Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

Sunday, June 22nd: Happy Summer Solstice! We Bring You Alaskan Salmon, Blueberries, Shunkyo Radishes, 8 Kinds of Summer Squash, A New Bakery & So Much More!

June 21, 2014
Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Solstice everyone! Yes, today is the first full day of summer! Woohoo! The sun will be up for 16 hours today, with an additional hour of daylight tacked on either side. It’s these spectacular long days that keep us going all winter long, so let’s celebrate. And to get summer started, Loki Fish began catching wild Alaskan salmon this past week, and they will have lots of fresh salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market! We expect them to have SockeyeCohoPink and Keta today, and possibly even some King. They’ll have fillets and whole fish for you, ready for the grill or smoker.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness today, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain’t how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you’ll find around here!

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been one bakery down since the end of May. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from — you guessed it — Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: “A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!” They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

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

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

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has great organic strawberries for you this week. And that’s especially good to know, since we’re experiencing a little bit of a dip in our strawberry supply this week. They also have lots and lots of greens available right now.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh spearmint from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summertime means that you need mint! Lots of mint. For desserts, cocktails, salads, proteins… pretty much everything, really. Children’s Gardens grows some beautiful mint, including chocolate mint, and this spearmint. Me? I just like crunching up some of the leaves and putting it in my water glass.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Even the wild berries are early this year! These are wild Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Native to the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, the Rockies and the North Central U.S., they are nutrient-dense and mighty tasty. Oh, and Foraged & Found has lots of grey morel mushrooms today, too!

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

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

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them… even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, “oh, but I’ve got that growing wild in my backyard.” No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are full-on into the grilling season now, folks. The kiddies are out of school, the evenings are long and warm, and so much summer produce is great grilled. Plus, you keep your kitchen cool and your cleanup minimal. And with Independence Day just around the corner, you’ll want to stock up on some of these beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Their beef is grass-fed and finished on gorgeous pasture up in Sedro-Woolley, and it is tender and delicious. And can’t you just imagine the smell of them wafting through your house as they sizzle over those hot coals?

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

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

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It’s a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means “little hat” in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask them for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting at least eight varieties of summer squash over in Mabton… and summer just started! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Ballard Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for apricots and peaches!

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

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

Colinwood Farm blesses us with their wonderful salad mix all year round. But this time of year is when it truly shines. Loaded with many kinds of lettuces, hearty and spicy greens and edible flowers, it is a summer delight!

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Da Boyz of Summer are ready to sling you up some serious deliciousness at Patty Pan Grill. Patty Pan embodies farmers market prepared food, being the first to build their menu around what is fresh and local at the market. Their veggies for their quesadillas are all sourced every week from our market farmers, and their tamales are filled with veggies, meats and cheeses from them, as well. And Patty Pan is even a worker-owned cooperative. How cool is that? 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.

Sunday, June 8th: Raspberries, Apriums, Snow Peas, Sheep Feta & More!

June 7, 2014
Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! The summer crops keep rolling in early! These are apriums from Collins Family Orchards. They 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. Ripe and ready now!

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just last week, we were celebrating the first sugar snap peas of the season from Alvarez Organic Farms. This week, we cheer for snow peas! I sautéed a bunch of these Friday night with some of their green garlic and green sweet onions, and served it alongside a nice grilled King salmon fillet from Wilson Fish. Now, that’s living!

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And under the heading of, “could life get any better?” come the first raspberries of the year! Yes, Sidhu Farms wins the derby on them. And we checked… this is the earliest we’ve ever had raspberries at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Glendale Shepherd has its first sheep’s milk feta of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market. This is the feta they eat in Greece, where sheep reign and cows are less common. So enjoy a little old world flavor, not from the Greek Islands, but from Whidbey Island!

Cucumbers from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how crazy is this? Nash’s Organic Produce has cucumbers today! Yes, you heard me right! And they also have strawberries, spinach and, wait for it, even a little basil!

