Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Sunday, August 31st: Ginormous Juicy Melons, Adorable Summer Squash, Charming Cherry Tomatoes, Glorious Gala Apples & Saying Sayonara To Succulents… For Now, Anyway.

August 30, 2014
Succulents in late summer light from Phocas Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents in late summer light from Phocas Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! September begins… tomorrow! And that means our buddy, Jimmy, from Phocas Farms, has to retire to his farm in Port Angeles to tend to his saffron crop, which is beginning to spring to life now. So today is your last chance until early next year to stock up on succulents and saffron corms to plant in your own yard. Stop by today, get what you need, and wish Jimmy a happy fall and a bountiful saffron harvest!

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has lots of these ginormous, delicious, juicy melons right now at  your Ballard Farmers Market. They grow all different kinds of melons, some all too familiar, and others downright strange. But they are all great and just waiting to make a mess out of your best shirt!

A rainbow of carrots from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of carrots from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is rocking the carrots right now, in a rainbow of colors. They’ve got ‘em white, orange and purple at present, each with their own particular levels of sweetness, some suited best for roasting, while others are best raw. So stop by and get your carrot on now! And if you want to learn more about carrots than you ever thought there was to know about them, check out the World Carrot Museum online, where you’ll learn, for instance, that orange is a relatively new color for carrots.

Late summer strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Late summer strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sidhu Farms has a fresh crop of late summer strawberries for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Gorgeous, aren’t they? These are from a class of strawberry varieties known as “ever-bearing,” which means they will keep producing blooms and fruit until it gets too cold and dark to do so. Spring varieties are known as “June-bearing,” which means they are naturally genetically preset to bloom and produce fruit for only a specific period of time, usually 10-14 days in and around June, after which they go dormant again until next year. See, aren’t you glad you tuned in to your Ballard Farmers Market blog this week?

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet baby squash, little summer squash that are so sweet and so beautiful, and the perfect size for sautéing whole. See, Growing Things Farm sorts their summer squash by size — baby, toddler, adolescent… even tiny ones with full blossoms attached — so that you can get the perfect ones for your special meal… which ends up being every meal, when you eat them!

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards, just in time for packing in the kiddies lunch bags. (Yikes! Tomorrow is September!) And in case you haven’t noticed, this year has seen the fruit trees of Washington put out record fruit sets of the most delicious fruit ever, earlier than ever. See, global warming does have its up sides.

Celery from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s celery season, good people of Ballard! Wait, what? Celery season, you ask? I get it. You still get your celery at the Big Box store, and they have it all year-round. But that celery cannot hold a candle to this celery from Boistfort Valley FarmThis celery is fresh, firm, crisp and, believe it or not, sweet. Yes, sweet. That’s because of its freshness and how it is grown. See, the celery you are getting from the Big Box store was harvested a week or two ago and shipped here from thousands of miles away. This celery was harvested yesterday afternoon in Thurston County. If you have never had farm-fresh celery, you owe it to yourself to try some today. You will never look at Big Box celery the same again!

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart Italian prunes. Yes, prunes. Not plums. These are early Italian prunes from Magana Farms. Prunes are a free-stone stone fruit, meaning they release easily from their pit. They have a denser, sweeter flesh than plums, which are not free-stone, and they take well to cooking and drying, though I love them fresh, too. Of course, the Corporate Agribusiness Yahoos at the California Prune Board would have you believe that these are plums. Why? Because they are about marketing, not about food, and they worry that “prune” is too closely associated with keeping ones bowels regular. And I won’t lie to you… they will do just that. But that should not be a reason to rename them. I mean, why are we so afraid of stuff that is good for us, to the extent we will avoid it even though it is also delicious? How stupid have we become? Well, if you go ask Sam at Pasteria Lucchese what he thinks, he will tell you that he and his fellow Italians are still proud to call these what they really are: prunes! Celebrate them! Eat them! Sauce them! Syrup them! Dry them! Just don’t call them plums!

