Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Sunday, June 29th: Independence Day Deliciousness: Your Ballard Farmers Market Chants, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

June 28, 2014
Smoked salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Next Friday is Independence Day, July 4th, the birthday of our nation and it’s grand experiment with democracy. It’s the day John Adams and Thomas Jefferson predicted would be celebrated for generations to come with fireworks and revelry, and it is the day they both left this world. And as much as many of us disagree openly with the various courses taken in the name of our homeland, and even the bastardization of the term “homeland” itself, July 4th is still the day we all take pause and celebrate the very fact that we can disagree with each other openly. And to do so, you’ll need plenty of goodies from the local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans here at your Ballard Farmers Market, a place that celebrates freedom every Sunday! You’ll need some of this freshly smoked Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish, for instance. It is easy to take camping with you, or to Gasworks Park or Lake Washington to watch fireworks, without even having to worry about making a fire, and it is amazing!

Hey kids, while you plan to celebrate America this week, please take a moment and recognize our 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. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Red, white and blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red, white and blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just in time for getting your potato salad on for the 4th, Colinwood Farm has these lovely red, white & blue new potatoes freshly dug from their Port Townsend fields. Just think how we can wow everyone at the barbecue this week with our red, white and blue potato salad! New potatoes should be eaten quickly, and at this size, they are also great wrapped in foil with some butter and herbs and tossed on the barby.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! Peaches! Yes, these are Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. They are the earliest peach to ripen in their orchards. Sweet and juicy, you must give them a try this week. And let me explain why. See, there are many, many varieties of peaches, and this time of year, our orchardists begin to bring in a different variety every week. Works the same way for strawberries, but it is harder for you to notice the difference. But with peaches, they vary dramatically in shape, size, color, sweetness and whether or not they release easily from their stones (“free stone”), which makes them a lot easier to cook with. In other words, enjoy the Sugar Time peaches from Collins now, because who knows if they’ll be around next time, right? But hey, at least you know you’ll be able to look forward to trying an entirely new peach then.

Fresh basil from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh basil from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what goes great with peaches? Basil! I kid you not. Just give the basil a nice chiffonade, sprinkle it over some slices or wedges of peach, and drizzle with a simple syrup, or even some balsamic vinegar, for a simple, yet elegant dessert or starter. You can get fresh, organic basilThai basil, lemon basil and purple basil today from Alvarez Organic Farms. And here is a vital storage tip: never refrigerate basil. Instead, place dry basil leaves (not damp) into a plastic produce bag, inflate the bag like a balloon, and tie it shut. Your basil will stay fresh right on your kitchen counter, at room temperature, for up to a week!

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also new this week are these gorgeous, juicy and flavorful Tomcot apricots from our friends at Lyall Farms. Grown in the warm sunshine of their orchards in the Columbia River Gorge, just south of the I-90 bridge at Vantage, these apricots are an all too short-lived joy of summer, so enjoy them while you can!

English shelling peas from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, English shelling peas, from Alm Hill Gardens. This time of year, I get lots and lots of them, shuck them, then freeze them for use in the winter. No blanching required. Just sturdy one-pint freezer bags, which I then put inside a larger one-gallon freezer bag, for extra protection. Of course, I do need to get extras, so I can enjoy them now. I like to sit on my deck in my Adirondack chair with a bag of them, eating them right out of the pod. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is to toss them with some pappardelle from Pasteria Lucchese and some smoked salmon, garnished with just a bit of freshly-grated cheese. The trick is to drop the peas in the pot with the pasta about 30 seconds before it is done, then drain both, and then toss them with the smoked salmon and some olive oil in a warm skillet. As Samuelle Lucchese would say, “Done!”

Montmorency pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Montmorency pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for pie cherries? Well, their short window of availability is now open. These are organic Montmorency pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Pie cherries are sour, lending themselves well to the addition of sugar in pies, for canning, or for curing for use in cocktails. If you are looking for pie cherries, and you know who you are, now’s the time! You’ve got maybe another week or two. Maybe.

