Fresh for the table from the Thanksgiving Market

Vancouver Farmers Market vendors give a holiday encore

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter



Eating Local for the holidays

If you’re going through farmers market withdrawal during the winter, you can find some of the market’s treats at these other local shops and farms (addresses are Vancouver unless noted):

Columbia River Coffee Company at Kudos Coffee Co., 3553 N.E. Third Ave., Camas; and Fern Prairie Market, 1817 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas.

Russell’s Bread at Neighbors Market, 1707 Main St.; and Vancouver Food Cooperative, 1002 Main St.

The Garlic Lady at New Seasons, 2100B S.E. 164th Ave.; Whole Foods, 815 S.E. 160th Ave.; and Neighbors Market.

Klickitat Canyon wine at Grand Central Fred Meyer, 2500 Columbia House Blvd.; and Neighbors Market.

Nut-Tritious nut butters at Chucks Produce, 13215 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd.; Lingonberries Market, 6300 N.E. 117th Ave.; Arnada Naturals, 1705 Broadway; Whole Foods, Neighbors Market and New Seasons

Wild mushrooms by calling Ricky Pine at 360-213-5158.

Oh Fudge! at its storefront, 607 Washington St.

Shoppers braved chilly weather and a forecast of snow Saturday to have a last grab at local produce at the Vancouver Farmers Market’s Thanksgiving Market before winter sets in.

“When the market ends, I have to start shopping in grocery stores, and I hate it,” said Vancouver resident Russell Pfandler, owner of Russell’s Bread.

This year is the first time the farmers market has held a Thanksgiving market, a fall harvest encore to its regular market, which runs from March to October.

“It’s mainly to provide our customers with fresh, local produce for their Thanksgiving meal,” said Erin Timmerman, farmers market manager.

The event included only food vendors and with about 20 of them, was a fraction of the size of the regular farmers market. The farmers market will showcase its artisan vendors at a Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 at the Hilton at West Sixth and Columbia streets in downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver resident Renee Soasey said she was glad to have a second chance to pick up local produce Saturday. She bought broccoli, potatoes, spaghetti squash, onions and

chanterelle mushrooms. She didn’t know how she would prepare the food but said that’s part of the fun.

“I just make it up,” Soasey said.

Ashley Parsons of Parsons Farms said some customers are curious yet stumped about what to do with some of fall harvest’s less-familiar produce, such as purple carrots or the many varieties of squash.

“Some customers see the more foreign vegetables and don’t know what to do with them,” Parsons said. “As employees, we experiment with the vegetables at home so we can give customers advice.”

She suggested roasting purple carrots, or using them in a stir-fry. Acorn squash makes a good dessert or breakfast after it’s baked for 30 minutes with brown sugar, she said.

Vancouver residents William and Angel Herzig didn’t know the market was having an encore event until they came downtown to buy some meat at the Vancouver Food Cooperative.

The couple said they saw the farmers market and decided to buy their produce there. They purchased some winter squash from Parsons without any particular plans for what to do with it.

“We just Google it to come up with ideas,” Angel Herzig said.

Vancouver resident Wayne Schmasow had a particular culinary adventure in mind when he went shopping at the market.

“I’m going to do butternut squash french fries I saw on a food program,” Schmasow said. “You peel them, use a crinkle cutter and bake them in the oven with just salt and pepper.”

Gordie and Danielle Blair gave out samples of wine at the Klickitat Canyon Winery stand to warm up the masses and tempt shoppers to buy. Bundled up in hats and down vests, the couple also kept warm with some hand warmers in their pockets.

“It’s neat seeing the same people come through,” Danielle Blair said. “It’s nice to get to know each other. It’s a nice little community.”

Blair recommended the winery’s Meadowlark Gold to accompany a Thanksgiving meal.

The $40 white wine is a limited edition made from the winery’s estate grapes.

“It’s a celebratory wine,” she said. “It tastes like Champagne with a chardonnay flavor. It’s perfect for a celebration.”

It’s also the most expensive wine that Klickitat Canyon sells. The winery’s other offerings range from $13 to $20 per bottle.

For more information about the farmers market, visit

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551;;;