Artichokes from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another true love of Italians everywhere (and especially in Italy, for some reason) are fresh artichokes. They steam them. They grill them. They toss them with pasta, make them into soup, put them on pizza. They are crazy for them! If you are, too, now is your time. Get thee to Nash’s Organic Produce with all due haste and enjoy these beautiful artichokes today!

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia's Harmony Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia’s Harmony Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gaia’s Harmony Farm has lots and lots of these spectacular cherry tomatoes today! But wait, don’t they just sell berries and juice, you ask? Nope. So come get you some of these wonderful, organic cherry tomatoes today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing like a nice, chewy loaf of crusty artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to make your meal complete. From pain au levain, a lovely, sour loaf made with whole wheat, to hominy, made with, um, hominy, to their just plain comforting oat and honey bread, Tall Grass has set the standard for great bread in Seattle since their humble beginning with our market organization almost 20 years ago.

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine from Seattle’s original winery: Wilridge. These bottles, above, in fact, are their estate wines, made from grapes they grow themselves in the tiny Naches Heights appellation, just west of Yakima in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. Stop by their tent for a sample today, then grab a bottle of Washington winemaking history from right here in Seattle to enjoy tonight!

A bee enjoying a sunflower from The Old Farmer at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A bee enjoying a sunflower from The Old Farmer at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish this week’s epistle with this image of a happy little honey bee on freshly cut sunflowers from The Old Farmer, just across the isle from Oxbow Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Ballard is home to lots of honey bees, many of which reside atop restaurants like Bastille. And on Sundays, they get to enjoy the wonders of the Market just like you do!

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, May 18th: We Celebrate Our Norwegian Heritage, The Eruption Of Mount St. Helens, Our Generous Vendors & The Return Of Summer Run Farm!

May 17, 2014
Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As Ballard celebrates is Norwegian heritage this weekend, and Washington remembers when Mount St. Helens blew its top 34 years ago on this day, your Ballard Farmers Market welcomes back yet another farm for the 2014 season. That’s right! Summer Run Farm from Carnation has finally rejoined us, bringing with it those ginormous organic heads of lettuce for which they are so well known.

Hanging out on the roof of Hotel Ballard during the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hanging out on the roof of Hotel Ballard during the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we also give thanks to our Ballard community and beyond for filling the Rooftop Pavilion of Hotel Ballard on Tuesday night for our inaugural Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks. In fact, we had to bring in extra seats and table settings to accommodate the crowd. It was a spectacular evening with great food by Chef Jason Stoneburner and his topnotch crew at Stoneburner Restaurant, and Auctioneer Jason T. Haynes, who lit the place on fire with his platinum-coated Kentucky tongue. We raised a pile of cash to help expand and enhance the Fresh Bucks program, though the more we raise, the more folks we can help eat great local food every week. If you would still like to donate, please go to our Brown Paper Tickets page before June 1st! Also, please see the event’s webpage so that you can check out all the generous folks that made the event such a success.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today’s post is dedicated to the many generous vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market who donated goods and auction items to our Fresh Bucks fundraiser. Without them, none of it would have been possible! Olsen Farms donated pork shoulder and potatoes, for instance.

A Mother's Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A Mother’s Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Skagit River Ranch donated a whole lot of wagyu beef short ribs. Plus, Eiko, Nicole and George (above) all attended the event. I think George won a 10″ French skillet from our own Blu Skillet Ironware in the auction, too!

Dino kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

Dino kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

One Leaf Farm contributed a whole bunch of greens for the menu. And they are excited to offer their first harvest of Dino kale of the 2014 season today, too!

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 Growing Washington (a.k.a., Alm Hill Gardens) helped the auctioneer, though I’m not sure he remembers. His farm also helped out with eggsrhubarb and arugula.

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

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

Colinwood Farm, in Port Townsend, may be best known for bringing us their amazing salad mix all year round, including the dead of winter. Now, they are also known for providing us with gorgeous chard for Tuesday’s affair that accented some lovely pasta.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his “Bag-O-Fish.” Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene & Janai Panida of Wilson Fish also joined us Tuesday night. Chef Jason’s quick cure of their freshly-caught Washington king salmon served almost as sashimi was definitely a highlight of the menu.