Green beans from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! Green beans! Seriously, can you remember a year when we had so many different crops come in so early? We were asking this very question this time last year, and yet this year’s crops are arriving even earlier! These green beans are from Magana Farms.

Golden raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some organic salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm? They are delicious as they are beautiful, and they’re a nice compliment to Gaia’s amazing organic strawberries and red raspberries. And have you tried one of their chocolate-covered strawberries yet? Yummers!

Sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This lovely sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm is wonderful on the grill, alongside some of their tender, young fava beans and whatever else you plan to grill. Just oil it down, grill until just tender, and hit it with a nice finishing salt and some freshly ground pepper. One Leaf also has some spectacular carrots this week — sweet and crunchy. You’ll need twice what you think you’ll need, cuz you’ll be eating them on the way home from the Market!

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says Independence Day like a certified organic fresh chicken from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm on the barby with a can of beer up its bum. Or, butterfly it, marinate it, then grill it flat with a brick on top to make quick, delicious work of it.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends at Sidhu Farms tell us they will have lots and lots of these wonderful blueberries today at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, they couldn’t pick them on Friday due to rain, so that means all to more for us today! Get a flat for blueberry cobbler, another for blueberry pancakes for camping, or for Saturday brunch after the 4th or for mixing with your oatmeal, and a third to freeze for winter. Freezing them is easy. Give them a quick wash, dry them thoroughly by dumping them on top of paper towels in a baking dish and rolling them around for a while, and then remove the paper towel and slide the baking dish into the freezer with the berries in a single layer. They’ll be frozen in 30-60 minutes. When they are, loosen them from the dish and pour them into a one-gallon freezer bag, then start the process over again with the next batch.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for great sandwich bread, but you are allergic to gluten? Never fear! nuflours gluten-free bakery has you covered! This stuff is moist, chewing, slices well, and it is delicious. It will make you fall in love with bread all over again.

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

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

With July 4th just next Friday, whether you will be firing up the barby and watching the fireworks from your rooftop deck, or fleeing the big city in favor of camping in some peaceful forest, you’ll want some of these incredible pork chops from Olsen Farms for the grill. These are likely the best pork chops you have ever tasted — beautifully marbled and full of flavor. In fact, they are featured on the menus of restaurants all over town, like Le Petit Cochon on Fremont Avenue. Of course, they’ve got beef steakssausageshamburger meat and other goodies for the grill, too.

The Pete behind Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Pete behind Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Why is this guy smiling? Because this is Pete… the “Pete” behind Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got a pretty sweet job, making toffeebrittle and fudge for all of us here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Stop by, try a sample or three, and then load up on the sweetness for this big holiday week!

Dylan Knutsen of Loki Fish doing quality control. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dylan Knutson of Loki Fish doing quality control. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t get too close to Loki Fish‘s Dylan Knutson while he’s doing “quality control” one of their new entrees, or you might lose a finger. The good folks at Loki tell us, “We’ll be debuting a new entree this Sunday at the Ballard Farmers Market: The Loki Special, featuring a fresh sockeye fillet, cucumber, mint and emmer salad, shallot vinaigrette dressing, and fennel yogurt sauce. Supplies will be limited, don’t sleep in!” (Hey Dylan, what that last bit a jab at me?!) Oh, and Loki has lots of fresh Alaskan KingCoho and Sockeye salmon right now, too!

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

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

Don’t forget to get a couple of bottles of wine from your friendly Madrona neighborhood winery, Wilridge Winery, for those parties next week. They offer great table wines in an economical 1.5 liter bottle, and best of all, they are refillable! Just bring the empties back next time and swap them for full ones.

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, April 20th: Farmers Market Dinner & Auction, and More Farmers Return!

April 19, 2014

auction

 

Tickets are on sale now for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavilion! Chef Jason Stoneburner of neighboring Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a amazing menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardenswill 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 for kids. Buy tickets now, or simply make a donation, at Brown Paper Tickets. Looking for more details about Fresh Bucks, and the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction? Click here! (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.)

