Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’

Sunday, July 20th: Melons, More Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Nectarcots & More!

July 19, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Ballard Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last Thursday, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including these SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm are a close cousin to some of the other Asian turnip varieties we see here at your Ballard Farmers Market, only these guys are just a bit more flamboyant. And they taste good, too!

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have a hankering for a good all-beef hot dog, but you fear what’s in it, where it was made and how the animals used in it were treated? Well, be afraid no more! These uncured beef franks are from Skagit River Ranch. That means the cattle were grass-fed on lush pastures, treated well, raised organically, and processed with respect. It also means that they are delicious!

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may have heard me refer to Treviso radicchio as the second most beautiful vegetable on earth and wondered to yourself, “what is the most beautiful vegetable on earth, then?” This is! Meet Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It is only grown by two farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, both Hmong, and the last two summers have been kind of hostile to it, so we haven’t really seen much of it since 2011. It can be simply sautéed with some garlic. Or you can just invite your friends over to sit and look at it.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with lots of heirloom and exotic crops grown by adventurous farmers. But what Summer Run Farm specializes in is growing lovely organic produce standards — the stuff you could find at the Big Box store, but that would pale by comparison to Summer Run’s. Like this cauliflower. Sweet and crunchy, and wonderful roasted, made into soup, dipped in hummus or cocktail sauce, or however you enjoy it best.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These bell peppers from Colinwood Farm are so fragrant that they seem to steal the show for your olfactory glands as you examine the farm’s tables. Pep up your salads, stuff some, or throw them on the barby. This is going to be a phenomenal year for peppers!

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.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

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, April 20th: Farmers Market Dinner & Auction, and More Farmers Return!

April 19, 2014

auction

 

Tickets are on sale now for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavilion! Chef Jason Stoneburner of neighboring Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a amazing menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardenswill 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 for kids. Buy tickets now, or simply make a donation, at Brown Paper Tickets. Looking for more details about Fresh Bucks, and the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction? Click here! (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.)

Radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well, after a winter of Sundays dominated by either bad weather or Seahawks games, we welcome the fifth straight Sunday in a row of lovely spring weather at your Ballard Farmers Market. And with this gorgeousness comes more and more spring produce. Like more radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm! I have been going radish crazy for the last couple of weeks, after months living without them. And hey, maybe your Easter egg hunt got rained out yesterday, but today, you can enjoy some wonderful Easter egg radishes (top left of photo, above). Enjoy!

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And more asparagus! Yes, our friends at Magana Farms return today after their winter hiatus, meaning we now have three farms with asparagus at your Ballard Farmers Market. I suspect they may also bring with them some spring onions, too, if they are true to past history.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis returns today with all sorts of cow’s milk and goat’s milk deliciousness. You’ll find fresh, pasteurized, bottled cow’s milkfresh chevre (goat cheese), cheese curds (cow cheese), goat yogurtgoat feta and likely some aged raw milk cheeses. Woohoo!

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered cauliflower is in the house! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! (Sorry. Lost it a bit there.) This image is, in fact, cauliflower in the field at Nash’s Organic Produce. And when it’s made it through a tough winter, it is oh, so sweet now! They’ve also got a bunch of over-wintered leeks today, too. And I hear they are sending me a recipe to make some awesome soup with the two, so stay tuned.

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.

