Celebrate autumn at Camas Harvest Festival

Celebrate autumn at Camas Harvest Festival

The family-friendly festival runs from 3 to 7 p.m., Wed., Sept. 28, at the Camas Farmers Market in Historic Downtown Camas

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Another Cams Farmers Market regular is Vancouver coffee roaster Corey Schmidt, of 9 Bar Espresso. Here, Schmidt serves a single cup of his fresh-roasted coffee to a customer at the farmers market on Wed., Sept. 21.

CAMAS — Looking for a local way to celebrate the return of autumn without all the pesky weekend crowds? The Camas Farmers Market may have your answer.

With live music all evening, knife sharpening sessions and cookbook/garden book exchanges for adults plus a hay treasure hunt, face painting, pumpkin bowling and scarecrow pictures for the children, the Camas Farmers Market Harvest Festival may be just what you’re looking for.

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Vancouver apple grower Edward Geisler, of CGI Orchard, believes that apples should be sold — and consumed — at their freshest. Most of Geisler’s certified-organic, heirloom European apples have been picked just hours before going to the Camas Farmers Market.

The Harvest Festival at the Camas Farmers Market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 28, in Historic Downtown Camas on 4th Avenue between Everett and Franklin streets. The market is a great way to stock up on fall produce, meet area food growers, shop for locally made goods and celebrate the changing seasons all in one centralized location.

The Harvest Festival also marks the end of the season for the popular mid-week market.

“I play at a lot of markets, but I love this one,” says musician Dani Tanzella, of the Camas farmer’s market. “It has a lot of variety.”

On Wed., Sept. 21, at the next-to-last 2016 Camas Farmers Market, Tanzella was setting up in the makeshift entertainment tent that stands guard at the east end of the market. On the other end, women from the Washington State University’s Clark County Extension Service helped market-goers answer gardening questions and touted the Extension Service’s Master Gardener Program. In between the two booths, farmers, food vendors and local makers catered to dozens of shoppers, drawn outside by the bright sunshine and cool breeze.

CAMAS MUSICIAN DANI Tanzella sets up for her performance at the Sept. 21 Camas Farmers Market in Historic Downtown Camas. Tanzella, who moved to Camas from Portland in 2010, says she thought she might miss city living but has fallen in love with Camas’ small-town charm and its bustling mid-week farmers market, which Tanzella calls a market that ‘has heart.’
Camas musician Dani Tanzella sets up for her performance at the Sept. 21 Camas Farmers Market in Historic Downtown Camas. Tanzella, who moved to Camas from Portland in 2010, says she thought she might miss city living but has fallen in love with Camas’ small-town charm and its bustling mid-week farmers market, which Tanzella calls a market that ‘has heart.’

“I misjudged the appetite for squash today,” farmer Tyson Weaver, of the Washougal-based Tumbling Sky Farm, told a customer eyeing the variety of heirloom squash on his market table and wondering aloud if she should buy the last green-blue Sweet Meat Squash. “I have a few more at the farm, but that’s the last one here today.”

Not want to risk it, the customer happily snapped up the last of the blue-green Sweet Meats.

Across the market from Weaver’s stand, Vancouver apple farmer Edward Geisler of CGI Orchard cut generous slices from one of his certified-organic, European heirloom apples for an intrigued customer.

Unlike the majority of American apple growers, Geisler doesn’t believe in refrigerating his fruit. Rather, much like European growers, he likes to bring only the freshest apples to the farmer’s market. The apples at Geisler’s Camas stand were picked that day.

“It’s a movement,” Geisler says, cutting a sliver of just-picked, just-ripe Elster apple, a variety of fruit that originated in The Netherlands. “A movement of food that is in the moment.”

Geisler’s philosophy matches the mood of the Camas Farmers Market, where shoppers don’t just buy a fruit or vegetable — they meet the farmer who grew it and hear his or her story.

“That’s what I love about this market,” Tanzella, the musician, who moved to Camas from Portland about six years ago, says. “It has heart.”

To find out more about the Camas Farmers Market or the Sept. 28 Harvest Festival, visit www.camasfarmersmarket.org or call (360) 838-1032.

TYSON WEAVER, OF Tumbling Sky Farm in Washougal, packages vegetables for a customer at his Camas Farmers Market stand on Wed., Sept. 21.
TYSON WEAVER, OF Tumbling Sky Farm in Washougal, packages vegetables for a customer at his Camas Farmers Market stand on Wed., Sept. 21.
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About The Author

Kelly Moyer has been reporting for community newspapers since the mid-1990s, including the Newport News-Times on the Oregon Coast; the Lewistown Sentinel, a daily newspaper in central Pennsylvania; the Gresham Outlook, Wilsonville Spokesman, Sherwood Gazette and South County Spotlight newspapers in the Portland metro area; and The Reflector newspaper in Battle Ground, Wash. She also is the former managing editor of Midwifery Today, an international magazine for birth professionals. Kelly, a University of Oregon alumnus and Pennsylvania native, lives with her family in Northeast Portland.

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