Farmer’s Market Roundup: Snohomish Farmer’s Market

Today a confluence of circumstances allowed us to go as a family to the nearest local farmer’s market, in the lovely town of Snohomish.  Right near the center of town they have a nice little market each Thursday until October from about 3pm to about 7-8pm, depending on when darkness falls.  We went and wandered and picked up some nice local goods.

Berries and broccoli from a very-local farm whose name is lost to toddler carping: $12.75

Absolutely delicious and enticingly flavored knotweed honey, with a side order of perfectly adequate fireweed honey from the folks at Frontier Flyers Honey: $23 ($12 for the knotweed, and $11 for the fireweed)

Baked treats from a lady’s car, blueberry/peach coffee cake (1) with REAL PEACH PITS for me, the mommums, and chocolate no-bake (2) for my husband and our oldest.  The baby didn’t get any baked treats, but did get the joy of people telling her she was AWESOME for being in an Ergo carrier: $5 total (would have been a bit more, but the lady cut us a break because I got the last coffee cake piece and “It was a small one, two dollars is fine.”

They have a scrip system for using credit cards.  You go to one of the nice old ladies running the market FAQ booth and they will run your credit card for a fixed amount and give you tokens that the vendors can return cash change for.  Pretty handy!  We didn’t go that route, but it’s good to know for another time.  In the meantime, I got printed lists of the farmer’s markets in Snohomish and King counties, which I will probably use to make the rounds this year.  I will dig up my reviews of the mostly King County farmer’s markets I made it to last year and put those up soon enough, but this year, I will focus on Snohomish County.  Should be interesting!

I like farmer’s markets, the vendor selection was very local and pretty solid, a mix of food and tchotkes.  And in a Very Seattle twist, there was stuff like organic homemade dog treats next to the handpopped kettle corn with the stand run by children and handcarved wood bagatelles.  Fun market, will visit again!

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Local Foodshed Spotlight– Hagen Farm

This here is the farm we got pork and beef from.

The animals are very high quality, the beef is top notch, so much so that the organs are flavorful and tender.  The kidneys, for example, had none of the strong flavors commonly expected with cow kidneys.  The liver was also mild enough that even I, who truly can’t deal with liver’s texture or flavor was able to eat a little braised with a bit of cornmeal.  No soaking in milk was needed either.  It was pretty fabulous.  The pork we got has been nice as well, not least of which are tender hams and good thick-cut bacon.  This is a farm I would completely recommend as a place to get beef and pork by the quarter/half/whole for those in the Snohomish County area.

It’s a joy to support local farmers when they provide a quality product at excellent prices.  Hagen Farm is about $3.50/lb or so for beef and about $4.50/lb or so for pork, including separate-pay cut and wrap fees to the butcher.  Again, great farm, very local, highly recommend for anyone with enough storage for quarter/half/whole beef and/or half/whole hogs.  She also has lamb, but we ran out of storage with the cow and the pig, so perhaps another year!  Delicious! And I’m glad to see her getting some local notice as I noted above.  It was so funny, I said to my husband “That farm is where we got our cow! and they’re in the paper!” and we both had a moment there.

Post a Pic Tuesdays– Juniper Burn, or the Desolation of Stupid

As is occasionally the case with country living, accidents will happen.  In this case, a stray spark led to a small brush fire, scorching juniper that had run wild over the landscaping (which was a nice side effect) but also nailing our plum and cherry trees (which was a not so nice side effect).  We got to meet the fine folks of Snohomish Fire District 4 who arrived very very quickly and immediately got the fire under control.  It looks bad from the road, but it’s a fairly small burn.

Here’s some pictures of it all

Burnt Holly

The fire hit this English holly, another invasive that will now be easier to dispense with.

Window View

Taken from the window, not long after the firemen (and one lady) put the blaze out.

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Scorched juniper

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The flames went right up-hill due to it being a breezy day.

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The burn revealed old terrace landscaping that had become hidden under mounds of juniper bushes, now burnt bare.

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That untreated cedar fence was going to be firewood. Heh.

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Poor plum tree, no plums this year. 😦

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Closer view of the old terracing and the poor plum tree of love.

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It spread through the grass up hill, but was beaten back, so our pasture is fine.

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The juniper hid a lot of hard work landscaping this place.

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Poor cherry tree! The stump is fine, though!

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This is well up-hill, it spread in less than ten minutes. This is why rural areas need multiple fire districts.

Desolation of stupid is my husband’s name for the burned area.  The Juniper Burn is mine.  It looked worse than it is.  The grass is likely to come back, it doesn’t look like anything was burned to death, but with no leaves, the juniper will be much easier to clear out and replace with fruit trees or bushes.  While the fire was going on, it was stressful, but it was over quickly.  I took the girls and kept them out of trouble.  My oldest was thrilled and wanted to help the firemen.  My youngest smelled the smoke and was scared and unhappy.  Funny how personality differences come through even at very young ages.

Anyway, due to this accident, we’re going over our property and will be working to clear fire hazard plants out now while there is still frequent rain.  And if things go very well, we’re going to go ahead and throw some sheep out to graze down some of the brush in the next week or two.  Sheep are great at eating plain grass and also knocking out underbrush.  Their dining habits blend cow and goat, skewing more towards one or the other depending on breed.

Life is a strange business, but we’re glad to have good neighbors and firefighters.

Potato Planting Picture Post

We are finally preparing to plant and we are starting with something easy– potatoes.  The glory of potatoes is that you can just plant a sack from the store and get back several more sacks even if you forget to weed some weekends.  You can also in this climate leave them in the ground if you don’t want to harvest all at once.  So it’s a nice break-in crop.  

some dirt we dug up

Preparing the ground for taters by digging up clumps of grass

 

more dug up dirt

More digging!

We have some native plant life around and about.  Out here in more rural Snohomish County, the native plants have not been pushed out as much as is the case in even fairly remote bits of King County.  Thus, we have lovely salmonberries that will soon fruit and make for delicious snacking when the kids party outside in the wonderful summers Cascadia has to offer.

salmonberry closeup

Closer look at the salmonberries that abut the taters. Already flowering!

However, there are still a few places where noxious invasive plants crop up, like English Ivy, which can create “ivy deserts” where nothing else grows.  

 

English Ivy

Stupid English Ivy littering some junipers that have to come down anyway.

Conveniently, the junipers in that picture are coming down to allow for enough sun for the taters and other stuff we want to plant, so the English Ivy will be gone baby gone soon enough.  

It was nice to start digging in the dirt.  Hopefully we can have lots of planting through the late spring and early summer.