Offerings remain bountiful as Vancouver Farmers Market caps successful season

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter



If You Go

• What: Final weekend for 2012 Vancouver Farmers Market.

• When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

• Where: Sixth and Esther streets, downtown Vancouver.

• On the Web: Vancouver Farmers Market

The Vancouver Farmers Market will wrap up its regular 2012 season this weekend, but the harvest is far from over.

Local farmers are still growing all sorts of crops such as potatoes, yams, carrots, tomatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, lettuces, herbs and apples, said Jordan Boldt, the market's executive director.

"A lot of people don't realize that even though it's fall, there's still a lot of produce in the ground," Boldt said. "People who stop by this weekend may find some great end-of-the-season deals from our vendors."

A mild, sunny past few months have helped the market, in its 23rd year, to thrive, he added.

"It's been a very good season," Boldt said. "The weather has been exceptional. All the vendors have reported a profitable season, so we're all very happy."

The final market weekend runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Looking to Thanksgiving

One vendor, Little Farms, is even selling turkeys in advance for Thanksgiving, although she'll only be at the market Saturday.

The Klickitat County farm will care for the birds until they're ready, slaughter and clean them and deliver them on Nov. 17 to the Vancouver Harvest Market, which is at the same location as the regular market at Sixth and Esther streets, said Renee Cote-Kreinbring, co-owner.

"They'll be fresh, not frozen, and people will just need to refrigerate them until Thanksgiving," Cote-Kreinbring said. "There's nothing injected in the birds, and they're free-ranging, which gives them a real rich flavor."

She requires a $40 deposit per bird and sells them for $6.50 a pound. Birds range from 12 to 23 pounds. People will pay the difference in cost when they collect the birds in November, she added.

The Harvest Market will include several other products aimed at Thanksgiving feasts, including fresh bread, some prepared foods and root vegetables, which will still be in season, Boldt said.

Following that are two more markets, both focused on the Christmas holiday season, before the end of the year.

The first — the Christmas Tree Lighting Market — will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 23 near the bell tower at Esther Short Park. It coincides with the tree lighting festivities in the park, which is part of the Vancouver Rotary Foundation's Festival of Trees, and will offer a selection of prepared foods, hot drinks, roasted nuts and candies, among other things.

"It's kind of a holiday food and gift thing," Boldt said.

The Holiday Market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

"It's more of a Christmas-sy market, with baked goods, lots of handmade crafts, one vendor is putting together cookie-making kits, and regular gifts like woodworking, jewelry and other crafts," Boldt said.