Archive for the ‘What’s Next?’ Category

Sunday, April 13th: Yeah, It’s Spring! Woohoo!!!

April 12, 2014
Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D, Lyons.

It seems only appropriate that I am listening to the song Sirius, by The Alan Parsons Project, as I begin writing this week’s epistle on all things Ballard Farmers Market. Thinking about the onslaught of spring, a warm, sunny, 70-degree day today, and a Market full of all sorts of fresh spring produce, I feel kinda like I’m watching my team come out of a timeout, on the brink of a come-from-behind victory in a packed home arena! And I know that this is just the beginning of many spectacular weeks and months to come. For instance, we last saw Alvarez Organic Farms last December on the coldest Sunday of the year with a last few fall crops. Today, they return to your Ballard Farmers Market with their amazing organic asparagus, and the promise of so much more deliciousness to come!

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

And while we are celebrating spring, and perhaps still, the Seahawks, I am going to toast my beloved Union College men’s hockey team for winning the NCAA championship Saturday night by grilling up some of this amazing purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce tonight alongside a nice pork chop from Olsen Farms. I wish I was in Schenectady going nuts with the masses, eating the best Buffalo wings on earth and drinking Matt’s Premium, but this will have to do.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, Passover begins tomorrow, and Easter is just next Sunday. Be you Jewish or Christian, you will need lots of eggs! Lucky for you, we have lots of eggs right now at your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these gorgeous, certified organic duck and chicken eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. So, whether you are making a seder plate or dying and hiding them, we’ve got you covered!

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Almost as exciting as this gorgeous spring day, Union winning championship and the spring high holy days is the return of radishes! Okay, I admit it. I am just as excited about radishes! I have sooo missed them all winter long. They are one of my favorite things. And one of my favorite radishes is the Pink Beauty radish from One Leaf Farm. I can eat them like candy, and my salads are so much happier with their return. Did I mention I am excited about spring yet?

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Speaking of salads, one more thing to celebrate today is the return of spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens! Oh, sweet mercy! This stuff will just plain make you smile. Toss in some of those radishes, and some of Kristi’s microgreens, dress it, and you are set. (I swear, I am just giddy right now!)

auction

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, April 16th, at noon for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavalion! Our neighbor, Chef Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardens, will perform a live auction as only that good ole Kentucky boy can! All proceeds benefit our Fresh Bucks Program that extends the benefits of those on Food Stamps when they use them here at the market, as well as nutritional and cooking classes. Tickets on sale Wednesday at noon at Brown Paper Tickets. (And if you’d like to post one of our posters in your business or office, or you just think it’s pretty, click on it to download it.)

Salad mix pots from Pam's Place Plants. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Salad mix pots from Pam’s Place Plants. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Hey condo dwellers! Check this out! These are pots of salad mix. That’s right! Pick up one or two of these guys from Pam’s Place Plants, set them in your planter box or on your little deck or porch, and you can harvest your very own salads. How cool is that?

Spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Brighten up your home with some beautiful spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farms, or pick up some bulbs from them to plant to enjoy later in the year. Choice returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market after its winter hiatus with flowers you will not likely see anywhere else!

Organic, pasture-raised beef brisket from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic, pasture-raised beef brisket from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Passover, if you are in charge of the brisket, check in with Skagit River Ranch today! Of course, if it is ham you need for Easter, Skagit River Ranch has you covered there, too. They have lots of hams, and they are righteous!

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems like it is just about time for Grateful Bread Bakery to break out the Hot Cross Buns as we head into the Holy Week, and maybe, if we’re lucky, a few Easter egg and Easter bunny cookies, too!

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, 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 30th: Chards Returns, Holiday Hams, Lots of Raab, More Flowers & Plants For Your Garden!

March 29, 2014
Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring rolls on, good people of Ballard, even if those showers are a bit torrential at times. Still, the days are longer, the temps are warmer, and the farm tables are greener. Case in point: this lovely baby chard from Colinwood Farm. It has been at least two months since we’ve seen chard grace any of the tables here are your Ballard Farmers Market, so let us rejoice in these sweet, tender jewels of a new season!

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to order those holiday hams from Skagit River Ranch. Yes, the calendar continues to move along at its steady pace, regardless of when our heads think it is. And that means Easter is upon us in just a few short weeks. Why not celebrate this year with one of these fabulous local hams from happy pigs raised by good people you have actually met?

Cabbage raab from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cabbage raab from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raab is in the house! Yes, friends. It is that wonderful time of year when over-wintered brassicas, like cabbagekalecollards and mustards, begin to bolt for the heavens, bloom and pollinate in that perpetual spring explosion of fertility and rebirth. And when they bolt, their tender, green shoots are so tender and sweet. They are an exception treat we only get to enjoy for a few short weeks every spring. After missing greens for so long this winter, how glorious is it that we should end that drought with such deliciousness! Don’t miss out. Grab your raab all over the Market today from farms like Nash’s Organic Produce!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And even as spring surges ever forward, we can still enjoy some vestiges of fall in the form of these Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. A long-keeping variety of apples to begin with, Tiny’s stores them in what the industry calls “controlled atmosphere” buildings for months, until they are ready to bring them to Market. These special storage facilities are vacuum-sealed, filled with inert gases, and maintained at a constant temperature to keep the apples from aging. For us, that means we get to enjoy our local appliciousness from last fall well into this spring!

Strawberry plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberry plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of spring, it is time to get that garden started, folks! To that end, our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm are now bringing their terrific selection of beautiful garden starts and bedding plants for you. Check out these lovely strawberry plants, for instance. Put them in the ground now, and you will be eating berries from them in June!

Spectacular tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spectacular tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for an absolute explosion of spring, stop by Ia’s Garden for some of these stunning tulips! Freshly cut just for you, from their farm in East King County, they are fresher than anything you’ll find at the Big Box stores, and with less frequent flyer miles, too. So, who cares if it is still a bit gray and gloomy outside. You’ll have this floral sunshine indoors to make you smile!

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This nira, from Gaia’s Harmony Farm, is a type of Asian chive that has a flavor profile of a cross between garlic and onion. It is great in salads and sautés, as a garnish for meats and soups, and in whatever else needs a robust spring bunch of flavor!

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cascadian Edible Landscapes has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with its spring run of edible plants to brighten up your yard and fill your garden. From garden starts to these blueberry bushes, they have everything you need, in hearty Northwest varieties, to help you be able to eat your yard for years to come!

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

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

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this gorgeous image of cherry blossoms from Children’s Garden. As an accent to a bouquet of daffodils or tulips, or on their own in your tallest, grandest vase, they will be a spectabulous addition to your home. Bring a little spring indoors with you today, because you deserve it!

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.


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