Camelina oil is back today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Produced by Ole World Oils on their farm yonder in Ritzville, this is your local cooking oil. It has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and it is stable, so you don’t need to refrigerate it. It has a wonderful, nutty flavor great for both cooking and as a finishing oil. And I love tossing cauliflower in it and roasting it in a 425 degree oven until just fork tender. The flavors compliment each other well. And best of all, it is priced competitively with olive oil.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is still plenty of time to crank out your first rhubarb crumble of the season before the rest of the family shows up for Easter supper. Just grab some of this fresh rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens today, and go home and get your crumble on! Just get here early, both because it will sell out, and because it will lower your stress level whilst making your holiday feast.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for that last-minute Easter ham? Stop by Sea Breeze Farm! They will have plenty today… depending on your definition of “plenty.” Of course, if you are the slacker that rolls in after 2 p.m. today looking for it, you might find that our definition of plenty and yours are at odds. Oh, they will have some fresh lamb today, too!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When you think about Belgian ales, you think of monks, right? And besides making great beer, what else do Belgian monks do? That’s right! They practice Catholicism. And since this is Easter Sunday, it only follows that you should grab a bottle or three of this holy beverage from our newest vendor, and our first-ever brewery, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend. Using malted Washington grains and many local, seasonal ingredients to give each variety its unique flavor, this is the first brewery to qualify to sell at your Ballard Farmers Market, because we actually require all of our alcoholic beverage producers to use at least 95% Washington-grown ingredients. Enjoy!

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. “This rich buttery flavored golden coffee cake with a rich, buttery flavor is named after the pan with which it is made-kugelhopf pan,” says iFood.tv on its list of the top 10 Easter breads. (Who knew?) It is a German specialty bread, and our friends at Tall Grass Bakery make it extra special. Plus, they will have some hot cross buns (#2 on the list. Kugelhopf is #1.) today, too, and maybe a few other surprises to round out your Easter festivities.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids (young and old)! Whidbey Island Ice Cream is back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Boy Howdy!!! 2013 was kind of a roller coaster for them, but they’ve settled into their new production facility, and it is time again to get our ice cream on, folks. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ll finish this week’s epistle — not a Papal epistle, but a farmers market epistle — with this lovely image of Easter’s past from our buddies at Olsen Farms. These are their Easter potato bunnies surrounded by Easter potato eggs. And if you need spuds still for today’s Easter feast, they’ve got those, too. As well as a bunch of freshly smoked hams!

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, November 3rd: We’ve Fallen Back To Standard Time. It’s Time To Vote Like It Matters… Because It Does!

November 2, 2013
Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you voted? If not, please do. Several items on your ballot will directly affect your Ballard Farmers Market, including:

  • I-517, Tim Eyman’s latest that could unleash aggressive, paid signature gatherers to stand between you and the farmer from whom you are trying to lettuce, literally
  • I-522, the GMO-food labeling law against which corporate agribusiness interests like Monsanto and PepsiCo have spent some $20 million to defeat
  • Seattle City Council & Mayoral races that will determine how the City regulates and supports farmers markets for the next four years

Please do not make the assumption that any race is a sure thing. It is an off-year election, and turnout will determine every race. If you and yours vote, your candidates and issues will prevail. If not, theirs will. You can’t win if you don’t show up. On behalf of the many farmers supporting I-522, like Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, thank you!

Pazazz Apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pazazz Apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beauties are Pazazz apples from Collins Family Orchards. They are, essentially, the same as Jazz apples, which makes them phenomenal! Collins has all their rock star apples in now, from Honey Crisp to Pink Ladies to Fuji, so there’s no excuse not to have your apple a day to keep the doctor away. (BTW, did you set your clocks back an hour?)

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lopez Island Vineyards will be sampling their award-winning, wonderful Puget Sound Appellation wines, as well as their big reds from the Yakima Valley, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Try it before you buy it!

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is Puget Sound Keta salmon season at Loki Fish! For the next few weeks, you can get your salmon as local as it can get — Puget Sound. In fact, it they catch much of their Keta salmon right out in the center of the sound, off of Magnolia Bluff. Keta is an under-appreciated fish. It takes well to sauces, rubs and smoking, is priced well, and it is the one and only commercial salmon fishery of significance on Puget Sound. Other species are slowly making a comeback, but the Keta fishery is robust. If you love local salmon, and you want to support family fishers working the waters you see every day, this is the fish for you!

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm is celebrating the return of Standard Time with a rainbow of cauliflower! From white to yellow to green to purple, and those cool ones with the fractalized spires in them, they’ve got everything cauliflower right now!

