Posts Tagged ‘wine’

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

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

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

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

Hey kids, while you plan to celebrate America this week, please take a moment and recognize our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) talks farmers markets with Senator Maria Cantwell. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) talks farmers markets with Senator Maria Cantwell. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 11th: Happy Mother’s Day! Say “I Love You, Mom!” With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

May 10, 2014
KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While most of us working at your Ballard Farmers Market think of our Market Master Judy Kirkhuff as our Market Mom, she thinks of KaYing from The Old Farmer that way. But heck, let’s just celebrate them both today, along with all the other moms in Ballard and beyond. It is interesting to note that Mothers Day has its origins in a holiday known as Mother’s Day For Peace that dates back to 1872, in response to mothers having to bury too many of their sons from endless wars. Frankly, I still like this idea. After all, can you imagine a better Mother’s Day gift than world peace?

Until that day, you can take care of your mom with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from KaYing, or one of our other flower farmers, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Or better yet, you could give your mom, our Market moms, and a lot of moms of lesser means a huge gift by buying a ticket to the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks coming up this Tuesday at Hotel Ballard. We’ll be on the rooftop in glorious sunshine, eating deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market, prepared by Chef Jason Stoneburner, THE Stoneburner behind Stoneburner Restaurant. A limited number of paper tickets to this event will be available for sale at the Market Information Desk during today’s market!

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.

You could take your mom out to dinner today and fight the masses all doing the same. But on such a spectacular Mother’s Day Sunday as this, why don’t you make her dinner? Dinner from your Ballard Farmers Market, with fresh, Washington troll-caught king salmon from Wilson Fish, no less! Few things say, “I love you, mom,” quite like cooking her an amazing dinner. In fact, we’ll be eating some of this salmon Tuesday night at the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction!

Brilliant tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, fresh flowers are right up there, too. These beautiful blooms are from Ia’s Garden, glowing in spring sun much like today’s. We have seven flower farms at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but lines will be long. Come early, pack some patience, and maybe work in teams. You know, one of you gets in line for flowers while the rest of you get your groceries, and maybe a quesadilla, some tacos or salmon sliders.

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.

Just in time for Mom’s Day, how about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Rand and Paul can attest that I have been like an annoying little kid for the last few weeks, endlessly asking them, “are there going to be turnips this week?” over and over, again and again, in a repetitive and redundant fashion. And today, they are finally here! I love slicing the roots up and tossing them in salads like radishes, but they are also lovely sautéed whole or halved in a little butter, and then served atop a lovely bed of their wilted greens, which you had better eat, too, as they are awesome. It’s like getting two veggies for the price of one!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this?!? These are Japanese cucumbers from Colinwood Farm, fresh out of their greenhouse over in Port Townsend, a.k.a., The Banana Belt! And not only cucumbers. They’ve got baby summer squash and squash blossomsspinach and carrots now, too, and a lot of other stuff!

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your rhubarb on, good people of Ballard! Yes, it is full-on rhubarb season, and our friends at Sidhu Farms have begun to harvest plenty of it from their fertile fields down in the Puyallup River Valley, the single most prolific rhubarb producing region in America! (“Alex, I’ll take Washington Agriculture Trivia for $800, please!”)

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

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

When I cook up spring king salmon from Wilson Fish, I love to serve it with some fresh organic asparagus, like this from Alm Hill Gardens, roasted in a 375 degree oven until just tender with some…

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. I like to slice them in rings about a half inch thick and then toss them in with the asparagus. Then, I like to add some…

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. I cut the white part into rounds about a quarter to a half inch long, and the green part into one to two inch pieces. Add a little green garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm, prepared the same as the onions, and toss it all with some olive oil, for a nuttier, more local flavor, some camelina oil from our own Ole World Oils, some good, course sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, and roast it for 10-15 minute at 375 degrees, until just tender. That, and king salmon. Oh, how I love spring. And you will amaze mom with this meal, despite how simple it is. Trust me, I know. My mom is amazed every time I make it for her!

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

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

For Mother’s Day, why not give your mother a heart shaped kombucha mother from CommuniTea Kombucha? That way, she can make her own kombucha at home… and it’s just plain a really cool thing!

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While mom is relaxing in the sun in the backyard while you cook her dinner, bring her a plate of award-winning sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Sheep cheese is not very common around these parts, and we are so lucky to have it here. And this stuff is delish! Of course, you’ll need a separate plate for these…

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.

Fresh oysters on the half shell that you picked up from Hama Hama Oyster Company today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Hama Hama is the oyster company so nice, they named it twice! And their Blue Pools are gorgeous right now. So get you some, get shucking, and make mom feel like a queen!

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab mom some artisan bread, a few bagels and some of these heart-shaped ‘mom’ cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, while you are at it.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the wine! Like this gravity-defying Eaglemount Red Table Wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make mom a nice salad with some fresh red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Yes, head lettuce is back at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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

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

And finish mom’s special dinner off with a Mother’s Day pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Yes, I know… you’d think I would be telling you to make the pie yourself. But let’s be honest with each other. Deborah’s pies are so much better than anything you will make on the fly today. Mom will love you all the more for caring enough to admit when making pie has you licked, and just going ahead and getting one you know is going to be really, really good!

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

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

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

May 3, 2014

FreshBucks_Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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