Liberty Lake Farmers' Market

  (Liberty Lake, Washington)
At The Market
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Support a local CSA- Eat out on Tuesday March 2nd

When you eat out on Tuesday, March 2nd, you'll be helping to feed others in our community.
A portion of the day's sales from the following restaurants will be used to help fund scholarships to offer low-income families a season's worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Atticus Coffee & Gifts 222 North Howard
Hill's Restaurant 401 West Main Ave.
Neato Burrito 1001 W. 25th Ave
The Scoop 827 West 1st Avenue

St. Margaret's Shelter in collaboration with Spokane Tilth, is sponsoring the Share the Harvest event on Tuesday, March 2nd. Participating restaurants will donate a portion of their sales towards scholarships helping limited-income Spokane residents purchase a season's worth of fresh fruits and vegetables from Vinegar Flats Community Garden. This event gives community members the opportunity to support our CSA program and area restaurants, including: Atticus, the Scoop, Neato Burrito and Hills Restaurant. A list of participating restaurants and their locations can be found HERE.

Spokane Tilth's Inland Northwest Community Supported Agriculture Association (INCSAA) will administer the money raised in the form of scholarships to limited-income seniors and households. These scholarships will reduce the cost of weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce boxes, providing produce for the duration of the growing season.

In the CSA model, customers purchase a share of the harvest from a producer, which comes in the form of regular installments across the duration of a growing season. On a weekly basis, a collection of food will be available for pick up or delivery. CSA farms supply up to 22 weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables to their members each year. Memberships at CSA farms encourage healthy food choices and support local Spokane farmers and the Spokane economy.


The Market is on the Web

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Where to get local milk

Looking for local milk in the Spokane area?

Listen to this NW NPR radio show...

Host intro: “Spokane’s Family Farm” dairy is working to bring clean, unadulterated milk to the Inland Northwest. Mary Hawkins reports why “Spokane’s Family Farm” might be considered a revolutionary dairy operation on “Our Northwest Economy”:

Listen here

Mary Hawkins: Mike and Trish Vieira come from generations of hard-working dairy farmers. They used to operate in the Moses Lake, Othello, Yakima region where they were members of the Darigold cooperative. While they didn’t get rich, they had a steady cash flow and were consistently considered top quality producers. However, the Vieras decided to strike out on their own in order to have the kind of business they could be proud of. They moved to Spokane and now they pasteurize and bottle their own product. They chose Spokane because it’s a big enough market to support a small family dairy. They brought 30 cows when their plant was ready and began milking them in April. While they want to make a living, the Vieiras are more concerned with the integrity and health of their product. One of the reasons they became independent is because they couldn’t stand the idea of their milk being pooled with milk from farmers who weren’t as clean:

Trish Vieira: It’s really hard when you do a really good job and you work really hard at it to see it just get dumped with the rest of it so that’s one of the reasons. [and] The other reason is the processing and what happens to the milk before it gets back to the consumer – it changes the milk components so much that it’s no longer healthy, nor is it hardly any longer milk. The only thing that it does retain is that it originally came from a cow somewhere.

Hawkins: Most organic and conventional milk goes through several processes. Milk is pasteurized, which simply means that it is quickly heated to a temperature that will kill pathogens. Lots of milk now goes through an “ultra-pasteurization” method, which heats it to a very high temperature, around 280 degrees Fahrenheit for a fraction of a second. This process not only kills pathogens, it greatly extends shelf life. At Spokane’s Family Dairy, they are less aggressive in their pasteurization: they heat their milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that the milk is much closer to its natural state.

Viera: ….so our milk comes from the cow in its raw form, goes through the pasteurizer the very next day, so it’s very quick. It’s pasteurized for safety only – so everything else good is left in there - and then it goes through the bottler. We don’t take the cream and integrate it so that it won’t leave the milk…

Hawkins: They do not homogenize their milk. Trish Viera argues that homogenization alters the milk product and inhibits the body’s ability to digest it. In fact, she says that milk products now are so adulterated that they contribute to atherosclerosis and obesity partly because our bodies treat milk products as irritants instead of as nutritious foods. She goes as far as saying most milk has very little food value.

Vieira: Cows only produce cream and skim. That’s it. No two percent. No one percent. You know it’s almost like - it comes to you white and liquid and that’s the about the only resemblance it has to milk anymore.

Hawkins: Much of today’s milk has a very long shelf life because it is so sterile. It’s a commodity that is shipped over long distances and can last for months. Dairies don’t have to be as fastidious as the Vieras’ because their milk is highly processed anyway.

