Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

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.

Sunday, June 23rd: Happy Summer! New Winery, Raspberries, Artichokes, Goat Ricotta, Pie Cherries, Wild Saskatoon Berries & More!

June 22, 2013
Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Happy summer, all y’all! We peaked at 16 hours of sunshine on Thursday, and it’s just going to get darker from here on out. But we’ve got a whole summer of spectacular weather and delicious local flavors in store for you here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Let’s start this first post of Summer 2013 by introducing our newest vendor, Kitzke Cellars. Their vineyards and winery are located just west of Richland where they have an amazing view of Candy Mountain, and they produce some stunning wines. The Kitzke Family has been farming there since the 1970s, though their transition from being orchardists to being winemakers has been gradual. Stop by and introduce yourself today, and pick up a bottle of one of their big reds!

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

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

Your eyes do not deceive you. These are raspberries. From this year. Grown locally by Sidhu Farms. They just started harvesting them last weekend on their farm in the Puyallup River Valley. Just another sign of what a remarkable year we are in. It is warmer, drier, and crops are coming in earlier than we’ve seen in years. Enjoy!

Artichokes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Artichokes. From Nash’s Organic Produce. Oh, the possibilities. Though if you’re like me, you’ll end up steaming them, tearing off the leaves, dipping them in a good mayo and eating the soft, fleshy bit. But hey, by the time I get home from your Ballard Farmers Market, that’s about all the creative energy I’ve got. You can probably put more thought into it!

Squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More fairly simple summer fare can made with these squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Stuff them with a nice fresh goat cheese, give them a dunk in a nice batter and pan-fry them. Oh, yeah, baby. That’s living!

Goat ricotta from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat ricotta from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lucky for us, one doesn’t have to go very far from the Alvarez tables to find good, local goat cheese. Just a few tents down is Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis. They’ve got fresh and aged goat and cow cheese, as well as goat yogurt and fresh goat and cow milk! And you know what would be nice stuff in those squash blossoms? This new goat ricotta from Twin Oaks.

Pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for pie cherries? ACMA Mission Orchards has you covered, but only for a limited time. Pie cherries have a very short season — just a couple of weeks — so if you’ve got cherry pie, or maraschino cherries, in your future, you’d better get over here on the double!

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! More simple, and simply delicious, summer food from your Ballard Farmers Market. This gorgeous salad mix is from Growing Things Farm in Carnation. Just pick up some carrots and radishes, a little crumbly, salty cheese, and maybe some fresh peas, toss it altogether with your favorite dressing, and you are good to go! And talk about making picnics easy. Just grab a loaf of bread, some fresh fruit and a bottle of wine, and maybe a pie or some cake, and you have an instant, all-farmers market meal on the go!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude won’t be able to make it to your Ballard Farmers Market on July 7th for their normal first Sunday of the month visit, so they are coming today, and then again on July 21st, to make up for it. So be sure to stop by today to stock up on your monthly supply of the best albacore tuna anywhere, directly from the fisher. And right now, they’ve got these perfectly-sized frozen loins that will easily feed one or two people.

Carrots from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots! Finally!!! These are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. If we’ve been suffering one crop in particular this year so far, it has been a lack of carrots. We’ve had a few here and there, but these most colorful, sweet and crunchy of delectable roots are made of love, sunshine and puppy dogs, and we should always have them, and never have to wonder when we’ll see them again. Welcome back, dear carrots!

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.

Welcome back wild Saskatoon berries, too! Foraged & Found Edibles let us know Saturday that the first wonderful wild berries of the season have arrived, a bit ahead of schedule, like so much else this year, although in reality, things are just on schedule this year, for a change. Oh, they’ve got morelsporcinis and sea beans still, too.

Red, white & blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red, white & blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Independence Day, Colinwood Farms has the first red, white and blue new potatoes of the season. In the past few years, we’ve been lucky to see any of these before mid-July. So there is no excuse this year not to have a red, white and blue potato salad on the menu for your 4th of July barbecue!

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill's Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill’s Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! Bill is back! Yup, Bill’s Fruits returns today for one more summer of juicy, sweet stone fruit. Today, he should have Bing and Rainier cherries, and if we’re lucky, some of these apricots, though it is still just a little early for them. Welcome back, Bill!

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

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

One Leaf Farm just began harvesting these lovely fava beans this past week. And when fava beans are this young and tender, they are amazing on the grill. In fact, it was One Leaf’s Rand who turned me on to this method of eating them, and now I can’t get enough this time of year. Just toss them in a bit of olive, salt and pepper to taste, and throw them on the grill. When the pods get soft, they are ready to eat, pod and all. Just take off the stem and the string! You can thank me (and Rand) later.

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 9th: Lots More Cherries & Strawberries, Broccoli, Fava Beans, Father’s Day Pies & More!

