Arts and Culture Column
By Kathryn Dean, Kirk Park
As the leaves begin to turn, the kids return to school, and the lazy days of summer come to an end, there is one staple that continues…the Issaquah Farmer’s Market.
Through September 24th, 9am-2pm on the Pickering Barn grounds, you can still enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning seeing neighbors, perusing the many vendors’ booths and taking home fresh flowers, fruit, vegetables, baked goods, chips and salsa, soaps, jewelry, crafts, and much more.
Recently at the market, my daughter and I enjoyed enticing smells of the hot food booths reached us even before we saw them – seafood, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Mediterranean – pretty much any kind of food you could desire. We opted for fresh chips and salsa from Niño Blanco foods and cinnamon rolls from Forest Fairy Bakery.
While colors, smells and flavors of the market delight, what we loved most was the neighborly spirit of the farmer’s market. Not only did we see and wave to many of our Issaquah Highlands neighbors, but conversations with vendors felt like the front-porch friendliness we enjoy in the Highlands.
Shirley Hays sold us goodies from the Forest Fairy Bakery. Her daughter, and bakery owner, Linda Hays, began baking as a small child, and as a teenager baked loaves of bread and sold them to whomever would buy. Eventually she focused on using all natural products and selling at farmer’s markets. In January 2013, Linda opened a store on Front Street North called Forest Fairy Bakery. The whole family helps, with her mom and dad often running the booth at the farmer’s market.
We also talked with Highlands resident Kelly Turner, who is an owner and artisan at the Seattle Soap Shop – another company focused on all natural and non-allergenic ingredients. Her soaps and bath bombs with names such as; Put the Lime in the Coconut, Red Red Wine, Love Potion, and Totes Ma Goats, contain no gluten, soy, phthalates, sulfates, or parabens. Not to mention that they smell divine. We had a hard time narrowing down our purchase to just five.
As we made our way out of the market, we couldn’t leave without a bundle of fresh flowers. The bright colors and artful arrangements allowed us to bring the beauty of summer home.
The farmer’s market is more than an outdoor store for produce and artisans. The market embodies a community spirit of creativity, beauty, and friendliness. The market is a gathering place, and a Saturday morning destination for family outings. I like to imagine that the market helps keep the pastoral spirit of small town America alive – buying products directly from the source – and supporting our community.
Join me in taking advantage of these last few weeks at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market. I plan to stock up on enough yummy-smelling soaps to make it through the winter.