It's green garlic season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s green garlic season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thank you, Eddie, Junior and the whole Alvarez Organic Farms team for providing organic asparagus for the dinner, which Chef Jason cooked so delicately. I saw several tables asking for more!

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

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

Jerry & Janelle Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm provided a bunch of their organic duck eggs that were perfectly cooked and added to a lovely salad of One Leaf Farm’s Golden Frills mustard greens. They also generously bought a ticket to the event to be donated to a member of the community unable to buy one for themselves!

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

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

Jim Robinson of Phocas Farms offered up not one, but two auction items for the event! First, he contributed a gift certificate for $100 worth of these gorgeous succulents he grows, meaning someone in Ballard is going to have a garden now that is the envy of all! And if that wasn’t enough, Jim also threw in a second auction item: three nights at his spectacular vacation rental home on Freshwater Bay, just west of Port Angeles, overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca, complete with a fridge stocked by Nash’s Organic Produce and dinner for two at Alder Wood Bistro, your farm-to-table dining destination in Sequim! If you are looking for a nearby getaway, you can’t beat this place.

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

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

We enjoyed a few different flavors of Soda Jerk fresh sodas during the evening… some straight, and some mixed into some fine cocktails!

Shucked, smoked & pickled oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shucked, smoked & pickled oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hama Hama Oyster Company offered an auction item of a seafood basket of oysters, clams and Grandma’s crab cakes that they would deliver to your door!

Bacon from Crazy Farmer George at Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bacon from Crazy Farmer George at Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

George Page of Sea Breeze Farm kicked in an extraordinary farm dinner experience for two out at his farm on Vashon Island!

Hominy bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hominy bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tall Grass Bakery hominy bread crumbs added a lovely crunch to that One Leaf mustard greens salad.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also enjoyed fine wines, ciders and brews from LIV, a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards, and these other great Ballard Farmers Market vendors: CommuniTea KombuchaEaglemount Wine & CiderKitzke CellarsPropolis Brewing and Wilridge Winery.

Mother's Day display at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

Mother’s Day display at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce may have had these fresh flours for mom last Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market, but they also provided leeks and green garlic for our fundraising dinner, too!

Ron & Florence from Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ron & Florence from Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the good folks at Whidbey Island Ice Cream set up one lucky bidder with one gallon of ice cream per month for an entire year!

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

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

Finally for today’s epistle, we thank Choice Bulb Farms for donating gorgeous fresh flowers for the event. Of course, many more people and businesses contributed to making this event a great success. Please check out our event webpage for lots more info!

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 4th: Fresh Bucks Returns Today! Plus Westside Asparagus, Turnips, Frilly Mustards, Green Garlic, Tuna & Gifts Unique For Mom!

May 3, 2014

FreshBucks_Logo

Happy May, good people of Ballard! We survived the anarchist uprising for one more year… apparently because they couldn’t agree on what they were protesting about… and tomorrow, all of America, and one small state in Mexico, will celebrate an unlikely military victory 150 years ago by eating guacamole and drinking mas Dos Equis. Woohoo! But the beginning of May is actually significant for one much more important occurrence: the return of the Fresh Bucks program! That’s right! If you receive SNAP/EBT benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), and you use them to buy groceries at your Ballard Farmers Market, we will match your SNAP dollars, up to $10, with Fresh Bucks coupons good for fresh, local fruits, vegetables and fresh-cut herbs from our vendors, once per visit, every week, through December!

Would you like to help us expand Fresh Bucks? Please buy a ticket to our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to Support Fresh Bucks on May 13th, or simply make a donation now! Your generosity will help us create educational programming for kids about cooking with and eating farmers market produce, and to extend this great program into the winter months. And hey… the Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction makes a great Mother’s Day gift!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another reason to celebration the first Sunday in May is tuna! Yup, Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Stock up for the month with some of these gorgeous portioned frozen albacore tuna loins, some canned albacoresmoked or even jerkied! This is the finest, sashimi-grade albacore available!

