Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Sunday, April 13th: Yeah, It’s Spring! Woohoo!!!

April 12, 2014
Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D, Lyons.

It seems only appropriate that I am listening to the song Sirius, by The Alan Parsons Project, as I begin writing this week’s epistle on all things Ballard Farmers Market. Thinking about the onslaught of spring, a warm, sunny, 70-degree day today, and a Market full of all sorts of fresh spring produce, I feel kinda like I’m watching my team come out of a timeout, on the brink of a come-from-behind victory in a packed home arena! And I know that this is just the beginning of many spectacular weeks and months to come. For instance, we last saw Alvarez Organic Farms last December on the coldest Sunday of the year with a last few fall crops. Today, they return to your Ballard Farmers Market with their amazing organic asparagus, and the promise of so much more deliciousness to come!

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

And while we are celebrating spring, and perhaps still, the Seahawks, I am going to toast my beloved Union College men’s hockey team for winning the NCAA championship Saturday night by grilling up some of this amazing purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce tonight alongside a nice pork chop from Olsen Farms. I wish I was in Schenectady going nuts with the masses, eating the best Buffalo wings on earth and drinking Matt’s Premium, but this will have to do.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, Passover begins tomorrow, and Easter is just next Sunday. Be you Jewish or Christian, you will need lots of eggs! Lucky for you, we have lots of eggs right now at your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these gorgeous, certified organic duck and chicken eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. So, whether you are making a seder plate or dying and hiding them, we’ve got you covered!

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Almost as exciting as this gorgeous spring day, Union winning championship and the spring high holy days is the return of radishes! Okay, I admit it. I am just as excited about radishes! I have sooo missed them all winter long. They are one of my favorite things. And one of my favorite radishes is the Pink Beauty radish from One Leaf Farm. I can eat them like candy, and my salads are so much happier with their return. Did I mention I am excited about spring yet?

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Speaking of salads, one more thing to celebrate today is the return of spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens! Oh, sweet mercy! This stuff will just plain make you smile. Toss in some of those radishes, and some of Kristi’s microgreens, dress it, and you are set. (I swear, I am just giddy right now!)

auction

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, April 16th, at noon for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavilion! Our neighbor, Chef Jason Stoneburner of Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardens, will perform a live auction as only that good ole Kentucky boy can! All proceeds benefit our Fresh Bucks Program that extends the benefits of those on Food Stamps when they use them here at the market, as well as nutritional and cooking classes. Tickets on sale Wednesday at noon at Brown Paper Tickets. (And if you’d like to post one of our posters in your business or office, or you just think it’s pretty, click on it to download it.)

Salad mix pots from Pam's Place Plants. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Salad mix pots from Pam’s Place Plants. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Hey condo dwellers! Check this out! These are pots of salad mix. That’s right! Pick up one or two of these guys from Pam’s Place Plants, set them in your planter box or on your little deck or porch, and you can harvest your very own salads. How cool is that?

Spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Brighten up your home with some beautiful spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farms, or pick up some bulbs from them to plant to enjoy later in the year. Choice returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market after its winter hiatus with flowers you will not likely see anywhere else!

Organic, pasture-raised beef brisket from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic, pasture-raised beef brisket from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Passover, if you are in charge of the brisket, check in with Skagit River Ranch today! Of course, if it is ham you need for Easter, Skagit River Ranch has you covered there, too. They have lots of hams, and they are righteous!

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems like it is just about time for Grateful Bread Bakery to break out the Hot Cross Buns as we head into the Holy Week, and maybe, if we’re lucky, a few Easter egg and Easter bunny cookies, 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, March 30th: Chards Returns, Holiday Hams, Lots of Raab, More Flowers & Plants For Your Garden!

March 29, 2014
Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring rolls on, good people of Ballard, even if those showers are a bit torrential at times. Still, the days are longer, the temps are warmer, and the farm tables are greener. Case in point: this lovely baby chard from Colinwood Farm. It has been at least two months since we’ve seen chard grace any of the tables here are your Ballard Farmers Market, so let us rejoice in these sweet, tender jewels of a new season!

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to order those holiday hams from Skagit River Ranch. Yes, the calendar continues to move along at its steady pace, regardless of when our heads think it is. And that means Easter is upon us in just a few short weeks. Why not celebrate this year with one of these fabulous local hams from happy pigs raised by good people you have actually met?

