Posts Tagged ‘cider’

Sunday, September 1st: Taste That Hard Cider Before You Buy It! Jerzy Boyz Returns! And It’s St. Jude Tuna Day!

August 31, 2013
Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve all been talking about it for years. We’ve been hearing about it in the news. We’ve worked for years with the State Legislature to get it to happen. We’ve worked for months with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement it. And today, it becomes a reality. Yes, starting today, you can actually sample hard cider and wine from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market before you buy it! Yup. All the campaigning and paper pushing is done, and now, it’s go time. So stop by Finnriver Farm & Cidery today for a sample of their amazing collection of hard ciders, and find the one that’s right for you. And just maybe, it’s all of them!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you find the sheer number of enticing choices of wines and ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider overwhelming, especially when you can’t taste them first to see which one you like best? Well, Eaglemount will also be sampling today at your Ballard Farmers Market. So maybe you’ve tried one and stuck with it. Try the others today, find a new fave and mix it up a bit!

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends from Jerzy Boyz return today for the fall season with their amazing, certified organic fruit. They grow many heirloom varieties of applespears, and other goodies on their farm that hugs the rim of the Columbia River Gorge just north of Chelan. Check out these aptly named Purple Goddess pears, for instance. That’s what I’m talking about!

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’s tuna day! That’s right. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here with their extraordinary local albacore tuna. They have it frozen, canned, smokedjerkied and more. This is the best tuna you will ever taste, and it is low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And if you get it in the can, don’t you dare pour off the liquid! See, they don’t add any cooking liquid, so what you find in the can is the natural juices from the tuna that is packed with flavor and goodness.

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

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

Look, kids. It’s Westside sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Since it doesn’t get as hot over on this side of the Cascade Mountains, Westside corn takes longer to mature. But what it lacks in speed it makes up for in flavor and sweetness. But it will go fast, so get here early!

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries are the latest variety of blueberries to come into season at Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. They are kind of the classic blueberry, sweet and a little tart. Toss them in your oatmeal. Make muffins. Add them to pancakes. Relish in their antioxidant qualities!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you fry it, roast it, smoke it, make it with dumplings, or stick a beer can up its bum and barbecue it, a pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm offers you one of the best chickens you’ve ever tasted. Maybe it’s the fresh air and exercise they get. Maybe its because they eat excellent food. Maybe it is just farmer Michaele Blakely’s magic touch. Whatever the case, I’ve been proud to serve these birds for my Thanksgiving dinner many times. So you can imagine the amazing fried chicken they’d make!

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These magnificent little creatures are Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms, and they are just one of about 18 varieties that they grow, 13 of which are gracing their tables right now. If you love eggplant like I love eggplant, check out Alvarez today. And to get your juices flowing , just take a gander at our Facebook photo album of their eggplant.

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

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

It may be September, but it is still berry season. These organic raspberries are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. 2013 has been one of the best berry-growing seasons in history, with better quality, sweeter berries and huge harvests. There is still plenty of time to get your berry on this season!

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

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

Alvarez isn’t the only farm with a rainbow of peppers. This colorful collection of sweet and hot peppers are from Colinwood Farms, over in Port Townsend. 2013 is a historic year for peppers, too, and the more sun and heat we get, the better, and in some cases hotter, they are. So load up on peppers this year, too!

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

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

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm is as delicious as it is beautiful. It is a little spicy and a little bitter, and it makes for great salads, garnish for sandwiches or a nice, quick wilting for a tasty side dish. Enjoy!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is almost time for the saffron harvest, and that means it is almost time for our buddy, Jim, from Phocas Farms to disappear for a few months back over to Port Angeles. In fact, next week is his last until next year. So if you’ve been putting off getting that succulent garden going, or those saffron crocuses planted, now’s the time. Stock up today, and then use your day off tomorrow to get them in the ground!

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, January 20th: Rockridge Ciders Return, Rapini, Dino Kale, Chickweed, Salad Mix & Other Signs Of Brighter Days To Come!

