Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Sunday, April 14th: More Asparagus, Baby Red Chard, Blue Oyster Mushrooms, Baby Summer Squash, Rhubarb, Green Onions & Sausages!

April 13, 2013
Asparagus from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ignore the thermometer, or you will miss out on all manner of spring deliciousness at your Ballard Farmers Market this week. Like even more asparagus. Yes, Magana Farms rejoins us today for the 2013 season, and they will bring with them plenty of asparagus. And Lyall Farms will also have plenty more asparagus with them today, too!

Baby red chard micro greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo courtesy One Leaf Farm.

Baby red chard micro greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo courtesy One Leaf Farm.

These beautiful, adorable little micro greens are baby red chard sprouts from One Leaf Farm. Thinning time on the farm means stunningly deliciousness, delicate greens for us at your Ballard Farmers Market. Don’t go cooking these lovelies. Use them raw in a salad, or garnish a nice piece of fresh halibut from Wilson Fish with them. Of course, you’ll have to get to One Leaf and Wilson Fish early enough that they each still have these delicacies. Consider yourself warned!

Rhubarb from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm, newly returned to your Ballard Farmers Market just last Sunday, is also rocking the springliciousness with cabbagecollard and kale raabspurple sprouting broccoli that is nothing short of jaw-dropping grilled alongside some of the first fresh king salmon of the season from Wilson Fish, and everyone’s favorite Oxbowteer, Alice. But really pleases me is the first rhubarb of spring — something I like to think of as the first fruit of the summer, even though it is a vegetable. Doesn’t your first rhubarb crisp of 2013 sound like a pretty nice dessert for tonight?

Farmer Jessie Hopkins of Colinwood Farms holding baby zucchini with blossoms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmer Jessie Hopkins of Colinwood Farms holding baby zucchini with blossoms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie Hopkins of Colinwood Farms always warms up your Ballard Farmers Market on the coldest, wettest days with his smile, but what really makes him happy are the first baby zucchini of spring. Fresh out of his greenhouses in the heart of Port Townsend, they come with the blossoms still attached. Cook them for a nanosecond, and maybe stuff those blossoms with some fresh chevre from Twin Oaks Creamery for a reach treat.

Blue oyster & shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blue oyster & shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One must arrive at your Ballard Farmers Market pretty early in the day in order to score some of these beautiful blue oyster mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. And while their shiitake mushrooms stick around deeper into the market day, they also almost always sell out. If you haven’t tried these great, locally-cultivated mushrooms from Duvall, you are missing something special. Just don’t dillydally getting here for some!

Green onions from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green onions from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What up! Yes, another spring favorite as arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market — green onions. No, these are not scallions. That is an entirely different oniony beast. Green onions are simply baby onions, usually produced as the farm — in this case Gaia’s Natural Goods — thins its onion fields in order to let the remaining onions stretch out into the beautiful, bulbous creations we will enjoy later in the summer. So, enjoy these kids while you can, as they will  be teenagers (a.k.a., spring onions), and then mature onions before you know it!

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

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

Did someone say sausage? With so much spring deliciousness to grill right now, from raabs to broccoli to mushrooms to greens to green onions, why not toss on some gorgeous sausages from up yonder in Sedro-Woolley, too? Skagit River Ranch is renowned nationally for its organic ranch and its practices, but we love them locally for the amazing meat and poultry they bring to your Ballard Farmers Market every week. For instance, have you ever tried their sweet Italian sausage (bottom-center, above)? They are so spot-on, they bring tears to the eyes of expat New Yorkers who long of a real sweet Italian sausage like they remember growing up back East. Just leave a package for me today, okay?

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is no need to be missing local blueberries with your morning oatmeal this time of year. That’s because Whitehorse Meadows Organic Blueberry Farm has lots of them frozen from last year’s harvest. I just take a handful of them every morning and toss them in the bottom of my bowl, and then I dump my hot oats right over the top of them. Of course, they are also great for blueberry pancakes and muffins, a nice sauce, or whatever else you desire!

