Sunday, October 12th: Hawaiian Apples, Ozette Potatoes, Wildflower Honey, Heirloom Pears & More!

October 11, 2014
Hawaiian apples from Tiny's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hawaiian apples from Tiny’s Organic at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hundreds of varieties of apples grown here in Washington. But for some reason, I always get a kick out of when these Hawaiian apples from Tiny’s Organic arrive each fall. I mean, it’s fall! Not exactly Hawaiian weather around here. All those old English and New York varieties make more sense to me. But hey, if we’ve learned anything in this state, it is: if it grows, someone will grow it. So give them a try. They are crisp, firm and sweet… a good eating apple! (And don’t forget to check our Wednesday post for even more info about today’s Market.)

Celery and celeriac (celery root) from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery and celeriac (celery root) from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery root and celery from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are different beasts, though they are closely related and similarly flavored. Celery root, also known as celeriac, is not actually just the root of common celery. It is actually bred specifically for its root. See, while celery is rather fibrous and crunchy raw, and holds up in cooking, celery root will get nice and soft, making it great for soups, purees, mashes and broths. And you’ll need plenty of both for your favorite fall recipes.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Ozette potato is the closest thing to a native potato that we have here in Washington. See, potatoes originated in South America, and all but a handful travelled to Europe before being brought to North America by European settlers. But a few varieties travelled up the West Coast with the Spanish in the 1790s, during their brief attempt at colonization here, long before Lewis and Clark ever arrived. The Spanish established one outpost at Neah Bay amidst the Makah Nation in 1791, and it only took two Northwest winters for them to give up and sail back down to California in 1793. They left this potato behind. So eat a bit of Washington history. These Ozettes from Alvarez Organic Farms are great steamed and mashed with a good butter, but I like to toss them with some camelina oil from Ole World Oils, and hit them with a nice, course sea salt and maybe some thyme, and then roast them in a 425 degree oven until they are nice and crunchy on the outside. Nummers.

Fireweed honey with a hint of blackberry from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fireweed honey with a hint of blackberry from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Tom tells me that really, this honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch is mostly fireweed honey, with just a hint of blackberry, despite the label. (See, honey bees do not simply follow orders and only pollinate one flower species at a time.) So, if you like a nice, big local wildflower honey, stop by for some of this stuff today!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard in the Methow Valley. Danish in origins, they date back to the 1850s, and they are an excellent dessert pear. They will keep for up to a month, are not messy eaters, have a great texture, and they are delicious!

Rainbow chard from Nash's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Nash’s Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the rainbow chard right now, and few things are as comforting on a crisp fall night than some wilted chard tossed with garlic. And just look at how gorgeous it is right now! Seriously, this epic year for weather and produce has, in the case of rainbow chard, manifested itself in the most spectacular leaf color I’ve ever seen on chard.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet  potatoes from Lyall Farms return today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Now, it’s really fall, am I right? I kinda like roasting them in a hot oven with parsnips. Yeah, baby.

English shelling peas from Growing Things Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Growing Things Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another pleasant anomaly in this spectacular year that is 2014 is the reemergence of peas this fall. We saw Boistfort Valley Farm return with snow peas recently, and now Growing Things Farm has a new crop of English shelling peas. And sure, the pods may not be the prettiest. But the peas they hold inside are some of the best shelling peas I have ever tasted!

Winter squash from Summer Run at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this installment with a lovely collection of winter squash and pie pumpkins from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. Did you know that you can eat the skins of many winter squashes? Delicata, for instance, has edible skin when oven roasted, or when you pan roast thin slices of it. No need to cut the skin off or scoop it out. And don’t forget to roast those seeds!

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.

Wednesday, October 8th: Award-Winning Ale, Little Local Kiwis, Aptly Named Pumpkins & Lovely Lamb Sausage!

October 8, 2014
Award-winning Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

The awards just keep rolling in for Port Townsend’s Propolis Brewing.  Sip Northwest Magazine just named Propolis Brewing’s Spruce Saison the best Belgian-style ale of 2014. Stop by today to sample their current seasonal flavors and experience the award-winning flavor for yourself!

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

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

These adorable little guys are hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm. Most folks think of kiwis as coming from the other side of the globe, like New Zealand, but these kiwis have been bred to thrive in our cool, damp Northwest climate. When they develop that nice red hue like on the top one in the photo above, they are incredibly sweet, and the greener ones are quite tart. They will only be around for a few more weeks, so enjoy them while you can!

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm are aptly named. Not only do they come with a stunning lacy skin that makes them quite beautifully ornamental while you are waiting to use them, but they have some of the tastiest, smoothest flesh of all pie pumpkins. Give them a try!

Lamb sausage from Glendale Shepherd at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lamb sausage from Glendale Shepherd at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Glendale Shepherd for their amazing fresh sheep yogurt and incredible sheep cheeses. And now, they are offering lamb sausage, too! For sale in bulk packs, they offer their lamb sausage plain, as a lamb garlic sausage, and chorizo lamb sausage. Enjoy!

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.

Sunday, October 5th: A Fiesta Of Fall Flavors!

