Posts Tagged ‘Ballard Farmers Market’

Midweek Update For Wednesday, October 29th: Artichokes, Fall Flowers, Local Wine, Cippolini Onions, Kirsop Farm & More!

October 29, 2014
Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time for your mid-week teaser! Here is some food for thought — literally — to fire you up for this weekend’s trip to your Ballard Farmers Market. These are some gorgeous artichokes from Growing Things Farm, don’t you think? And they are just waiting for you to use them in your favorite recipes. And though you cannot really tell from this photo, these babies are nice and large.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s gotten so many people disregard the humble red delicious apple in favor of exotic or classic heirlooms, or because they just seem mundane and boring. And while modern red delicious apples that are bred for storage and appearance — the ones you get at the Big Box store or with school lunches — have been accurately described as “akin to old potatoes when they come out of long storage” by a former Washington State Director of Agriculture, these red delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards are not those red delicious apples. These are, in fact, an older variety of them that hasn’t been bred black and flavorless, but instead is one of the finest eating apples you will ever encounter, because Martin brings them to Market fresh from harvest, when they’re at their peak of flavor and crispness. These are the red delicious apples that earned them their name in the first place!

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

The harvest and crush are in full swing at vineyards and wineries all over Washington right now, and that includes LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery). Here, Maggie and farm dog Lola are inspecting some of this year’s Madeleine Angevine grapes on their Lopez Island vineyards. These are the grapes responsible for their most award-winning wine. Stop by for a sample at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems our amazing, endless summer of 2014 has truly come to an end, though we continue to be blessed with lovely Sundays, as the weather gods love them so Ballard Farmers Market as much as you and I do. Still, we can continue to bring home summer sunshine in the form of these spectacular flowers from Mee Garden until they receive their first frost in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. So stop by for a beautiful bouquet this week!

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

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

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm cook down and caramelize wonderfully, making them brilliant for adding deep, rich onion flavor to soups, sauces and sides, or just as a simple garnish. Try them with one of their winter squash! One Leaf also has other great storage onions now, as well as shallots.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This Sunday, we welcome a new farm to the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market, but Kirsop Farm is by no means a new farm. In fact, they’ve been around for almost 20 years! We’ve enjoyed their stunning organic produce at both Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets for the last two years, and they’ve played a starring role at the Olympia Farmers Market going back to the 1990s. Based in Tumwater, Kirsop Farm is one of those farms, like Boistfort Valley Farm, to which many other farms in Washington look up. Their displays are magnificent, and their produce superb. And for an example of both, just take a gander at the beets in the photo above.

For Sunday, October 26th: Order Holiday Turkeys & Hams, Last Call For Kiwis, Fresh Cranberries & Shiso!

October 24, 2014
Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, this is notturkey. It is a chicken from Growing Things Farm. It is the chicken my family eats for Thanksgiving every year. But if your family must have a beautiful, pasture-raised turkey from right here in King County, Growing Things has you covered there, too. Stop by their stall this week and reserve yours for Thanksgiving, but you need to do it this week! They are selling fast, there is a limited number of them, and most other farms with turkeys are already sold out of them. (And don’t forget to scroll down below this post to see our mid-week post for more delicious info!)

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill is a worker-owned cooperative that is the original farmers market prepared food stand. They have always been community oriented, and they’ve even offered a 50% discount to anyone identifying themselves as unemployed, on the honor system, since the early days of the Great Recession, over five years ago. They already source a huge percentage of their ingredients from our market farmers, but they want to increase that percentage, and to that end, they are trying to raise capital to get equipment to make their own tortillas using Nash’s Organic Produce flour. And that’s where you come in. Patty Pan is asking the community they’ve served for so many years to contribute to their Kickstarter Campaign. Please click over, get informed, then generously support this great project!

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Last call for hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm! Get thee down to your Ballard Farmers Market for these little jewels of the Northwet. They are super sweet and the best kiwis you’ll ever taste. No fuzzy skin to deal with. And they’re easy to eat… a lot of them! About the size of a small grape, the ones with the redder skins are the sweetest. But they are only here for a few short weeks each fall, and this week is their last.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As one fall berry season ends, another is in full swing! These are fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm in Olympia. Bloom Creek is harvesting hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cranberries right now, and they should be available fresh through Thanksgiving. Make your own cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, cranberry muffins and bread, and more! Beats the heck out of that stuff that comes in cans at the Big Box stores.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Not in the mood for turkey this Thanksgiving? More of a ham family? Skagit River Ranch is taking orders now for their spectacular smoked holiday hams, which they will deliver to you here at your Ballard Farmers Market on the Sunday before T-day. These hams are awesome. If you’ve never had one, you owe it to yourself to get one this year, if not for Thanksgiving, at least for the December holiday season. But they will sell out fast, so order yours today! (Skagit is already sold out of turkeys.)

