Posts Tagged ‘grain’

Sunday, March 9th: Spring Forward One Hour! (Gee, Thanks, Ben!)

March 8, 2014
Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Hey kids! Yes, it is that time of year when a whole lot of us ask the simple question, “What was Ben Franklin thinking, and why are we still following his advice over 200 years later?!?” That rights, folks. This is the week we set our clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m., Sunday night, in the name of productivity, all the while dooming ourselves to a week second to only the week between Christmas and New Year’s for it’s lack of productivity, because our body clocks are suffering through the most confusing kind of jet lag, and our brains are telling us it’s one time whilst our clocks tell us it’s another. For those who think Daylight Savings Time helps farmers… um… it’s not like dairy cows will get up an hour earlier tomorrow expecting to be milked. And with the advent of, well, electricity, we can easily light our factories and schools whenever we want. But my whinging aside, set our clocks forward one hour we must. And THAT means if you show up at 3:30 p.m. today wondering why your Ballard Farmers Market is already closed, we will likely snicker at you. And if you show up at 11 a.m., thinking you’ll be the first in line for eggs, blame no one but yourself. Consider yourself warned! (And on behalf of our firefighters, change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Oh, and my locksmith tells me we should WD40 our locks today, too.)

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

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

Green things. We need green things to lift our spirits and help us overcome the constant desire to nap this week. Lucky for us, green things is what Colinwood Farm does best this time of year! They are cranking out gorgeous braising mixspinachsalad mix and more from their greenhouses right now. And rumor has it, they might even have some baby squash soon, too!

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

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

Lyall Farms is still rocking the Beauregard sweet potatoes, friends. You ever just cut them up with some parsnips and toss them with oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes? I love that! Simple, sweet deliciousness. Or try cubing them, steaming them, and then mashing them with some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a little maple syrup. Boy, howdy!

Fuji apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fuji apples from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll still find lots of apples and pears from the 2013 fall harvest at Martin Family Orchards. And while you’re at it, why not grab a cup of cider on the go, and a jug of it to take home with you? So many ways to keep the doctor away!

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Okay, I grant you, you probably aren’t, and that’s just as well…) This is great pasta weather! Steam up the kitchen with pastaliciousness. The handmade, artisan pastas from Ballard’s own Pasteria Lucchese are about as good as pasta gets in this town, and they will either hook you up with an appropriate sauce for your choice of pasta, or they’ll give you a great idea for dressing it. This saffron tagliatelle is made with local saffron from our own Phocas Farms, and it is quite seafood friendly.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, you’ll need some amazing artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to go with your pasta, or whatever else you’ll dine upon. Just look at this selection! From left to right, we’ve got sourdough ryeBaker Street sourdoughpain au levainAvery’s pumpernickel, wheat & honey, and compagnon, and that’s just for starters!

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, St. Paddy’s Day is just over a week from now. Last week, your mission was to get brisket to brine for 10 days in preparation for it. This week, why not get one step ahead of the herd and stock up on red potatoes from Olsen Farms, like these red lasoda potatoes, or perhaps some nice desiree potatoes.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Two weeks ago, Seattle Chefs Collaborative held is 8th annual Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection which brings together chefs and food producers from all over the region to do business with each other, strengthening our local food system. And among those products creating a buzz this year was this camelina oil from Ole World Oils in Ritzville. It was used in half of the 10 entrees on the event’s epic lunch buffet, resulting in chefs playing, “What is that unique flavor we’re noticing running through so many dishes today?” This is your local cooking oil, suited well to being produced in Eastern Washington. It is fresh, healthy, versatile and full of character and flavor. I, personally, have found that I have begun using it instead of other oils, like olive and canola, in at least half of my cooking over just the past two months. It is priced right, too, so give it a try today!

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, how about some live-cultured yogurt to help make your mouth and your tummy very happy right now? This jersey cow’s milk plain yogurt and Greek yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese is full of body and flavor, and considering you are getting it straight from the farm, you will be amazed at how its price compares to lesser yogurts considered “high end” at the Big Box store.

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 19th: Cooking Oil, Cranberries, Leeks, Chickweed & Refillable Wine Bottles!

January 18, 2014
Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Sunday! This is the first Sunday since December that your Ballard Farmers Market has had to share with the Seahawks, but fortunately, kickoff in the NFC Championship Game does not happen until 3:30 p.m., half an hour after we close. So you’ve got plenty of time to get down here, get your localiciousness on for the coming week, zip home to drop it off, and get back down here again to watch the Game with us and the gang in one of Ballard Ave’s 13,478 watering holes. And for the 13% of you who still don’t care about the Seahawks, we’re here for you, too!

