For Sunday, November 2nd: Fall Back 1 Hour, Local Albacore Tuna, Rutabagas, Heirloom Apples, Beautiful Broccoli, Award-Winning Ales & We Welcome Kirsop Farm!

October 31, 2014
Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to set you clocks back Saturday night! And that means it’s baga season, baby! Yes, the food of our people — the Scandinavians and Irish who built Ballard — is here again to sustain us through the cold, dark, wet months. These beautiful rutabagas are from Boistfort Valley Farm in, you guessed it, Boistfort Valley. I love them steamed and mashed with a good butter as a side dish at Thanksgiving, and I toss them in the pot with my corned beef on St. Paddy’s Day. What my Irish kin still call “turnips” or “Swedes” over on the Emerald Isle are a root that is much more dense than a turnip, with a distinct flavor. They take longer to cook, but they hold up well in wet cooking. And they’re gorgeous! (Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down to see our midweek post for even more news on this week’s localiciousness at your Ballard Farmers Market.)

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

It’s the first Sunday of November this week, and that means local albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. This sashimi-grade tuna is blast frozen at sea to preserve flavor and freshness. It is younger albacore from the North Pacific, meaning it is higher in beneficial  omega-fatty acids and lowering in heavy metals than tuna from the tropics. Get it in frozen loins, like above, or canned, dried or smoked. If you get the canned, don’t pour off the juices. Those are the natural juices of the tuna, not added oils or water. In other words, that is pure flavor you’d be draining off! And trust me, this is the best canned tuna you’ve ever tasted.

Winter squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Please welcome the newest farm in our vendor ranks at your Ballard Farmers Market: Kirsop Farm. While they’ve sold at our markets in Wallingford and Madrona for the past two years, this week marks the first time they will be at your Ballard Farmers Market. But they’ve been at this organic farming business going on 20 years. Based in Tumwater, Washington, they grow some of the most beautiful produce in Washington, and we are very excited to have them here. We’re certain you will be just as excited as we are, once you meet them and try out their deliciousness!

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Prairie Spy apples was introduced by the University of Minnesota back in 1940, one of the earliest varieties produced there. It is one of the sweeter varieties of apples, good for eating right off the core or cooking. It is just one of the many interesting varieties of apples and pears offered currently by Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With our cooler, wetter weather, broccoli is rocking tables through your Ballard Farmers Market right now. It is, after all, the good food that’s good for you, right? And ain’t it nice to get to adulthood and realize you actually really like broccoli? I sometimes toss it with some bacon, garlic, chile flakes and fusilli for one simple, yet primo pasta dish. This beautiful broccoli is in the field up at Growing Washington at Alm Hill Gardens. Why not get your broccoli on today?

Award-winning ales from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Award-winning ales from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Propolis Brewing won Best Belgian-style Ale from Sip Northwest in their 2014 Best of the Northwest issue, on newsstands now. “At Sip Northwest, we like to think we are advocates of local,” said Erin James, managing editor of Sip Publishing, publishers of Sip Northwest. “Through this extensive and taxing process of blind tasting, we have found varying results over the past three years that give us even more producers and people to cover and celebrate in the Northwest. It’s very eye-opening to the amazing beverages being produced in our region, and we hope it serves as a shopping list for our readers.” Stop by and try some of their great ales for yourself this week at your Ballard Farmers Market.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Midweek Update For Wednesday, October 29th: Artichokes, Fall Flowers, Local Wine, Cippolini Onions, Kirsop Farm & More!