Making a breakfast burrito at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Making a breakfast burrito at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Then again, maybe you’d like someone else to cook breakfast for you this morning. How’s about a freshly made breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos, then? Los Chilangos is our newest vendor at your Ballard Farmers Market, and they are making their breakfast burritos using fresh eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, and potatoes and pork (in their homemade chorizo) from Olsen Farms! Their fish tacos feature fresh fish from Wilson Fish, and their are working into their menu many more ingredients from Ballard Farmers Market farmers, fishers and ranchers. I dare you to show me another taco stand, truck or shop in town that can say that!

Phocas Farms succulents nestled in a Daily Bird Pottery planter. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Phocas Farms succulents nestled in a Daily Bird Pottery planter. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this week’s installment of all things delicious and wonderful at your Ballard Farmers Market with a little bit of the wonderful, and perhaps delicious… in its beauty! This lovely table top planter from Daily Bird Pottery is perfect on your back deck filled will adorable and colorful succulents from our own Phocas Farms! What a simple idea, eh? Stop by to see Darby at Daily Bird for the planter, and then head on down to see Jimmy at Phocas for some chicks to fill it!

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, February 17th: Goat Milk & Cheese, Daikon Green, Chickweed and Other Signs of Spring!

February 17, 2013
Goat milk feta from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Okay, I know this is not a photo of goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery, but they will have some today in quart bottles. It’s just that I haven’t seen it myself yet, so I lack a photo to share with you. Besides. this fresh goat feta is worthy of celebration in and of itself. It is really good — sweet, not too salty, but with that perfect, simple tang and crumble to compliment your salads.

Nash's Red Russian Kale from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Red Russian Kale from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s Nash’s Red Russian Kale from Nash’s Organic Produce! It is lovely this time of year, all sweetened up from long, cold winter nights. And it is their own kale, foh realz! But the really cool word from those crazy cats at Nash’s is that they’ll have daikon radish greens today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Seriously. Come check ‘em out.

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.

You know, we’ve been through what seems like an endless marathon of holidaze, starting way back on Thanks for the Land Day, and continuing through this week — the grand-daddy of all holiday weeks, for its sheer number of them: Chinese New Year, Fat Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, International Asteroid Day (no longer celebrated in the Ural Mountains of Russian, however), and ending tomorrow with Presidents Day, cuz everyone knows that the best presidents were aquarians! But after tomorrow, we get a bit of a break, until St. Paddy’s Day. Finally, we can get some work done, some sleep, and we can find more time to eat these incredible shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms in Duvall.

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.

Okay, I feel like I am laying down a bit of a gauntlet for Terry Meyer from Stoney Plains Organic Farm with this one. Or maybe the challenge is one to you. See, Terry gets up at 4 a.m. every Sunday morning (that’s only an hour after I’ll actually post this week’s epistle), and he actually reads my words of, err, wisdom, or at least he looks at the pretty pictures, to see which of his products I’ve featured, and then he makes sure he brings more of that item. Apparently, I’ve so bamboozled him into believing that you really are paying attention to this stuff that he thinks you are actually going to march directly to his stand before doing anything else and load up on whatever it is that I have featured. And truth be told, that tends to happen more often than not. So, here’s what you absolutely must have this week from Stoney Plains — chickweed. As it is a winter cover crop, it is only available this time of year, and it makes for a lovely simple salad, dressed with a nice olive oil, a little lemon juice, and some of that aforementioned goat feta. See, this is actually a culinary chickweed, not the stuff that grows in your backyard. At a time of year during which fresh greens are scarce, why not give these a try, eh? Besides, you’ll help me keep Terry thinking that these blog posts have great, magical powers!

Brian enjoy a fresh soda from Soda Jerk Sodas, as well as his new paper hat! Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brian enjoy a fresh soda from Soda Jerk Sodas, as well as his new paper hat! Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met Ballard Farmers Market’s very own jerk? Soda jerk, that is. Cory Clark is the jerk behind Soda Jerk Sodas, and he makes fresh sodas will local flavors right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Okay, just so you don’t think I’m jerking you around, this guy in the photo is a not Cory. He’s Brian. And mind you, I don’t know Brian well enough to be able to confidently pass judgement on whether or not he is a jerk, but he certainly does seem to enjoy the fresh sodas he gets from Cory. And he looks quite sharp in his very own, old-fashioned Soda Jerk paper hat, doesn’t he?