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

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

Well, after a winter of Sundays dominated by either bad weather or Seahawks games, we welcome the fifth straight Sunday in a row of lovely spring weather at your Ballard Farmers Market. And with this gorgeousness comes more and more spring produce. Like more radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm! I have been going radish crazy for the last couple of weeks, after months living without them. And hey, maybe your Easter egg hunt got rained out yesterday, but today, you can enjoy some wonderful Easter egg radishes (top left of photo, above). Enjoy!

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And more asparagus! Yes, our friends at Magana Farms return today after their winter hiatus, meaning we now have three farms with asparagus at your Ballard Farmers Market. I suspect they may also bring with them some spring onions, too, if they are true to past history.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis returns today with all sorts of cow’s milk and goat’s milk deliciousness. You’ll find fresh, pasteurized, bottled cow’s milkfresh chevre (goat cheese), cheese curds (cow cheese), goat yogurtgoat feta and likely some aged raw milk cheeses. Woohoo!

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.

Over-wintered cauliflower is in the house! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! (Sorry. Lost it a bit there.) This image is, in fact, cauliflower in the field at Nash’s Organic Produce. And when it’s made it through a tough winter, it is oh, so sweet now! They’ve also got a bunch of over-wintered leeks today, too. And I hear they are sending me a recipe to make some awesome soup with the two, so stay tuned.

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

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

Camelina oil is back today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Produced by Ole World Oils on their farm yonder in Ritzville, this is your local cooking oil. It has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and it is stable, so you don’t need to refrigerate it. It has a wonderful, nutty flavor great for both cooking and as a finishing oil. And I love tossing cauliflower in it and roasting it in a 425 degree oven until just fork tender. The flavors compliment each other well. And best of all, it is priced competitively with olive oil.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is still plenty of time to crank out your first rhubarb crumble of the season before the rest of the family shows up for Easter supper. Just grab some of this fresh rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens today, and go home and get your crumble on! Just get here early, both because it will sell out, and because it will lower your stress level whilst making your holiday feast.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for that last-minute Easter ham? Stop by Sea Breeze Farm! They will have plenty today… depending on your definition of “plenty.” Of course, if you are the slacker that rolls in after 2 p.m. today looking for it, you might find that our definition of plenty and yours are at odds. Oh, they will have some fresh lamb today, too!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When you think about Belgian ales, you think of monks, right? And besides making great beer, what else do Belgian monks do? That’s right! They practice Catholicism. And since this is Easter Sunday, it only follows that you should grab a bottle or three of this holy beverage from our newest vendor, and our first-ever brewery, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend. Using malted Washington grains and many local, seasonal ingredients to give each variety its unique flavor, this is the first brewery to qualify to sell at your Ballard Farmers Market, because we actually require all of our alcoholic beverage producers to use at least 95% Washington-grown ingredients. Enjoy!

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. “This rich buttery flavored golden coffee cake with a rich, buttery flavor is named after the pan with which it is made-kugelhopf pan,” says iFood.tv on its list of the top 10 Easter breads. (Who knew?) It is a German specialty bread, and our friends at Tall Grass Bakery make it extra special. Plus, they will have some hot cross buns (#2 on the list. Kugelhopf is #1.) today, too, and maybe a few other surprises to round out your Easter festivities.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids (young and old)! Whidbey Island Ice Cream is back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Boy Howdy!!! 2013 was kind of a roller coaster for them, but they’ve settled into their new production facility, and it is time again to get our ice cream on, folks. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ll finish this week’s epistle — not a Papal epistle, but a farmers market epistle — with this lovely image of Easter’s past from our buddies at Olsen Farms. These are their Easter potato bunnies surrounded by Easter potato eggs. And if you need spuds still for today’s Easter feast, they’ve got those, too. As well as a bunch of freshly smoked hams!

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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