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. A big, bold, full-flavored cherry, they are the cherry’s cherry. You want dark? You want to know you are actually eating a cherry? Heck, you want to keep your gout away?!? Eat a handful of these bad boys a day!

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

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

Summer Run Farm, from just over in Carnation, is known for their huge heads of lettuce. But they are also known for these adorable dwarf sunflowers. Why not pick up a few for your planter box? Oh, and Growing Things Farm is offering your fourth garden start free when you buy three plants today. So stop procrastinating, and get planting!

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus season is going to go away this year as quickly as it came on, what with our warmer and sunnier than normal weather. So don’t miss out on this wonderful organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Get it while you can!

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this? Yes, this is zucchini! I took this photo last Sunday, in fact. Colinwood Farm manages to always be the first farm with summer squash every year. In fact, I had someone ask me recently, “Where’s that zucchini coming from in Patty’s Pan’s quesadillas?” Colinwood, that’s where!

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

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

How about some lovely, and colorful, purple kohlrabi from One Leaf Farm? Remember, you can eat the greens and the bulb on it. And One Leaf has doubled the number of varieties of heirloom lettuces they have on their tables this week!

Lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Short, and very sweet this week, given all the fruit and peas coming into season, we finish off this week’s epistle with a summer staple: lettuce. Our buddies at Children’s Garden have lots of it right now, as well as mintcilantrorosemaryparsley and many other fresh cut herbs. And don’t forget to grab one of their beautiful bouquets of flowers, 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.

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, June 1: Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Cherries, Glorious Sunshine & The Return Of Boistfort Valley Farm!

May 31, 2014
80-11 Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

80-11 Early Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Yes, those are Rainier cherries80-11 Early Rainier cherries, to be precise, from Lyall Farms. This variety ripens a good two weeks ahead of other Rainier cherries, and Lyall Farms gets another 7-10 days head start on other farms because of the location of their orchard in the warmest, sunniest micro-climate in the state. Add to that the fact that, after colder than average months of December, January, February, March & April, and lots of rain to start off May, May ended up with warmer than average temps and sunnier than normal skies! Go figure. But hey, who’s complaining? 75 and sunny, with Rainier cherries, on the first day of June in Seattle? That’s fine by me!

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But wait! There’s more! Yes, these are sugar snap peas, I kid you not! I took this photo on Wednesday at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market, which just opened for the 2014 season. These peas are from our friends at Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, another of Washington’s warmest, sunniest micro-climates. And Alvarez has their first harvest of Detroit red beets this week, too, and green shallots!

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

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

We’ll have strawberries today from at least three different farms, and perhaps as many as six! These are organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. This is the earliest we have had strawberries in your Ballard Farmers Market in years!

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

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

After their brief annual mid-spring rest, the fields at Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness are roaring back to life again. This week, they have lots and lots of their amazing organic spinach for your dining pleasure, as well as freshly-milled buckwheat flour and more!

Hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now I’m just messing with, right? Nope! These really are tomatoes, grown in Washington, this year! They are hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms in Sunnyside, the aptly named town in the Yakima Valley that is also in one of those special micro-climates of which Washington has more than 200. Magana’s big hoop house greenhouse warms naturally using Ole Sol only. This is the same variety of tomato you see coming out of heated greenhouses just north of Bellingham in British Columbia much of the year, except they didn’t require fossil fuels to ripen, or a passport to get here, and you didn’t need a Big Box store, or a nameless, faceless corporate farm to bring them to you.

Lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! Boistfort Valley Farm returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market, again… the earliest in years! In fact, this may be the earliest they’ve ever come in! And you can bet they’ll have lots of this gorgeous lettuce, some colorful radishes, some honey and maybe some artichokes, and much, much more.

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 you know what that means? Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here today, with the finest albacore tuna you will find anywhere.