Carnival squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carnival squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is getting pretty near that end of winter squash season, but Colinwood Farms still has some left for you. Like this yummy carnival winter squash. I love halving these, seeding them, slathering them with olive oil, then laying them face down in a glass baking dish and roasting them until tender at 375 degrees. Their texture is wonderful, their flesh is so sweet, and you can even eat the skin!

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pears are beginning to dwindle a bit, too, but we’ve still got some in your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these lovely bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards. They are a great eating pear. Soft and sweet and delicious — great for the kids’ lunch box. Collins also still has some great apples for you, too!

Spinach-gouda puffs from d:floured. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spinach-gouda puffs from d:floured. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honestly, I have no idea if d:floured gluten-free bakery will have these spinach-gouda puffs today, though I could swear I saw something puff-like being constructed in the kitchen on Friday when I stopped by. But if you are looking for gluten-free deliciousness, be it sweet or savory, a stop by d:floured at your Ballard Farmers Market is in order. And frankly, even if you are not looking for stuff that is gluten-free, you will still love this stuff. I worked an event Saturday night with a particularly high percentage of people on gluten-free diets, and we arranged to satisfy their sweet tooth with some of d:floured’s brownies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plate of brownies disappear so fast, and I grew up in the 70s! (Just sayin’.) Heck, I’m not even sure the gluten-free crowd got any of them! These may not be “special brownies,” but they certainly are special brownies.

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, January 27th: New Faces, Old Faces & One Great Year-Round Farmers Market!

January 26, 2013
Heather Howell making cheese at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo courtesy Twin Oaks Creamery.

Heather Howell making cheese at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo courtesy Twin Oaks Creamery.

One might think January is anything but an exciting month here at your Ballard Farmers Market. One would be wrong! As a year-round market, we shine this time of year, with dozens of world-class food producers lining historical Ballard Avenue while almost every other market in the state is in its winter slumber. Plus, we are actually adding new vendors this time of year. This week, please welcome our newest: Twin Oaks Creamery! Based in Chehalis, Twin Oaks was nearly wiped off the face of the earth by the historic flood of 2007. But they have been working hard to rebuild their dairy farm business since that horrific event, they now have healthy goat and cow herds for milking and a modern cheese-making facility, and they have set their sites on farmers markets for their future. To that end, they arrive today with pasteurized goat and cow milk and cheese. And in the coming weeks and months, they will continue to expand their offerings to include aged raw milk cheesesyogurt and more! And we couldn’t be more thrilled! While we have a reliable supply of raw milk from Sea Breeze Farm, we’ve been without pasteurized milk, or any goat milk, since the departure of Silver Springs Creamery in late summer. So come celebrate the return of milk to your Ballard Farmers Market, and get to know your local dairy farmer!

Roy Nettlebeck, owner of Tahuya River Apiaries, has something sweet to smile about -- honey! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Roy Nettlebeck, owner of Tahuya River Apiaries, has something sweet to smile about — honey! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2012 was a rough year for beekeeper Roy Nettlebeck of Tahuya River Apiaries. Seemingly insulated for many years from the worldwide collapse of bee populations, his hives suffered last year both from high mortality rates as well as historic snows in the Olympic Mountains, and we have suffered Roy’s absence from your Ballard Farmers Market for the entire 2012 season. His bees, which work the steep eastern slopes of the Olympics, pollinating wildflowers and making honey from their nectar, did process a small amount of wildflower honey in 2012, however, and Roy is in the Market today with what he’s got. Don’t expect these big jars, though. He only has small jars of his honey today, as he wants to spread it around to as many people as possible. Stop by and pick up some of this Olympic gold, and enjoy a natural bit of the sweet life!

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of his delicious chickens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of his delicious chickens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Stokesberry — namesake of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm — can’t help but smile about his delicious chickens, and neither will you. These birds are unlike any chicken you’ve ever had from a Big Box store. Indeed, once you’ve had one of these, you won’t even recognize what sold in the Big Box stores as chicken anymore. The Stokesberrys sell their chickens fresh and frozen, though both sell out quickly each week. And occasionally, they offer up stewing hens, too. I made the most amazing chicken soup with one of these recently. I ate it every night for a week!