June 8, 2013
Chelan cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

We are rocking now, good people of Ballard! Lots more deliciousness is pouring into your Ballard Farmers Market, and more farms, too. The last time June started like this was 2009, and remember what an amazing summer that was! Today, you will find cherries all over the Market, including Rainiersbings and these awesome Chelan cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Chelans are an early, dark cherry with a deep, intense flavor. And Collins Family Orchards is renowned for growing some of the finest stone fruit anywhere. Indeed, their cherries were measured as the sweetest in our markets in years past by local food expert Jon Rowley, who tested the fruit of every farm with a brix meter — a device normally used to test the sugar content in wine grapes in order to determine the best time to harvest them.

Fresh fava beans from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh fava beans from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about the first fava beans of the season — these from Children’s Garden. When they are this young and tender, you can eat the whole thing, pod and all. I love slathering them with some olive oil and throwing them on the grill. They get all smoky and beautiful, and they just melt in your mouth. Tip: remove the stem and the string that runs down the body of the pod.

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

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

Were you frustrated last week because all of the strawberries were sold out by 11 a.m.? Well, never fear! We’ve added three more farms with strawberries this week, and they are all bringing a lot more than last week. Oh, and these berries are awesome right now. Jessie’s Berries is back today with these gorgeous berries. Go crazy! It’s strawberry season, folks.

Broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But wait! There’s more! We’ve got a new harvest of broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens today at your Ballard Farmers Market. These big, beautiful florets are the stuff of your dreams. I like roasting it tossed with olive oil and a little crushed cayenne pepper flakes, to give it an extra kick. Woohoo!

Lotsa pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lotsa pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ALERT: Deborah’s Homemade Pies will not be at your Ballard Farmers Market next week for Father’s Day. Lucky for us, though, Deborah planned ahead! Today only, she will have a supply of pies that are unbaked! She has them completely assembled and frozen. All you have to do is bring it home, stash it in the freezer, and then, next Sunday, just pop it in the oven, bake it up fresh, and serve it to dad! How cool is that? (Oh, and don’t worry. She’ll send you home with instructions.)

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

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

Something else good to grab this week is some of these sausages from Skagit River Ranch. That way, you can have them thawed out in time for dad’s big day next Sunday, when he’ll want to fire up the barby and eat some grilled animal, much like his caveman ancestors did. They’ve got plenty of steaks and chops, too!

Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you like your lettuce with a horse and buggy, and no electricity, then you will love this Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. I love all their different heirloom varieties of lettuce, especially right now, when their tables just seem buried in it. If you love lettuce, this is your time of year, folks!

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got butter? Golden Glen Creamery does. Heck, they specialize in it. They have it lightly salted for your everyday needs, and unsalted for your baking needs. And they have it seasoned in variety of flavors running the gamut from sweet to savory, making for the best toast ever! And you know what else? Dad’s love butter. Just don’t tell their doctors!

Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else dad’s love? Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods! Or any of the other amazing jams and jellies Deluxe has, for that matter. I mean, you don’t want to hand dad toast with butter and no jam, do you? Stop by to visit Rebecca today, and have a sample of her various seasonal flavors made with local ingredients. Then treat dad next Sunday morning!

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

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

Look, even if your dad is going to get in touch with his bad caveman self whilst grilling whatever carcass is around next Sunday evening, he still likes to have a clean, comfortable shave that will leave his face as smooth as a baby’s bottom, am I right? Then get him one of these shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy today are your Ballard Farmers Market. I love their shaving soap. It smells manly, protects my skin while allowing me a nice, close shave, and let’s face it… I look good! Get your dad some. I can’t be allowed to be the only handsome devil in Ballard. It just wouldn’t be fair.

Mountain Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mountain Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What? You still haven’t tried the Swiss cheeses from Rosecrest Farm? What in the name of Mike are you waiting for?!? This stuff is wonderful. It comes in four varieties, though with a little extra aging, we get a couple more. Above is the Mountain Swiss, which is great, though to be honest, I am partial to the peppercorn. Look for them in the neighborhood of Pasteria Lucchese today, and try all the various flavors. You’ll be hooked, too!

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet the breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Cooked fresh right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, it is built around a base of local ingredients, including farm-fresh eggs from our own Stokesberry Sustainable Farm and pork from our own Olsen Farms. Get your day started right with one of these. You won’t find a taqueria in Seattle more dialed into using Market-fresh ingredients than Los Chilangos!

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, May 26th: Strawberries, Cherries, Cucumbers, Pea Vines, Frisee, Green Garlic, Halibut & Sticky Buns, for Starters!