Oh, hey. Ole World Oils returns today with their camelina oil. This cooking and finishing oil is made from cold-pressed camelina seeds (a mustard cousin) that are grown and processed by Ole World Oils on their farm just outside of Ritzville in Eastern Washington. This oil is fresh, delicious, high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, is great drizzled over salads and as a finishing oil, and has a very high 475 degree smoke point, making it perfect for any cooking application. And it is priced to easily replace all of your imported oils, be they from Italy, Canada or California.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish may be best known for its fresh, frozen and smoked Washington salmon and its halibut, but this time of year, if you want fresh fish from them, this true cod and ling cod are what you are likely to find. I love pan-frying their true cod. I make a breading of grits, whole grain flour, rice flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, chile powder, garlic granules and some dried oregano, mixing it altogether in a bowl with a fork, to ensure everything is carefully blended. Then, I like to cut the fish into “nugget” sized pieces, which I give a quick dip in egg, then roll in the breading until fully coated. Then, I toss it in a hot BluSkillet iron pan that I’ve put a healthy amount of camelina oil into, and I fry it on each side until crispy. It doesn’t take long, and you can make up the breading in advance and save any leftover breading in the freezer. This breading works great with Hama Hama Oyster Company shucked oysters, too!

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

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

Hmm. Maybe a nice side of chickweed salad would be good with that pan-fried true cod. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has chickweed already, just for this purpose. Farms like Stoney Plains grow chickweed over the winter as a nitrogen-fixing crop that helps build nutrients back into their soil naturally. Smart farms like Stoney Plains choose varieties of chickweed at are good for human consumption, so they get an addition crop out of it, and we get an additional winter and early spring green. Make a simple chickweed salad by tossing it with some salt, pepper, some sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd, some sunflower seeds or pine nuts, a little lemon juice or local verjus, if you’ve got some, and some camelina oil.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Starvation Alley Farms has frozen organic cranberries for you! Woohoo!!! Make pies, jams, sauces, muffins, cookies, whatever you love to do with cranberries. Make a nice dressing with them for that chickweed salad. Cranberries: they’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Those big bottles on the left above? They are refillable! Seriously. Wilridge Winery, based in Madrona, worked it out with the Liquor Control Board so that they can reuse these magnum-size (1.5 liter) bottles. Why, you ask? Lots of reasons. First off, whether a new bottle is made from virgin or recycled glass, it still requires a lot of energy to make them. Not these. Next, when they reuse bottles, they do not have to buy new bottles for each new bottling, a cost they would normally pass onto you. And because the bottles are larger, you get twice the wine for the price of one bottle, not to mention that it cuts the cost of labor to fill that bottle in half, too! The result is that for $20 plus an $8 bottle deposit, you get an excellent, everyday, local table wine. Wilridge will be sampling their  wines today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Give them a try, and then grab one of these refillables for your Hawks party, or for the party you having not watching the Game.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Glendale Shepherd makes great sheep’s milk cheeses. But something else their sheep produce is wool! This wool, in fact. Mind you, the wool usually isn’t this color of green whilst on the sheep, unless the sheep is acting out against its parents.

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

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

Mmm. Leekliciousness. Think sauces, soups, sautés, tortes… tarts for that matter. Winter leeks are wonderfully sweet for whatever application you have, and Alm Hill Gardens has these lovely young leeks for you now.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A little butter with them thar leeks sounds pretty good, too. Or for cooking your eggs… which come to think of it, might make for a nice scramble with some leeks, eh? Or buttered toast with one of Golden Glen Creamery’s many sweet or savory flavored butters. Golden Glen’s farmstead butters are made up on their farm in Bow, and if you haven’t tried them, you likely don’t really know what truly fresh butter tastes like. Trust me.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When it is cold, dark and damp this time of year, it is the perfect time to warm up your whole home with a nice roast, don’t you think? Skagit River Ranch has these gorgeous, delicious, grass-fed and finished, certifed organic beef chuck roasts from their farm up in Sedro-Woolley, in the Skagit River Valley. Grab yourself some roots, and get roasting!

