Archive for the ‘What’s Hot?’ Category

Sunday, April 6th: Asparagus, Fiddleheads, Tuna, Brokale, Purple Sprouting Broccoli & The Return Of One Leaf Farm!

April 5, 2014
First of the year asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the year asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, this is not a late April Fools joke. Asparagus is here! That’s right. Our friends at Lyall Farms are once again the first farm with asparagus this year at your Ballard Farmers Market, as they have been for the past several years. Of course, as this is the first harvest, there will be a limited supply, so get here early. Last year, it sold out by noon! But never fear. They still have lots of sweet potatoes and apples, too. Also, we have some additional breaking news: Frog’s Song Farm will be joining us today for one day only with what has been called the best salad mix in Washington. We are accommodating them as they are in a bit of a pinch because a restaurant cancelled an order on them, so avail yourself of this rare treat. And if that isn’t enough, Pam’s Place Plants, from Langley, joins us today as our newest farm vendor, bringing in a great selection of plants and garden starts just in time for spring!

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Yes, it is now ladyfern fiddlehead season. Woohoo! This wild-harvested delicacy is a right of spring, as the ladyferns in the forest begin to push up out of the forest floor after their long winter’s slumber. Foraged & Found Edibles has them now, as well as stinging nettles and miners lettuce.

Baby arugula from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D., Lyons.

Baby arugula from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D., Lyons.

But wait! There’s more! One Leaf Farm, from Carnation, returns today for the 2014 season. Yippee ki yay! Entering their fourth year this year, One Leaf came out of gate in 2011 already quite the rock star farm, and we just count ourselves fortunate they have chosen to call our markets home. Today, they will roll in with plenty of this gorgeous baby arugula, some beautiful over-wintered leeks, a few raabs and more. Git down here and welcome them back!

Pea starts from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea starts from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm will have pea starts ready for planting in your garden tomorrow. They also have baby salad mix and arugula, and their jumbo chicken eggs will be on sale for a mere $7.50. And if you think that is expensive, you clearly have never tried their eggs… and you are ignoring the math, too. I look at it this way: if you eat two of them — and two is plenty, as they are huge — that’s $1.25 per serving of very high quality protein. They are high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, because these happy hens get to eat a natural diet, get fresh air and exercise, and hang out with roosters. They are super fresh. And they are delicious. How much are you paying at the Big Box store for factory farmed animal protein that was produced who knows where and who know how by who knows who? What can you get on a menu at a fast food restaurant for $1.25? In other words, $7.50 a dozen for these jumbo eggs is a steal!

Purple sprouting broccoli. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple sprouting broccoli. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another early bird alert: Alm Hill Gardens will have a bit more of this wonderful purple sprouting broccoli today, but it won’t last long. Of course, the good news is that they’ve got lots of other goodies coming on now, too, for all you late sleepers, like the return of their famous spicy salad mixbaby spinachbraising mix and more!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, it is the first Sunday of the month, and that means the best albacore tuna on earth is here at your Ballard Farmers Market from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Whether you prefer the sashimi grade frozen loins or the best canned tuna ever, you can’t go wrong with this stuff. Caught young in cold northern waters, it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, which makes it delicious and good for you.

Brokale from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brokale from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is brokale. Brokale is a cross between broccoli and kale. It is not kale’s “bro.” It has a milder flavor than both broccoli and kale, while being loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals, and other goodness. It is great simply sautéed, in salads, juiced, even quickly grilled. You’ll find it from Gaia’s Harmony Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Garlic chives from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Garlic chives from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Children’s Garden is awash in flowers and herbs right now, including rosemarycilantromint and these garlic chives. They will make a great addition to your salads, sautés, soups and more. Oh, spring, how I love thee!

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to get your Easter hams now from Olsen Farms. They have plenty of them, large and small, ready for you and your guests come April 20th. And that is just two weeks from today! They also have a great selection of lamb and beef roasts, too, and all the potatoes you could ever want!

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish this week’s installment celebrating all things spring with a look at the amazing selection of plants and garden starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Vanna White here to model with their plants, so the farm’s Terry Meyer will have to do. (A little something for the ladies!) And this gorgeous rack of plants is but one of several. It’s time to get some dirt under our fingernails again, folks!

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.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, March 23rd: Fresh Flowers, Greens, Herbs, Eggs, Garden Starts & More! Yes, Spring Has Indeed Sprung!

March 22, 2014
Arugula from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arugula from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz.
Does anyone know
Where the flowers is?

Right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, of course. Plus, greens have returned! Yes, that’s right! Not only have our calendars changed over to spring, but so have our farm tables. And now, our friends from Colinwood Farm have this wonderful arugula we have all been missing for what seems like forever, along with spicy salad mixspinach and more. After the longest draught of greens in memory, they are back, baby!

