Posts Tagged ‘sausage’

Sunday, July 20th: Melons, More Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Nectarcots & More!

July 19, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Ballard Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour.

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

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

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last Thursday, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

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

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

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including these SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm are a close cousin to some of the other Asian turnip varieties we see here at your Ballard Farmers Market, only these guys are just a bit more flamboyant. And they taste good, too!

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have a hankering for a good all-beef hot dog, but you fear what’s in it, where it was made and how the animals used in it were treated? Well, be afraid no more! These uncured beef franks are from Skagit River Ranch. That means the cattle were grass-fed on lush pastures, treated well, raised organically, and processed with respect. It also means that they are delicious!

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may have heard me refer to Treviso radicchio as the second most beautiful vegetable on earth and wondered to yourself, “what is the most beautiful vegetable on earth, then?” This is! Meet Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It is only grown by two farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, both Hmong, and the last two summers have been kind of hostile to it, so we haven’t really seen much of it since 2011. It can be simply sautéed with some garlic. Or you can just invite your friends over to sit and look at it.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with lots of heirloom and exotic crops grown by adventurous farmers. But what Summer Run Farm specializes in is growing lovely organic produce standards — the stuff you could find at the Big Box store, but that would pale by comparison to Summer Run’s. Like this cauliflower. Sweet and crunchy, and wonderful roasted, made into soup, dipped in hummus or cocktail sauce, or however you enjoy it best.

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

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

There’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These bell peppers from Colinwood Farm are so fragrant that they seem to steal the show for your olfactory glands as you examine the farm’s tables. Pep up your salads, stuff some, or throw them on the barby. This is going to be a phenomenal year for peppers!

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

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

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

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, June 15th: Happy Father’s Day, Dad! For You: Fava Beans, King Salmon, Raspberries, Sausages, Olive Fougasse, Local Beer & A New Shaving Kit!

June 14, 2014
My dad at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My dad enjoying chicken pie at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 2006, my dad and I took a little road trip around Vermont from my parents’s home base in the Adirondack Mountains. We visited cheese makers, farmers markets, old general stores, and all those kinds of things that make Vermont a special place, including the Bryant House Restaurant at the Vermont Country Store in Weston. Being the food geek that I am (shocking, I know), I had read that the Bryant House offered a menu built around classic New England dishes of old, like open-faced hot turkey sandwicheschicken pie and crackers and milk. I had read on RoadFood.com that:

“…crackers and milk on the menu: a bowl full of common crackers (the kind that used to fill the cracker barrel in general stores) and chunks of Vermont cheddar along with a cold glass of whole milk. Pour the milk into the bowl, crumble in some of the crackers and let them soak until they begin to soften. Then spoon it up. It’s cool, simple, and utterly old-fashioned!”

As I began to explain to my father how we were supposed to eat our crackers and milk when it arrived, sided with lovely chunks of Vermont cheddars, he had already begun to crumble up the silver dollar-sized crackers into the bowl and was already pouring the milk over them. I looked at him and asked, “have you eaten this before?” He said, “yes, we ate this all the time when I was a boy. Sometimes it is all that we had.”

I bring this up on this Father’s Day 2014 not only to honor my own father, but to encourage you to try to make the best of today, and any day with your dad, because you probably don’t know him as well as you think you do.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what any dad would love on Father’s Day? A nice piece of Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish on the grill, that’s what! Throw a few fava beans on with it (see below), get some good bread and berries, maybe a nice salad, and you are good to go!

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another of the gorgeous, and delicious, varieties of heirloom lettuce grown by One Leaf Farm. This is Speckled Amish lettuce. If you grew up on boring iceberg lettuce from Arizona, you might think all lettuce is boring. It is not. There are countless kinds of lettuces, suited to many different applications. They run the gamut from sweet to earthy, from delicate to sturdy, from huge to tiny… all just in the varieties One Leaf Farm offers. They make for great salads, lettuce wraps, sandwiches. Some are awesome grilled. Pick Rand’s brains about the different kinds they have from week to week, and experiment to find out which ones you like best!