January 19, 2013
Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Is it just me, or does everyone feel like we’ve been wandering about in a fog all week. I mean, seriously. But hey, we’ll take it, won’t we? Sure beats rain! Anywho, Rockridge Orchards returns this week, after a two-week hiatus, ready for action, and for your thirst. So swing by and get your fix of sweet and hard cidersberry winescider vinegars and seasoned salts. Cuz you may not care who’s playing football today, but you sure miss you some cider!

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

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

Cold, foggy weather aside, there is hope that we are steadily marching forward toward spring. The days are getting longing — really, they are, even if the sunsets are overrun by fog every evening. And Stoney Plains Organic Farm has the season’s first rapini! Fresh out of their greenhouse, which affords them the luxury of thumbing their noses at Old Man Winter, this cousin of broccoli is a refreshing, energizing promise of spring to come, right now, in January. Enjoy!

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

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

This time of year, egg production slows a bit. See, just like us, chickens don’t particularly care for cold air and long, dark nights. There’s a lot of science stuff to explain it all, but suffice it to say that, well, they’d rather be in Cancun right now (where they’d be laying eggs like crazy, I’d imagine). The good news is, Alm Hill Gardens is bringing some of their eggs to Market right now, which is helping take up the slack. That said, if you want farm-fresh, local eggs this time of year, you best get to your Ballard Farmers Market early, as they will sell out earlier in the day than other times of year.

Rainbow chard from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some tender greens to nourish your body and your soul? Full Circle Farm has lovely rainbow chard. Of course, they also have dino kalespudsbeetssunchokes and much more now, too. Full Circle is located just east of Seattle in Carnation, where they have become one of Western Washington’s most successful farms. Want local? How’s grown in King County sound?

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.

It’s golden ticket weekend at Sea Breeze Farm. That means that hidden amongst hundreds of packages of their sausages in their meat cases is one package of sausage that contains a golden ticket good for a $100 gift certificate to their restaurant, La Boucherie! Yuppers. And you’ve got eight different delicious, artisan sausages from which to choose: Toulouse, Campagne, Provence, Gremolata, Chorizo, I-Heart-Brandy, Finnochio-Dulce and Breakfast. And they are all amazing, made from the farm’s own meat and other local ingredients. You’ll want to spend all next week eating a different one each night, regardless of the golden ticket!

Dino kale from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dino kale from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Children’s Garden is another King County farm that has worked hard to extend its season in order to bring local deliciousness to you at your Ballard Farmers Market all winter long. Employing the use of row covers to help keep up temperatures for their greens, they are able to bring to you lovely, luscious leafiness like this dino kale right through the cold, dark months.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist Teas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist Teas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Harbor Herbalist Teas makes wonderful herbal teas from local and regional ingredients, mostly grown on the West Coast. They offer a tremendous selection of soothing, comforting, healing, warming teas, with a flavor to please every palate. Come by and introduce yourself to your local tea maker, and take some home to help you shake off the foggy gloom this evening!

Chickweed, a.k.a., Satin Flower, from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed, a.k.a., Satin Flower, from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed. It’s not just for your pet cockatiel anymore! In fact, it is a tasty, nutritious winter green that makes for a great salad or a nice garnish. Now, this ain’t your backyard’s chickweed. Chickweed has many, many varieties. This one is bred for eating and for helping farms fix nitrogen into their soil during crop rotation. And those smart kids out at Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness figured out it was the right over-winter crop to grow, as it serves that dual purpose. It’s about crop rotation, and it’s about economics for them, and for us, it’s about lunch!

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last, but certainly not least today, is this gorgeous salad mix from Colinwood Farms. If you think you either need to forego salads during the winter in order to maintain a local diet, or you have to quit the local diet in order to get your salad on, you would be in err. Colinwood has their greenhouses in Port Townsend working hard, all winter long, cranking out delicious salad mix to keep us happy, healthy and sane!

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.

Sunday, December 30th: Everything You Need For A Perfect New Year’s Eve Par-tay!

December 30, 2012
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.