Wynne Weinreb and Scott Beaton of Jerzy Boyz Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wynne Weinreb and Scott Beaton of Jerzy Boyz Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You won’t find any food that came out of a test tube at Jerzy Boyz Farm. Their heirloom apples and pears were bred for flavor, appearance and durability over centuries, and the seeds are readily available for all to enjoy and grow. No patented crops or trademarked names here. No multinational corporate agenda of greed that spends hundreds of millions of dollars to pressure governments and farmers worldwide to accept their products. Just delicious, wholesome fruit from family farmers with dirt under their fingernails. No wonder they support I-522 and GMO-foods labeling. They’ve got nothing to hide.

Carrots from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Just take a gander at these lovely carrots from One Leaf Farm. They are sooo long and slender, and sooo sweet, too. You know you want to munch a couple of them right now, don’t you? Heck, some of you are now wiping a nose print off of your screen because you tried to go in after one. Well, get yourself to your Ballard Farmers Market now, and grab a bunch… or three!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it is local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market! See visit Fishing Vessel St. Jude, and stock up on the best canned tuna you will ever taste, low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. Or grab some frozen tuna loins, some smoked tuna, or perhaps some jerkied tuna.  Mmm. Tuna.

A beautiful field of Camelina at Old World Oils. Photo courtesy Old World Oils.

A beautiful field of Camelina at Ole World Oils. Photo courtesy Old World Oils.

This is a field of camelina growing at Ole World Oils, just west of Ritzville in Eastern Washington. This member of the mustard family has been used as a cooking oil for centuries. A seed crop, it is a perfect compliment to grain crops, as it helps build nitrogen and other nutrients into soils, thus reducing the need for chemical additives. Camelina has never been genetically modified, like its much younger cousin, canola. And it produces a cooking oil with a very high smoke point — 475 degrees — that is loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidents. Ole World Oils now offers their cold-pressed, unrefined Camelina Gold cooking oil at your Ballard Farmers Market. So, you can say you know your cooking oil guys now, too!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keep your mouth and your tummy happy with naturally-fermented kimchisauerkraut and more from Firefly Kitchens, based right here in Ballard. They make a perfect condiment to many dishes — I am partial to the caraway kraut on a nice bratwurst from Skagit River Ranch or Stokesberry Sustainable Farm — or you can just enjoy them as is. They often offer bottles of brine from their various batches, too, and it makes for a great mixer, or it’s great straight as a tummy tonic. After all, this is living food full of billions of happy, healthful probiotics. Good… and good for you!

Aged goat cheeses from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aged goat cheeses from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well. the goatee girls at Twin Oaks Creamery are drying up for the winter, which means no more goat yogurt for a few months, though they do still have chevre available. They also have some lovely aged goat cheeses, from their feta to their ashed goat cheese to a nice, hard aged goat cheese (center, above). Of course, they also still have cows milkfresh curds and other cows milk cheeses, too.

Brilliant kales and chards from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant kales and chards from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How can you not love fall greens? Boistfort Valley Farm produces some of the most beautiful greens around. Just look at those stunning golden chard and red chard bunches above, flanked by red Russian kale on the left and curly leaf kale on the right. And here’s a shopping tip for you. Look at the cuts on those chard stalks. See how there is little to no discoloration? That’s how you know this chard is very fresh.

Sugar Pie pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Pie pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you are venturing to make yourself a nice pumpkin pie, or some pumpkin soup, or even some pumpkin bread. You will find these gorgeous Sugar Pie pumpkins at Oxbow Farm. Remember, not all pumpkins are for eating. You wouldn’t want to eat a carving pumpkin, for instance. But these babies are specifically for eating. These are the pumpkins from which Pasteria Lucchese makes its famous pumpkin cappellacci. Enjoy!

Pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of pumpkin bread, this is gluten-free pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. And it is awesome. If you require a gluten-free diet, rejoice! If you don’t, ignore the fact that this is gluten-free and enjoy! You can thank me later.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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, September 22nd: Chile Peppers, Concord Squash, Cheddar Cauliflower, Red Kuri Squash & More!

September 21, 2013
Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well, how ’bout them… well… insert any name of a local sports team except the Mariners, am I right? (Okay, gratuitous pandering to Seattle’s rabid sports fans. Check.) Above is a variety of goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. They are a medium hot chile with a wonderful, bright flavor. Well, it is full-on pepper season at Alvarez. They grow over 200 varieties, and this is a prolific year for peppers, like for so many other crops. This time of year, the pepper fields are so colorful at Alvarez, they are kind of reminiscent of the tulip fields in Skagit Valley in April. You can get a pretty good idea of their many varieties of peppers by checking out our Facebook photo album of them!

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! It’s Concord grapes from our friends at Lyall Farms! Concord grapes make the best juice, and even better grape jelly. They have a deep, bold, natural sweetness to them, and you can even let them ferment with their own natural yeasts (that’s the ashy stuff on the outside of the grapes) into a nice wine.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love this image of garlic framed by cherry tomatoes at Alm Hill Gardens. It just underscores how our farmers do not just work the soil and grow delicious things, but they are artists, too. And we get to enjoy the delicious rewards of their labors and creativity!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The summer of 2013 has been one for the record books. Warm, humid, prolific crop production with epic harvests, lots of thunder storms… and it is this last item that brought with it a dark, destructive side the likes of which we rarely see around here in summer. Sure, there were the lightening-caused fires. But the real trouble came with the deluges of rain, and worse yet, the hail. Not so much on this side of the mountains, but on the other side, along the eastern slopes of the Central and North Cascades. And some of the worst  damage was caused in northern Chelan and eastern Okanogan Counties, like up in the Methow Valley, where Booth Canyon Orchard is located. Between late spring freezes and late summer hail, they lost almost all of their various heirloom apple crops. That is why, when they returned to your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday, they came only with pears, and mind you, these are the pears that made it through the hail storms. So, if you loves you some Booth Canyon fruit, focus on their pears right now, like these Clara Frijs pears, above, and celebrate them. Cuz this year, they are among the chosen few, and the chosen few are invariably the most delicious. Enjoy them, and support Booth Canyon, too!

Nash's Best Carrots from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Best Carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce is famous for its carrots. So it’s no wonder they call them “Nash’s Best”. Sure, they produce lots of delicious veggies over in Dungeness. But these carrots are a thing to behold. They are so sweet. And right now, they are available in their iconic five pound bags right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another installment from the Collins Family Orchards book of funky, hybridized stone fruit. These beauties are nectarplums. Yup, they are a cross betwixt plum and nectarine, and they are amazing! But they have a short-lived season, so enjoy them while you can!

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curiously, in this prolific summer of 2013, another of the few crops that underperformed is the cauliflower family. So Oxbow Farm having this colorful cheddar cauliflower and this geometrically pleasing romanesco right now is something worth celebrating!

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! Winter squash from One Leaf Farm! These lovelies are kabocha (left) and red kuri winter squash. They both have such gorgeous textures and deeply sweet flavors, and when you roast them, you can even eat their skins. Oh, and be sure to toss the seeds in some olive oil, sprinkle them with a little salt, and roast them in a pie tin in the oven for a wonderful little salty, crunchy snack. Yup. Fall does begin tomorrow, alrighty!

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for blueberries from Sidhu Farms, and likely from all of our farms, as with the return of the rains and cooler weather, the berries are beginning to turn to mush on the bush. So again, enjoy them while you can, for one last time. Stock up and freeze a bunch to enjoy all winter!

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has a fresh supply of these gorgeous pickled jalapeño peppers that they got from Alvarez Organic Farms. These are the perfect compliment to so many thing, or just on their own. 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.

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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