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

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

I remember picking raspberries right off the vine in our backyard as a kid. My dad, the farm boy, always had a garden. In fact, he still does in pots on his deck in Bellingham. But since I can’t get up there today to visit with him, I’ll call him, and then I will live vicariously by enjoying some of these amazing organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. These beauties are incredible!

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have I mentioned lately how much I not only love this time of year, but how much I am loving this year? So many crops are coming in early! Like these fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. The first harvest is so tender, your dad will love to eat them simply grilled with a nice finishing salt. Pick out the pods that are the softest, with a bit of a peach fuzz feel to them. Then rub them in some oil, fire up the grill and toss them on. You can eat the whole pod. When they’re tender, pull them off and hit them with the salt. Just remove the seam strings and eat the rest! (I must credit Rand from One Leaf Farm for this recipe.)

Apriums from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce has its first harvest of cherries and apriums this week your Ballard Farmers Market. The cherries are Bings and Rainiers, and the apriums are a hybrid of apricots and plums, genetically 70% apricot and 30% plum. They favor apricots in appearance and flavor, though they are sturdier, making them good for hikes and lunch boxes, and they are the first large stone fruit of the season.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make sure pa gets his greens today. Stop by Oxbow Farm for some collard greens, some dino kale or some of this beautiful rainbow chard. Because a dad full of deliciousness, vitamins and ruffage is a happy dad!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or… perhaps dad would like some nice sausages on the grill, like these from Sea Breeze Farm. They have something like 13, 527 kinds of sausages, or nine. Something like that. But whatever the number, you will find at least one that will make dad smile.

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

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

A nice loaf of olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery will make dad grin today! Or any of their other breads and baked goodies. I love this bread so much, I can eat an entire loaf in a single sitting! Heck, hand dad some fougasse, a cold one, and a bowl of sugar snap peas, and direct him to the nearest lawn chair. Happy dad, indeed!

Strawberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My folks are harvesting the first of their strawberries from their deck garden this weekend, and so is Jessie’s Berries! In fact, Jessie’s will be joining us here at your Ballard Farmers Market for the first time this season. It’s time to eat ourselves silly on some Fir Island sweetness!

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I never understood why my dad was so crazy about rice pudding. Chocolate pudding I understood. But rice? I thought rice was for frying with shrimp at the Kingston Tea Garden. Alas, in my adult years, as my taste buds matured (yes, one part of me did), I began to develop a taste for rice pudding myself. Then I met Sam & Sara Lucchese of Pasteria Lucchese, and I tasted their vanilla rice pudding. Yes, this is the food of the gods, and now, I share yet one more thing with my dad: a madness for this stuff!

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.

Ballard is Beer Central here in Seattle, but did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is host to the first ever brewery at a farmers market in Seattle? Yup. Propolis Brewing makes wonderful, bottle-aged, Belgian-style ales in Port Townsend from lots of local ingredients, and they offer them to you right here. Their flavors change with the season, like everything else around here. Stop by and pick some up for dad!

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you’re going to get dad a shaving kit for Father’s Day tomorrow, get him one of these from Brown Butterfly at your Ballard Farmers Market! It’ll keep Dad’s face smooth and soft, it treads lightly on the environment, and it will be a gift that comes with a face and a story behind it.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for the dad who has everything, I bet he doesn’t have a hand-forged steel pan from Blu Skillet Ironware. If your dad cooks at all, he will adore one of these pans. I use my 10-inch skillet for about 70% of my cooking these days. It dispenses uniform heat, remains perfectly seasoned for gorgeous browning and no sticking, cleans up easily, costs no more than one of those highly-rated pans in those whoopdeedoo cooking magazines (and probably less), and it is made right here in Ballard!!! Now, that is a gift that means something.

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.

And I finish off this week’s Father’s Day edition of most things Ballard Farmers Market with camelina oil from Ole World Oils, grown and pressed just over in Ritzville, Washington. This is our local oil, folks. Camelina is an ancient member of the mustard family, and it’s seeds have been pressed for cooking oil for centuries. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point (475 degrees) than grape seed oil, is loaded with Vitamin E, making it both shelf stable and nutritious, is high in omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, has a great flavor and a gorgeous viscosity, is good for high-heat cooking and as a finishing oil, and it is priced competitively with the average olive oil from far away. And I have found that it is the perfect seasoning oil for my Blu Skillet pan. I rub a little into my pan each time after cleaning it.