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! Collard greens are back, baby! I loves me some organic collard greens from Oxbow Farm in Duvall, preferably with some lovely jowl bacon from Olsen Farms, and some green garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Yeah, baby! Oh, and guess what? Allen is back at Olsen Farms today, too. Could life get any better?

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julie from Four Sisters Gourmet Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With all these farmers and crops returning to your Ballard Farmers Market, we’re running out of room for many of our beloved food artisans. You’ll find many of them at our sister markets in Wallingford and Madrona all summer, though. Today, however, is the last day at Ballard until fall for Four Sisters Gourmet Sauces. So stock up today for the next few months, while you can!

Soda Jerk Truckster. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Truckster. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish off this week’s epistle with yet another first: the first ever vendor truck allowed inside your Ballard Farmers Market! That’s because the Soda Jerk Soda Truckster is only nine feet long, from bumper to bumper, soaking wet (as it was last week at this time), meaning it fits perfectly in a standard 10′ x 10′ vendor space. This adorable little fresh soda slinging, street-legal machine was made by Cushman in 1984, and it is the product, in part, of your generosity when you invested in Soda Jerk’s Kickstarter campaign last year. Pretty cool, eh?

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, July 14th: Sweet Corn, New Apples, Heirloom Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, Salmon, Oysters & Ballard Seafood Fest!

July 13, 2013
Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy 2013 Ballard Seafood Fest! And have you seen this year’s logo, or mascot, or whatever it is? I guess its some sort of fishmonger superhero, but it was kinda lost on me. So I decided to use these Viking purple potatoes instead! This is the new crop of them from that sturdy Scandinavian family at Olsen Farms, which makes them even more fitting, and they’d be lovely steamed and mashed with some good butter alongside a nice serving of lutefisk, or maybe some salmon. Here are a few tips for managing your trip today to your Ballard Farmers Market:

  • If you are planning to shop at the farmers market and then attend Seafood Fest, bring a good cooler and plenty of ice or gel packs, and if driving, park in the shade if you can.
  • Don’t store items like berries and salad greens in a hot car, and avoid putting berries, peaches, corn and tomatoes in your cooler, as cold hurts them.
  • If you are just going to shop at the farmers market, we recommend you get here before noon to avoid Seafood Fest crowds and associated parking hassles.
  • Try to walk, ride your bike or take the bus today, as parking will be challenging.
  • Remember that Market Street is closed from 20th to 24th, 22nd is closed from Shilshole to 57th & Ballard Ave is closed from Vernon Place to Market.
  • If spending the whole day, remember to keep hydrated.
  • Pack your patience and enjoy the day. The forecast is for perfect weather!

By the way, we want to give one more plug for the Growing Things Farm Kick Starter campaign. While they have reached their minimum goal of $20,000 to frame out the house once raised above the floodline, they would like to raise another $10,000 so that they can install the plumbing, electrical and insulation, in order to make the farmhouse truly livable.

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

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

For the love of Mike, is that sweet corn? Yup. The earliest we’ve ever seen it here. This bi-colored sweet corn is from Lyall Farms. They just started harvesting it this week. In fact, just so you know I’m not pulling your leg, I took this photo on Friday at our sister Madrona Farmers Market. And this stuff is suh-weeeet!

Lodi apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lodi apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of absurdly early crops, we usually don’t see these Lodi apples until the first week of August! Really. Lodi apples are usually the first apple of the year, with a crisp bite and a tart flavor. So start keeping that doctor away today!

Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. The crops just keep coming in earlier than ever this year. This is the earliest, by two weeks, that we’ve ever seen heirloom tomatoes arrive. One Leaf Farm grows these Paul Robeson tomatoes just over in Carnation, in East King County. They just started harvesting them, so they’ll go fast. Get here early!

Fresh Bucks program starts today at Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh Bucks program starts today at Ballard Farmers Market!

