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  • Saturdays March 27th-November 20th 2010 9 am to 2 pm North 27th & Proctor Street, Tacoma

Green Day 2011 by Rebekah Mingus of the Holistic Moms group

My excitement to check out the Proctor Farmer’s Market Green Day 2011 could not be dampened by a soggy morning. Despite getting a late start my husband and I bundled up the kiddos and headed out to sample the entertainment and demonstrations. We took early shelter from the rain in the Tacoma Nature Center’s craft booth where the kiddos enjoyed painting, puppets (ok, the frog puppet had my 1yo screaming), mystery bottles, and puzzles.

As the skies dried up we headed out to see the solar oven demo, pre-built chicken coops, new Tacoma bike maps, and the composting toilet. Our three year old was thrilled by the performance of Grace Youn and Friends as they wandered through the market playing violins and a flute. Our toddler joined the other kids to dance and shake maracas to the music of Old Growth Timbres. I think my husband was mortified as I joined them in singing Yellow Taxi.

Grace Youn and Friends

We all enjoyed sampling cinnamon apples from Lattin’s cider mill, sauces from the Four Sisters Gourmet Sauces, and gorgeous baked goods from the Stone Ground Bakery. Their oatmeal/peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies are always a market indulgence for me. The usual mixture of walking families, friendly merchants (with timely port-a-potty directions), and sweet dogs made for a delightful market visit. Next year I will be sure to arrive earlier since we left the house too late to enjoy the cooking demonstration (packing waste free lunches) and bike repair demonstration that I had hoped to attend. For now I will spend the next few weeks hoping for some summer sun to ripen the gorgeous hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes that we purchased.

Pictures and photos submitted by Rebekah Mingus of the Holistic Moms Group of Tacoma.

NW Public Radio Article Highlights Farmers’ Markets

The NW Public Radio website welcomed the opening of Washington farmers’ markets by giving direct links from its home page to the Proctor Farmers’ Market and three eastern Washington farmers’ markets. NW Public Radio also provided a directory of farmers’ markets in Washington state. The directory includes a market locator feature that you can use to search for a farmers’ market by city, county, day of operation, and payment options.

May 7th’s Farmers’ Market

Chef William at Babblin Babs created a delicious African stew in honor of this year’s Tacoma Reads book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Trio of Three performed from 9-11, and Southern Skies performed from 12-2.

At the Kids’ Booth, Bryant 4th-grader Michael shared his windmill science project.

The new produce at the market included spinach, lettuce, and joi choi. Wilson Fish offered fresh king salmon and smoked salmon.

What’s next at the Market?

May 14th: The last volunteer training of the spring will be held from 12-2 at the market. If you would like to participate, please email Market Manager Jessica Troy at proctorfm@yahoo.com.

May 21st: Wild Outside Kids Day! There will be music for kids and activities presented by Wolf Camp, including storytelling, cooking with wildfoods, animal tracking, and lessons about native plants.

Miam miam!*

I have lived in Tacoma for a total of six whole weeks and in that time I have explored every market in the entire area, enthusiastically and with vigor. I can say with assurance that Proctor Farmers’ Market is the best in Tacoma, if not the world!
Just kidding. All of Tacoma’s markets are wonderful.
However, with the announcement that the Proctor Market is going to be holding a winter market once a month after it ends the regular season the week before Thanksgiving, it is truest fact that the Proctor Market is now the only year-round market in town!
With that in mind, I set about visiting some vendors who have goods that will be available even in the harsh, rainy (or so I have heard!) winter. I stopped at Feisty Gals’ Coffee, where Francine and Mel were celebrating their second week at the market with some delicious hazelnut coffee. A far cry from the unnatural and indiscernible ingredients in the ubiquitous break-room staple claiming the same flavor inspiration—hazelnut Coffee Mate—the gals’ beans are roasted alongside whole hazelnuts, clearly visible in each packed-with-love clear plastic baggie of local coffee goodness.
Erica’s pasta will be available December through March. She makes each batch using an authentic pasta-making machine from Italy! I picked up some cumin-and-garlic flavored fettuccine, with the promise that all that would need to be added to this flavorful pasta was some olive oil, and perhaps some grated Parmesan and a vegetable.
Next door at Little Eorthe Farm, I found some red spinach to steam with my pasta. And two other vegetables I had never dreamed of before: purple kohlrabi, which I was told tastes much like jicama, and “yellow dragon tongue” beans, which feature purple splotches that disappear upon cooking! Magic!
Over the next week, I created a pasta meal using the (delicious!) cumin-and-garlic-flavored fettucine, which I tossed with steamed red-leaf spinach from the market, olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan. Yum! The pasta is good for at least a week in the fridge, and up to a month in the freezer. Awesome!
The kohlrabi I packed in my lunch. I have to admit I felt a little smug, munching my crispy, vitamin-rich snack. The yellow dragon tongues mixed beautifully with a stir-fry vegetable meal that included broccoli, onion, carrots, and brown rice.