October 4, 2014
Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! In case you haven’t noticed, it really is fall now. Temps at night are getting into the 40s. The sun sets before 7 p.m. Sure, the sun is still out, and it’ll break 70 again today, but there is a distinct turn of the seasons in the air. And the crops at your Ballard Farmers Market show it. Like these gorgeous Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. These are the stuff of our childhood. These are the stuff of Welch’s grape jelly and juice. These are the stuff of wines served at bar mitvahs far and wide. They are sweet, juicy and have a big grape flavor.

And just a reminder that we have begun doing shorter posts twice a week to wet your appetite all week long, instead of the usual marathon post once a week. So do remember to read the previous post for more words of wisdom and deliciousness. It’s full of news for this week’s Market, too! And check in on Wednesdays.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For my money, this is the second most beautiful vegetable on earth… second only to Chinese spinach, which graces the tables of Children’s Garden and Mee Garden each summer. This is Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm, and it is in the fall, when the nights get cold, that it really hits its prime. It is both bitter and sweet, but as a chicory, it is predominantly bitter. It is a great addition to a panzanella or bean salad, it is awesome simply grilled and finished with a nice artisan sea salt and some good balsamic vinegar, and I love it sautéed with bacon… and nothing else!

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says fall like the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven. It permeates the entire structure, while it warms every room, and every soul. These beautiful organic birds are from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia, and they offer them fresh and frozen right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are the chickens that the Seahawks and Sounders eat.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Starvation Alley Farms is the first certified organic cranberry farm in Washington. They are located out on the Long Beach Peninsula, surrounded by one of the largest commercial cranberry growing regions in America. Not Maine. Not Massachusetts, Washington. They are getting ready for the 2014 harvest now, but they still have lots of their amazing organic cranberry juice available, and now they offer it in these nifty new 8 ounce bottles, in addition to their standard 32 ouncers.

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

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

“Choppin’ broccoli… choppin’ brocolliiiii…” Okay, now that that little ditty is stuck in your head (and if it isn’t, look that up with Dana Carvey’s name attached in the Google), let’s talk broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. They just started harvesting this planting, and it is just what the doctor ordered on a cool autumn night!

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish this weekend’s epistle with a stalwart vegetable of fall, the sweet and mighty parsnip. I love to roast these puppies with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms (coming soon, themselves). And no epic autumn root roast would be complete without them. They are deeply sweet with a hint of celery-ness to them. And speaking of celery, try mashing some spuds, some celery root and some parsnips together sometime. Yeah, baby! You’ll find these first parsnips of the season from Pa Garden today 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.

Wednesday, October 1st Midweek Teaser: Local Tuna, Black Currants, Artisan Cheese, Wild Mushrooms & More!

October 1, 2014
Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As we enter October, we’ve decided to mix it up a little bit here at the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market. Instead of doing one epic post each Saturday evening, with a gagillion photos, we’re going to start splitting it up a bit, and to that end, we introduce a new midweek installment. It’s just a little something to stir your culinary imagination in the middle of the work week.

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, and that means a visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with the finest canned and frozen albacore tuna you will find anywhere. It is sashimi grade and prized by top chefs all over Seattle. St. Jude catches younger albacore as they swim south toward tropical waters from the cold waters of the North Pacific, where they were born. Because of their youth, they are very low in accumulated heavy metals. Because they’ve been in cold water, they are very high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And they are delicious!

Black currants from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Black currants from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We get asked a lot if anyone here at your Ballard Farmers Market grows currants. Finally, we can say, “yes!” Booth Canyon Orchard has these gorgeous black currants right now, but just for another week or two. So for your sauces, jams, pies, or whatever you like to do with them, stop by Booth Canyon this Sunday and get you some!

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

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

Cipollini onions from Port Townsend’s Colinwood Farm are the perfect compliment to many fall dishes. They cook down and caramelize into a sweet garnish to meats. They make wonderful pickled onions. They’re great in soups. They just plain have a beautiful flavor that is prized by chefs and Italians alike! (And in some cases, even by Italian chefs!)

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Port Townsend, it is also the home of Mt. Townsend Creamery, one of Washington’s many great artisan cheese makers. They are partnered with a family-owned dairy farm in Sequim, just to their west, that produces all of the milk for their cheeses. Their Seastack cheese (above) has won multiple awards nationally, and it is a lovely, soft-ripened cheese perfect with a fresh baguette from Tall Grass Bakery and a little dollop of ikura from Loki Fish.

Wild matsutake mushrooms from Foraged & Food Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild matsutake mushrooms from Foraged & Food Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Matsutake mushrooms grow wild on the slopes of our local volcanos. And Foraged & Found Edibles harvests them there and brings them to us. They are highly prized for Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but they certainly are not limited to it. And they are nutrient dense, perhaps more so than many other mushrooms.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

With the return of fall rains, the spearmint crop at Children’s Garden in Fall City has made a strong comeback. It is superb right now, waiting to perk up your water or tea, or to lay the foundation for amazing mojitos and juleps. It also opens up your senses, and is even said to help you breathe better at night. What’s not to love?

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.


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