Exploring the farmers markets in our area is turning out to be more fun than we expected. Last weekend we drove north to visit the Mount Vernon Farmers Market in Skagit County.
Attendance was very good for such a cool, misty Saturday, and no one seemed to mind the clouds.
The Mount Vernon market has a variety of hot foods to choose from. We saw crepes, pancakes, and hot dogs, and I'm pretty sure there was coffee and tea in a few places. Can you go anywhere in this state without seeing coffee?
New potatoes are in, folks! Check out those golden lovelies. The bin below even had a recipe for tater salad.
My mission was to find cauliflower. I haven't had any all season, and I knew this would be my day. White cauliflower is nice, but where was the romanesco and purple stuff?
Nantes carrots, short, fat, and meaty, were everywhere. The onions are getting bigger, too. Aimee recently found a recipe for pickled red onions. Once those bulbs are bigger, we'll be buying a lot of them for storing.
How about that? No spray sweet onions and gorgeous beets. Why did we ever start using pesticides?
I never buy flowers at the markets. I suppose my view of life is too utilitarian.... But those sunflowers were so bright and happy I couldn't resist taking their picture.
Speaking of flowers, the lavender was fragrant and attracted children from all over the market. Lavender is a very popular crop in this part of the state. There are lavender festivals and art events, and some communities earn more from lavender tourism in one month than they do the rest of the year.
From fresh berries to gorgeous pies, how can you say no to local fruit? We picked up a twenty pound box of peaches for $30 from the vendor a few stalls down. Their destiny? Peach and berry crisp, peaches with yogurt, and brandied peaches.
Aha! I found them all! I've never grown cauliflower, but those colors are impossible to resist. I bought one head of romanesco (the green spirals are barely reddish at their tips) and one of the purple. When I steamed the purple, the water below took on that intense color, but the cauliflower buds stayed vibrant!
It's time for bean salads and pretty jars of green and yellow beans to stack in your pantry.
The first pickling cukes have arrived! I didn't get enough from this batch, but there were plenty more at the Everett Farmers Market yesterday. It's time to get pickling.
Hedlin Family Farms is very well known for their tomatoes, but how about those peppers and eggplants? I picked up several of each kind and made an omlette the next morning. Growing heat-loving plants in the Pacific Northwest is a difficult chore, so I'm happy to let family farms do the work for me.
After checking out the market, we stopped in and visited the neighborhood co-op and drove up to Edison for some more farm fun. I'll tell you about that soon. Our first trip to the Mount Vernon Farmers Market will not be our last. When are we going back?