Curly leaf kale from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curly leaf kale from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also serious kale season, and Children’s Garden has lots of this green curly leaf kale right now for you. They’ve also got some nice collard greens now, too, as well as fresh herbs, and, of course, their beautiful flower bouquets, even this time of year.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ACMA Mission Orchards still has plenty of their certified-organic apples and pears from their fall harvest for you. Like these Pink Lady apples — sweet, crunchy and satisfying, they will help you keep the doctor away all winter long.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nashs’ Organic Produce produces lots of grains and legumes in addition to the produce for which they are both named and loved. Right now, you can get lots of dried beans from them, from fava beans to kidney beans to black beans to field peas, as well as several types of grains, from hulless oats to triticale to rye to wheat. They even have several kinds of flours milled right on the farm and delivered fresh to you at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, let’s get our sunflower sprouts on for winter, eh? Packed with nutrients and flavor, they make a great addition to salads and sandwiches, and a great garnish, too. Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has these fresh sprouts now, as well as wheatgrass, great for juicing.

Go Hawks!

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

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

Sunday, November 17th: Eat Local For Thanksgiving & Every Day!

November 16, 2013
Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table during his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table during his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! There’s no fighting it. We have reached the holiday season, and that means lots of festive eating will be going on. Your Ballard Farmers Market is open year-round with lots of local deliciousness, so really, we make it easy to build your holiday meals, and your everyday meals, around great, local food produced by great local people. And to help get your creative juices (and your salivary glands) flowing, this week and next, we offer our annual Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration series at noon under the red Cooking Demonstration tent. Today, we welcome our old buddy, Chef Dustin Ronspies from Art of the Table. He has been building his restaurant menus around what is fresh and local at your Ballard Farmers Market since 2007, so if anyone can show you a tip or two for adding more localiciousness to your holidays, he can!

Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just two more weeks to get amazing heirloom pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Their inventory of these delicious Conference pears, as well as ComiceD’Anjou and Dana Hovey pears is just about exhausted for 2013, so take advantage and stock up this week and next, while you can.

Chile pepper wreathe from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chile pepper wreathe from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The season is winding down for our friends from Alvarez Organic Farms, too. Stop by now and stock up on great storage crops like onionsgarlicshallots and potatoes, as well as dried chiles, and these gorgeous pepper wreathes and strings.

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

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

Nash’s Organic Produce has lots of great veggies right now, from parsnips to celery root to Brussels sprouts, as well as tender greens that will not be around much longer, like bok choychard and arugula. They also have delicious, local whole grains like red wheatrye and triticale. Try some out as a side dish this holiday season.

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether just for munching, for pies, sauce or roasting, Collins Family Orchards has an apple for you. Try out these honey crisp apples, for instance. They are crisp and full of flavor, great for the kiddies’ lunch box or that elegant artisan cheese platter.

Delicata winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicata winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are in serious winter squash weather now, aren’t we? There is just something so comforting and cozy about roasted delicata squash from One Leaf Farm on a cold, dark, wet night. The oven warms up the kitchen. The sweet, luscious squash warms up your soul.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

It is tasting day at Kitzke Cellars. Stop by today to give their lineup a test drive right at your Ballard Farmers Market. Then, once you find the varieties of wine you like best, you can stock up for the holidays, ready with the perfect wine for every occasion, be it a friend’s party, an elegant dinner or a gift for your boss. And with Kitzke’s award-winning collection of wines, you are sure to find at least one you will love.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for fast-approaching holiday feasts, we welcome the return of Sno-Valley Mushrooms. They cultivate great mushrooms, like these shiitake mushrooms, over in Duvall. And considering that it is also chicken soup season, think about adding mushrooms to the pot, too.

Sweet potato pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potato pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget to check out our newest vendor, Simply Soulful. They simply make the best sweet potato pies from scratch using Lyall Farms sweet potatoes and freshly-made crust. Stop by for a sample, and then put your orders in for next week!

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 2nd: Local Tuna, Hard Cider, More Strawberries, Spectacular Salad Mix, Glorious Green Garlic & Other Deliciousness!