The Proctor Farmer Market is a great place for cooking inspiration, be it simply the inspiration one can garner from gazing upon the colorful and exotic (at least to me, an native of poor, dried out Arizona) or from the people who bring their own harvested-with-love goods to the market week after week. I encountered three generations of the Parker family and some buttercup squash. Though she admitted it wasn’t the healthiest of side dishes, Dorothy suggested I cook the half gourd filled with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and bacon. Fantastic!

See you next week at the market! And as we approach winter, if you’re worried about cold, wet weather, take a fashion tip from the plethora of weather-proofed toddlers who can be found roaming the markets, clutching organic apples and splashing in puddles (and whose cuteness is rivaled only by the dozens of dogs who make the lucky trek to the market with their owners each weekend!).

 

*That’s French for “yum, yum!”
Photos and words by Lorraina Liss.

July 31st
With the Market bustling to Ron Fowler when I arrived, I could barely tell that the sun wasn’t out. The clouds couldn’t keep the crowds away and it didn’t seem to bother the dogs either.


Besides, it’s not like they have sunglasses.
Me and my father headed straight through the main market in hopes to make it to the roses before they were all gone. You see, my father has a very impressive garden at home, but he is always on the look out for a few extra eye catching pieces.
He was immediately impressed by a Hot Cocoa Rose which blooms a slightly off red with a chocolaty undertone. For sure something that could catch a passerby’s attention. Sadly, no decision could be made with out the final approval from mother, but seeing as how she didn’t come along, we had to leave the flowers empty handed, but our minds brimming with ideas.


Now, I’ve made it by a few of the markets before and I always have my eye on Gradwohls Farm’s booth to check the supply of beef. We had a birthday coming up in the family (we aren’t the only ones, make sure to wish Michael a happy birthday at the end of August!) and wanted to treat ourselves; with a purchase of a lovely prime rib and even some of his delicious beef jerky. Original style for me, please! Needless to say that the people from Gradwohl’s Farm are definitely personable.
Once passing from beef, we headed over to Cheryl the Pig Lady. If you’re missing her during Proctor Fest (the 7th) it’s because she’s at her sons wedding. So no fussing when you miss out on a fresh, harvested-the night-before-chicken. Another Birthday meal with which my dad was just tickled pink over.
But while he was off buying his meats, I got sidetracked by the Art-a-thon happening just across the way. Not only was I excited for the pieces being sold and painted there, but I heard a snippet from Sharron Croetti explaining that she had noticed a few market goers and sketched them out real quick. From sketch to painting, in less than an hour. Amazed? I am.
The Art-a-thon was a nice touch to the Farmers Market, and did you hear where the proceeds went? To the neighborhood food bank for getting fresh produce! With a cause like that I couldn’t help but donate some dollars; who says the less fortunate shouldn’t get healthy food?
We ended our trip by picking up some cherries and nectarines (which were a lovely desert that night) from Tiny’s Organics. And just for the record, you can’t beat $7 for two pounds of Rainier Cherries when they’re $5.99 a pound at any other grocery store.

Midsummer Stride at the Market

Fresh! Fresh! Fresh! The Proctor Market is teeming with fresh varieties this time of year and each week brings new flavors. While the season came late, it’s in full swing now and with that in mind I headed towards the market with my big vintner’s straw hat, grocery sacks and chilled cart to do a little shopping for the blog. What I came home with was a bundle of amazing scents and flavors.

This will keep me going all week and more. For around thirty dollars I picked up:

Proctor Market vegetable haul

Market booty from Proctor Farmer's Market

  • Eggs
  • Bicolor Corn
  • Rhubarb
  • Garlic
  • Green & red radicchio
  • Broccoli
  • Bergamot
  • Flowering oregano
  • Purple Stripe carrots
  • Beets
  • Dill
  • Walla walla green onions
  • Goat cheese

In past week’s I’ve stocked up on beef, lamb, chicken, fish and pork from the various stock as well as hazelnuts and pasta. Upcoming soon to the market will be the hotter weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergine (eggplant).

This will keep me going all week in addition to my own garden bounty. I’ve had little use for the big stores since the Proctor Farmer’s Market opened this season. With the extended season, we get more from the farmer’s and isn’t it great to meet the person who grows the food you bring to table? The brightness of the veggies are a true reflection of their flavor. I love the Market Tokens program, too. I don’t have to worry about bringing cash or holding up line while I juggle checkbook and veggies. Ask about the Market Tokens program at the Proctor Farmer’s Market Volunteer stall. We volunteers LOVE to help.

On Saturday night, I made a fresh salad with a Green Goddess Dressing. It was great over some hard boiled eggs on a bed of radicchio and steamed, cooled potatoes. One of the main ingredients for Green Goddess dressing is onion. The Walla Wallas are all over the market. They’re fresh, sweet, and green. Mine came from Dao Lee’s stall where they also sell bright bouquets.


Green Goddess Dressing

Radicchio and Carrots with a smear of Green Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (or more) plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Handful fresh dill
  • Handful chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) chopped fresh mint
  • 2-4 anchovies
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2-4 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • Dash of white pepper
Proctor Farmer's Market

Fixings for Green Goddess are fresh from the PFM!

