Posts Tagged ‘chard’

Sunday, June 15th: Happy Father’s Day, Dad! For You: Fava Beans, King Salmon, Raspberries, Sausages, Olive Fougasse, Local Beer & A New Shaving Kit!

June 14, 2014
My dad at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My dad enjoying chicken pie at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 2006, my dad and I took a little road trip around Vermont from my parents’s home base in the Adirondack Mountains. We visited cheese makers, farmers markets, old general stores, and all those kinds of things that make Vermont a special place, including the Bryant House Restaurant at the Vermont Country Store in Weston. Being the food geek that I am (shocking, I know), I had read that the Bryant House offered a menu built around classic New England dishes of old, like open-faced hot turkey sandwicheschicken pie and crackers and milk. I had read on RoadFood.com that:

“…crackers and milk on the menu: a bowl full of common crackers (the kind that used to fill the cracker barrel in general stores) and chunks of Vermont cheddar along with a cold glass of whole milk. Pour the milk into the bowl, crumble in some of the crackers and let them soak until they begin to soften. Then spoon it up. It’s cool, simple, and utterly old-fashioned!”

As I began to explain to my father how we were supposed to eat our crackers and milk when it arrived, sided with lovely chunks of Vermont cheddars, he had already begun to crumble up the silver dollar-sized crackers into the bowl and was already pouring the milk over them. I looked at him and asked, “have you eaten this before?” He said, “yes, we ate this all the time when I was a boy. Sometimes it is all that we had.”

I bring this up on this Father’s Day 2014 not only to honor my own father, but to encourage you to try to make the best of today, and any day with your dad, because you probably don’t know him as well as you think you do.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what any dad would love on Father’s Day? A nice piece of Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish on the grill, that’s what! Throw a few fava beans on with it (see below), get some good bread and berries, maybe a nice salad, and you are good to go!

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another of the gorgeous, and delicious, varieties of heirloom lettuce grown by One Leaf Farm. This is Speckled Amish lettuce. If you grew up on boring iceberg lettuce from Arizona, you might think all lettuce is boring. It is not. There are countless kinds of lettuces, suited to many different applications. They run the gamut from sweet to earthy, from delicate to sturdy, from huge to tiny… all just in the varieties One Leaf Farm offers. They make for great salads, lettuce wraps, sandwiches. Some are awesome grilled. Pick Rand’s brains about the different kinds they have from week to week, and experiment to find out which ones you like best!

Organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I remember picking raspberries right off the vine in our backyard as a kid. My dad, the farm boy, always had a garden. In fact, he still does in pots on his deck in Bellingham. But since I can’t get up there today to visit with him, I’ll call him, and then I will live vicariously by enjoying some of these amazing organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. These beauties are incredible!

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have I mentioned lately how much I not only love this time of year, but how much I am loving this year? So many crops are coming in early! Like these fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. The first harvest is so tender, your dad will love to eat them simply grilled with a nice finishing salt. Pick out the pods that are the softest, with a bit of a peach fuzz feel to them. Then rub them in some oil, fire up the grill and toss them on. You can eat the whole pod. When they’re tender, pull them off and hit them with the salt. Just remove the seam strings and eat the rest! (I must credit Rand from One Leaf Farm for this recipe.)

Apriums from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce has its first harvest of cherries and apriums this week your Ballard Farmers Market. The cherries are Bings and Rainiers, and the apriums are a hybrid of apricots and plums, genetically 70% apricot and 30% plum. They favor apricots in appearance and flavor, though they are sturdier, making them good for hikes and lunch boxes, and they are the first large stone fruit of the season.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make sure pa gets his greens today. Stop by Oxbow Farm for some collard greens, some dino kale or some of this beautiful rainbow chard. Because a dad full of deliciousness, vitamins and ruffage is a happy dad!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or… perhaps dad would like some nice sausages on the grill, like these from Sea Breeze Farm. They have something like 13, 527 kinds of sausages, or nine. Something like that. But whatever the number, you will find at least one that will make dad smile.

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

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

A nice loaf of olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery will make dad grin today! Or any of their other breads and baked goodies. I love this bread so much, I can eat an entire loaf in a single sitting! Heck, hand dad some fougasse, a cold one, and a bowl of sugar snap peas, and direct him to the nearest lawn chair. Happy dad, indeed!

Strawberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My folks are harvesting the first of their strawberries from their deck garden this weekend, and so is Jessie’s Berries! In fact, Jessie’s will be joining us here at your Ballard Farmers Market for the first time this season. It’s time to eat ourselves silly on some Fir Island sweetness!

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I never understood why my dad was so crazy about rice pudding. Chocolate pudding I understood. But rice? I thought rice was for frying with shrimp at the Kingston Tea Garden. Alas, in my adult years, as my taste buds matured (yes, one part of me did), I began to develop a taste for rice pudding myself. Then I met Sam & Sara Lucchese of Pasteria Lucchese, and I tasted their vanilla rice pudding. Yes, this is the food of the gods, and now, I share yet one more thing with my dad: a madness for this stuff!

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.

Ballard is Beer Central here in Seattle, but did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is host to the first ever brewery at a farmers market in Seattle? Yup. Propolis Brewing makes wonderful, bottle-aged, Belgian-style ales in Port Townsend from lots of local ingredients, and they offer them to you right here. Their flavors change with the season, like everything else around here. Stop by and pick some up for dad!

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you’re going to get dad a shaving kit for Father’s Day tomorrow, get him one of these from Brown Butterfly at your Ballard Farmers Market! It’ll keep Dad’s face smooth and soft, it treads lightly on the environment, and it will be a gift that comes with a face and a story behind it.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for the dad who has everything, I bet he doesn’t have a hand-forged steel pan from Blu Skillet Ironware. If your dad cooks at all, he will adore one of these pans. I use my 10-inch skillet for about 70% of my cooking these days. It dispenses uniform heat, remains perfectly seasoned for gorgeous browning and no sticking, cleans up easily, costs no more than one of those highly-rated pans in those whoopdeedoo cooking magazines (and probably less), and it is made right here in Ballard!!! Now, that is a gift that means something.

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.

And I finish off this week’s Father’s Day edition of most things Ballard Farmers Market with camelina oil from Ole World Oils, grown and pressed just over in Ritzville, Washington. This is our local oil, folks. Camelina is an ancient member of the mustard family, and it’s seeds have been pressed for cooking oil for centuries. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point (475 degrees) than grape seed oil, is loaded with Vitamin E, making it both shelf stable and nutritious, is high in omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, has a great flavor and a gorgeous viscosity, is good for high-heat cooking and as a finishing oil, and it is priced competitively with the average olive oil from far away. And I have found that it is the perfect seasoning oil for my Blu Skillet pan. I rub a little into my pan each time after cleaning 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 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, 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, March 17th: Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day While Planning For Easter & Passover!

March 16, 2013
Shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day from your Ballard Farmers Market! It is said that everyone claims a bit of Irish blood every year at this time, but truth is that there are plenty of us mixed in amongst the Scandinavians and Amazon.comians here in Ballard. And while the streets may run green with beer of questionable origins in other communities today, we Ballardites are more likely to cozy up this evening to a fine microbrew or snifter of Irish whiskey. Whatever your poison, get your day going right at your Ballard Farmers Market, perhaps with some of these shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, or get your greens on at any number of farms in the Market, as we are surprisingly greens-rich for this early in the year!

Smoked ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in a year in which seemingly every Sunday has been some sort of holiday, in two weeks comes Easter Sunday. Your Ballard Farmers Market will be open for you that day, but you might want to lay claim to one of these hams from Skagit River Ranch today, as they are sure to be sold out two weeks from today. Now, if you prefer lamb, they may still have some today, too, and if you are planning for Passover, which begins next Monday at sundown, perhaps you are in the market for a chicken or a nice brisket. Skagit River Ranch has that covered, too!

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You will need potatoes to go with your corned beef tonight, or your holiday meals in the coming weeks, and Olsen Farms has that covered and then some. For corned beef, I prefer these desiree potatoes, as they hold up well in the pot with the other ingredients, and they absorb the flavors nicely. However, with lamb, ham or chicken, you might have your own favorite. They’ve got many varieties, so you will be sure to find what you need. And Olsen, too, has lambbeef roasts and hams for Easter.