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s potato eating season, folks, and our friends from Olsen Farms have a ginormous selection of potato varieties from which to choose in every shape, size and color, and suited to any number of cooking applications. Some are waxy and others more starchy. Some hold up well in soups, stews and boiled dishes, while others just want to be mashed or roasted. These are the beautiful, Ballard-appropriate, Viking purple potatoes. Inside their stunning purple skin is a gorgeous white flesh that is wonderful steamed and then mashed with a really good butter.

Shiso from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

We finish off with this herbaceous shiso from Children’s Garden. This leafy green is favored by many Asian cooks for the way its intense herbal flavor sets off against raw fish, chicken and other dishes. You probably had it at a sushi bar without knowing what it was. It won’t be around much longer, as temps continue to drop, so enjoy it now, as well as the many other lovely herbs at Children’s.

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.

Midweek Update for Wednesday, October 22nd: Sunchokes, A Recipe From Nash’s, Sweet Potato Chips, Keta Salmon Skeines & More!

October 22, 2014
Poblano peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

In this epic year of peppers, even Westside farms like Stoney Plains Organic Farm are getting in on the action. In fact, apparently, they have a gargantuan harvest of these gorgeous poblano peppers in progress right now. So if you want to get your chile relleno on, this is the time to do it! Stop by and grab a big bag full this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples are one of my favorite eating apples. They are super crisp, sweet, and have just the tiniest hint of tartness. They have become a standard here in the Northwest in recent years, helped by their openness to long storage while maintaining their quality. Enjoy some of the first organic Pink Lady apples of the season this week from ACMA Mission Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are in the house! North America may not have any native potatoes (though we Northwesterners lay claim to the Ozette as our own), but we do have this tuber, a member of our beloved sunflower family. You can eat them much like potatoes, including making soups, mashes, root roasts and even home fries. And they have the added benefit of actually being good for blood sugar levels. Yes, the skins are edible, and they can be eaten raw. When cooking, it is good to cut them and then put them in a bowl of water with some lemon juice in it to keep them from turning color on  you before you drop them in the pot, steamer or baking dish. Enjoy a true American native crop this fall! These are from Summer Run Farm, the winners of the first farm to bring sunchokes to Market this season award.

Arugula from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arugula from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce has begun to harvest a bumper crop of arugula, and to that end, Devon has shared with us another great recipe, though I can’t help but ponder how this salad might be using some of their own delicious whole grains, or perhaps subbing some Glendale Shepherd fresh sheep cheese.

Quinoa, Beet and Arugula Salad

  • 1/2 lb. beets
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. arugula, chopped
  • 5 oz. goat cheese

Cook beets until tender, peel and slice. Bring water to boil, add quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, pepper together. Remove quinoa from heat, add 1/2 of salad dressing, cover refrigerate for ½  to 1 hour. Stir in onion, arugula, goat cheese, beets and remaining dressing, toss and serve.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the annual Puget Sound Keta salmon season in full swing, Loki Fish has lots of fresh salmon skeines (salmon roe) available right now. Make your own ikura, or use them in any number of ways, from garnishes to salads and soups to sushi and more. Ask the fine folks at Loki for ideas this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has begun to harvest its wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from their fields in Sunnyside. And that means not only the sweet potatoes themselves at your Ballard Farmers Market, but these awesome sweet potato chips. If you love sweet potatoes, get thee to Lyall Farms this weekend!

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we finish up this midweek epistle with these beautiful blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms. This Sunday will be Hayton’s last for the 2014 season at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a berry season for the record books, but it had to end sometime, right? So why not load up for one last hoorah of fresh berries for this year, before you begin pining away as you await the first berries again next May.

Sunday, October 19th: Fall Foods & Food Day 2014

October 18, 2014

food-day_2014

National Food Day 2014 is this coming Friday, October 24th. Inaugurated several years ago, it is designed, like Earth Day in April, to get us talking about food. After all, it is the one thing we all have in common — the one thing we all cannot live without. Just to confuse you, though, the UN has held International Food Day on October 16th since 1979, but given that neither you nor I ever heard much about this, it made sense to start anew. You’ll find lots of things to do, and more info, at the Food Day website, and read on to learn about some cool stuff happening in New York City that we could easily replicate here.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Starvation Alley Farms has begun the harvest of the 2014 crop of organic cranberries out on Long Beach Peninsula. They’ll have them flash-frozen for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. And check this out from Wholesome Wave in New York City:

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced on October 16th the expansion of a program that allows doctors at HHC’s Elmhurst and Bellevue Hospital Centers to write fruit and vegetable “prescriptions” to children who are overweight or obese to help improve access to healthy food and promote overall health and wellness in the community.  First adopted by HHC hospitals in the South Bronx and Harlem last summer, the Wholesome Wave Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program (FVRx) proved successful in its first year when the program at HHC Harlem Hospital Center and HHC Lincoln Medical Center helped 40 percent of the enrolled children lower their Body Mass Index (BMI) and more than half of the families reported having more food to eat at home.