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

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

Raab is in the house! Yes, friends. It is that wonderful time of year when over-wintered brassicas, like cabbagekalecollards and mustards, begin to bolt for the heavens, bloom and pollinate in that perpetual spring explosion of fertility and rebirth. And when they bolt, their tender, green shoots are so tender and sweet. They are an exception treat we only get to enjoy for a few short weeks every spring. After missing greens for so long this winter, how glorious is it that we should end that drought with such deliciousness! Don’t miss out. Grab your raab all over the Market today from farms like Nash’s Organic Produce!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And even as spring surges ever forward, we can still enjoy some vestiges of fall in the form of these Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. A long-keeping variety of apples to begin with, Tiny’s stores them in what the industry calls “controlled atmosphere” buildings for months, until they are ready to bring them to Market. These special storage facilities are vacuum-sealed, filled with inert gases, and maintained at a constant temperature to keep the apples from aging. For us, that means we get to enjoy our local appliciousness from last fall well into this spring!

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

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

And speaking of spring, it is time to get that garden started, folks! To that end, our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm are now bringing their terrific selection of beautiful garden starts and bedding plants for you. Check out these lovely strawberry plants, for instance. Put them in the ground now, and you will be eating berries from them in June!

Spectacular tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spectacular tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for an absolute explosion of spring, stop by Ia’s Garden for some of these stunning tulips! Freshly cut just for you, from their farm in East King County, they are fresher than anything you’ll find at the Big Box stores, and with less frequent flyer miles, too. So, who cares if it is still a bit gray and gloomy outside. You’ll have this floral sunshine indoors to make you smile!

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This nira, from Gaia’s Harmony Farm, is a type of Asian chive that has a flavor profile of a cross between garlic and onion. It is great in salads and sautés, as a garnish for meats and soups, and in whatever else needs a robust spring bunch of flavor!

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cascadian Edible Landscapes has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with its spring run of edible plants to brighten up your yard and fill your garden. From garden starts to these blueberry bushes, they have everything you need, in hearty Northwest varieties, to help you be able to eat your yard for years to come!

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

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

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this gorgeous image of cherry blossoms from Children’s Garden. As an accent to a bouquet of daffodils or tulips, or on their own in your tallest, grandest vase, they will be a spectabulous addition to your home. Bring a little spring indoors with you today, because you deserve it!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, March 23rd: Fresh Flowers, Greens, Herbs, Eggs, Garden Starts & More! Yes, Spring Has Indeed Sprung!

March 22, 2014
Arugula from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz.
Does anyone know
Where the flowers is?

Right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, of course. Plus, greens have returned! Yes, that’s right! Not only have our calendars changed over to spring, but so have our farm tables. And now, our friends from Colinwood Farm have this wonderful arugula we have all been missing for what seems like forever, along with spicy salad mixspinach and more. After the longest draught of greens in memory, they are back, baby!

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All of our flower growers are now back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Yup, besides Alm Hill Gardens and Children’s Garden, who were able to stick it out all winter long, we now celebrate the return of Ia’s Garden, Mee Gardens, Pa Garden and The Old Farmer (above). And we celebrate the return of their spectabulous fresh cut flowers, and the stunning bouquets they make with them. Welcome back, spring, and welcome back, farmers!

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And as if a statement about spring and all its fertility, we have plenty of farm fresh eggs right now at your Ballard Farmers Market! This is not always the case, so if you haven’t tried eggs fresh from the farm, or you haven’t been able to get any in a while, now’s the time. Growing Things Farm brings theirs in these colorful cartons, which kinda look like they are dyed like Easter eggs, don’t you think? Enjoy the best eggs you’ve ever tasted!

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

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

Alm Hill Gardens is experimenting with these radish microgreens, and I think they are a success! Nutrient dense, they are spicy and delicious, and they will gussy up your salad or sandwich, or make a great garnish for your soup. Alm Hill also is now offering hard red wheat berries from their Whatcom County fields, so get your local grains on!

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

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

Have you always wanted to have your own rhubarb plant growing in your yard? Well, now’s the time to plant it, and our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm have these rhubarb roots ready for you to stick in the ground and enjoy harvesting for years to come. Oh, and you can even grow rhubarb in a large pot on your deck!

Kale mix from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale mix from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I never thought I’d be so happy to see kale in March, but this winter saw the least kale in memory on our farmers’ tables. With a big freeze in December, and another in early February, winter greens kinda took it hard. So now, we celebrate not only the return of spring, but the return of kale! This young kale from Gaia’s Harmony Farm comes in a nice mix, simple to toss in the pan with some garlic for quick sautéed green. Nummers!