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

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

I also like to add rutabagas to my pot with my corned beef, like these from Nash’s Organic Produce. In Ireland, they call these “turnips” or “Swedes”, harkening back to their introduction to the Emerald Isle by the Vikings centuries ago before the Brits took over and ruled it with an iron fist for 700 years. Of course, I say this in the context of this day in which we celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of, well, Catholicism in Ireland who supposedly drove the “snakes” out of Ireland even before the Vikings showed up, though the only snakes in Ireland at the time were actually the Druids, who used the image of a snake in much of their symbolism. But I digress. I put my bagas in the pot up to an hour before its time to serve dinner. Because they are very dense, they cook slowly, but they beautifully absorb all to flavors and spices of your corned beef, and they become perfectly tender as they do.

GaiasGreensKailanKaleChardMustardsBeets

Gaosheng from Gaia’s Natural Goods holding (clockwise, from bottom left) kailan, a golden beet, kale, chard and mustard greens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, your Ballard Farmers Market is full of greens for St. Paddy’s Day. This is Gaosheng from Gaia’s Natural Goods, and she holds in her arms several kinds of greens her family is currently harvesting up in Snohomish. In the lower lefthand corner, those flowery, light-green greens are kailan, an Asian green popular in China and Southeast Asian. Then there is kalechard and mustard greens on the lower right, as well as a golden beet peaking out in front of her right shoulder. Greens are coming on earlier this year than the past few, and that is worthy of holiday celebrations in and of itself, if you ask me.

Kids play at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kids play at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just kidding. That’s what this kid is doing. Yup, this is one of the many adorable baby goats Gil and I got to meet last week on our visit to Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis. These kids have a good life, romping and roughhousing with each other in their playhouse. Meanwhile, their moms are producing wonderful goat milk which Twin Oaks is bottling, as well as making cheese and yogurt with it.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer, returns this week with her beautiful flower bouquets. Also returning this week are Mee Gardens, Pa Gardens and Ia’s Garden. What this means for you is that, if you return home this evening without a bouquet of beautiful, fresh flowers from one of the six farms selling them at your Ballard Farmers Market, you might as well get yourself acquainted with your couch, cuz that’s where you will be sleeping tonight!

Mixed radish starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mixed radish starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know it’s pretty darn near spring when the veggie starts show up at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. This is a flat of mixed radishes, ready for you to get your early spring garden going. After all, spring does start this coming week, right? And ain’t it about time? Of course, we now get to spend the next couple of weeks having to drive directly into the setting sun that is due west in the evening, but I think we’ll survive. Besides, odds are we won’t be able to see it anyway!

Sharon & Gary McCool from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sharon & Gary McCool from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosecrest Farm returns to your Ballard Farmers Market with lots of their lovely Swiss cheeses today, after a one-week hiatus. Gil and I also visited Rosecrest last week during our trip to Chehalis. This is a photo of Sharon & Gary McCool in front of their Cheese Haus, which is housed in a very old shop adjacent to their 99-year-old historic barn. Gary manages the cows while Sharon makes the cheese. And did you know that their cheese is made from certified organic milk? Yup. In fact, whatever doesn’t go into making cheese ends up going in cartons from Organic Valley, to whom they sell some of the milk they produce. And you might wonder how Swiss Cheese factors into our holiday theme today. Well, I’m glad you asked! You may be surprised to learn that much of “Swiss” cheese in American deli cases — you know, that squared block of cheese with the big holes in it that is probably banned in Switzerland — is made by Kerrygold in Ireland! That’s right! Americans by the millions are making reuben sandwiches with Irish “Swiss” cheese. Seriously, you gotta love that!

An "Irish" marion berry pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An “Irish” marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish this week’s epistolic tribute to St. Patrick, the Irish, and holidaze to come, with a shamrock-adorned marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again — Deborah quite simply makes the best pies on earth. But let’s face it. There’s a lot more fun going on here than just her pieliciousness. There is the shamrock itself, and then there is that fact that we just celebrated Universal Pie Day on March 14th. And my personal favorite is getting to make silly references to troubled Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, D.C. But in the end, what is most entertaining about this pie is eating it. Enjoy!

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.


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