Viera: You get good shelf life for two reasons: low bacteria and refrigeration. You also get quality with low bacteria. So if you got a lot of bacteria you GOTTA boil the heck out of it to make sure it sticks. You watch your bacteria counts then you have quality and you have long shelf life. Ours is three weeks, and that is an excellent shelf life – I mean our raw milk would last that long. Our raw milk is very clean.

Hawkins: It’s their cleanliness that sets this family dairy apart. Cows are not naturally clean animals, especially when they are confined for any length of time. They defecate where they eat. So it’s a big job keeping their Holsteins clean. The Vieiras clean their cows, and turn their waste into the ground several times every day where it composts naturally.

Like most dairy people, the Vieiras love their cows. Because they breed and raise their cows, they control the cow’s feed and are hyper-vigilant about their health. They are proud of their low “somatic” or white cell count. They keep that number low by maintaining clean, healthy, happy animals. Which brings us to why they are NOT planning to go organic any time soon. When one of her cows gets sick, Trish Vieira wants to reserve the ability to treat her…

Vieira: We don’t put them in the same realm as people, but on the other hand, you’ve had her for eleven years or ten years, you’re not real excited about not giving her an antibiotic when she has a horrible problem because if you lose her, it’s a big deal. I have cows our here that are 11, 12 years old. They’ve been with us a long time. Some of ‘em produce a hundred pounds a day…that’s a lot of milk.

Hawkins: In order for cows to produce optimally, high quality feed is crucial. The Viera’s have a history of very productive cows: one of them attained the position of 25th in the nation for milk production. Unfortunately when times are tough, dairies will often skimp on feed - which can be very hard on the animals.

Vieira: They’re like a marathon runner - all the time quietly running a marathon and if you don’t give them their Gatorade they are going to tip over – I mean tip over and die – they have to have a ration with their grain and their mixed hays that will keep them upright so that you’re not treating cows with antibiotics every day for mastitis, for stomach issues or because they are “unthrifty” because of their feed. [If you have] 50 thousand cows, you don’t care. You just pop them with an antibiotic.

Hawkins: Spokane Family Farms hopes that other dairy farmers make choice to “jump out of the pool” to provide clean quality local milk.

Vieira: We think that local trumps organic all the way around.

Hawkins: It’s been a tough year for the dairy industry and futures aren’t looking extremely bright. But Spokane’s Family Farm dairy seems to be finding a clientele willing to pay a little more for their product. For more information about the dairy industry and this family dairy, go to Our Northwest at n-w-p-r dot org. I’m Mary Hawkins.


Spokane's Family Farm


It's Been A Long Time

Wow, it has been a long time since I've posted on this blog.  But trust me it isn't because things aren't happening. Because they most definitely are. The Market is going wonderfully this year.

 I recently got a question from a Local Harvest Viewer that was wondering about where to get cucumbers to make pickles.  I thought I'd share my response with you...


Or Fresh Start Produce...  927-3373

Remember to use a research based recipe for canning pickles, and don't forget to adjust your processing times for altitude. You can find your altitude here

And you can find research based recipes in the most recent Ball Blue Book or at the National Center for Home Food Preservation site. 
To make sure your pickles don't turn out soft make sure you take a little slice off of each end.  The stem doesn't do well for crisp pickles.  Also the water you use can effect this.  People typically have best luck with hard water.
If you use lime to get your pickles crisp be sure to use as directed in the recipe and get it all rinsed off. 

I hope you find some cukes.



Ready or Not...

June is Here.

Our farmers are busy at work. After reading this article from the New York Times called Bowlfuls of Lettuce I was reminded of the hard work that goes into farming.

The Farm Chicks Show has been on my calendar for months and is now just around the corner. The Farm Chicks have the motto, Live Well, Laugh Often, Junk Much. But junk much has nothing to do with junk food. They recently released a cookbook where they change it up to say Cook Much. But the cutest thing is a bag they have that says To Market. After going "To Market" you may want to put the show on your calendar for this Saturday or Sunday.

There are so many June events that encourage us to get outside. Some outside things that are on my calendar for June are the Liberty Lake Yard Sales (6/13), the Coeur d'Alene IronMan (6/21), Hoopfest, and of course the Market.

Welcome New Vendors

We are very excited to welcome new vendors to the Market for 2009. When vendors express interest in the market they ask lots of questions. Some are more willing to take the risk than others. But sometimes we have to say, “You have to take a leap of faith just like every other vendor has in the past.” We can’t make any guarantees to our vendors. But you, the customer, can. Please get to know our new vendors and buy something (even if you’ve never tried it before) from them this season.