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 25th: Stuff To Remember, Stuff To Grill, Localicious Stuff… and STRAWBERRIES & CHERRIES!

May 24, 2014
Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is Memorial Day Weekend, a time that is supposed to be set aside for reflection and remembrance, that we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. But Memorial Day didn’t always have a Weekend. It didn’t used to be on a Monday, so that folks could easily go camping, and stores could easily offer weekend-long sales. No, Memorial Day used to be held on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week, as proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, to recognize all those lost during the Civil War. It was not until the passage by Congress of the National Holiday Act of 1971 that Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May. But for me, growing up, I always thought that the big parade down Main Street in New Paltz, New York every May 30th was to celebrate my mom’s birthday. And ever since the holiday was moved to a Monday, I have struggled to remember when my mother’s birthday is. I write this to remind us all why we get Monday off this week, and to remind myself to call my mom on Friday!

Oh, and Wilson Fish has tweaked their smoked king salmon recipe ever-so-slightly, meaning that now, the best smoked king salmon around is even better! Get some… to nibble on while you’re at the parade tomorrow, of course.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This just in: Hayton Berry Farms returns today for the 2014 season with their first harvest of strawberries! Woohoo!!! Finally, a crop that came on early this year!

Mariah Doty from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's Organic Produce.

Mariah Doty from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s Organic Produce.

This is Mariah from Nash’s Organic Produce. She’s been selling for them at your Ballard Farmers Market for like a hundred years… or seven. One of those, anyway. Well, tomorrow is her last day. Stop by, bid her adieu, and grab some of their Spinach and some of their own freshly-milled Corn Meal, too!

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has lots of lovely, tender spring greens coming on right now, from pac choi to broccolini raab, with a flavor akin to turnip greens, to this gorgeous red Russian kale that is great raw, or just barely wilted, maybe tossed with some sautéed green garlic. Mmm.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Lyall Farms will have the first cherries of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market! These early Burlat cherries are the first cherry to ripen, and Lyall’s orchards in Prosser are perfectly located to produce the first of these cherries each year!

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet salad mix from Growing Things Farm. It is a lovely, delicate mix of a variety of greens, all harvested very young. It makes for a wonderful, and simple, salad for any day of the week.

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

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

Looking for some yummy sausages to grill up tomorrow? Skagit River Ranch has a great selection of them for you to enjoy, from bratwurst to hot dogs to hot Italian to a sweet Italian sausage link that will please any ex-pat New Yorker!

Green onions from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green onions from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mea culpa. I forgot to include Children’s Garden in last week’s tribute to the many Ballard Farmers Market vendors who contributed ingredients to our May 13th Fresh Bucks fundraiser. They provided their beautiful herbs, including cilantrochives and these gorgeous green onions, great for so many applications. Try grilling them, for instance!

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

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

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms is great grilled, too. Nuff said.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm rejoined us earlier this month for the 2014 season. They’ve got lots of their great tomato plants right now, ready for your garden, as well as lovageoregano, these red radishes and much more!

Fresh sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Some fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd is a nice compliment to some of those Hayton strawberries, incorporated into any number of recipes, or just on its own, as I like to enjoy it.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One more vendor from your Ballard Farmers Market that contributed to our Fresh Bucks fundraiser is Blu Skillet Ironware, which donated one of their beautiful forged iron pans to the live auction… a pan won by Farmer George of Skagit River Ranch! You know, I use one of their 10″ skillets as my go-to pan. It is amazing, gorgeous, competitively priced for the quality that you get, and it is made in Ballard!

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, February 9th: Here Comes Valentine’s Day!