“A prescription for healthy food at an affordable price can be even better than a prescription for medicine,” said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. “When doctors don’t just ask patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, but take concrete steps to make it easier for them and to demonstrate the benefits, patients listen. Obesity is a significant problem for children in New York City.  With HHC’s excellent primary care services and community collaborations like this one, we can help children learn at an early age that a healthy lifestyle and good food choices strongly affect their future health and wellbeing.”

… HHC selects pediatric patients for FVRx based on age and BMI eligibility. Over the course of four months, during farmers market season, patients receive a “prescription” to eat more fruit and vegetables. The prescription is designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for the entire family and is typically valued at $1 per day per household member ($28 per week for a family of four). This year, Wholesome Wave is piloting a $.50 incentive at two of the FVRx hospitals ($14 per week for a family of four). The prescription is exchanged on-site for Health Bucks, a city-wide Department of Health and Mental Hygiene program, which  can be used at all New York City farmers markets.

Gee, that sounds like something our local government and hospitals could do right here in Seattle in partnership with our farmers market Fresh Bucks Program.

Click image to download.

Click image to download.

And speaking of Fresh Bucks, the program has been extended through the end of December this year, so if you or someone you know receives SNAP benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), we will match the SNAP dollars you spend at your Ballard Farmers Market with Fresh Bucks, up to $10, each and every visit! Fresh Bucks can only be used for fresh fruits, vegetables and cut herbs, so use them to stock up on those items, and save your regular SNAP benefits to use for other food items, like eggs, grains, dried beans, honey, meat, pickles and such.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The commercial fishing season for Keta salmon on Puget Sound just opened, and that means Loki Fish should have the most local salmon you will ever find here at your Ballard Farmers Market today, as it is caught just a few miles from here in the heart of Puget Sound. Keta salmon used to be considered a trash fish, but in recent years, it has reemerged as a high-quality, affordable, local and wild salmon that also serves to maintain our local fishing economy. It is fresher, better tasting and generally less expensive than farm-raised salmon. It takes well to rubs, smokes and sauces. And unlike most farmed salmon, it is not on drugs and its color is natural. So enjoy some salmon tonight that actually hangs out in the same area code as you do!

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This fall has been great for wild lobster mushrooms harvested by Foraged & Found Edibles in the forests of Western Washington. They get their name from their bright red color, and they are a sturdy, earthy mushroom that holds up well when you cook them. They make a great topping for that Keta salmon!

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Don Hilario Alvarez, the patriarch of Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, holding hot chile peppers in the pepper fields on the farm this past August. Their hot chiles are at their colorful peak now, just before the season’s end. They grow over 400 varieties of them, and you will find them fresh, as well as some dried, today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

As the waters of Hood Canal cool down with fall rains and shorter days, now is the best time of year to enjoy fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oysters. You’ll find a few varieties of live in-the-shell oysters today, ready for you to shuck and slurp, as well as jars of pre-shucked oysters, pickled and smoked oysters, and live clams!

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic turn almost black when in storage. It is a firm, tart apple good for fresh eating, cooking, juicing and making hard cider, and it will keep for two to three months.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We talk a lot about cooking pumpkins here in the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market. There are so many varieties offered by our farmers, after all. But Halloween is less than two weeks away, so let’s talk about carving pumpkins today. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a nice selection of carving pumpkins for you and the kids to turn into all manner of spooky creations. Pick out the best one for you today, and remember to roast these seeds!

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cool, dark, often damp fall mornings call for a hardy breakfast, and for that you’ll find great granola in a variety of flavors from Marge Granola. Tall Grass Bakery also makes a great granola, or you can grab some muesli from Daddy’s Muesli. Besides being fine with milk or yogurt, they’re nice just heating up a little hot water, too.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry season is just about over, folks. We still are enjoying a few blackberries and blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms, but next week will be their last for 2014. So get your berry on one last time this year, and celebrate the epic berry season it was! (They go great with that granola and muesli, 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.


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