C & S Hydro-Huts… Hydroponic Lettuce from Otis Orchards
Cascade Creek Farm… Sustainable beef and pork from Idaho
Garden Gate Growers… Nursery plants from Kettle Falls
GreenWave Gardens … Organic fruits, vegetables, garlic, and nuts (starting in June)
Harvey Creek Boer Goats… Goat meat (starting in June)
PureHeart…Unique Artsoaps (first Saturdays)
Quail Ridge Ranch … Goat meat (starting in June)
Stacy Blowers… Chocolate, Preserves, and Aprons
Tall Grass Farms … Eggs, Flowers, and more
Tearmann Realtai Farm & Bakery… Veggies and angora wool
Winiecki Honey… Just honey
Chukar Dave's All Natural Herbal Seasoning … Yummy seasoning
White Cane Sockeye Salmon … Salmon from Alaska
Thistledown Farms … Fibers, yarns and more (starting in June)
ThrowDown Pottery … Pottery

What A Year Can Do

2008 was the best year that the Liberty Lake Farmers’ Market had seen since it opened in 2001. But 2009 looks even better.

Here’s what the numbers look like so far going into opening day…

Total vendors 2008: 35
Total vendors 2009: 42

Farmers 2008: 18
Farmers 2009: 24

Market Days 2008: 22
Market Days 2009: 23

Events 2008: Italian Festival, Pie Festival
Events 2009: Art at the Market, Italian Festival, All Things Theater, Pie Festival

Join us at the Market for a great year.


May 16th- Who's In, Who's Out

Each week I'll try to keep you posted on which vendors are going to be at the Market with a little Who's In, Who's Out post.

For opening day...

Who's In:
Bouzies Bakery
Chukar Dave's All Natural Herbal Seasonings
Liberty Lake Soap
Maggie's Garden
Mary Richardson's Country Pot Pies
Natural Start Bakery
Rocky Ridge Ranch
S & P Homestead Farm
Silvia's Designs
Small Planet Tofu
Susie David's Cattle Co.
Tonnemaker Hill Farm (Certified Organic)
Wooden Eagle
Xao Vang
Pacific Produce
Lenny's Juan in a Million, Jalapeno Jeaven
White Cane Sockeye Salmon
Leisure Lavender
The Barn on Trezzi Farm
C&S Hydro-Huts
Garden Gate Growers
The Herb Garden
Tall Grass Farms
Tearmann Realtai
Winicki Honey
Throw Down Pottery

Who's Out:
Sidewalk Floral and Produce
Cascade Creek Farm
GreenWave Gardens
RiverView Gardens
Harvey Creek Boer Goats & Quail Ridge Ranch
Crepe Café
Fresh Start Produce
Jim Lloyd's Orchard
BitterSweet Bakery
Graham's Garden Goodies
Thistledown Wools
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars
Maple K Farms
aNeMonE Handmade Paper Flowers

Google Calendar

If you use Google Calendar you can add the Liberty Lake Farmers’ Market and set a reminder to come to the market here.


The Economy and the Market

Someone from the press was writing an article about the Market and asked me how the current economic situations were affecting us.

This is my take on it so far…

The economy doesn't seem to be hurting farmers' markets across the state. The Seattle Neighborhood Farmers' Market Association operates 2 year round urban markets that saw a large increase in sales this winter from last winter. 25 markets in the state got a grant from the Local Farms Healthy Kids bill to accept food stamps and credit and debit cards at their market. This is also a big draw to markets despite the economic challenges. 5 of the markets that got the grant funding are located in Spokane County. The Liberty Lake Farmers' Market didn't apply for the grant funding because of the additional staffing needed to facilitate such a program, but we are encouraging our vendors to look into credit and debit options for their businesses.

I don't think the economic uncertainty poses a threat for the Market. People are staying closer to home and enjoy visiting with their neighbors and the atmosphere that the Market offers. Part of the Market's vision statement says this, "We believe there is benefit from spending money and time within one's own community rather than exporting value to the outside." Our customers also generally have the same mindset. The Market is a wholesome gathering place that helps to create and enhance the culture of Liberty Lake. The Market has a lot of good things that make it appealing to customers. Live music every Saturday is one of those things and it starts with a bang, the Greenacres Elementary Marimba band on opening day. Good parking is another one of those things. We have had a good relationship with STA since the Market started and between the STA parking and parking at local businesses customers that are coming by car don't have to worry about a high-stress situation when finding a parking space or a dangerous situation when unloading their kids into strollers. We also put out tables and chairs for our customers which are a great perk. The Adirondack chairs were a big hit last year and we have already purchased more for this year.

We are committed to add value to our local community through economic development. The Market is a type of small business incubator. Just what we need in times of economic uncertainty.

Yep, it’s a blog

 We're blogging.

We’ll try to keep you up to date regularly, but things get kind of busy when the Market is in full swing. We will also be posting our blog posts at:

RSS feed for Liberty Lake Farmers Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader