Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Sunday, July 7th: Boistfort Valley Farm Returns, Growing Things Farm Needs Your Help, Green Beans, Nectarines, Berries Galore & So Much More!

July 6, 2013
Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now it’s summer, cuz our good friends from Boistfort Valley Farm have finally returned to your Ballard Farmers Market! We now have our full compliment of row crop farms, and the Market is literally bursting at the seams with incredible local produce direct from the Washington farms that grew it, and much of it far ahead of when we would normally expect to see it. Read on in today’s epistle to see what I mean. Boistfort, for its part, today will be arriving with: artichokes, beets, broccoli, carrots, golden and red chard, cilantro, garlic flowers, green onionsapple mint, chives, oregano, curly and dino kale, green leaf, red oak & bibb romaine lettuce, shelling and snow peaspurple radishes, spinach and more!

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm, which brings all manner of deliciousness every week to your Ballard Farmers Market, from eggs to jams to chickens to fresh veggies, is asking for your help to “Raise the House.” You see, Growing Things Farm is located in a flood plain in Duvall. Many farms are. Why? Because the flood plains that line our river valleys in Western Washington are extremely fertile – made so by the forest matter and minerals that flow down from the Cascade Mountain – and  are unattractive to developers, meaning they have land still available for farming in one of the most populated counties in the nation.

A major flood in 2006 damaged the farmhouse at Growing Things Farm, rendering it uninhabitable until it can not only be repaired. See, the house cannot be torn down and rebuilt under current laws, but it can be raised above historic flood levels, and then repaired. King County has offered the farm a grant to raise the farmhouse, but not to repair the house itself. For that, the farm needs your help. The farm  launched a Kick Starter campaign to raise $20,000 to repair the house. With a little over a week left, they are two-thirds of the way to their goal. Please to go to their Kick Starter page and contribute to saving the farmhouse, and in so doing, saving the farm itself.

FreshBucks_LogoA program called Fresh Bucks has been created by a partnership between the City of Seattle and local farmers markets to double Food Stamps, now known as SNAP, at Seattle farmers markets. Beginning Sunday, July 14th, for every SNAP dollar spent at Ballard Farmers Market, SNAP benefits users can receive an additional dollar to spend on fruits & vegetables, up to 10 dollars. Get them, and more information, from at Market Information Desk at your Ballard Farmers Market. You can also get more information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association.

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

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

Jeremy reports that his Foraged & Found Edibles will have lots of lovely wild gray morel mushrooms today at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a great year for morels, and really, just about everything else, so be sure to take full advantage will you can!

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What the…? Nectarines?!? Yes! These are Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce photographed on Friday at our sister Madrona Farmers Market. I kid you not! This year really is out of control in the most delicious of ways. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Tiny’s also has begun to harvest Flavorosa pluots, too. Seriously. Wow.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And green beans! Yes, green beans. These are from Lyall Farms, but we’ve also seen them already from Magana Farms, and they have yellow wax beans, too! We may even see some hericot verts from Alvarez Organic Farms today, as well. Oh, the humanity!

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this early rainbow of berries? Yes, our friends at Hayton Berry Farms are already harvesting blueberriesblackberriesraspberries and strawberries from their Skagit Delta fields, and it is only July 7th! Oh, I am liking this summer.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a great year for fava beans. What? You’ve never eaten them? You think they’re too much work? Well, let me tell you a little secret. If you get them when they’ve got small, young, tender pods, the best way to eat them is grilled. Seriously. Just remove the stem and the string on one side, wash, slather with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and on the grill they go. Once the pods get soft, pull them off, hit them with a little nice finishing salt, and serve. You eat the whole thing, pod and all. But this is finger food. There will be one more string in them to remove. Get messy. Have fun. Eat well! You’ll find a nice big pile of these fava beans today at Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wait, what?!? Tomatoes? Westside tomatoes? We usually don’t see these much before August, in a good year. And yet here they are. These gorgeous sungold and cherry tomatoes are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. But One Leaf Farm will have some sungolds today, too, for the early birds, and we’ve already seen a few beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. If it were possible, I’d be speechless right now.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another crop we’ve been woe to see until weeks later in recent years: new potatoes. These beauties are new Purple Majesty potatoes from One Leaf Farm. They are so sweet at this time of year. We’ve also already seen them from Summer Run Farm and Colinwood. If you aren’t eating fresh, local deliciousness at every meal this summer, you are truly missing out!

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seriously. Stop already! Yes, these are Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. They are two weeks earlier than their earliest arrival for which I have photographic evidence. I just checked my files. These are those big, juicy, meaty apricots that will make a delicious mess of your favorite shirt. Enjoy!

Broccoli from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm is known for rocking the broccoli, and this year is no exception. And never fear warm nights on which you don’t want to warm up your kitchen, roasting or steaming broccoli. This stuff grills amazingly well! Summer Run has gorgeous, massive heads of lettuce, of course, too, and lots more!

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, you’re killing me! Peaches?!?  Yup! Peaches are coming in this year a week or two ahead of their historic earliest arrivals! These are Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. These slightly smaller early season peaches still pack a big, sweet, juicy punch you will miss come October.

Pallo Rossa radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pallo Rossa radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Absolutely unbelievable! This is the earliest, by at least two weeks, we have ever had radicchio make an appearance at our markets. Until this month, it was mostly the perennial crops like berries, tree fruit and such that was way, way ahead of schedule, but now the row crops are catching up! This Pall Rossa radicchio from Oxbow Farm makes for amazing bitter salads with a nice salty treatment, like feta or bleu cheese or anchovies, and it is also great grilled. Either way, finish it off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a nice touch of sweetness.

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

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

Alm Hill Gardens is known for producing a lot of delicious food, but they may be most well known for their raspberries. The farm was first and foremost a berry and flower producer before diversifying significantly over the last 15 years or so.  They have acres and acres of raspberries, some in the open air, and some under row tunnels, resulting in some of the tastiest berries you will even encounter. Sure, you can find cheaper berries at the Big Box stores, but what’s the point? I, for one, spend good money on good quality. Saving a few bucks to have something I don’t really enjoy just seems wasteful to me.

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now’s a great time of year for grilling up some steaks and chops, or slow cooking a nice roast on the barby. Olsen Farms has lots of great lambbeef and pork raised on natural pastureland way over in Aladdin, just northeast of Colville — so far into the northeast corner of Washington, I swear it is almost in Alberta. No farm travels farther within Washington to sell at farmers markets, and we are all the richer for their efforts.

Succulents in bloom from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents in bloom from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish off this week’s installment with this magnificent image of blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. It may be hot and dry, but you can still plant a succulent garden. That is, if you get to it right now. See, Phocas Farms likely won’t be here after this week, as we are needing to make room for even more produce farms coming in next week. So get your succulents on today, while you can! (This just in: Phocas Farms will here through the end of July!)

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

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

Sunday, June 16th: Celebrate Father’s Day With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

June 15, 2013
New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Fathers’ Day, folks! I like to scratch around a bit on holidays to share a little bit of their background with you, and in so doing this time, I discovered that the woman credited with founding Fathers’ Day in 1910, Sonora Dodd, originally spelled it with the apostrophe after the ‘s’, and I am honoring her by spelling it that way, too. And did you know that Fathers’ Day was founding in Spokane? Yup. While its intent was to honor fathers much like mothers had been honored, it appears it lacked the same anti-war sentiment that Mother’s Day was founded upon. Interestingly, though the holiday was first observed in 1910, it was not until 1966 that President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring the holiday, and not until 1972 that President Nixon signed it into law as a permanent national holiday.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While not meant to be a purely commercial holiday, commercialism was used to promote it initially, though now it simply capitalizes on the holiday, and we will be no different in today’s blog post. To that end, let us let the guilt-inducing barrage of suggestions for honoring dad with goodies from your Ballard Farmers Market begin. After all, if you’re going to treat dad, why not do it with something meaningful, local and delicious, right? Like sausages from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. These gorgeous links are made for Stokesberry by Wallingford’s Link Lab using Stokesberry’s pork. From left to right, above, you see Shiitake & SageFremont Beer Bratwurst and Chipotle Tequila pork sausages. And because I care, I have tried them all, and I can report that they are all fantastic! Don’t worry that they are frozen. They will thaw quickly, so dad can grill them tonight… over fire… cuz that’s what dads do.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love oysters. In fact, dads love to grill oysters. It allows them to combine eating a foraged food with cooking it over fire, much like his caveman ancestors with whom he identifies so closely, when he can get away with it. And today is his day, so let him regress a little, eh? Of course, if he’s more the whip out a shucking knife type, that’ll work, too. So stop by Hama Hama Oyster Company for a bag of their finest.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and by the way, Hama Hama has a new product just in time for dad to use on those grilled oysters: chipotle bourbon butter. Once your oysters pop open on the grill, remove the top shell and spoon on a dollop of this stuff, let it melt all over your oyster, and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. Yeah, baby! And just to do a little bragging of our own here, this blog for your Ballard Farmers Market enjoyed its 500,000th all-time visitor Saturday! Woohoo!

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack's flocked by the plants of the world's four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s flocked by the plants of the world’s four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love hot sauce. Even if they don’t. They want to believe they can down a one-ounce shot of this Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company without even wincing. As if. This stuff contains four of the hottest chiles on earth, each represented in the photo above by a pepper plant from their farm that later this year will produce, from left to right, Ghost, Scorpion, 7 Pot and Scotch Bonnet chiles for next year’s sauce. So get dad a bottle. Encourage him to display his manhood. Keep a bottle of milk nearby. And try not to laugh too hard.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love strawberries, preferably atop a nice piece of shortcake, and covered in freshly whipped cream. And these certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm taste as good as they look. They actually grow these under row covers, which keeps the berries cleaner while also keeping the soil warmer, helping the berries flourish and sweeten up. And did you know that 2013 is a banner year for strawberries — one of the best in many years? They are bigger and sweeter. Enjoy!

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a cool gift for dad: a single serving colander from Daily Bird Pottery. I swear, these guys are like Revere Ware in the 1950s. Back then, they made a kitchen gadget for any and every conceivable kitchen need. Well, check this one out. You fill it up with a serving of berries — these are from Jessie’s Berries — and then you just hold it under the kitchen faucet, or the nearest drinking fountain, and rinse the berries off. The water runs right out the bottom, along with any dirt that was on the berries. How cool is that! What will they think of next?

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. I mean, you don’t even need to rinse these off. Just pop them open and eat the peas. Talk about the perfect veggie for dad to eat while he’s grilling dead animal parts on the Weber in the backyard, or at the park or beach. They’re sweet, crunchy and self-contained, and their packaging is easily compostable — simplicity at its best.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love messy fruit that they can devour whole, and that is likely to ruin their shirt. In this case, organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Apriums were developed in the 1980s as an hybrid of apricots and plums. They are about 75% apricot and 25% plum, and as such, they are much more like apricots, not just in appearance, but it flavor and seasonality. If dad has been missing your sloppy, juicy, wipe-your-chin-with-your-sleevy local, tree-ripened stone fruitliciousness, it is time to him to rejoice!

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like bright, colorful things that burn a bit. Like these Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Native to Northern China, these stunning roots have a nice bite to them this time of year, and for my money, they are the king of radishes available around here. I am known to our farmers for asking when these jewels will arrive each spring. (Okay, I’m known for a few other things, too.) If you’ve never tried these, you should give them a test drive today. You can thank me later.

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

The “Pete” of Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like other dads who remind them it is okay to be goofy and to eat sweets. For that, we have Pete Brogi, and his Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got toffeefudge and some other goodies for dad, in a variety of flavors. And he’s always got a sense of humor, even when he’s cranky. Stop by for a sample or three, and then load dad up with a little sugar. After all, it’s Fathers’ Day. He can go back on his diet tomorrow!

Daddy's Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love things that are named after them, like Daddy’s Muesli. Made in Port Townsend from a wonderful collection of ingredients, this old-world cereal recipe will make dad’s breakfast more fun, and, truth be told, it will keep him regular, too!

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

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

Dads love cole slaw with their picnics, and you can’t have the slaw without some of this lovely green cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They just started harvesting this new crop of cabbage this past week. Bring a head home, break out the old RonCo food slicer, and get your slaw on!

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, dads love sharp stuff. And from a safety standpoint, sharper is better, so if dad is accident prone, sharpen his knives for Fathers’ Day. See, besides the fact that when you do cut yourself with a very sharp knife, the wound is cleaner, easier to repair, and will heal better… dull knives are much more likely to cause injury, because they will slip, slide and bounce off things that a sharp knife will cut cleanly through. And when they slip, slide and bounce, they tend to end up in dad’s hand. Ouch! So bring dad’s knives, as well as his tools, to Your Knife Sharpening Guy and get a fresh edge put on them all — for dad’s safety!

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

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

Sunday, June 9th: Lots More Cherries & Strawberries, Broccoli, Fava Beans, Father’s Day Pies & More!

June 8, 2013
Chelan cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

We are rocking now, good people of Ballard! Lots more deliciousness is pouring into your Ballard Farmers Market, and more farms, too. The last time June started like this was 2009, and remember what an amazing summer that was! Today, you will find cherries all over the Market, including Rainiersbings and these awesome Chelan cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Chelans are an early, dark cherry with a deep, intense flavor. And Collins Family Orchards is renowned for growing some of the finest stone fruit anywhere. Indeed, their cherries were measured as the sweetest in our markets in years past by local food expert Jon Rowley, who tested the fruit of every farm with a brix meter — a device normally used to test the sugar content in wine grapes in order to determine the best time to harvest them.

Fresh fava beans from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh fava beans from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about the first fava beans of the season — these from Children’s Garden. When they are this young and tender, you can eat the whole thing, pod and all. I love slathering them with some olive oil and throwing them on the grill. They get all smoky and beautiful, and they just melt in your mouth. Tip: remove the stem and the string that runs down the body of the pod.

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

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

Were you frustrated last week because all of the strawberries were sold out by 11 a.m.? Well, never fear! We’ve added three more farms with strawberries this week, and they are all bringing a lot more than last week. Oh, and these berries are awesome right now. Jessie’s Berries is back today with these gorgeous berries. Go crazy! It’s strawberry season, folks.

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

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

But wait! There’s more! We’ve got a new harvest of broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens today at your Ballard Farmers Market. These big, beautiful florets are the stuff of your dreams. I like roasting it tossed with olive oil and a little crushed cayenne pepper flakes, to give it an extra kick. Woohoo!

Lotsa pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lotsa pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ALERT: Deborah’s Homemade Pies will not be at your Ballard Farmers Market next week for Father’s Day. Lucky for us, though, Deborah planned ahead! Today only, she will have a supply of pies that are unbaked! She has them completely assembled and frozen. All you have to do is bring it home, stash it in the freezer, and then, next Sunday, just pop it in the oven, bake it up fresh, and serve it to dad! How cool is that? (Oh, and don’t worry. She’ll send you home with instructions.)

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

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

Something else good to grab this week is some of these sausages from Skagit River Ranch. That way, you can have them thawed out in time for dad’s big day next Sunday, when he’ll want to fire up the barby and eat some grilled animal, much like his caveman ancestors did. They’ve got plenty of steaks and chops, too!

Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you like your lettuce with a horse and buggy, and no electricity, then you will love this Speckled Amish butter lettuce from One Leaf Farm. I love all their different heirloom varieties of lettuce, especially right now, when their tables just seem buried in it. If you love lettuce, this is your time of year, folks!

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got butter? Golden Glen Creamery does. Heck, they specialize in it. They have it lightly salted for your everyday needs, and unsalted for your baking needs. And they have it seasoned in variety of flavors running the gamut from sweet to savory, making for the best toast ever! And you know what else? Dad’s love butter. Just don’t tell their doctors!

Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else dad’s love? Apple chutney from Deluxe Foods! Or any of the other amazing jams and jellies Deluxe has, for that matter. I mean, you don’t want to hand dad toast with butter and no jam, do you? Stop by to visit Rebecca today, and have a sample of her various seasonal flavors made with local ingredients. Then treat dad next Sunday morning!

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

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

Look, even if your dad is going to get in touch with his bad caveman self whilst grilling whatever carcass is around next Sunday evening, he still likes to have a clean, comfortable shave that will leave his face as smooth as a baby’s bottom, am I right? Then get him one of these shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy today are your Ballard Farmers Market. I love their shaving soap. It smells manly, protects my skin while allowing me a nice, close shave, and let’s face it… I look good! Get your dad some. I can’t be allowed to be the only handsome devil in Ballard. It just wouldn’t be fair.

Mountain Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mountain Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What? You still haven’t tried the Swiss cheeses from Rosecrest Farm? What in the name of Mike are you waiting for?!? This stuff is wonderful. It comes in four varieties, though with a little extra aging, we get a couple more. Above is the Mountain Swiss, which is great, though to be honest, I am partial to the peppercorn. Look for them in the neighborhood of Pasteria Lucchese today, and try all the various flavors. You’ll be hooked, too!

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet the breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Cooked fresh right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, it is built around a base of local ingredients, including farm-fresh eggs from our own Stokesberry Sustainable Farm and pork from our own Olsen Farms. Get your day started right with one of these. You won’t find a taqueria in Seattle more dialed into using Market-fresh ingredients than Los Chilangos!

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

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

Sunday, June 2nd: Local Tuna, Hard Cider, More Strawberries, Spectacular Salad Mix, Glorious Green Garlic & Other Deliciousness!

June 1, 2013
Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! It’s already the first Sunday in June! Besides the fact that we are charging headlong into summer — and the fact that today’s weather actually feels like summer — it also means that today is tuna day! That’s right. Today, we get our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with their amazing albacore tuna. Better yet, they have a new catch of tuna today cut for you. See, they freeze their tuna at sea after catching it to preserve its quality. Then they cut and wrap it in loins and portions on land for Market. Wait, what? Portions? Yes! They will have, for the first time in months, those smaller portioned sizes many of us have been missing. See, one or two people cannot necessarily get through a 2-3 pound lion all by themselves, but the smaller portions of St’ Jude’s sashimi-grade albacore tuna are the perfect size for anyone!

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

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

There are so many ways to enjoy local albacore tuna, and one of my favorites is to cut a few steaks off of a loin, pan-sear them simply with a little olive oil — they don’t need much, because of their abundant natural oils — salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, so they are mostly raw inside, and then lay them over the top of a big, beautiful salad. In fact, I did just that on Saturday night, using as my base some of this extraordinary spicy salad mixed, complete with edible flowers, from Colinwood Farms. A mix of lettuces, mustards, arugula, spinach, mizuna and more, and topped off with colorfully delicious edible flowers, I garnished it with some of Colinwood’s carrots, some pink beauty radishes and Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm, and some garlic chives from Children’s Garden. Yeah, baby!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine and Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market on a regular basis now, and we couldn’t be more excited! Eaglemount and Finnriver Farm & Cidery now both bring excellent artisan ciders and fruit wines to you every Sunday from the Jeffereson County on the Olympic Peninsula — a region becoming a center for Washington’s burgeoning old-world cider-making industry. Grab a bottle or two today, and get a taste of one of the oldest forms of food preservation!

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

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

More strawberries! Woohoo! These lovelies are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) from up on the Canadian Border in Everson. They just started harvesting them a week ago, so numbers are still a little on the low side. You’d better get here early, if you want some today. But never fear. By this time next week, we’ll have at least six farms in your Ballard Farmers Market with strawberries! (BTW, Sidhu Farms has also started harvesting strawberries, and will have some today.)

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got lettuce? Summer Run Farm does! This is some of their gorgeous, and humongous, red leaf lettuce. Their heads of lettuce are so big, they are often twice as big as your own head (or two-thirds as big as mine)! So, get your lettuce on today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, look! It is some of those aforementioned Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. They are as tasty as they are beautiful. I love to eat them raw, like a radish, on their own, or sliced up in a salad. Or you can do a quick sauté on them. And don’t forget to toss in those greens when you sauté them. You are getting two veggies for the price of one, so don’t waste those greens, people! They also have some awesome spicy salad mix of their own, plus collard greensfrisee and more!

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is sugar snap pea season, folks, and our buddies at Alvarez Organic Farms have a ton of these sweet, crunchy and delicious spring treats just waiting for you to devour them. Throw them into your salad. Dip them in some hummus from House of the Sun. Munch them on their own at the beach, right out of the bag. Lightly sauté them. You cannot go wrong. Enjoy!

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you are having your picnic at the beach and inhaling an entire bag of sugar snap peas, or you are enjoying your big, beautiful salad topped with tuna, you will need some of this magnificent artisan bread from our friends at Grateful Bread Baking. Oh, and be sure to pick up some butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or some fresh goat cheese from Twin Oaks Creamery to smear on it, while you’re at it!

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whatever you are roasting, sautéing, grilled — eating — this time of year, you must add some green garlic to the mix! Green garlic is the immature form of the garlic heads we will see later in the summer. Farms like Pa Garden thin their garlic fields this time of year to allow their garlic to be able to bulb out, and they bring the green garlic they thinned out to market for us to enjoy. You can eat the whole thing, as long as the greens are still green and you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Cut it up like you would a green onion or scallion and toss it in the pan with your favorite greens, or in with your veggies before they go in the oven, and douse it with some olive oil and grill it alongside your protein. Yummers!

Whole grains from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some local whole grains to mill for flour, roll for cereal, or cook whole for a lovely base or side to many recipes? Nash’s Organic Produce has whole grain red wheat and whole grain rye available for you right now. They also have it milled into flour, so you don’t have to do all the work! Nash’s works very closely with WSU organic grain researcher Dr. Stephen Jones, and they are helping him with field trials of various grains, to identify those that will grow best here in Western Washington. See, it used to be, before the advent of modern industrial agriculture, that all grain was local, and each community relied upon the grains that grew in their region. That’s what folks like Nash’s and Dr. Jones are striving to return us to. Pretty cool, eh?

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you use them as a cocktail mixer, to dress a salad or enhance your slaw, or you just like to ingest it by the shot glass, your palate and your body will love Firefly Kitchens‘s line of Tummy Tonics. These tonics are actually the residual juices left over from the fermenting process when they make their award-winning krauts and kimchis. When they bottle them, they also bottle the  brine left at the bottom of the fermenting vat. There isn’t a lot of this stuff, so you can pretty much only get it here at the Market. Try some today. You can thank me later!

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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