Posts Tagged ‘jam’

Sunday, August 11th: A Little Rain Makes For Happy Farmers & Even More Local Deliciousness!

August 10, 2013
Wild Black Elderberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild Black Elderberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a couple of weeks each summer, Foraged & Found Edibles is able to harvest these wild black elderberries. They had some to offer last Sunday, and hopefully, they will have more today. Native to Eastern Washington, they can be made into wine, jellies, sauces. syrups, baked goods and more. They are loaded with vitamin C, are coated with a natural, wild yeast that makes them ideal for making wine and as a bread starter, and they are believed to have many medicinal qualities as well.

Saffron corms from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saffron corms from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are saffron corms from Phocas Farms. They are the bulb from which the saffron crocus grows. And when these crocus bloom, it is the bright red stigma that becomes the spice we all know as saffron. Surprisingly, saffron crocus grows well around here. Equally surprising is that August is a great time of year to plant their corms, because they spring to life and bloom in early fall when most other plants are going into hibernation. So, while it is next to impossible for you to get your hands on the dried saffron spice that Phocas Farms produces, because it is all pre-sold to local chefs, you can get some of their corms and try growing it yourself!

Sharon (left) & Gary McCool of Rosecrest Farm chatting with our own Gil Youenes in their on-farm shop. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sharon (left) & Gary McCool of Rosecrest Farm chatting with our own Gil Youenes in their on-farm shop. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When we visited Rosecrest Farm in Chehalis, we learned some naturally cool things about how they make their amazing Swiss cheeses. The photo above was taken in their on-farm store, and that big, white door between Sharon and Gary McCool is the door to their aging room. That door is something like 16″ thick. Seriously. See, the room was originally built decades ago for aging beef, and it was designed to maintain a constant temperature without refrigeration. Amazing! And perfect for aging cheese, as it holds at 50 degrees or so year-round. That’s pretty cool, figuratively and literally.

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

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

Check out these ginormous fennel bulbs from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington). Fennel bulb is wonderful stuff. I add it raw to salads, grill it, cook it down into a nice, caramelized accent to pork, pickle it… the sky’s the limit. It has a mild licorice flavor and is slightly sweet. And it is great this time of year. Just be sure to clean it thoroughly, as bits of dirt get down inside it.

A smoked whole side of king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A smoked whole side of king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish is catching some of the largest wild king salmon of the season right now off the coast of Washington. And because these fish are getting ready to swim up Northwest rivers, like the Hoh and Frasier, to spawn until they die, they are loaded up with delicious fat. And that makes for incredible smoked king salmon. This is as moist and divine as any smoked salmon you will ever taste. But because they smoke it up fresh every week, they also sell out every week, so get here early!

Red pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. These tiny little alliums are only available fresh for a few weeks each summer — a very common theme in today’s post, eh? They may be available dried in the fall, but I like them best sautéed fresh with hericot vert beans (find them now from Growing Things Farm or Stoney Plains Organic Farm), and both are only available fresh this time of year. Peel the outer skin off of the pearl onions, and trim off the top and the root hairs, but keep the onions whole for cooking. I like to toss them with a good bacon — try the jowl bacon from Olsen Farms, which has a nice smoky sweetness to it. As the bacon browns, its fat renders out and caramelizes the onions beautifully. When the onions start to become translucent, and the bacon is mostly rendered out and beginning to brown, toss in the beans and sauté them all together until the beans are heated through but still have a nice crunch to them, which just takes a few minutes. Enjoy!

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

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

This time of year, as the early apples come into season, it is not uncommon to see different varieties of apples come and go every week. Between the different growing seasons throughout Washington and the hundreds of different varieties of apples grown here, apples are seemingly always coming into or going out of season. On the one hand, that means you need to pay attention, so that you can enjoy your favorites while they are in season. On the other hand, if you are more adventurous, you can experiment with new kinds of apples all the time! Like these Shamrock apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce, which are in season right now… for a little while, anyway.

Japanese Black Truffle tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese Black Truffle tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This week’s gorgeous tomato of the week from our friends at One Leaf Farm is the Japanese Black Truffle tomato. This heirloom tomato traces its origins to Russian, where it is prized and fetches a high price. Its flesh is very dark, ergo its name. (Though you might ask, “then why is it called ‘Japanese’ if it’s from Russian?” Don’t have a good answer for you.) It is pear shaped, and it has a deep, rich flavor. It is just one of eight tomato varieties currently being harvested by One Leaf! (See a photo album of all their tomatoes on our Facebook page.)

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

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

Tomatillos! Hmm. Can you say salsa? Alvarez Organic Farms has everything — and I do mean everything — you will need for amazing salsas right now, from these tomatillos to tomatoes to garlic to onions to chile peppers to cucumbers! Heck, you can even toss in some of their watermelon!

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Italian prunes have early and late varieties, meaning we see some in August, and then some more in October. And lucky us, as they are one of the finest stone fruits around! But don’t get hung up in the name “prune” like Californians did. They actually rebranded them as “plums” because they were worried that Americans associated the word “prune” with constipated old people. Europeans do not have this uptightness, and the Italians celebrate their beloved prunes. And while they will keep you regular, please do not be afraid to eat these delicious jewels because of their name. Eat them fresh, dried, in jams, jellies, sauces, chutneys, syrups, pies, tarts and more. Find them today from Magaña Farms.