Preparation:
Whiz ingredients together in a food processor and chill. It should be slightly thick. If you want it more pourable, use less yogurt and a drizzle of lemon juice.



This also makes a great dip for fresh cut up veggies. I just dipped my carrots into them. Speaking of carrots, I cut into my purple carrots and what a surprise. Stripes! Just don’t tell anyone picky eaters that there are anchovies in the dip and they’ll never know. Oh! and the garlic from Prana Farms was so fresh and juicy that it squirted me in the eye when I smacked it. Sassy garlic. That’s also where the radicchio came from, less sassy but equally fresh and juicy. Mmmm!



Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


On Sunday, I took some of the bright red market strawberries I had frozen from last week and whizzed them together with the second growth of rhubarb now at the market at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill stall where I also get fresh eggs. There are several vendors that sell eggs. Just ask around if you’re looking for some. Sweet and delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is still fresh with the strawberries being around so late in the season.  Everyone has their own secret recipe for Rhubarb Pie.  If you don’t, just leave a message and I’ll post the one I have for this tasty one. Remember to peel your rhubarb at this stage of the season, it makes for a much more tender final product. Just peel as like you would celery.



I also boiled some beets to make a quick beet salad and keep in the refrigerator to draw from during the week. This time of year the beets are coming in so don’t pass them up. Their colors are amazing on your table and the earthy flavors balance the zing of those fresh greens.

Beet Salad

Beet Salad

Quick N Easy Beet Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of baby beets (roots) (about 1-2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons wine or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup (or to taste) slivered walla walla onions (optional)

Preparation:
Rinse the beet roots. Place in a pot and cover with water. Boil the beets until tender. Depending upon the size this can take up to an hour and half. Check after 1/2 hour with baby beets.
Drain the beets and rinse. Slide the skins off while the beets are still warm. I like to do this under cool water drizzle in the sink. Allow the beets to cool, and then cut the beets into 1/4″ cubes.

Mix the cubed beets in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cover tightly, and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.

Prior to serving, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if desired.


nasturtium quiche

Nasturtiums make for a pretty quiche


The quiche that came on Tuesday was made with the farm fresh eggs and cheese from the market. The goat cheese from Blue Rose Dairy was creamy yummicious. I took the beet tops, sauteed them and added some of the onions. Finally, I topped them with some nasturtium blooms that were being sold at the Zestful Gardens stall. Remember the best ratio of egg to dairy for a quiche is 3:1 according to Julia Child. Basically, 1 egg to 1/3 cup of dairy. You can cut down on the liquidity and make a more firm quiche by adding egg yolk instead of egg but use at least one full egg.

Bergamot Mint Tea


As a refreshing drink, this week I steeped some mint from the market with bergamot from Little Eorthe Farm. A squeeze of lemon over the ice, a little sweetener of choice sprinkled in and then the steeped liquid was sieved as it was poured into into the chilled container. I just used my ice tea glass but you can do a pitcher of this easily. The bergamot blossom adds a gorgeous glint of fuscia to the drink. Some folks like their herbed teas sieved, but as a note, if you don’t mind it, the bergamot blossoms get pulpy. This tea is elegant and simple and great to dress up a backyard bar-b-q.

I can’t wait for the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers to start coming to the market. Ayala’s has had cucumbers for pickling so if you’re into canning, the market is a great place to get some fresh produce to put up for the summer.

See you next week at the market!

Francine Mastini – Proctor Market Volunteer

Mural Unveiling


On May 15th we celebrated the market by unveiling a mural!  If you weren’t able to make it to the market, stop by and check it out on the side the Teaching Toys building on Proctor and 27th.  Rumor has it that each panel of the mural will be available for purchase as a poster over the next few years; a new one being produced each year for the next four years.  Collect all 4!

It was a crowded market week, thanks to the sun, the mural unveiling, and people like you coming out to show your support in local farmers and the Proctor community.  The sun brought out lots of flowers and some healthy looking vegetable starts!  I can barely hold myself back from buying a market-favorite: basil.  I know it’s still too cold, but I can’t go a week without planting something! So, I opted for something a little heartier.

A new blueberry bush….Everblue?, Hardyblue? Earliblue? I should have paid closer attention so I didn’t have to google search though the many varieties of blueberries.  My family has blueberries in our blood. What I mean is, my great-grandfather planted a blueberry field and it’s been in our family since then as a U-pick operation.  Having only moved to Tacoma last June, I knew my yard was lacking the best berry ever created and I would have to change that.

Thanks to Sophia’s Blueberry Farm in Puyallup, I know I have the potential to start my own blueberry field.  George, who faithfully brings plants (and berries in a couple months!) to our market every week, talked me through my options.  I was a little intimidated of the variety that produced near cherry-sized berries and opted for something I could shove handfuls of into my mouth.

It now sits happily in a raised bed next to a fellow blueberry-plant-of-unknown-variety, waiting to produce my favorite food in the world!

By Sarah Reisenauer

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