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All of our flower growers are now back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Yup, besides Alm Hill Gardens and Children’s Garden, who were able to stick it out all winter long, we now celebrate the return of Ia’s Garden, Mee Gardens, Pa Garden and The Old Farmer (above). And we celebrate the return of their spectabulous fresh cut flowers, and the stunning bouquets they make with them. Welcome back, spring, and welcome back, farmers!

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And as if a statement about spring and all its fertility, we have plenty of farm fresh eggs right now at your Ballard Farmers Market! This is not always the case, so if you haven’t tried eggs fresh from the farm, or you haven’t been able to get any in a while, now’s the time. Growing Things Farm brings theirs in these colorful cartons, which kinda look like they are dyed like Easter eggs, don’t you think? Enjoy the best eggs you’ve ever tasted!

Microgreens from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Microgreens from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is experimenting with these radish microgreens, and I think they are a success! Nutrient dense, they are spicy and delicious, and they will gussy up your salad or sandwich, or make a great garnish for your soup. Alm Hill also is now offering hard red wheat berries from their Whatcom County fields, so get your local grains on!

Rhubarb roots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb roots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you always wanted to have your own rhubarb plant growing in your yard? Well, now’s the time to plant it, and our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm have these rhubarb roots ready for you to stick in the ground and enjoy harvesting for years to come. Oh, and you can even grow rhubarb in a large pot on your deck!

Kale mix from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale mix from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I never thought I’d be so happy to see kale in March, but this winter saw the least kale in memory on our farmers’ tables. With a big freeze in December, and another in early February, winter greens kinda took it hard. So now, we celebrate not only the return of spring, but the return of kale! This young kale from Gaia’s Harmony Farm comes in a nice mix, simple to toss in the pan with some garlic for quick sautéed green. Nummers!

Over-wintered leeks from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These hearty leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce battled their way through our winter, and now, they are big, beautiful, and delicious! It’s a great time of year for some potato-leek soup, or anything else leeky. They are so sweet right now!

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The fresh organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms is so concentrated with cranberry flavor that a little goes a long way. For most folks, that means using it as a mixer or diluting it with a little water. Of course, that just makes this local juice have that much more value. And perhaps you are just about finished with that bottle you got two weeks ago. I’d say it’s time for a refill!

Daffodils from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s welcome to spring with some gorgeous daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Bring some of today’s spring sunshine indoors with you in the form of these lovely flowers!

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.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, March 16th: Of Emperors, Saints, Confectioners, Fishers & Playwrights, Just For The Halibut!

March 15, 2014
Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Halibut, Batman! The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife has opened the Washington Coast to a rare March halibut fishery. And Wilson Fish will have this prized local fish today at your Ballard Farmers Market, while it lasts! Normally, we don’t see fresh, local halibut until May. When asked why Fish & Wildlife opened this historically early halibut fishery, a spokesperson said, “Just for the halibut.” (And no, I’m not sorry!)

Daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As we pass through the Ides of March this weekend, we begin to look forward to spring, which arrives at the end of the week. In this March of record rainfalls, let’s celebrate spring’s approach by bringing a little of this month’s rare but spectacular sunshine indoors in the form of these gorgeous daffodils from Children’s Garden. (And for those playing along with this week’s game of “pin the reference in the post title to its corresponding reference in the body of the post,” Ides of March is a reference to both an emperor and a playwright.)

Savoy cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day, the day on which the 13% or so of Americans who do not have any Irish blood in them drink green beer, wear silly hats and act in a manor that, frankly, is unbecoming of the Irish people. Woohoo! And did you know that there were no actual snakes in Ireland? See, the snakes that Saint Patrick drove out were actually pagans. But hey, we Irish-Americans only seem to get this one day of the year to celebrate our heritage, so why not break out the corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and rutabagas and get our soul-warming one pot dinner on?! Personally, my favorite cabbage for said purpose is this lovely Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Because its leaves are less tightly packed than green cabbage, and it is full of nooks and crannies, it cooks faster and absorbs better all the delicious spices in the corned beef broth. Nummers!

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I am a big fan of these Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms for my corned beef feast. They, too, absorb the flavors of the pot well, and their waxy, yellow flesh mashes nicely with butter. However, if you boil your pot, instead of simmering it, they do have a tendency to break apart. Then again, your corned beef won’t be happy, either! Another great option from Olsen is their Red Lasoda potatoes.

Classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For all those corned beef leftovers, it’ll be corned beef sandwich time, and for that, you’ll need plenty of classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. I love this stuff. It is naturally fermented and the perfect compliment to corned beef.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We Irish loves us some butter, the richer the better. And we’ll need plenty of it around for slathering onto our potatoes and our soda bread tomorrow night. Lucky for us, Golden Glen Creamery up in Bow makes great butter from the milk of their Jersey cows. Don’t forget to get a little extra for the Faeries.