Will Lockmiller of Sno-Valley Mushrooms explaining the process to our own Gil Youenes. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Will Lockmiller of Sno-Valley Mushrooms explaining the process to our own Gil Youenes. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of our new farm additions to your Ballard Farmers Market this winter is Sno-Valley Mushrooms. They are cultivating shiitakelion’s mane and blue oyster mushrooms in their state-of-the-art facility in Duvall. Back in mid-December, our own Gil Youenes and I got to tour their farm, learning a lot about mushroom growing in the process. Here, Sno-Valley’s Will Lockmiller explains to Gil about how their inoculated straw blocks are made, and how they will soon produce many beautiful shiitakes.

Jessie Hopkins from Colinwood Farms sits atop the farm's antique, horse-draw potato planter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie Hopkins from Colinwood Farms sits atop the farm’s antique, horse-draw potato planter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be January, but it’s peak season at Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. See, they’ve learned to magnify the natural climatic advantage they enjoy being located in Washington’s Banana Belt, in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and the incredibly rich, fertile soil on their farm, with a series of large greenhouses that help them grow salad greens, and other temperature-sensitive deliciousness, all winter long. And I just love this photo I captured of the farm’s Jessie Hopkins on their antique potato planter a few years back.

Nash's Kia Armstrong and Wynn Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Kia Armstrong and Wynne Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know I am thin on photos of delicious food this week, but I decided it was as good a week as any to focus instead on our delicious vendors, like Kia Armstrong from Nash’s Organic Produce, and Wynne Weinreb from Jerzy Boyz — two more farms that rock it at your Ballard Farmers Market all winter long. Sure, Nash’s has plenty of Brussels sprouts, kale, rutabagas and cabbages this time of year, and Jerzy Boyz is rich with amazing, heirloom apples and pears, but when it comes right down to it, what truly makes our little farmers market wealthy is our wonderful sense of family, as can be seen on the faces of these two taking a break together. And don’t you come here for this, as well? I mean, yes, you will not find any better food anywhere — certainly not at the Big Box stores — but you also get a good dose of community here. You meet the people who produce the food that nourishes your body and fills your soul, and you meet your neighbors. Here is one place where you are not treated like a number — like a “consumer”. Here, we are people. Enjoy it. And then take that feeling with you throughout the rest of your week.

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) talks farmers markets with Senator Maria Cantwell. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) talks farmers markets with Senator Maria Cantwell. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) has never been one known to mind his manners and keep his yap shut. Like so many of the amazing farmers with whom we are blessed here at your Ballard Farmers Market, he not only grows great food for us, but he is a tireless activist to help make our food system, our communities and our world better for all of us. So needless to say (though by now, you’ve figured out I’m gonna say it anyway), when U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell visited your Ballard Farmers Market this past summer, Clayton availed himself of the opportunity to do a little educating and community building with her — and those Alm Hill berries she’s enjoying didn’t hurt a bit, either. Alm Hill is another one of our anchor, year-round farms here at your Ballard Farmers Market, and right now, they’ve actually got fresh-cut tulips already, as well as some great farm-fresh eggs, too.

Jim Page performing at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jim Page performing at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, not all of our Market characters are farmers, but what would be the point of eating anyway, if we didn’t have music to fill our souls, too? Week in and week out, we are blessed with an incredibly talented pool of buskers who perform for us at your Ballard Farmers Market — folks like world-renowned folk singer Jim Page, who can be found most Sundays, when he’s not touring, playing his powerful music for us right here. We don’t pay any of these performers. That’s up to you. If you like them, or even if you just appreciate them for doing what they do, toss a little cash into their instrument case, hat or jar, and maybe purchase a CD, a poem, a painting or a balloon animal. Supporting your local street performers adds just as much to the beautiful, vibrant community of Ballard we call home as supporting your local farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans and artists at your Ballard Farmers Market, and all the locally-owned shops, bars, eateries and other businesses that line historic Ballard Avenue. And buying a CD directly from a musician, instead of at a store, means that musician gets almost all of the purchase price, inside of mere pennies per unit.

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, 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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