Posts Tagged ‘succulents’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 16th: Loki’s Salmon Sliders, Britt’s Pickles, Sheep’s Yogurt & Nash’s Last Best Carrots & Sprouts!

February 15, 2014
Salmon sliders from Loki Fish. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

Salmon sliders from Loki Fish. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

Hey, kids! Check this out! Our buddies at Loki Fish are developing a hot-food menu around their wild Alaskan and Puget Sound salmon, and they are going to give it a test-drive today, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Woohoo! They are making three different preparations of salmon sliders:

  • Apple aioli, bacon and arugula
  • Fennel, carrot and jalapeno slaw with shoyu glazed patty
  • Lemon aioli with charred radicchio and feta 
Besides using their own salmon, Loki is sourcing many of its other ingredients from local folks like Skagit River Ranch, Samish Bay Cheese, Columbia City Bakery and Rockridge Orchards. Stop by and try one… or six… today, and let Loki, and us, know what you think!
"Initial Pickle Offering" from Britt's Pickles. Photo courtesy Britt's Pickles.

“Initial Pickle Offering” from Britt’s Pickles. Photo courtesy Britt’s Pickles.

More newness! And I am going to let Britt’s Pickles do the talking, literally:

“Britt’s Live Culture Foods are handmade in Washington on Whidbey Island. The unique process of fermenting vegetables using lactic acid bacteria allows Britt’s Pickles, Kimchi and Kraut to retain the rich rewards of the natural enzymes and vitamins in vegetables. Fermentation is a simple and natural process used by many cultures throughout history to preserve food, promote good digestion, and to improve health.”

Britt’s is joining the lineup of your Ballard Farmers Market today with a wide variety of  pickleskimchis and krauts. Stop by for a sample or three!

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

Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt incubating at Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

The hits just keep on coming! And you know what that means? Spring is just around the corner. Well, that explains the arrival of fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. See, little baby lambs began popping out of their mommies up on Whidbey Island this past week, and that means the ewes have begun producing their prized milk again. Fresh milk means yogurt! Enjoy!

Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last call for Nash’s Organic Produce Brussels sprouts and carrots! Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year when we are beginning to transition from winter crops over to spring crops, but unfortunately, spring is running a bit late this year. At least you can take advantage of one last opportunity to enjoy Nash’s amazing winter carrots and Brussels.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collins Family Orchards is still rocking their fall harvest of killer apples. I am a particular fan of these Pink Lady apples. A bit sweet and a bit tart, they are as good an eating apple as they are a cooking apple, and because they store very well, they are still great this time of year!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms are great any time of year, but they may be best in winter. That’s because they are not only delicious, but they are full of all manner of healthful goodness that’ll give your cranky immune system a boost, right when you need it the most. Stop by and grab a pint or two from SnoValley Mushrooms right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Collard greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The cold last week may have dealt another little setback to our quest for winter greens, but not enough to stop Stoney Plains Organic Farm from harvesting some of their great collard greens this week. And speaking of giving your immune system a boost, collard greens are one of the most nutrient-dense greens around, and they’re great with bacon, too!

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

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

Meanwhile, since winter cannot last forever, maybe it is time to start thinking about spring and summer gardens. Now, maybe you’ve noticed that its gotten kinda dry around here in recent years. Not so much today, but in general, it’s dry. Well, these gorgeous succulents from Phocas Farms are drought tolerant, and to make them even more so, now is the perfect time to plant them in your yard. They will get their roots set while it is still damp, and then, come summer, they will frolic along merrily, without you worrying about watering them all the time!

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, July 14th: Sweet Corn, New Apples, Heirloom Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, Salmon, Oysters & Ballard Seafood Fest!

July 13, 2013
Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy 2013 Ballard Seafood Fest! And have you seen this year’s logo, or mascot, or whatever it is? I guess its some sort of fishmonger superhero, but it was kinda lost on me. So I decided to use these Viking purple potatoes instead! This is the new crop of them from that sturdy Scandinavian family at Olsen Farms, which makes them even more fitting, and they’d be lovely steamed and mashed with some good butter alongside a nice serving of lutefisk, or maybe some salmon. Here are a few tips for managing your trip today to your Ballard Farmers Market:

  • If you are planning to shop at the farmers market and then attend Seafood Fest, bring a good cooler and plenty of ice or gel packs, and if driving, park in the shade if you can.
  • Don’t store items like berries and salad greens in a hot car, and avoid putting berries, peaches, corn and tomatoes in your cooler, as cold hurts them.
  • If you are just going to shop at the farmers market, we recommend you get here before noon to avoid Seafood Fest crowds and associated parking hassles.
  • Try to walk, ride your bike or take the bus today, as parking will be challenging.
  • Remember that Market Street is closed from 20th to 24th, 22nd is closed from Shilshole to 57th & Ballard Ave is closed from Vernon Place to Market.
  • If spending the whole day, remember to keep hydrated.
  • Pack your patience and enjoy the day. The forecast is for perfect weather!