An "Irish" marion berry pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An “Irish” marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m sure just how “Irish” a marion berry pie is, but hey, it’s got a shamrock on it, right? And since it is from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, you know it will be ridiculously good. So what the heck? Make dinner in one pot, and let Deborah make dessert!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, okay… alcohol in fact does have historical, if not hysterical, relevance to St. Paddy’s Day festivities. See, the Church let folks dispense with Lenten dietary restrictions on St. Patrick’s Day, and that meant eating and drinking. It is a day of feasting, after all! Why not celebrate with some great, local hard cider from Eaglemount Wine & Cider? Today, they will be sampling many of their cider flavors, so find the one(s) you like!

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet the newest member of the vendor lineup at your Ballard Farmers Market: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). Enjoy!

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea Breeze Farm has some amazing, long dry-aged beef steaks and chops available right now. If you want to indulge yourself with one of the beefiest tasting steaks you’ll ever have, give one of these a try. Their cattle are raised on lush, natural pasture on Vashon Island, and long dry-aging evaporates much of the water weight while deepening the complex flavors. And keep this in mind: dry-aged beef costs more, but you are paying for less water. What you get at the Big Box stores is hardly aged at all and is loaded with water. If you removed the water weight from it, you’d find that you are actually paying a lot more per pound of beef than you realized!

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.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, February 16th: Loki’s Salmon Sliders, Britt’s Pickles, Sheep’s Yogurt & Nash’s Last Best Carrots & Sprouts!

February 15, 2014
Salmon sliders from Loki Fish. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

Salmon sliders from Loki Fish. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

Hey, kids! Check this out! Our buddies at Loki Fish are developing a hot-food menu around their wild Alaskan and Puget Sound salmon, and they are going to give it a test-drive today, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Woohoo! They are making three different preparations of salmon sliders:

  • Apple aioli, bacon and arugula
  • Fennel, carrot and jalapeno slaw with shoyu glazed patty
  • Lemon aioli with charred radicchio and feta 
Besides using their own salmon, Loki is sourcing many of its other ingredients from local folks like Skagit River Ranch, Samish Bay Cheese, Columbia City Bakery and Rockridge Orchards. Stop by and try one… or six… today, and let Loki, and us, know what you think!
"Initial Pickle Offering" from Britt's Pickles. Photo courtesy Britt's Pickles.

“Initial Pickle Offering” from Britt’s Pickles. Photo courtesy Britt’s Pickles.

More newness! And I am going to let Britt’s Pickles do the talking, literally:

“Britt’s Live Culture Foods are handmade in Washington on Whidbey Island. The unique process of fermenting vegetables using lactic acid bacteria allows Britt’s Pickles, Kimchi and Kraut to retain the rich rewards of the natural enzymes and vitamins in vegetables. Fermentation is a simple and natural process used by many cultures throughout history to preserve food, promote good digestion, and to improve health.”

Britt’s is joining the lineup of your Ballard Farmers Market today with a wide variety of  pickleskimchis and krauts. Stop by for a sample or three!

Fresh sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt incubating at Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

The hits just keep on coming! And you know what that means? Spring is just around the corner. Well, that explains the arrival of fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. See, little baby lambs began popping out of their mommies up on Whidbey Island this past week, and that means the ewes have begun producing their prized milk again. Fresh milk means yogurt! Enjoy!

Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last call for Nash’s Organic Produce Brussels sprouts and carrots! Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year when we are beginning to transition from winter crops over to spring crops, but unfortunately, spring is running a bit late this year. At least you can take advantage of one last opportunity to enjoy Nash’s amazing winter carrots and Brussels.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collins Family Orchards is still rocking their fall harvest of killer apples. I am a particular fan of these Pink Lady apples. A bit sweet and a bit tart, they are as good an eating apple as they are a cooking apple, and because they store very well, they are still great this time of year!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms are great any time of year, but they may be best in winter. That’s because they are not only delicious, but they are full of all manner of healthful goodness that’ll give your cranky immune system a boost, right when you need it the most. Stop by and grab a pint or two from SnoValley Mushrooms right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Collard greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The cold last week may have dealt another little setback to our quest for winter greens, but not enough to stop Stoney Plains Organic Farm from harvesting some of their great collard greens this week. And speaking of giving your immune system a boost, collard greens are one of the most nutrient-dense greens around, and they’re great with bacon, too!

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meanwhile, since winter cannot last forever, maybe it is time to start thinking about spring and summer gardens. Now, maybe you’ve noticed that its gotten kinda dry around here in recent years. Not so much today, but in general, it’s dry. Well, these gorgeous succulents from Phocas Farms are drought tolerant, and to make them even more so, now is the perfect time to plant them in your yard. They will get their roots set while it is still damp, and then, come summer, they will frolic along merrily, without you worrying about watering them all the time!

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.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.


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