October 29, 2014
Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time for your mid-week teaser! Here is some food for thought — literally — to fire you up for this weekend’s trip to your Ballard Farmers Market. These are some gorgeous artichokes from Growing Things Farm, don’t you think? And they are just waiting for you to use them in your favorite recipes. And though you cannot really tell from this photo, these babies are nice and large.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s gotten so many people disregard the humble red delicious apple in favor of exotic or classic heirlooms, or because they just seem mundane and boring. And while modern red delicious apples that are bred for storage and appearance — the ones you get at the Big Box store or with school lunches — have been accurately described as “akin to old potatoes when they come out of long storage” by a former Washington State Director of Agriculture, these red delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards are not those red delicious apples. These are, in fact, an older variety of them that hasn’t been bred black and flavorless, but instead is one of the finest eating apples you will ever encounter, because Martin brings them to Market fresh from harvest, when they’re at their peak of flavor and crispness. These are the red delicious apples that earned them their name in the first place!

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

The harvest and crush are in full swing at vineyards and wineries all over Washington right now, and that includes LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery). Here, Maggie and farm dog Lola are inspecting some of this year’s Madeleine Angevine grapes on their Lopez Island vineyards. These are the grapes responsible for their most award-winning wine. Stop by for a sample at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems our amazing, endless summer of 2014 has truly come to an end, though we continue to be blessed with lovely Sundays, as the weather gods love them so Ballard Farmers Market as much as you and I do. Still, we can continue to bring home summer sunshine in the form of these spectacular flowers from Mee Garden until they receive their first frost in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. So stop by for a beautiful bouquet this week!

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm cook down and caramelize wonderfully, making them brilliant for adding deep, rich onion flavor to soups, sauces and sides, or just as a simple garnish. Try them with one of their winter squash! One Leaf also has other great storage onions now, as well as shallots.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This Sunday, we welcome a new farm to the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market, but Kirsop Farm is by no means a new farm. In fact, they’ve been around for almost 20 years! We’ve enjoyed their stunning organic produce at both Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets for the last two years, and they’ve played a starring role at the Olympia Farmers Market going back to the 1990s. Based in Tumwater, Kirsop Farm is one of those farms, like Boistfort Valley Farm, to which many other farms in Washington look up. Their displays are magnificent, and their produce superb. And for an example of both, just take a gander at the beets in the photo above.

For Sunday, October 26th: Order Holiday Turkeys & Hams, Last Call For Kiwis, Fresh Cranberries & Shiso!

October 24, 2014
Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, this is notturkey. It is a chicken from Growing Things Farm. It is the chicken my family eats for Thanksgiving every year. But if your family must have a beautiful, pasture-raised turkey from right here in King County, Growing Things has you covered there, too. Stop by their stall this week and reserve yours for Thanksgiving, but you need to do it this week! They are selling fast, there is a limited number of them, and most other farms with turkeys are already sold out of them. (And don’t forget to scroll down below this post to see our mid-week post for more delicious info!)

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill is a worker-owned cooperative that is the original farmers market prepared food stand. They have always been community oriented, and they’ve even offered a 50% discount to anyone identifying themselves as unemployed, on the honor system, since the early days of the Great Recession, over five years ago. They already source a huge percentage of their ingredients from our market farmers, but they want to increase that percentage, and to that end, they are trying to raise capital to get equipment to make their own tortillas using Nash’s Organic Produce flour. And that’s where you come in. Patty Pan is asking the community they’ve served for so many years to contribute to their Kickstarter Campaign. Please click over, get informed, then generously support this great project!

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Last call for hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm! Get thee down to your Ballard Farmers Market for these little jewels of the Northwet. They are super sweet and the best kiwis you’ll ever taste. No fuzzy skin to deal with. And they’re easy to eat… a lot of them! About the size of a small grape, the ones with the redder skins are the sweetest. But they are only here for a few short weeks each fall, and this week is their last.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As one fall berry season ends, another is in full swing! These are fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm in Olympia. Bloom Creek is harvesting hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cranberries right now, and they should be available fresh through Thanksgiving. Make your own cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, cranberry muffins and bread, and more! Beats the heck out of that stuff that comes in cans at the Big Box stores.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Not in the mood for turkey this Thanksgiving? More of a ham family? Skagit River Ranch is taking orders now for their spectacular smoked holiday hams, which they will deliver to you here at your Ballard Farmers Market on the Sunday before T-day. These hams are awesome. If you’ve never had one, you owe it to yourself to get one this year, if not for Thanksgiving, at least for the December holiday season. But they will sell out fast, so order yours today! (Skagit is already sold out of turkeys.)

