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09 April 2010

Friday island photos: the farmstand

farm stand open

We feel lucky to live on this island, for many reasons.

The fact that we can drive less than ten minutes from our house and see this is one of them.

yellow onions

The island is dotted with farms, run by hard-working people with whom we laugh at the Saturday farmers' market. We are grateful for the hours they put in the field for our food.

The farmers' market, however, lasts only a few hours on Saturdays, from March to November. The farmstands are open all year long.

During the winter, however, the pickings are slim.

Onions. You can always count on onions.


The parnsips just keep going and going. They never seem to end.

(We have grown tired of the parsnips.)

rinsing sink

However, even when there are only two or three kinds of vegetables or fruit at the farmstand, we look over at the rinsing sink, with the homemade curtains, right by the tables that are overflowing in the summer, and we feel grateful.

People who live down the street from us grew this food.

We buy some more parsnips, usually.

homemade jams

And there is homemade jam.

Apricot jam, bright with the taste of July sun, is always good in the winter.

fresh hazelnuts

And there are bags of fresh hazelnuts available.

choosing produce

No matter how slim the pickings, we feel really honored to take our daughter to the farmstand (and this is only one of many we visit regularly), so she can pick out vegetables with her dad.

thank goodness for rhubarb

This week? Eureka! Rhubarb.

Oh rhubarb. We love you.

Time for pie.


And chives. Certainly these are harbingers of spring.

(This week the temperatures nudged against freezing at night. It has not felt very springlike. These sprigs of green were a balm.)

veggie starts

Even if there still aren't many vegetables for sale, there are vegetable starts.

Soon, it will be warm enough to work the dirt in the garden again.


And then it will be summer, and we'll eat raspberries right off the vine in our own backyard.

my favorite part

This is my favorite part.

No one mans these farmstands. You simply weigh your fruits and vegetables, write down how much you have bought, and put some cash in this rusty box.

It's the honor system around here.

and there are tables for climbing

This is Lu's favorite part. During the winter, when there isn't much bounty, she has empty tables to climb on and explore.

work table

I'm pretty sure this empty table is where the farmers cut up the produce and bag it, to make it ready for our kitchen.

I love this spot.

farmers at work

Many times, after we have purchased our rhubarb and onions, hazelnuts and jam, we can wave to the farmers, in the field, working hard to bring us the produce we'll be buying in a few months.

Pacific Crest Farm

This is where we live.

Pacific Crest Farm
23720 Dockton Road
Vashon, WA 98070


At 12:56 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

What a charming feast for both the eye and the mind!

At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Sarah (GF vegan) said...

Great photos! I love learning about where other people live. Photos can say so much more than words sometimes. How great is our planet :)

At 4:41 AM, Anonymous abbie said...

very cool. I can't wait for our farmers markets to start up here in Northern VA. It has been cooler here, but last week it got up into the 90s. Everything green started to grow. We have bunches of farms about 1 hour away that make that trek early morning to meet us at our farmers market which is about .7 miles away.
I just love that rusty-honor-system cash deposit, and the photo of those who nurture your veggies so. You are so right that waiting, makes receiving much sweeter. Here is to spring!

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it. every single aspect. thanks for sharing here.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Deb said...

So excited to see that other areas of the country have the honor system We have quite a few farms around here that sell based on the honor system. When I tell people from larger cities about that they are just amazed.

We are still pretty darn cold here in northern Michigan. Hopefully there will be some produce by the end of May. I'm loving reading the stories about Spring harvests though---it's getting me very excited about our gardening season.


At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

over the past 2 years, i've become more and more invested in visiting the farms that work so hard to supply our food. lovely photos, esp. of that rickety old table in the meadow.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Tassiegal said...

I love farmers markets, and the farm stands we get down towards the Huon. Admitting ours generally only sell apples and pears and the ocassional box of tomatoes but the Longly organic farm usually has lots of interesting stuff with an honesty box. I can imagine buying food in a supermarket anymore if I can help it. Supermarkets are for loo paper and toilet cleaner (and the ocassional bottle of milk).

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous LaurieA-B said...

Rhubarb, it makes us all so happy! We made our second batch of rhubarb compote of the season last night, from Dana's fabulous recipe:

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Jessica @ How Sweet said...

I love farmer's markets - they are the best part about Spring!!

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Jen Yu said...

I really truly love that pic of Lu and Danny holding hands. While I very much miss having an enormous farmer's market at my fingertips all year round (southern California), it is such a glorious feeling when after 6 months of winter, we can welcome spring when the Boulder farmer's market opens. Yours looks truly lush and wonderful even if it's just the start. Parsnips will always love you, hon :) xo

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Trish said...

Oh thanks for the tour. I am so happy for you that you can live there too. Waiting for my chance soon....all the best!

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous kamran siddiqi said...

What an amazing post, Shauna! If I ever make my way to Seattle, I'd have to that Farmer's Market. I love that the honor system is working somewhere!

Great photos and great post! Looks like you all had a splendid time! :D

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Cindy said...

Lovely post, Shauna.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

rhubarb is easy peasy to grow. it just takes care of itself and the midsummer gigantor leaves are amazing

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Sarah @ Celiac in the City said...

Great photos. The tables will be full in no time. (and Lu will find another place to explore)

Thanks for sharing.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Monica said...

