What’s Fresh at Your Vashon Farmers Market tomorrow!

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 Issue No.  120

November 16, 2012  

In This Issue – Click headline to jump to topic
What’s at the Market this Week!

Food For Thought from Market Manager, Rebecca Wittman


Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at that point in the season where Mother Nature says “The opera is almost over – let’s really show off.” I refer not to the technicolor foliage on the trees, impressive though that display is each Fall. No, what I consider worthy of the big ovation – of a springing to my feet with shouts of Bravo! – is a performer in the garden that doesn’t sing with the chorus. It’s a player who knows how to breathe stardust into the classical repertoire, and then on top of that, flit across the stratospheric high notes with no sign of calling it a day.


OK, I grant that the metaphor is probably lost on anyone who hasn’t spent time swooning over Dame Joan Sutherland’s effortless E flats. But perhaps by the end of today’s homage to Scarlet Runner Beans you’ll grasp my point.

Anyone who has planted scarlet runners has been seduced almost immediately by their Jack and the Beanstalk way of shooting up from the ground. Curling forth from the dirt, they wend their way up the bamboo tripod like a botanical serpent. The choreography in the climb itself is worth the price of the ticket, but that’s just the prelude to the big performance. Once it’s up and fully leafed out, the scarlet runner launches into its first showy aria – a noisy riot of coral hued blossoms. OK, you say to your prima donna, that was lovely. Thank you very much. Then the blossoms disappear and in no time she starts handing you long, sexy green beans. Stir-fry me, she says in her poutiest Musetta curtsy. Put me in a bowl of soup. Puree me and use me in a tapenade. And you do. And you say again, thank you so very much, you delicious siren. And then you turn your attentions to the bumper crop of tomatoes and the acre of kale and the squash that have all begun bullying their way to the fore. Does your prima donna, drowned out by this brutish chorus, curl up and perish from neglect?

Perish the thought. This is where Dame Scarlet proves herself show-off extraordinaire, wholly worthy of the queen’s sword. While you busy yourself with artisan sauces, and perfect your pumpkin soup and raw kale smoothies, Scarlet goes quietly about the business of fattening up the little beans hidden beneath her velvety pantaloons. She twirls nonchalantly in the breeze and fans herself in the heat, eventually shrinking in the November chill and allowing the velvet to wear thin and become disheveled. She tricks you into thinking, “Time to rip that dead plant out.” Then HAAA! She clobbers you with that high E flat: out tumble the magnificent goods, the food of the god, the cuisine of the aristocracy. She gives you the chateaubriand of dried beans.

There is nothing quite as operatic as a Scarlet Runner Bean. A vegetable of myriad talents, it is one of my favorite gifts to and from the garden, and the star of the late Fall harvest. And as everyone knows, the garden opera ain’t over til the Fat Dry Bean sings.


Here’s what on offer this week at YOUR Fall-Bountiful Vashon Farmers Market:

We take our final Village Green bow of the season this week, and celebrate Thanksgiving with our annual Pumpkin Pie Contest.

Bakers, bring your best pumpkin pie creation to the market by 11am, whereupon three very talented bakers/judges will have the honor of tasting and awarding the crown – er, champs apron – to the winner. Thanks to Windermere Vashon for sponsoring the Pie Contest, and to Tom Conway, Karen Biondo and Megan Hastings for doing the hard work of judging.