Raspberry jam with thyme from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberry jam with thyme from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of folks who can appreciate a fine prune, Deluxe Foods is back today with their wonderful lineup of jams, jellies, chutneys and sauces, though it is a little early yet for their prune varieties. See, they make their products with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients using heirloom recipes, and they sell them until, well, they run out. That means we’ll see prune flavors in a month or two, just in time for hearty fall dishes. For now, you can enjoy their berry flavors on your toast, like this Raspberry Jam with Thyme.

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 5th: We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Return of Alvarez Organic Farms… And Other Deliciousness!

May 4, 2013
Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems every country’s lore includes some historic battle against a superior foe that ultimately turned the tide in favor of the seemingly weaker party — be that a sudden shift in the balance of military might, or just a symbolic victory that emboldened the weaker force with a strengthened morale and confidence that became so infectious as to ultimately lead to the demise of the greater power. The American Revolution had George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River. The Irish Revolution had the Easter Rising. And Mexico had Puebla, where on May 5, 1861, its forces were victorious against a far superior French army twice the size of the Mexican force.

Wait. What? French army? See, that’s the thing right there. Most American’s think Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican Independence Day. It does not. That is September 16. 1810. But the Mexican pride in that great victory over the invading French during the U.S. Civil War is still alive today, if only mostly in the U.S. But still, if you do not count yourself as a Mexican-American, please take a little time this evening, whilst you swill margaritas and eat salsa and chips, to at least express a little “booyah” for our neighbors to the south, as they have just as impressive a history of kicking European Imperialist bottom as we do. That said, seems as good a time as any to welcome back for the first time this year yet another glorious gift to us from the people of Mexico, Alvarez Organic Farms. They’ll have plenty of organic asparagus today, as well as other deliciousness!

Morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what goes great with asparagus? Morel mushrooms, that’s what! I like tossing the two into a baking dish together with some olive oil and roasting them in a hot oven until tender. And if you can get your hands on some spring sweet onions, add them, too! Foraged & Found Edibles says they’ll have plenty of these wild beauties today. Enjoy!

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.

Mmm. Just thinking about some of that asparagus and morels alongside a nice, seared-rare albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it’s tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market! Stop by, say ‘hi’ to Joyce, and pick up some frozen loins, some canned deliciousness, and maybe a little smoked, if you’re lucky.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower is mysterious stuff for many folk. I mean, does it just grow in this big, round, flower-esque head? It’s not exactly a crop most of us grow in our backyards, after all, so how would we know? Well, take a look at this photo. This is a beautiful head of cauliflower in the field that has been over-wintered and is ready for harvest at Nash’s Organic Produce. And the white head of the cauliflower isn’t the only tasty bit. The cauliflower leaves are also delicious! Now that you know that they exist, beat thee a path to Nash’s and get thee some! (Of both, that is.)

Black Crack Pepper Jack from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Black Crack Pepper Jack from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Townsend Creamery is celebrating the birth of a new cheese, Black Crack Pepper Jack. It is kind of the result of an experiment they did over in Port Townsend — and after all, aren’t more great discoveries and creations — so there is a limited supply currently. But this stuff rocks! It’s dangerous, in fact. I could eat a lot of it. It is creamery and rich, with a beautiful punch of freshly cracked black peppercorns — a perfect marriage. Get some while you can, as it may be some time before they make more.

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 is nira. It is from Gaia’s Natural Goods, and it tastes like a cross between garlic and onions. Use it like chives in salads, to garnish meat or fish, or add it to juices. It is mild in flavor, but delicious nevertheless. And it is another one of those Asian crops you won’t find on other many tables. Enjoy!

Red vein sorrel plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red vein sorrel plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I still assert that Chinese spinach is the most beautiful vegetable, but red vein sorrel is close behind. How cool looking is this stuff? But it’s hard to find.  Now’s your chance to grow it yourself! Cascadian Edible Landscapes has these lovely little pots with red vein sorrel plants all ready for you to add to you garden. But put them in with your other perennial herbs, as it, too, is a perennial.

Earl grey tea jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Earl grey tea jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom’s love earl grey tea jelly, and Mothers Day is just a week away. Deluxe Foods has these lovely jars of it, all ready for you to present to mom at breakfast next Sunday, so you’ll get the day started off right. Cuz remember… when mom’s happy, everybody’s happy!

Asparagus & Smoked Salmon Tamales are the flavor of the month at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus & Smoked Salmon Tamales are the flavor of the month at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the start of a new month, and that means a new Tamale-of-the-Month from Patty Pan Grill! Yessir. This month, they are offering Asparagus & Smoked Salmon Tamales. Okay, maybe they are the most Mexican-sounding flavor, but so what? I mean, it’s not like Mexicans limit their diets to what is on the menu at Azteca, right? We didn’t invent seasonal eating here! The organic asparagus is from ACMA Mission Orchards, and the smoked salmon is from Loki Fish, both right here at your Ballard Farmers Market as well. So how’s about celebrating the Mexican kicking of French Imperialist behind with a few of these babies?!?