May 25, 2013
First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, Ballard faithful, and that signals the traditional start to summer ’round these parts, if not the actual start, which does not arrive until July 5th. But as we already realize, this year just doesn’t seem to want to be as dreary, cold and wet as the past three, so let’s get this party started right now! To that end, we present the earliest arrival of organic strawberries in recent memory! Yep, Tiny’s Organic Produce began harvesting these beauties this past week, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. Woohoodillydoo!!! And just to assure you I ain’t pullin’ yer leg, I took the above photo on Friday at our Madrona Farmers Market. I also made sure to do a little quality control, and these are about as sweet and delicious as strawberries should be allowed to be by law. Seriously. Go figure. So as long as no bridges between here and East Wenatchee collapse in the next few weeks, we are in the strawberries, baby!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, we’re just getting started, people! Yes, these are organic cucumbers, and yes, I did just take this photo in the last week. These cucumbers are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. Using their location in the Banana Belt — that area shielded from rain and clouds by the Olympic Mountains — and their greenhouses, Colinwood harnesses their bonus sun very effectively, and one of the results is cucumbers in May. (Yes, it is still May!)

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries, check. Cucumbers, check. Cherries?!? Check! These are first-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. See, they have this orchard over in Prosser in an area that gets earlier and more heat units in the year than anywhere else in the state. Plus, that orchard is loaded with some varieties of cherries that ripen much earlier than most. The result is that Lyall gets a two to three week jump on everyone else in the cherry department. Add to that our milder weather than in recent years, and it’s go time! And again, I took this photo on Friday, and I did quality control, too. These are the real deal, folks! Oh, and it is last call for Lyall’s cured onions and sweet potatoes until fall, so grab the last of them while you can!

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, don’t give me that sad puppy dog face that says you were expecting to see a photo of tomatoes now instead of this green garlic from Magana Farms. This stuff is pure gold this time of year. With a Market full of tender young greens, asparagus, mushrooms and other deliciousness that pairs well with garlic, green garlic is a magical treat! When farmers thin their garlic fields in the spring, this is what we get. Use the entire thing, from ball to the tips of the stalks. Toss it in where you would garlic, and what you get is not only your garlic flavor, but a sweet, grassy taste of spring unique to green garlic. The only people who know not of what I speak are those who have not tried it. The rest of us are the ones breezing past you to grab a bunch, so we can add it to everything we cook!

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And what’s this? It’s fresh halibut caught off the coast of Washington by Wilson Fish… just for the halibut. This is the freshest, most delicious halibut you will ever eat. These fish aren’t as big as those caught in Alaska, and the result is a superior flesh. Plus, it comes with no frequent flyer miles, freezer burn or having been trucked “live” in a tanker down the Alaska Highway for four days. (Really. They do that!) Grill a piece tonight, along with some asparagus, green garlic and green onions on the barby, and you will be a very happy camper.

Pea vines from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another spring treat is pea vines, These are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm from up in Snohomish. These are great quickly sauteed with some of that green garlic in olive oil. Gaia’s is also making fresh vegetable juice using their produce, and that of other farms at the market, to make a drink that please your palate and your body!

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Memorial Day barbecues, don’t forget to pick up some burger patties or a package of ground beef from Skagit River Ranch today. Or maybe you’d prefer some of their great sausages, steaks or chops on the grill. Grab it today, thaw it in the fridge overnight, and grill it up nicely tomorrow!

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

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

Some lovely, wilted frisee from One Leaf Farm tossed with some of Skagit’s bacon and some of Twin Oak’s feta sounds pretty good right now. Bitter plus salty equals divine. One Leaf also has their first harvest of beautiful, tendor collard greens and kale today, too, plus Japanese wax turnips so tasty, you might finish off the bunch before you get home, so please get two!

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just a few weeks left of fresh cider from Martin Family Orchards. Their 2012 apple harvest is running out, and they won’t have cider again until fall. Grab a jug for your Memorial Day picnic, and enjoy one last sweet taste of fall before summer begins in ernest.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles. No, I am not using a term of endearment here, though I suppose I could be, since the humungous variety of pickles made from local ingredients by Purdy Pickle is rather endearing! And you will need a few jars for your Memorial Day picnics — dilly chips for your burgers, asparagus for the fun of it, and carrots to use as swizzle sticks in your cocktail! You can thank me later.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your day started right tomorrow, or finish off dinner tonight, with one or six of these sticky buns, or maybe a cinnamon roll, from Tall Grass Bakery. Of course, Tall Grass has a spectacular selection of fresh artisan breads to round out your barbecues and picnics this weekend, too. Just get here early enough that your favorites aren’t sold out already!

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

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

We finish off this week’s Memorial Day Weekend installment with some gorgeous asparagus from Collins Family Orchards in Selah. You will obviously need asparagus for every meal in your immediate future, so grab a bunch of bunches, 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.


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