June 1, 2013
Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! It’s already the first Sunday in June! Besides the fact that we are charging headlong into summer — and the fact that today’s weather actually feels like summer — it also means that today is tuna day! That’s right. Today, we get our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with their amazing albacore tuna. Better yet, they have a new catch of tuna today cut for you. See, they freeze their tuna at sea after catching it to preserve its quality. Then they cut and wrap it in loins and portions on land for Market. Wait, what? Portions? Yes! They will have, for the first time in months, those smaller portioned sizes many of us have been missing. See, one or two people cannot necessarily get through a 2-3 pound lion all by themselves, but the smaller portions of St’ Jude’s sashimi-grade albacore tuna are the perfect size for anyone!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are so many ways to enjoy local albacore tuna, and one of my favorites is to cut a few steaks off of a loin, pan-sear them simply with a little olive oil — they don’t need much, because of their abundant natural oils — salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, so they are mostly raw inside, and then lay them over the top of a big, beautiful salad. In fact, I did just that on Saturday night, using as my base some of this extraordinary spicy salad mixed, complete with edible flowers, from Colinwood Farms. A mix of lettuces, mustards, arugula, spinach, mizuna and more, and topped off with colorfully delicious edible flowers, I garnished it with some of Colinwood’s carrots, some pink beauty radishes and Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm, and some garlic chives from Children’s Garden. Yeah, baby!

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

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

Eaglemount Wine & Cider has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market on a regular basis now, and we couldn’t be more excited! Eaglemount and Finnriver Farm & Cidery now both bring excellent artisan ciders and fruit wines to you every Sunday from the Jeffereson County on the Olympic Peninsula — a region becoming a center for Washington’s burgeoning old-world cider-making industry. Grab a bottle or two today, and get a taste of one of the oldest forms of food preservation!

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

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

More strawberries! Woohoo! These lovelies are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) from up on the Canadian Border in Everson. They just started harvesting them a week ago, so numbers are still a little on the low side. You’d better get here early, if you want some today. But never fear. By this time next week, we’ll have at least six farms in your Ballard Farmers Market with strawberries! (BTW, Sidhu Farms has also started harvesting strawberries, and will have some today.)

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got lettuce? Summer Run Farm does! This is some of their gorgeous, and humongous, red leaf lettuce. Their heads of lettuce are so big, they are often twice as big as your own head (or two-thirds as big as mine)! So, get your lettuce on today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, look! It is some of those aforementioned Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. They are as tasty as they are beautiful. I love to eat them raw, like a radish, on their own, or sliced up in a salad. Or you can do a quick sauté on them. And don’t forget to toss in those greens when you sauté them. You are getting two veggies for the price of one, so don’t waste those greens, people! They also have some awesome spicy salad mix of their own, plus collard greensfrisee and more!

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is sugar snap pea season, folks, and our buddies at Alvarez Organic Farms have a ton of these sweet, crunchy and delicious spring treats just waiting for you to devour them. Throw them into your salad. Dip them in some hummus from House of the Sun. Munch them on their own at the beach, right out of the bag. Lightly sauté them. You cannot go wrong. Enjoy!

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you are having your picnic at the beach and inhaling an entire bag of sugar snap peas, or you are enjoying your big, beautiful salad topped with tuna, you will need some of this magnificent artisan bread from our friends at Grateful Bread Baking. Oh, and be sure to pick up some butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or some fresh goat cheese from Twin Oaks Creamery to smear on it, while you’re at it!

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whatever you are roasting, sautéing, grilled — eating — this time of year, you must add some green garlic to the mix! Green garlic is the immature form of the garlic heads we will see later in the summer. Farms like Pa Garden thin their garlic fields this time of year to allow their garlic to be able to bulb out, and they bring the green garlic they thinned out to market for us to enjoy. You can eat the whole thing, as long as the greens are still green and you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Cut it up like you would a green onion or scallion and toss it in the pan with your favorite greens, or in with your veggies before they go in the oven, and douse it with some olive oil and grill it alongside your protein. Yummers!

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

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

Looking for some local whole grains to mill for flour, roll for cereal, or cook whole for a lovely base or side to many recipes? Nash’s Organic Produce has whole grain red wheat and whole grain rye available for you right now. They also have it milled into flour, so you don’t have to do all the work! Nash’s works very closely with WSU organic grain researcher Dr. Stephen Jones, and they are helping him with field trials of various grains, to identify those that will grow best here in Western Washington. See, it used to be, before the advent of modern industrial agriculture, that all grain was local, and each community relied upon the grains that grew in their region. That’s what folks like Nash’s and Dr. Jones are striving to return us to. Pretty cool, eh?

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you use them as a cocktail mixer, to dress a salad or enhance your slaw, or you just like to ingest it by the shot glass, your palate and your body will love Firefly Kitchens‘s line of Tummy Tonics. These tonics are actually the residual juices left over from the fermenting process when they make their award-winning krauts and kimchis. When they bottle them, they also bottle the  brine left at the bottom of the fermenting vat. There isn’t a lot of this stuff, so you can pretty much only get it here at the Market. Try some today. You can thank me 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.


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