Japanese Wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you don’t know how much I love radishes, you have not been paying attention the last several weeks. And you know what I love almost as much as radishes? These lovely, little Japanese wax turnips! They are sweet and spicy, great sliced like radishes and added to salads, or sautéed in some nice butter, and their greens are edible, too, meaning you get two veggies for the price of one! In fact, you can do a very quick sauté of the greens, and then top them with the sautéed turnips for a beautiful presentation of deliciousness. You’ll find them, as well as some of that famous purple-tipped asparagus and more, at Alm Hill Gardens today!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we talked about adorable little baby summer squash from Colinwood Farms. Today, let’s talk about squash blossoms. Fill these puppies with some from fresh cow, goat or sheep cheese (all available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!), and fry them up! Hey, now that sounds like a great way to celebrate Mexican military good fortune tomorrow, eh?

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the last couple of years, our buddy Jimmy at Phocas Farms only had enough of his prized saffron to supply just a handful of local chefs. But his 2013 harvest was a good one, and he has a limited number of packets of saffron for you and I right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Jim harvests these saffron threads on his farm in Port Angeles every October, when their crocuses bloom. It is meticulous, painstaking work from dawn to dusk during the harvest, as each thread must be harvested right when the bloom begins to open. It is no wonder this spice is so precious. And you will find no better saffron anywhere on earth!

Gold Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are the aptly named Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Frilly indeed! And they pack a tasty little spicy kick, too. One Leaf also has the first pea vines of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and the return of pink beauty radishes!

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's.

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s.

And the hits just keep on coming! (Yes, I am still giddy about spring!) This is spring garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm. Spring garlic is quite simply one of the most delicious things Al Gore ever invented, but it is only available for a short time each spring. Use it much like a spring onion in sautés, roasts, on the grill — heck, I like to cut it up with spring onions, asparagus and morel mushrooms, toss them with some nice olive oil, and roast them all together in a hot oven until just tender. It is so sweet and mild this time of year. Green garlic is a byproduct of garlic production. When farmers plant garlic in the late fall, they plant way more than they hope to harvest and cure come summer. That way, if some fails, they will still have plenty. In the spring, as the garlic begins to grow with gusto, they thin it out to allow the remaining plants’ bulbs to fill out comfortably. We get to enjoy the thinned plants as spring garlic. You can use the entire plant, from root hairs to the tips of the greens.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Planting your own vegetable garden this year? Well, the start of May also means it is time to get that going in ernest. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a terrific selection of certified organic vegetable starts to facilitate you in that endeavor. Stop by today and load up, and then eat from your own backyard farm this summer!

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Hey kids! Mother’s Day is next Sunday! Don’t be the schlump who didn’t take care of your mom! You can start with a Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. Everything they make is all natural and gentle, and their soaps, lotions and creams come in a variety of exhilarating scents. Mom will be happy. And when mom’s happy, everyone is happy!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Mom’s love herbal tea, too! And Harbor Herbalist makes an almost dizzying variety of herbal teas, most of which are caffeine-free. They are formulated using different combinations of herbs that offer a broad spectrum of medicinal and flavor profiles. Why not pick up a bag or three this week for mom, and greet her next Sunday morning with a lovely cup of herbal tea, before you take her down to her favorite farmers market, right here in Ballard, of course!

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom’s also love candles, and these non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles will lift mom’s sprits without asphyxiating her on the candles fumes. See, you’ll be telling your mom you love her… twice!

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just a reminder that you will not be the only one next week who wakes up and thinks, “Hey, I oughta get some flowers for mom from one of the many great farms at my Ballard Farmers Market!” Plan on long lines, and don’t wait until the end of the day. These tips will lower your stress level, and will keep you in good standing with the woman who brought you into this world.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, nuflours gluten-free bakery has a new line of cupcakes! This little bites of gluten-free heaven will satisfy even the least sensitive to gluten person in your household. On the left, we have lemon-coconut cupcakes, and on the right, chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. I call dibs on that one in the second row on the right!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

auction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seems like it is just about time for Grateful Bread Bakery to break out the Hot Cross Buns as we head into the Holy Week, and maybe, if we’re lucky, a few Easter egg and Easter bunny cookies, too!

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

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


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