  • Hilltop Garden brings lots of kale and potatoes and some late ripening large tomatoes, as well as large, colorful DRIED SCARLET RUNNER BEANS.
  • Greenman Farm will have hot apple cider, pressed fresh from their own apples! For hearty soups, roasts, and pies, we’ll have beautiful winter squashes and pumpkins, including big beautiful wedges of Musque de Provence (the pumpkin that won Jasper the Best Pumpkin Pie Award 2009). Also Rome beauty apples, piquant green tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, French fingerling potatoes, mixed kale, rainbow chard, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, carrots, leeks, and plenty of recipes to go with them all. For farm crafts, we’ll have Jasper’s delightfully soft & warm handknit hats and scarves, upcycled “feed” tote bags, and beautiful veggie greeting cards.
  • Pacific Crest will be there with all your Fall Favorites! Fresh Greens including: Kale, Collards, Romaine lettuce, Radicchio and Swiss Chard. Bunches of Cilantro, Fennel, Kohlrabi and Green Peppers. Lots of Winter Squash and Pie Pumpkins. Multiple varieties of Apples including: Jonagold and Northern Spy. Also, sweet Chestnuts, freshly-dug Parsnips and Potatoes, Onions and Shallots, and the first harvest of Fall Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts.
  • Plum Forest Farm First, a note from Rob and Joanne: The farmers of Plum Forest Farm would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our wonderful customers and our fellow vendors who make each market day a pleasure for us. This Saturday Plum Forest will have: Many varieties of incredible organic winter squash (including: Delicata, Acorn, Buttercup, Sweet Dumpling, Sibley, and Kabocha), delicious pumpkins, including pie contest winner Winter Luxury plus Crown and New England Pie, Gourmet Salad  Mix, Vibrant Kale, Chard, Beets, Turnips, Radishes, Arugula, Sweet Red Peppers, Hot peppers, Beautiful Cilantro, Sweet Sweet carrots, parsnips, Leeks, Cabbage, Pac Choi, and Choux de Bruxelles (Brussels Sprouts!)
  • Sun Island Farm Joe (shown at right) says, “Plan Your Thanksgiving!” They will have sweet fall carrots and beautiful full flavor beets. Brussels sprouts. Winter Luxury and rouge vif de temps Pie pumpkins. Best in pie Heirloom apples. Delicious Delicata Sweet dumpling and they will be cutting slices of their Giant Winter Pink Banana squash. They will also have some sweet salad turnips and greens, and some Tomatoes and peppers for Saucing. “Come see us at your Sun Island.”
  • Midlife Crisis Farm will be bringing USDA lamb, grass fed ground beef, lean and healthful bison plus Swedish potato sausages for the grill, amazing smoked bacon and more of that delectable ginger pear pork sausage, as well as brats and German sausages.
  • Quality Seafood will be there with tasty Columbia River salmon, Spot Prawns from nearby waters, Red Snapper and Alaska halibut, and delicious Smoked King Salmon for the best imaginable hors d’oeuvre.Caramel samples
  • The Farm Coop Booth is always a place to find lots of surprises. This week, get your fix of beautiful kale, purple potatoes, kohlrabi and cauliflower, along with lots of other delicious Vashon Grown produce.
  • King Caramels (shown at right)redefines the candymaker’s art with Hedy’s latest connoisseur caramels. Choose from Sea Salt, Licorice, Ginger, Classic, Brown Rice and Agave. All amazing, all made on Vashon!
  • Anu Rana’s Healthy Kitchen is a big hit with their delicious healthful treats, now presenting their products in new biodegradable packaging – including their Flourless cookies – Almond Date Coconut, Soft pumpkin seed cookies, Brownies, Coconut Pistachio and Quinoa Dates Nutty Bar; and AMAZING Pumpkin Pie (Crust of Almond & Pumpkin seed) with Cashew cream.
  • Cliff’s Beer is the coolest brew in town and this is your last chance of the year to stock up on those darling brown bottles, since it’s their final market of the season. Delicious handmade beers that always sell out early. Choose from equally popular Alder Smoked Porter and Bitter Ale. And Cliff has launched his American Pale Ale – think American Bitter, but hoppier. Hop off with a bottle of that!
  • Rex Morris (shown below left) will be happy to put a razor sharp edge on your knives (perfect for turkey carving!), clippers, a treasured machete’ – and anything you might have left out rusting over the summer… And if you’re lucky, he’ll also have some of his smokin’ hot “Face On Fire” hotsauce to share.




  • KB & Paula are back with a fresh batch of Paula’s woodwork including Cherry rolling pins from Vashon harvested wood, and cool colored bud vase stands, hand-crafted drums and KB’s gorgeous stained glass artworks and vases.
  • Treenware – John will be there with replicas of 16th century tasting spoons (or, as an alternate name, “lip preservation spoons!) in addition to all his other amazing hand carved spoons and salt bowls.

Pumpkin Pie contest  
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Vashon Farmers Market   
Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm

     on the Village Green 


17519 Vashon Hwy SW, north of Bank Rd.

Click for map and directions

Our SUN Sponsors, whose logos appear below, help underwrite the things that make the Market special each week: Live music, educational and outreach materials, SUNSHINE every Saturday…. You wondered how we were able to afford all those Sunny Day orders, didn’t you? Well, now you know. And that’s why we call them SUN sponsors.

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Vashon Farmers Market | The Village Green | Vashon Hwy and Bank Rd | Vashon | WA | 98070





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