Happy New Year, good people of Ballard! 2013. Can you believe it? We weren’t even supposed to be here now. Good thing the Mayans are smarter than us. Well, tomorrow night, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Um, well, never mind. If I recall, that was about the lamest New Year’s Eve party in Seattle — maybe anywhere — ever. It was a month after WTO, some guy had just tried to smuggle explosives in from Canada on a ferry to Port Angeles, and then Mayor Paul Schell, scaredie pants that he was (not to mention his inability to manage public safety in this town), cancelled Seattle’s millennium celebration. We were the laughing stock of the world. After Seattle’s finest kicked us out of Seattle Center at 6:30 p.m., we were, err, “treated” to three minutes of fireworks “magic” from the Space Needle that amounted to one enormous pffft, and people by the thousands were heard chanting disparaging things against the mayor all over the city, followed by the mayor failing to even make it through the primary in September — the first since the 1930s. I can still remember the Tonight Show making fun of Seattle, showing big parties all over the world, and then Seattle, with three old guys sitting around in an otherwise dark, empty room in their boxers, blowing on noise makers. Then, there was the January 2nd banner headline on the front of the Sunday Seattle Times that read, “Schell: ‘I’m Not A Wuss’.” Oy. (BTW, these are lovely wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery.)

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, back then, we also expected the world to come to an end. Our electric grid would screech to a halt come the turning of the calendar to the year 2000, and all of our computers would burst into flames. We all filled our bathtubs with water before going out to party that night, and we all had plenty of ready-to-eat canned food, bottled drinking water, first aid kits and gas masks. Mind you, I think most of us got the gas masks more in response to the WTO being in town than the threat of Y2K meltdowns, but in any case, we all woke up the next morning with throbbing heads, tubs full of tepid water, and plenty of regularly scheduled bowl games on perfectly functioning televisions. We all felt more than a little silly, because unlike this year’s Mayan calendar mania, in 1999, a lot of us really expected the new year to greet us with calamity. Humans is such stupid animals. (Mmm. Tasty head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm.)

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack's World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bloody Mary Mix from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, your Ballard Farmers Market was born in the year 2000. It was that summer that the farmers left the Fremont Sunday Market, back when Fremont was being completely redeveloped, and set up shop in the parking lot of the U.S. Bank at 56th & 22nd, now, the location of the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library. And this time 12 years ago, we were in the midst of a grand experiment — the city’s first year-round neighborhood farmers market. The winter of 2000-2001 was miserable, wet and cold, and many Sundays saw just our Market Master, Judy, and Anselmos Farm out there, sticking it out for a very loyal core of Ballard customers. (Bloody Mary mix and pho sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Co.)

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard to believe that what we see every Sunday on Ballard Ave now had such humble beginnings, but there it is. So perhaps we should wish you into the new year with this thought: start small, but dream big, because you can make it happen. A handful of people dreamed of a great market in Ballard, and today, Ballard Farmers Market is the highest sales volume market in the state, world renowned, and one of Seattle’s top tourist destinations. In 1998, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce said it wanted a Sunday farmers market, because the neighborhood was empty on Sundays. Ballard Ave was loaded with empty storefronts. While the rest of Seattle boomed, it seemed Ballard had gone bust. Today, it is challenging to find parking in Ballard on Sunday, Ballard Ave has blossomed with dozens of new businesses, many of which were lured to the neighborhood by the success of Ballard Farmers Market. The neighborhood is perhaps the strongest in the city, and Seattle’s finest chefs fight for locations near Seattle’s finest farmers market. And your Ballard Farmers Market could not be more proud. (Pickled keta salmon from Loki Fish.)