February 8, 2014
Fresh cut tulips from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cut tulips from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when our nerves are beginning to settle from Seattle’s epic first Super Bowl victory, it is time to jangle those synapses again over St. Valentine’s Day. Woohoo! Here is your guide to all-things-local-and-delicious from your Ballard Farmers Market that will show that special someone not only how much you care about them, but also how much you care about your community! Cuz anyone can go to a mall jewelry store or grab a bunch of flowers grown in the Southern Hemisphere somewhere at the Big Box Store, but what’s special about that? That’s you saying, “I love you as much as a million other generic people love their generic sweeties, and these earrings will be hanging from the ears of a million other people, too.” But that’s not how we roll here in the People’s Republic of Ballard. We love unique, local, direct. We love things having a story and a face behind them. We… we love! And that’s why we will start off by handing the ones we love a bunch of freshly-cut tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Will they last until Friday? Yes! See, their buds are still tight enough that by Friday, they will be bursting with all their glory… just in time!

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arriving with a gorgeous bottle of red wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider will be an excellent career move, too. And to make sure you pick the right bottle for you and yours, stop by Eaglemount today and taste a few varieties of their wines and hard ciders. Then, grab a bottle or two of your favorites, and you’ll be all ready to pop that cork come Friday!

Chocolates from Trevani Truffles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chocolates from Trevani Truffles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t show up without chocolate! Trevani Truffles makes beautiful and delicious chocolate truffles flavored with lots of local ingredients. And admit it. You just jammed your finger as you tried to reach for one of them on your screen, didn’t you?

Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, if you must cut the cheese on Valentine’s Day, make it local, artisan cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. This award-winning Seastack is nothing short of legendary — here and around the world. So let your love flow… with cheese!

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

And if you want to dial it up a notch, you can’t really go wrong with some fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Not only will they help get you in the mood, their zinc will also help you fend off that cold your sweetie has! Besides, is it really a successful Valentine’s Day without a little bit of shucking and slurping?

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.

Help set the mood this Valentine’s Day without actually taking any years off of the life of you and yours. These non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles come scented by a variety of natural essential oils sure the lay the foundation for a pleasurable evening… if you’ll pardon the expression.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Good for heart and the soul, a bouquet of these stinking roses from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm will truly test, if not show, your love. After all, when you’ve loaded up on the garlic during dinner, and that cutie next to you wants to kiss you anyway, you know they’re a keeper!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says love like a nice, fresh, plump sausage from direct from a local farm, and Sea Breeze Farm has lots of sausages so fresh and plump that they will keep until Friday’s romantic meal.

Loki Keta Ikura. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Keta Ikura. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you see them as a salty explosion of deliciousness, an expression of fertility, an indulgence, or simply beautiful, ikura (keta roe) from Loki Fish will be a wonderful addition to your special meal. Place a little dollop of ikura on a wedge of Seastack, place it in the mouth of your sweetie, hand them a glass of that red wine, and settle in for a night so memorable that you will have to start thinking the next day about ways to top it next year!

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heart-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For the gift of love that keeps on giving, how about one of these heart-shaped kombucha mothers from Communi-Tea Kombucha? With it, you can have fun making your own kombucha at home!

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

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

A nice cup of herbal tea will warm the heart and the soul. Check out the many blends Harbor Herbalist has to offer — one for just about every mood. And that may come in handy, if your night passes through many different moods.

Sail boat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

Sail boat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

And about those aforementioned unique, local earrings… check these beauties out. They are handmade using recycled gold by Itali Lambertini in Port Townsend. Recycled gold tells your love that you care about the entire world, including the salmon up in Bristol Bay and miners in Africa, because you are not creating demand for more virgin gold that is only going to do harm to both.

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.

Finally, one last shout out about our Seattle Seahawks. Did you know that they, and the Seattle Sounders, eat these eggs, as well as chickens, from our own Stokesberry Sustainable Farm? It’s true! In fact, apparently, Russell Wilson will only eat their duck eggs. But wait. How about a little bit of 12th Man conspiracy math? You’ve been seeing references to it everywhere this past week, from the safety 12 seconds into the game, to the kick run back for a touchdown 12 seconds into the second half, to the final score of 43 (4 x 3 = 12) to it being Super Bowl 48 (4 + 8 = 12). Let’s add to that that Stokesberry eggs come in packages of 12! (You can’t make this stuff up!) Clearly, the Seahawks were the team of destiny this year.

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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