Unscented candles from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Unscented candles from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ascents Candle Company is taking a break from your Ballard Farmers Market after Mothers Day, so Julianna can try to spend one summer  enjoying being a mother with her two little ones… and catching up. Never fear. She’ll be back in September. But now’s a good time to stock up on her gorgeous, non-toxic candles, available both scented and unscented. And they make for great Mothers Day gifts, 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, January 13th: Go Ballard Farmers Market! Go Seahawks!

January 12, 2013
Signed 12th Man flag. Photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks.

Signed 12th Man flag. Photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks.

It’s a cold, sunny January day today, and while many will be glued to the boob tube… the one-eyed god… the idiot box… the nearest television, watching the Seahawks take on Atlanta for another shot at the 49ers and the Super Bowl, your Ballard Farmers Market will be open as it always is, come rain or shine, snow, wind or cold, more reliable than the Post Office, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., just like it is every Sunday, year-round. But we understand that many a faithful Ballard Farmers Marketeer is going to be torn between the two events, or maybe you come from a house divided — between Market camp and Game camp (What, did you think I meant Seattle and Atlanta camps? As if…) — or maybe you are one that wants to figure out how to do both.

Good news! At least a dozen venues within one block of your Ballard Farmers Market, up and down Ballard Ave, will be airing the Game today. You can come down, have breakfast while watching the game, and shop the Market during halftime or after the Game. Or you can drop your Game crew at one of these venues, and you can enjoy the Market, and all the other neighboring shops, in peace! Because here in Ballard, we are all about inclusiveness, and that means accommodating Seahawks and Market fans alike. Venues showing the game include Ballard Smoke Shop Bar, Ballard Station Public House, Bastille, Conor Byrne, Flying Squirrel Pizza at Sunset Tavern, Hattie’s Hat, Kickin’ Boot, Lock & Keel, Matador, Shiku and Zayda Buddy’s. Many are opening early today.

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

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

I loves me some rutabagas from Nash’s Organic Produce. A.k.a., Swedes, or as the Irish call them, turnips. These turnip cousins are much denser and have a deeper flavor, both sweet and earthy. They hold up in stews and soups where turnips turn to mush. They are great steamed and mashed with butter. They are a great addition to your long-braised meats, like brisket or corned beef. They make a nice addition to your root roast. Heck, they are even wonderful as veggie chips, fried or baked.

Taylor's Gold Pears from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Taylor’s Gold Pears from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchards still has lots of beautiful pears from this past fall’s harvest. They grow some stunning heirloom tree fruit in the beautiful Methow Valley, including these Taylor’s Gold pears, available now. Don’t let the cold air fool you. There is still plenty of great, local, nutritious deliciousness available at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Freshly harvested cultivated mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly harvested cultivated mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you checked out our newest farm at your Ballard Farmers Market? Yup. Them’s mushrooms, alright. From Sno-Valley Mushrooms over in Duvall. Over the last year, they shifted from a very small producer to acquiring a state-of-the-art growing facility, and now they are producing these gorgeous shiitakelion’s mane and blue oyster mushrooms fresh for us every week. Mushrooms like a controlled environment for optimum production, and that is exactly what they’ve got at Sno-Valley. Enjoy!

Potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms is another of those farms located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains on the North Peninsula, a.k.a., the Banana Belt. That makes this their high season, while most farms are on winter hiatus. Sure, they’ve got lots of these lovely potatoes, but don’t let that limit your imagination. They also still have salad mix and braising mixwinter squash and lots of other goodies!

Pepper beet jelly from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pepper beet jelly from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you like your jelly with a kick? Try Gaia’s Natural Goods pepper beet jelly. It is sweetened by their beets, with a nice kick of hot peppers — a perfect accompaniment to cheese and crackers, or as an accent to pork or other meats. They also have a nice variety of berry jams made from this past summer’s berry harvest, as well as their famous pickled beets, and the new addition, pickled carrots!

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kombucha is made from brewing green tea, and then fermenting it using a “mother” of yeast and bacteria, much like how vinegar is made. It is thought to be healthful, and it is refreshing, with a lovely effervescence. It is also ever-so-slightly alcoholic from the fermenting process, so it is sold like beer, to those 21 and older. CommuniTea Kombucha, born right here in Ballard, makes some of the finest kombucha anywhere, or, if you want to try your own hand at making it, they’ll sell you a “mother” of your own.

The sampler gift box from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The sampler gift box from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce has lots of great apples and pears available from fall’s harvest, including galahoney crisp, pink lady and Mt. Fuji apples and D’Anjou pears, all organically-grown in their orchards in East Wenatchee. But did you know they also make preservesdried fruit and applesauce, too? Yessir. Just down the hill from their farm is the little community of Rock Island, home of Pipitone Farms, and Tiny’s uses Pipitone’s kitchen to process their fruit at the peak of flavor and ripeness at harvest time, so that you can enjoy them on toast, in your lunch bag or with cottage cheese all winter long! You can get a nice sampling of them in one of these gift boxes (above).

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.


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