A program called Fresh Bucks has been created by a partnership between the City of Seattle and local farmers markets to double Food Stamps, now known as SNAP, at Seattle farmers markets. Beginning TODAY, July 14th, for every SNAP dollar spent at Ballard Farmers Market, SNAP benefits users can receive an additional dollar to spend on fruits & vegetables, up to 10 dollars. Get them, and more information, from at Market Information Desk at your Ballard Farmers Market at the Vernon Place end of the Market. You can also get more information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association. Tell your friends, family and neighbors!

Fresh whole Alaskan sockeye salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh whole Alaskan sockeye salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Since it is Seafood Fest, we really should talk about all the great seafood you can find at your Ballard Farmers Market, right? Especially right now! For instance, Loki Fish has all five species of Pacific salmon fresh right now, from their boats fishing in Alaska. Above is whole sockeye salmon. Yeah, baby!

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm has these gorgeous heads of cauliflower right now. I’ve been roasting it in the oven lately, tossed with some olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed cayenne. Set the oven at about 425, and cook until just tender, and maybe a little browned on top. You can grill it, too!

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

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

We’ve heard plenty of talk about smaller cherry harvests and higher cherry prices in the news lately, but truth be told, that’s not what we’re seeing at your Ballard Farmers Market. That’s because our farmers grow specifically for you, and they grow a diversity of cherry varieties, which helps them insure against early freezes and heavy rains. See, the big orchards that grow for the warehouses that sell to the Big Box stores, China and Japan just grow a couple of preferred cherries, like Bings and Rainiers, and when those two crops are impacted, it drives the price up at the Big Box stores. But farms like Collins Family Orchards from Selah are growing just for us, so the price they charge isn’t affected by demand from Japan. Plus, they grow outstanding varieties unaffected by the commodities market, like these Vans cherries, which for my money are the cherry’s cherry – a rich, dark, deeply flavored cherry that is not too sweet or too mild.

Fennel bulb from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fennel bulb from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm returned to your Ballard Farmers Market last week with their usual compliment of stunning produce. Like this fennel bulb, which is great caramelized and served atop some pork, or pickled, and it is awesome grilled, too! It has a sweet, licorice flavor. And you can eat it raw on your salads, fronds and all. Clean it thoroughly, though, like a leek.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More seafood! This wild king salmon was caught by Wilson Fish just off the coast of Washington. It is so fresh, they like to say it is from the future. It is at least safe to say that you won’t find it fresher unless you catch it yourself. They also have some coho salmonhalibut and amazing smoked king salmon now, too!

Certified organic blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whitehorse Meadows Farm returns today with their amazing certified organic blueberries grown up in North Snohomish County. Their blueberry varieties range from domesticated to almost still wild, and you’ll enjoy comparing their different berries across the season.

Stunning succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stunning succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I made a mistake last week when I told you that Phocas Farms would not be back this week. I errantly understood that we needed their space for one of our returning seasonal farmers, but I was wrong. Hmm. I think that means I will only be wrong another two times this year, if averages hold up. But I digress. Phocas Farms is here today with lots of gorgeous succulents — they raise over 200 varieties — and in another week or two, they will actually have some saffron crocus corms.

Pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is another earliest ever arrival: pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. This year is just plain dizzying, I tell you. And they also have lots of onionsgarlic and summer squash, the latter in more than a dozen varieties now!

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And more seafood! How about some live oysters from the Hama Hama Oyster Company? These are great for grilling or shucking, and if you grill them, Hama Hama has some amazing chipotle butter to put on them. They also have plenty of shucked oysters for frying and shooters, as well as pickled and smoked oysterslive clams and mussels and more!

Red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I know that finishing off this week’s Seafood Fest epistle with lettuce might seem a bit out of sorts, but hey, this is red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. These heads of lettuce are big enough that the Vikings could have used the leaves to cross the Atlantic! This crisp, sweet lettuce is great for salads, lettuce wraps, and it is even good for grilling! (Cuz you Vikings need your roughage, but you sure aren’t gonna be caught dead eating a salad.)

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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