It’s a cold, sunny January day today, and while many will be glued to the boob tube… the one-eyed god… the idiot box… the nearest television, watching the Seahawks take on Atlanta for another shot at the 49ers and the Super Bowl, your Ballard Farmers Market will be open as it always is, come rain or shine, snow, wind or cold, more reliable than the Post Office, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., just like it is every Sunday, year-round. But we understand that many a faithful Ballard Farmers Marketeer is going to be torn between the two events, or maybe you come from a house divided — between Market camp and Game camp (What, did you think I meant Seattle and Atlanta camps? As if…) — or maybe you are one that wants to figure out how to do both.
Good news! At least a dozen venues within one block of your Ballard Farmers Market, up and down Ballard Ave, will be airing the Game today. You can come down, have breakfast while watching the game, and shop the Market during halftime or after the Game. Or you can drop your Game crew at one of these venues, and you can enjoy the Market, and all the other neighboring shops, in peace! Because here in Ballard, we are all about inclusiveness, and that means accommodating Seahawks and Market fans alike. Venues showing the game include Ballard Smoke Shop Bar, Ballard Station Public House, Bastille, Conor Byrne, Flying Squirrel Pizza at Sunset Tavern, Hattie’s Hat, Kickin’ Boot, Lock & Keel, Matador, Shiku and Zayda Buddy’s. Many are opening early today.
I loves me some rutabagas from Nash’s Organic Produce. A.k.a., Swedes, or as the Irish call them, turnips. These turnip cousins are much denser and have a deeper flavor, both sweet and earthy. They hold up in stews and soups where turnips turn to mush. They are great steamed and mashed with butter. They are a great addition to your long-braised meats, like brisket or corned beef. They make a nice addition to your root roast. Heck, they are even wonderful as veggie chips, fried or baked.
Booth Canyon Orchards still has lots of beautiful pears from this past fall’s harvest. They grow some stunning heirloom tree fruit in the beautiful Methow Valley, including these Taylor’s Gold pears, available now. Don’t let the cold air fool you. There is still plenty of great, local, nutritious deliciousness available at your Ballard Farmers Market!
Have you checked out our newest farm at your Ballard Farmers Market? Yup. Them’s mushrooms, alright. From Sno-Valley Mushrooms over in Duvall. Over the last year, they shifted from a very small producer to acquiring a state-of-the-art growing facility, and now they are producing these gorgeous shiitake, lion’s mane and blue oyster mushrooms fresh for us every week. Mushrooms like a controlled environment for optimum production, and that is exactly what they’ve got at Sno-Valley. Enjoy!
Colinwood Farms is another of those farms located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains on the North Peninsula, a.k.a., the Banana Belt. That makes this their high season, while most farms are on winter hiatus. Sure, they’ve got lots of these lovely potatoes, but don’t let that limit your imagination. They also still have salad mix and braising mix, winter squash and lots of other goodies!
Do you like your jelly with a kick? Try Gaia’s Natural Goods pepper beet jelly. It is sweetened by their beets, with a nice kick of hot peppers — a perfect accompaniment to cheese and crackers, or as an accent to pork or other meats. They also have a nice variety of berry jams made from this past summer’s berry harvest, as well as their famous pickled beets, and the new addition, pickled carrots!
Kombucha is made from brewing green tea, and then fermenting it using a “mother” of yeast and bacteria, much like how vinegar is made. It is thought to be healthful, and it is refreshing, with a lovely effervescence. It is also ever-so-slightly alcoholic from the fermenting process, so it is sold like beer, to those 21 and older. CommuniTea Kombucha, born right here in Ballard, makes some of the finest kombucha anywhere, or, if you want to try your own hand at making it, they’ll sell you a “mother” of your own.
Tiny’s Organic Produce has lots of great apples and pears available from fall’s harvest, including gala, honey crisp, pink lady and Mt. Fuji apples and D’Anjou pears, all organically-grown in their orchards in East Wenatchee. But did you know they also make preserves, dried fruit and applesauce, too? Yessir. Just down the hill from their farm is the little community of Rock Island, home of Pipitone Farms, and Tiny’s uses Pipitone’s kitchen to process their fruit at the peak of flavor and ripeness at harvest time, so that you can enjoy them on toast, in your lunch bag or with cottage cheese all winter long! You can get a nice sampling of them in one of these gift boxes (above).
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.
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.