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s potato eating season, folks, and our friends from Olsen Farms have a ginormous selection of potato varieties from which to choose in every shape, size and color, and suited to any number of cooking applications. Some are waxy and others more starchy. Some hold up well in soups, stews and boiled dishes, while others just want to be mashed or roasted. These are the beautiful, Ballard-appropriate, Viking purple potatoes. Inside their stunning purple skin is a gorgeous white flesh that is wonderful steamed and then mashed with a really good butter.

Shiso from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiso from Children’s Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish off with this herbaceous shiso from Children’s Garden. This leafy green is favored by many Asian cooks for the way its intense herbal flavor sets off against raw fish, chicken and other dishes. You probably had it at a sushi bar without knowing what it was. It won’t be around much longer, as temps continue to drop, so enjoy it now, as well as the many other lovely herbs at Children’s.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Midweek Update for Wednesday, October 22nd: Sunchokes, A Recipe From Nash’s, Sweet Potato Chips, Keta Salmon Skeines & More!

October 22, 2014
Poblano peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Poblano peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In this epic year of peppers, even Westside farms like Stoney Plains Organic Farm are getting in on the action. In fact, apparently, they have a gargantuan harvest of these gorgeous poblano peppers in progress right now. So if you want to get your chile relleno on, this is the time to do it! Stop by and grab a big bag full this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples are one of my favorite eating apples. They are super crisp, sweet, and have just the tiniest hint of tartness. They have become a standard here in the Northwest in recent years, helped by their openness to long storage while maintaining their quality. Enjoy some of the first organic Pink Lady apples of the season this week from ACMA Mission Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are in the house! North America may not have any native potatoes (though we Northwesterners lay claim to the Ozette as our own), but we do have this tuber, a member of our beloved sunflower family. You can eat them much like potatoes, including making soups, mashes, root roasts and even home fries. And they have the added benefit of actually being good for blood sugar levels. Yes, the skins are edible, and they can be eaten raw. When cooking, it is good to cut them and then put them in a bowl of water with some lemon juice in it to keep them from turning color on  you before you drop them in the pot, steamer or baking dish. Enjoy a true American native crop this fall! These are from Summer Run Farm, the winners of the first farm to bring sunchokes to Market this season award.

Arugula from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arugula from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce has begun to harvest a bumper crop of arugula, and to that end, Devon has shared with us another great recipe, though I can’t help but ponder how this salad might be using some of their own delicious whole grains, or perhaps subbing some Glendale Shepherd fresh sheep cheese.

Quinoa, Beet and Arugula Salad

  • 1/2 lb. beets
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. arugula, chopped
  • 5 oz. goat cheese

Cook beets until tender, peel and slice. Bring water to boil, add quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, pepper together. Remove quinoa from heat, add 1/2 of salad dressing, cover refrigerate for ½  to 1 hour. Stir in onion, arugula, goat cheese, beets and remaining dressing, toss and serve.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the annual Puget Sound Keta salmon season in full swing, Loki Fish has lots of fresh salmon skeines (salmon roe) available right now. Make your own ikura, or use them in any number of ways, from garnishes to salads and soups to sushi and more. Ask the fine folks at Loki for ideas this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has begun to harvest its wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from their fields in Sunnyside. And that means not only the sweet potatoes themselves at your Ballard Farmers Market, but these awesome sweet potato chips. If you love sweet potatoes, get thee to Lyall Farms this weekend!

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we finish up this midweek epistle with these beautiful blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms. This Sunday will be Hayton’s last for the 2014 season at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a berry season for the record books, but it had to end sometime, right? So why not load up for one last hoorah of fresh berries for this year, before you begin pining away as you await the first berries again next May.


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