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So we’ve got plenty to celebrate. Let’s party like we’re happy, folks, not like we’re expecting the end of days. Your Ballard Farmers Market has everything you need to make for a great party… well, except for fireworks. But for that, you still have the Space Needle. I know you’ve been riveted by every word I’ve written here so far, but please take the time to notice all the delicious photos above and below of all sorts of wonderful, local goodness that’ll help you ring in the new year in style, while supporting good, local, living-wage jobs, and in so doing, will help continue to build Ballard’s robust economy. Like these fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda Company. And did you know that these fresh sodas, made with great, local ingredients, are available for you to take home in half-gallon growlers, for you to serve to the designated drivers and minors at your whoopdeedoo, or, if you desire, for you to mix with an adult beverage of your choice.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, we’ve got local wine (up top), superb charcuteriemixerspickled salmon and sweets! Like these irresistible caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Made right here in Ballard from local ingredients, these are some of the finest caramels you will find anywhere, and they will make your guests very happy.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw & vegan snacks from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crackery and snacky things for munching, crunching and dipping, and why not make them raw and vegan while your at it, so none of your more high maintenance guests will complain. Visit our own House of the Sun, also born right here in Ballard, for these amazing crackers and kale chips, as well as some great hummus, too. They please any palate, vegan or not!

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggs? What do eggs have to do with a New Year’s Eve party, you ask? Simple. Two words: deviled eggs. Yeah, baby. I mean, I suppose they could symbolize fertility — the birth of a new year ripe with new opportunities — but seriously… deviled eggs are like garlic — there is no such thing as too much. Am I right? That said, you may also want to have eggs for breakfast the next afternoon, too. Stop by Stokesberry Sustainable Farm for some of these beautiful, pastured eggs from happy chickens down in Olympia. (If those chickens only new what else happens down there, they might not be so happy.)

Pickled Golden Beets from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled Golden Beets from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is hard to have too many pickles, either. They make every gathering more delicious. Have you checked out the newly expanded selection of pickliciousness from Gaia’s Natural Goods lately? They are making pickles, like these pickled golden beets, from produce they grow on their own farm! Not only tasty, they are good for you, too, but don’t let that discourage you from enjoying them on New Year’s Eve.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A variety of soups by Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you want to impress your guests with an elegant Crab Bisque, or settle in for a day of watching football in your jammies on New Year’s Day with some Curried Cauliflower, Got Soup? makes it easy. They’ve got a great lineup of locally-produced gourmet soups made with ingredients from Market vendors, conveniently packaged in frozen quart containers. All you do is take ‘em home, heat ‘em up, and lie to everyone else about how long you spent slaving over a hot stove recreating it from your grandmother’s long lost recipe.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Nothing makes a party a party like fresh oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster company so nice they named it twice. They’re delicious. They’re an aphrodisiac. Heck, they’re even loaded with zinc, to help you ward off, or fight off, that nasty cold that’s been going around. And they’ve got pickled and smoked oysters, too, plus shucked jar oysters.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need crusty, artisan breads to soak up the party juice tomorrow night. Plus, it makes a great foundation for cheese, smoked salmon, hummus, what have you. Check in with Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery for breads like their Pain au Levain (left), Baker Street Sourdough, and Avery’s Pumpernickel. And did you know that Tall Grass got its start with us over in Fremont in the late 1990s, using other bakeries’ kitchens at first, before growing in the storefront you see today on 24th Ave?

Peanut brittle from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Peanut brittle from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of sweets, nobody makes them better than Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Stop by for a sample, then load up on toffeefudge or some of this peanut butter brittle. Just make sure you get enough for everyone at your party, so no fights break out. Heck, just stash it in your closest and eat it all yourself on New Year’s Day!

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh. Smoked salmon. Local smoked salmon from Wilson Fish, in fact. They catch their fish off the coast of Washington. And you’d be hard-pressed to find better smoked salmon anywhere. Just get here early to get yours, because last week, they were sold out before noon! It’s that good!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rockridge Orchards bottles a variety of sweet apple ciders, great anytime, but also perfect as a mixer, or for your designated drivers and minors, at your New Year’s Eve party. Of course, keep in mind that they have plenty of the high-octane stuff, too — hard ciders and berry wines — to please you and your guests!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blessed are the cheese makers. And you will need cheese tomorrow night. If you haven’t tried the incredible selection of artisan, farmstead cheeses made by Samish Bay Cheese, you are missing something special. Several are award winners from the American Cheese Society, and they are quite unique styles of cheese here in the Northwest. Stop by and sample some today, even if you think you remember them from before. Because they’re not making gouda anymore, folks. This stuff is in an entirely different league!