I'm faithful to the farm stands in my area (they also work on the honor system). Even with the long winters we have here and the little choice we have in the winter, there is no way I would purchase my fruit and veg from far away farms. The taste of local grown parsnips is better than any veg grown far, far away! We haven't gotten rhubarb yet so you're ahead of us...but we're looking forward to spring!

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Alison aka Baby B said...

I loved the time I spent in the Puget Sound area. I got a chance to visit a small island. Simple homes on large plots, a big community garden, gorgeous trees... Sigh. I miss Washington. It's lovely to peek into your lives up there.

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Winnie said...

I lived in Seattle for 5 years...miss it a ton...your photos are wonderful and make me miss the area even more!

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Eat the Love said...

The photos were so great! We have year round farmer's markets here in San Francisco, but our neighborhood one is seasonal, and it just started up last week!

I so look forward and spring and summer where the farmer market are overflowing with fruits and vegetables.

In the meanwhile, I'm going to take advantage of the spring rhubarb and the strawberries that I see popping up everywhere!

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Gemma said...

My parents live in an area that uses the honesty system for the most popular and prolific of the local produce - usually strawberries and asparagus - it cheers me up every time I see one of the stands by the side of the road. And for the rhubarb, I tried Molly's recommended Canal House recipe yesterday and it is beautiful - highly recommended.

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Nan said...

Yea! Spring is here! Looks like you had great fun and a wonderful excuse to get outside and take some lovely photos of your family! Enjoyed them!

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! Let us know when you make that rhubarb pie -- rhubarb is the best! I add a pinch of cardamom whenever I use it, it just blends in and makes everything better =).

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Butzeballchen said...

We just returned to Texas from Seattle (and a ferry ride to Vashon!) with the most beautiful rhubarb I have ever seen. Hand-carried on the plane. Pie is definitely in order. Can't wait to hear your recipe.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Tara Barker said...

Oh my, you certainly are living as close as one can get to the pastoral ideal! Love it! I'm anxiously awaiting our farmer's market to start up (about another month, unfortunately), so it's nice to live vicariously through you in the meantime.

Can't wait to see how you do rhubarb pie - I made a compote-filled one for Easter, and the filling is my new favorite way to do rhubarb.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous molly said...

Lovely, this.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Larissa said...

We live in a small city (or a big town?) but we're lucky enough to have several farm stands quite close by. none with a rusty cashbox though! i guess the closest to that is our CSA boxes... its been cold and wet down here in central coastal california this week too. I am hoping hoping hoping it warms up, I have so many baby plants that want to hit the garden bed.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Jules said...

Beautiful. I envy your proximity to local farms and farmers markets. :-) You captured peaceful serenity with your words.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger shannonmarie said...

Hi Shauna. I haven't been to your site in a while, but I'm happy to see you are still going strong. I used to follow your blog religiously back in the beginning, loving your recipes for bagels, pizza, ravioli and more. I especially adored your blooming relationship with chef.

Since then, I went raw vegan and started my own blog (you were probably one of my inspirations for starting one).

I recently put out a raw cupcake e-book for sale on my site. Although you are not raw or vegan, I still thought you might be interested in it, as it is an easy way to enjoy cupcakes gluten-free (but they do contain nuts and seeds). Maybe I could e-mail you a copy.

Anyway, back to your post. You're so lucky to be getting fresh local produce in your area already. I still have to wait a couple weeks. Love the photos, as usual.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger * said...

i loved this post.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

Shauna, I love the post and especially the pictures. Washington is one of my favorite states. I go there eery year as my son lives in Bremerton. How close are you to there? I sure wish that we had more farmer's markets here in south Florida.

At 2:13 AM, Blogger Melanie Heavenly said...

What a lovely idea!! Haven't seen this in the U.K. Not sure it would work?

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a purist regarding rhubarb pie---no strawberries!! My sister makes a knock out version of this, with a lattice crust---part of the filling "meringues out" through the openings.

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Ashley said...

I love it. The boys and I are dying for another island visit. Soon I hope.

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Meghancita said...

Vashon is a beuatiful place to live... My dad and his partner live on the island. Brian Austin and Tim Roden. I'm sure you have seen them around from time or two.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Mary said...

Michigan is full of farm stands, and 99% are on the honor system, too. It's very, very common here!

Vegetables, blueberries, apples, peaches...we have it all.

My favorite stand has acorn squash 3/$1 in the fall - when the grocery store is charging 79 cents a pound!

And if the farmer (many aren't "real" farmers, just people with huge gardens!) is around when you are buying, they usually throw in a few extras for free, like 13 ears of corn is our dozen!

At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Callista said...

I traveled to Whidbey Island a few weeks ago for vacation. I can see why you love the islands. They do have an addictive quality to them.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

mmm... there is nothing better than REAL food!

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love farmer's markets. I wish I had one that was open earlier in the year or year round :)

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Julie/Dunlin said...

Our farmers market opened last weekend. It's down by the river and we are so fortunate to be able to get up on Saturday morning and walk down. Beautiful lettuce, collards and kale! Stawberries and radishes . . .all organic and wonderful. I loved this story about the stands . . .took me back to the simple life.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Hi Shauna,

I love the farm stands on our island too. No one staffs them - man or woman. It's kind of nit-picky of me, I know, but remember, so many of those farmers were girls like Lu once. Gender-neutral language works to lift us all up.

The photos are wonderful. You are a great ambassador for us all!


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