By the way, we want to give one more plug for the Growing Things Farm Kick Starter campaign. While they have reached their minimum goal of $20,000 to frame out the house once raised above the floodline, they would like to raise another $10,000 so that they can install the plumbing, electrical and insulation, in order to make the farmhouse truly livable.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For the love of Mike, is that sweet corn? Yup. The earliest we’ve ever seen it here. This bi-colored sweet corn is from Lyall Farms. They just started harvesting it this week. In fact, just so you know I’m not pulling your leg, I took this photo on Friday at our sister Madrona Farmers Market. And this stuff is suh-weeeet!

Lodi apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lodi apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of absurdly early crops, we usually don’t see these Lodi apples until the first week of August! Really. Lodi apples are usually the first apple of the year, with a crisp bite and a tart flavor. So start keeping that doctor away today!

Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. The crops just keep coming in earlier than ever this year. This is the earliest, by two weeks, that we’ve ever seen heirloom tomatoes arrive. One Leaf Farm grows these Paul Robeson tomatoes just over in Carnation, in East King County. They just started harvesting them, so they’ll go fast. Get here early!

Fresh Bucks program starts today at Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh Bucks program starts today at Ballard Farmers Market!

A 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 TODAY, 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 at the Vernon Place end of the Market. You can also get more information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association. Tell your friends, family and neighbors!

Fresh whole Alaskan sockeye salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh whole Alaskan sockeye salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Since it is Seafood Fest, we really should talk about all the great seafood you can find at your Ballard Farmers Market, right? Especially right now! For instance, Loki Fish has all five species of Pacific salmon fresh right now, from their boats fishing in Alaska. Above is whole sockeye salmon. Yeah, baby!

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm has these gorgeous heads of cauliflower right now. I’ve been roasting it in the oven lately, tossed with some olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed cayenne. Set the oven at about 425, and cook until just tender, and maybe a little browned on top. You can grill it, too!

Vans cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vans cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve heard plenty of talk about smaller cherry harvests and higher cherry prices in the news lately, but truth be told, that’s not what we’re seeing at your Ballard Farmers Market. That’s because our farmers grow specifically for you, and they grow a diversity of cherry varieties, which helps them insure against early freezes and heavy rains. See, the big orchards that grow for the warehouses that sell to the Big Box stores, China and Japan just grow a couple of preferred cherries, like Bings and Rainiers, and when those two crops are impacted, it drives the price up at the Big Box stores. But farms like Collins Family Orchards from Selah are growing just for us, so the price they charge isn’t affected by demand from Japan. Plus, they grow outstanding varieties unaffected by the commodities market, like these Vans cherries, which for my money are the cherry’s cherry – a rich, dark, deeply flavored cherry that is not too sweet or too mild.

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

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

Boistfort Valley Farm returned to your Ballard Farmers Market last week with their usual compliment of stunning produce. Like this fennel bulb, which is great caramelized and served atop some pork, or pickled, and it is awesome grilled, too! It has a sweet, licorice flavor. And you can eat it raw on your salads, fronds and all. Clean it thoroughly, though, like a leek.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More seafood! This wild king salmon was caught by Wilson Fish just off the coast of Washington. It is so fresh, they like to say it is from the future. It is at least safe to say that you won’t find it fresher unless you catch it yourself. They also have some coho salmonhalibut and amazing smoked king salmon now, too!

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

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

Whitehorse Meadows Farm returns today with their amazing certified organic blueberries grown up in North Snohomish County. Their blueberry varieties range from domesticated to almost still wild, and you’ll enjoy comparing their different berries across the season.

Stunning succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stunning succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I made a mistake last week when I told you that Phocas Farms would not be back this week. I errantly understood that we needed their space for one of our returning seasonal farmers, but I was wrong. Hmm. I think that means I will only be wrong another two times this year, if averages hold up. But I digress. Phocas Farms is here today with lots of gorgeous succulents — they raise over 200 varieties — and in another week or two, they will actually have some saffron crocus corms.

Pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is another earliest ever arrival: pickling cucumbers from Alvarez Organic Farms. This year is just plain dizzying, I tell you. And they also have lots of onionsgarlic and summer squash, the latter in more than a dozen varieties now!

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.

And more seafood! How about some live oysters from the Hama Hama Oyster Company? These are great for grilling or shucking, and if you grill them, Hama Hama has some amazing chipotle butter to put on them. They also have plenty of shucked oysters for frying and shooters, as well as pickled and smoked oysterslive clams and mussels and more!

Red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I know that finishing off this week’s Seafood Fest epistle with lettuce might seem a bit out of sorts, but hey, this is red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. These heads of lettuce are big enough that the Vikings could have used the leaves to cross the Atlantic! This crisp, sweet lettuce is great for salads, lettuce wraps, and it is even good for grilling! (Cuz you Vikings need your roughage, but you sure aren’t gonna be caught dead eating a salad.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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