Posts Tagged ‘apples’

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 9th: Spring Forward One Hour! (Gee, Thanks, Ben!)

March 8, 2014
Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Hey kids! Yes, it is that time of year when a whole lot of us ask the simple question, “What was Ben Franklin thinking, and why are we still following his advice over 200 years later?!?” That rights, folks. This is the week we set our clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m., Sunday night, in the name of productivity, all the while dooming ourselves to a week second to only the week between Christmas and New Year’s for it’s lack of productivity, because our body clocks are suffering through the most confusing kind of jet lag, and our brains are telling us it’s one time whilst our clocks tell us it’s another. For those who think Daylight Savings Time helps farmers… um… it’s not like dairy cows will get up an hour earlier tomorrow expecting to be milked. And with the advent of, well, electricity, we can easily light our factories and schools whenever we want. But my whinging aside, set our clocks forward one hour we must. And THAT means if you show up at 3:30 p.m. today wondering why your Ballard Farmers Market is already closed, we will likely snicker at you. And if you show up at 11 a.m., thinking you’ll be the first in line for eggs, blame no one but yourself. Consider yourself warned! (And on behalf of our firefighters, change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Oh, and my locksmith tells me we should WD40 our locks today, too.)

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green things. We need green things to lift our spirits and help us overcome the constant desire to nap this week. Lucky for us, green things is what Colinwood Farm does best this time of year! They are cranking out gorgeous braising mixspinachsalad mix and more from their greenhouses right now. And rumor has it, they might even have some baby squash soon, too!

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

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

Lyall Farms is still rocking the Beauregard sweet potatoes, friends. You ever just cut them up with some parsnips and toss them with oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes? I love that! Simple, sweet deliciousness. Or try cubing them, steaming them, and then mashing them with some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup. Boy, howdy!

Fuji apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fuji apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll still find lots of apples and pears from the 2013 fall harvest at Martin Family Orchards. And while you’re at it, why not grab a cup of cider on the go, and a jug of it to take home with you? So many ways to keep the doctor away!

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Okay, I grant you, you probably aren’t, and that’s just as well…) This is great pasta weather! Steam up the kitchen with pastaliciousness. The handmade, artisan pastas from Ballard’s own Pasteria Lucchese are about as good as pasta gets in this town, and they will either hook you up with an appropriate sauce for your choice of pasta, or they’ll give you a great idea for dressing it. This saffron tagliatelle is made with local saffron from our own Phocas Farms, and it is quite seafood friendly.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, you’ll need some amazing artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to go with your pasta, or whatever else you’ll dine upon. Just look at this selection! From left to right, we’ve got sourdough ryeBaker Street sourdoughpain au levainAvery’s pumpernickel, wheat & honey, and compagnon, and that’s just for starters!

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, St. Paddy’s Day is just over a week from now. Last week, your mission was to get brisket to brine for 10 days in preparation for it. This week, why not get one step ahead of the herd and stock up on red potatoes from Olsen Farms, like these red lasoda potatoes, or perhaps some nice desiree potatoes.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Two weeks ago, Seattle Chefs Collaborative held is 8th annual Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection which brings together chefs and food producers from all over the region to do business with each other, strengthening our local food system. And among those products creating a buzz this year was this camelina oil from Ole World Oils in Ritzville. It was used in half of the 10 entrees on the event’s epic lunch buffet, resulting in chefs playing, “What is that unique flavor we’re noticing running through so many dishes today?” This is your local cooking oil, suited well to being produced in Eastern Washington. It is fresh, healthy, versatile and full of character and flavor. I, personally, have found that I have begun using it instead of other oils, like olive and canola, in at least half of my cooking over just the past two months. It is priced right, too, so give it a try today!

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, how about some live-cultured yogurt to help make your mouth and your tummy very happy right now? This jersey cow’s milk plain yogurt and Greek yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese is full of body and flavor, and considering you are getting it straight from the farm, you will be amazed at how its price compares to lesser yogurts considered “high end” at the Big Box store.

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 23rd: Spinach, Cabbage, Daffodils, Fermented Vegetables & Hot Cider! Winter Collides With Spring!

February 22, 2014
Bouquets with fresh daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bouquets with fresh daffodils from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, I don’t care what the forecast is for today. Those are daffodils. Local daffodils. From Children’s Garden. They are blooming right now, bringing with them the promise of a spring that is not far off. So let Ma Nature get a little more gloppy lowland snow out of her system today. Matters not to me. I’ll have a bundle of spring on my kitchen table! Will you?

Over-winterd Savoy cabbages from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-winterd Savoy cabbages from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, yeah, baby! Gotta love those over-wintered Savoy cabbages from Nash’s Organic Produce. Having survived not one, but two week-long hard freezes, they are sweet and nutrient dense, and what makes them strong makes us strong! How about some nice braised cabbage? Maybe sauté some. And how about doing a test-run of corned beef and cabbage in advance of St. Paddy’s Day? It’s just three weeks off, you know.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boom! Yup, that’s baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. They just started harvesting a new crop from their greenhouses last week. Talk about a hint of spring. But wait! There’s more! Yes, they also now have salad mix again. Indeed, Colinwood has become famous for its amazing winter salad mix, which is full of hearty greens and tender, spicy mustards. I live off of this stuff this time of year.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right). Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right). Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful bacon from Olsen Farms. That’s traditional pork belly bacon on the left, and pork jowl bacon on the right. Jowl bacon, you ask? Yes, it’s bacon made using the jowl of the pig, and it is amazing. It has a unique, delicious flavor, and it is well suited to many dishes. Hmm. Maybe I’ll sauté some Olsen bacon with some of that cabbage from Nash’s tonight, and finish it off with…

Britt's Curry Kraut. Photo courtesy Britt's Pickles.

Britt’s Curry Kraut. Photo courtesy Britt’s Pickles.

Curry Kraut from Britt’s Pickles. This naturally-fermented kraut is not only uncommon, it is uncommonly good. And it is even certified Kosher! I know what you’re thinking. If it’s Kosher, why am I going to add it to my cabbage and bacon. Look, just because it’s Kosher does not mean you are required to keep Kosher to eat it, but if your do keep Kosher, it’s nice to know you can get a great local product like this, eh? Britt’s joined us last week with their kimchis, krauts and pickles. Stop by and try some samples today!

Over-wintered carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The over-wintered carrots at Alm Hill Gardens are amazing right now. Mind you, after the last big freeze, they are a little funny looking. Some have even needed to be trimmed a bit. But remember, sugar is natures anti-freeze, and when it got really cold two weeks back, these bad boys got really, really sweet. They may not be beautiful, but they taste incredible.

Organic apple donut dippers and hot apple cider from Tiny's Organic Produce.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apple donut dippers and hot apple cider from Tiny’s Organic Produce.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce is mixing it up a bit lately with their organic appliciousness. They have begun to offer hot apple cider and apple donut dippers at your Ballard Farmers Market. The dippers are battered, deep-fried wedges of their apples — a little winter decadence that will still keep the doctor away. And the hot cider comes traditional and spiced, and it will warm you up on this cold, late-winter’s day. Enjoy!

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last, but certainly not least today, I present you with fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. They are catching rockfish, true cod and ling cod this time of year off the Washington Coast when the weather permits. Gotta love some blackened rockfish, eh? But remember, supplies are limited, and this stuff always sells out fast. The early bird get the, um, err, fish.

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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