Please be safe out there tomorrow night, have a great time, and please don’t drink and drive. We want to see you back here again next Sunday.

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.

Sunday, September 30th: Hard Cider, Pearl Onions, Concord Grapes, Fresh Peanuts & One Adorable Child Eating Broccoli!

September 29, 2012

Hard ciders from Alpenfire Cider. Photo courtesy Alpenfire Cider.

It’s the last Sunday of the month, and that means Finnriver Cidery will let one of its fellow cider makers take over their spot at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Today’s special guest is Alpenfire Cider, from Port Townsend. Their cidery is nestled in the woods at the end of a street on the west side of PT, surrounded by orchards. They make great hard ciders with their own twist on them, and they also make amazing vinegars, too! Plus, they’re certified organic!

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchards is located in the beautiful Methow Valley in Okanogan County. They grow amazing tree fruit — many wonderful heirloom varieties. Like these beautiful Prairie Spy apples. Stop by and learn all about their many amazing apples and pears, and take some home to try!

Fresh green peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It’s fresh peanut season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Take them home and boil them in a big pot of heavily salted water for a great Southern-style treat. Eat them freshly boiled, or drain them, let them dry a little, and then put them on a baking sheet in the oven for a while for fresh-roasted salted peanuts. Or for unsalted, you can just put them straight in the oven and roast them without boiling them.

Flavor Grenade pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, there are so many kinds of pluots, and they come in so many sizes and colors, but one of the coolest looking pluots, and the one I think has the most macho name, is the Flavor Grenade pluot, like these, above, from Collins Family Orchards. And hey, just like their name suggests, they explode with flavor!

Pea vines from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s a little rebirth of spring for you! Gaia’s Natural Goods has a fresh crop of pea vines! I love these just sauteed with a little garlic in some olive oil, and imagine serving some local halibut from Wilson Fish, if you get here early enough to get any, or a nice grilled pork chop from Olsen Farms, over a bed of sauteed pea vines, eh? Yummers! They’ve also got carrotsberries and more today, too.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are lots of grapes coming through your Ballard Farmers Market now, ready for making jelly, wine, sauces, raisins or just eating fresh off the vine. These are Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. They grow on the slopes along the east side of the Columbia River in Mattawa. They’re sweet, juicy and delicious!

Tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about early fall, farm-fresh tomatoes? Just look at these beauties from Alm Hill Gardens. Big ones. Little ones. Slicers, poachers. Sweeter ones, more acidic ones. And in all sorts of great colors to liven up your meal! Enjoy them right now. You will miss local, farm-fresh tomatoes come winter!

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

It’s getting into bulb planting season again, and now’s a great time to stop by Choice Bulb Farms to check out the dozens of varieties of flower bulbs they have to offer. Remember, the bulbs you plant this fall will provide beautiful flowers next spring and summer!

Red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is peak season for fall tree fruit at your Ballard Farmers Market, so revel in it.  Looks like a record year! Try out these red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce, for instance. And they’ve got lots of apples and pluots now, too!

Radicchio from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, radicchio! The stunningly beautiful, bitter chicory favored by Italians everywhere. Grill it. Add it to salads. Heck, top a sandwich with it. It’ll add color and a nice bite to many a dish. I love the stuff. Find these lovely heads of radicchio at Growing Things Farm.

Little Marina loves her some Oxbow Farm broccoli! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If there was ever a poster child for eating right, I think little Marina here would be it. Her mom had just purchased this lovely head of broccoli from Oxbow Farm last week, and Marina just had to hold it for mom. Mom soon found out why, as Marina began devouring it on the spot. I loved it when mom calmly asked Marina, “Please don’t eat all of it before we get home. We won’t have any for dinner.”

Red pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish this week’s epistle with one of my favorite things — pearl onions. These little jewels are very hard to grow, so not many farms around here grow them. And yet, they are so amazing caramelized whole with some Sea Breeze bacon and then tossed with some hericot vert beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm — a true treat! Well, lucky us, Boistfort Valley Farm has some of these cured red pearl onions right now! But they won’t last long!

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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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