Hatsukami)

We are very excited that third annual Strictly Fest 2011 will be happening in Mercerdale Park at the same time at the Mercer Island Farmers Market.

Strictly Fest features many Mercer Island youth bands and seeks to raise money for the Mercer Island High School music programs.

The day’s program is:

11:00 ~ Kaze Daiko
11:45 ~ Ross Di Julio
12:30 ~ Electric Geometric Freak Test Recipients
1:45 ~ The Fool on the Hill
2:50 ~ The Good Time Police
4:20 ~ A Well Lit Room

Kids Table Activity: Kitchen Botany

Berry-ink painting at the Kids Table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011.

Berry-ink painting at the Kids Table at the Mercer Island Farmers Market on July 31, 2011. (Photo by Alyssa Hatsukami)

Once again super volunteer Judy Witmer has organized another great educational activity for our youngest shoppers. This Sunday the kids table activity will be “Kitchen Botany: Is it a fruit or veggie?”