Over-wintered leeks from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These hearty leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce battled their way through our winter, and now, they are big, beautiful, and delicious! It’s a great time of year for some potato-leek soup, or anything else leeky. They are so sweet right now!

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The fresh organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms is so concentrated with cranberry flavor that a little goes a long way. For most folks, that means using it as a mixer or diluting it with a little water. Of course, that just makes this local juice have that much more value. And perhaps you are just about finished with that bottle you got two weeks ago. I’d say it’s time for a refill!

Daffodils from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s welcome to spring with some gorgeous daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Bring some of today’s spring sunshine indoors with you in the form of these lovely flowers!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, March 16th: Of Emperors, Saints, Confectioners, Fishers & Playwrights, Just For The Halibut!

March 15, 2014
Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Holy Halibut, Batman! The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife has opened the Washington Coast to a rare March halibut fishery. And Wilson Fish will have this prized local fish today at your Ballard Farmers Market, while it lasts! Normally, we don’t see fresh, local halibut until May. When asked why Fish & Wildlife opened this historically early halibut fishery, a spokesperson said, “Just for the halibut.” (And no, I’m not sorry!)

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

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

As we pass through the Ides of March this weekend, we begin to look forward to spring, which arrives at the end of the week. In this March of record rainfalls, let’s celebrate spring’s approach by bringing a little of this month’s rare but spectacular sunshine indoors in the form of these gorgeous daffodils from Children’s Garden. (And for those playing along with this week’s game of “pin the reference in the post title to its corresponding reference in the body of the post,” Ides of March is a reference to both an emperor and a playwright.)

Savoy cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day, the day on which the 13% or so of Americans who do not have any Irish blood in them drink green beer, wear silly hats and act in a manor that, frankly, is unbecoming of the Irish people. Woohoo! And did you know that there were no actual snakes in Ireland? See, the snakes that Saint Patrick drove out were actually pagans. But hey, we Irish-Americans only seem to get this one day of the year to celebrate our heritage, so why not break out the corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and rutabagas and get our soul-warming one pot dinner on?! Personally, my favorite cabbage for said purpose is this lovely Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Because its leaves are less tightly packed than green cabbage, and it is full of nooks and crannies, it cooks faster and absorbs better all the delicious spices in the corned beef broth. Nummers!

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

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

I am a big fan of these Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms for my corned beef feast. They, too, absorb the flavors of the pot well, and their waxy, yellow flesh mashes nicely with butter. However, if you boil your pot, instead of simmering it, they do have a tendency to break apart. Then again, your corned beef won’t be happy, either! Another great option from Olsen is their Red Lasoda potatoes.

Classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For all those corned beef leftovers, it’ll be corned beef sandwich time, and for that, you’ll need plenty of classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. I love this stuff. It is naturally fermented and the perfect compliment to corned beef.

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.

We Irish loves us some butter, the richer the better. And we’ll need plenty of it around for slathering onto our potatoes and our soda bread tomorrow night. Lucky for us, Golden Glen Creamery up in Bow makes great butter from the milk of their Jersey cows. Don’t forget to get a little extra for the Faeries.

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

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

I’m sure just how “Irish” a marion berry pie is, but hey, it’s got a shamrock on it, right? And since it is from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, you know it will be ridiculously good. So what the heck? Make dinner in one pot, and let Deborah make dessert!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, okay… alcohol in fact does have historical, if not hysterical, relevance to St. Paddy’s Day festivities. See, the Church let folks dispense with Lenten dietary restrictions on St. Patrick’s Day, and that meant eating and drinking. It is a day of feasting, after all! Why not celebrate with some great, local hard cider from Eaglemount Wine & Cider? Today, they will be sampling many of their cider flavors, so find the one(s) you like!

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet the newest member of the vendor lineup at your Ballard Farmers Market: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). Enjoy!

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea Breeze Farm has some amazing, long dry-aged beef steaks and chops available right now. If you want to indulge yourself with one of the beefiest tasting steaks you’ll ever have, give one of these a try. Their cattle are raised on lush, natural pasture on Vashon Island, and long dry-aging evaporates much of the water weight while deepening the complex flavors. And keep this in mind: dry-aged beef costs more, but you are paying for less water. What you get at the Big Box stores is hardly aged at all and is loaded with water. If you removed the water weight from it, you’d find that you are actually paying a lot more per pound of beef than you realized!

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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