Skip to main content

Vancouver Farmers Market: A Short Review

The Vancouver Farmers Market in March!
I can't go anywhere without trying to visit the local farmers market. So, even though we had just a couple of days with a good friend and her family in Vancouver, Washington, I dragged everyone with me to the local market.

Bautista Farm apples!
Dubbed as Washington State's second largest market, the Vancouver Farmers Market is set smack dab in the center of the town's historic center and along one side of Esther Short Park. As seems normal for this part of the country, it was softly raining by the time we arrived. And as seems normal for people who live in this part of the country, they carried on mostly unfazed by the drizzle. We followed suit.

Cesar Hernandez of Romero's Salsa.
My first stop was to try a sample of Romero's Salsa. Big bags of homemade chips sat alongside vivid red, green and orange (one incorporates mango) salsas, and I sidled right up to try some. The chips were sturdy and flavorful, and the salsa, I have to say, was out of this world. "It's my wife's business," Cesar Hernandez told me with a smile as he passed me a sample of the guacamole. Flavorful without being spicy, I opted for a tomato-based one with a bit more zip.

RJ Farms kohlrabi.
Vendors selling baked goods, wine, jams, and honey were on hand as were those selling prepared foods. Bautista Farms brought along a beautiful selection of apples, and RJ Farms had a nice selection of winter vegetables. Scratch Meats, who I had met at the Portland State University Farmers Market, was also on hand with samples of their delectable meats. There was also handmade soap, jewelry, pottery, and more. I was on a tight schedule (napping baby woke up), and the rain was transitioning from a drizzle to something more serious.

Rebecca Kawanami of River Wave Foods.
I stopped to talk with Rebecca Kawanami of River Wave Foods and sampled her sauces, dressings and tapenade. Rebecca's love for her newfound craft (she's a retired airline steward) comes shining through. The Berriyaki Sauce is a crowd favorite, but Rebecca's Asian Pickles made with her Thai Vinaigrette were a heart-stealer for me.

Naate McClellan of Nature Nates, LLC.
I also spoke with Nate McClellan of Nature Nates, LLC. I simply had to try his popped sorghum and find out how to make it. A common practice in Japan is to use sorghum as a natural windbreak and bug catcher, but it is simply composted at the end of the season. I was eager to find out if it could take on a third role as edible crop. While Nate's popped sorghum was brilliant, he informed me that varieties vary. We'll have to see.

Kristin's Sweet Delights had, of course, sweets, but they offered me my very first handmade corn dog. "You should never eat a convenience store corn dog," Kristin admonished as she took my order, and after eating hers, I may never be able to again. A tasty sausage encased in crispy-outside, moist-inside cornbread, I was devastated when it finished. I'd go back to the market just for this.

Short but sweet, the Vancouver Farmers Market is well worth a visit. Held every weekend on both Saturday and Sunday, visitors will find at the very least some excellent souvenirs to take home and at most some of the best dinner fixings around.

Vancouver Farmers Market - Downtown
March to October
Saturday, 9am - 3pm
Sunday, 10am - 3pm
Esther Short Park


Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro