Posts Tagged ‘winter squash’

Sunday, January 5th: A New Year Brings News & Returning Vendors!

January 4, 2014
Fresh-pressed organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo courtesy Starvation Alley Farms.

Fresh-pressed organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo courtesy Starvation Alley Farms.

Happy New Year, good people of Ballard! It is January, 2014, and while most farmers markets are deep in their winter slumber, your Ballard Farmers Market is actually adding farmers and food artisans. Booyah! We start with the introduction of a new organic cranberry farm, Starvation Alley Farms, an old-school wet bog harvest operation based out in Long Beach, Washington. While other farms out there in Washington’s cranberry belt have made their beds with anti-GMO labeling Ocean Spray, these folks went the other direction and got themselves certified organic just this past October. They offer flash-frozen cranberries, as well as cranberry juice that is freshly pressed and great as is or in your favorite cocktail.

Aged-sheep's milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Aged-sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Oh, and this just makes me giddy! Glendale Shepherd, from up on Whidbey Island, makes… wait for it… farmstead sheep’s milk cheeses! Boom! These are beautiful, aged cheeses with amazing flavors… and that’s just this time of year. Once lambing season commences in a couple of months, they’ll also have fresh cheeses and sheep’s milk yogurt! Oh, and did I mention they’ll got wool, too? (Admit it. You’re a bit giddy now, too.)

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.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today, and what better way is there to welcome the new year but with albacore tunaliciousness direct for the folks who caught it?

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

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

Alm Hill Gardens returns today from its brief holiday break, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, which quite frankly is not entirely a look JT pulls off. But hey, at least he feeds us, right? And we’re all itching for some nice, tasty greens right about now, which means braising mix!

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saffron tagliatelle from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On the other hand, Sam and Sara from Pasteria Lucchese spent their holiday hiatus nursing colds. Doh! But never fear. They are back today, and they’re nationwide. (That’s a ZZ Top reference, kids.) Just in time for you get some of this saffron tagliatelle to enjoy as your long-life New Year’s noodles. It is made with saffron grown by our buddy Jimmy from Phocas Farms, over in Port Angeles!

Winter squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms also makes its post-holidaze comeback today. Look for these lovely winter squashbraising and salad mixesspudsonions and other deliciousness!

D'Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

D’Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Still lotsa apples and pears to be had from Martin Family Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market, including these tasty D’anjou pears. And they’ve also got fresh apple cider, as well. Woohoo!

Local granola from Marge Granola. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local granola from Marge Granola. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome yet another new vendor for 2014 to your Ballard Farmers Market: Marge Granola. They make several varieties of freshly-blended granolas flavored with many local ingredients. It’s great for breakfast, on the trail, an afternoon snack, or over ice cream!

Dinosaur kale from Children's Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dinosaur kale from Children’s Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Children’s Gardens is back today, as well, with lots of tasty greens, like this dinosaur kale, as well as their gorgeous flower arrangements. So you’ve got no excuse not to eat your veggies this week, or to not bring Ma Kettle a nice bouquet.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

January is a great time of year to get your roots on, and Nash’s Organic Produce is ready to assist you in that pursuit. Besides these gorgeous parsnips, they are full-up with sunchokesbeetsturnipscarrotsspuds and more, as well as grains, flours and dried legumes, and even some more Brussels sprouts.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be January, but the girls out at Growing Things Farm are still laying amazing eggs. In fact, the jumbos (right) are even more jumbo than usual. These are eggs laid by happy chickens that get to run around the yard and hang out with roosters, which stand guard and show them where all the best food is. What gentlemen!

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of sunchokes, Stoney Plains Organic Farm is swimming in them right now. These native-to-North America tubers are a member of the sunflower family. They make a great substitute for potatoes in soups, root roasts, home fries and more. Of course, they’ve got lots of other goodness fresh from the farm for you, too!

White wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

White wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And this just in late today from Brent Charnley of Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery: “We just learned that our Siegerrebe was awarded a Double Platinum in the ‘Best of the Best’ Wine Competition, held by Wine Press Northwest Magazine. We will taste this wine on Sunday at the Market!”

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, December 22nd: Happy Solstice, Good Yule & Merry Christmas! Find Unique, Meaning Gifts With A Story & Great Local Food For The Holidays Right Here!

December 21, 2013
Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the day before the night before the night before Christmas, and all through Ballard, a festive spirit, delicious local foods and unique holiday gifts with a story and a face behind them could be found at your Ballard Farmers Market! (Thanks, Olsen Farms!)

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems appropriate to be listening to Ella Fitzgerald cranking out some jazzed up holiday classics as I write this evening. It may have gotten dark at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, but the longest night of the year is now behind us. Still, it is time for the festival of lights, just about whatever your beliefs, and it will be dark for 17+ hours for the next few nights. You will need candles both for light and for fun. Why not make them non-toxic candles from Ascents Candles? After all, they last a long time, and they don’t pollute the air in your home while you burn them for hours with nary an open window. Plus, this just in: our dear friend, Julianna, of Ascents Candles, told us last Sunday that she is retiring from the Market as of this week! I don’t know about you, but I am trying to figure out why I should bother showing up next week without her, but I’ll find a way to soldier through. In the meantime, stock up on her candles today, and check her website for local retailers.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling on the ground…” Yup, it’s Elvis time all up in here! And how’s about sweetening up someone special with some of this wonderful honey, from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, in these lovely holiday bottles. They will fit perfectly into any stocking. Just make sure it is anchored well to the mantel!

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“May your days, may your days, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white…” It is time to get your stölen holiday sweet bread on at Grateful Bread Baking. This traditional Christmas bread filled with dried fruit and nuts and covered in sugar is as much fun to eat as it is to pronounce!

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.

“Santa, bring my baby back to me…” Or at least leave me a package of Pete’s Perfect Toffee in my stocking. “…a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a…”

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also bid adieu to Boistfort Valley Farm after today until next June, as they take their winter hiatus. So stock up on garlicrutabagasbeetscarrots and celery root today!
FreshBucks_Logo

If you have any Fresh Bucks coupons left, or if you receive Food Stamps benefits, this is a heads up that the Fresh Bucks Program expires on December 31st. Use your coupons now! And you can still get Fresh Bucks coupons this week and next when you use your SNAP/EBT card at your Ballard Farmers Market. Come to the Market Information Desk, and we’ll match the Food Stamps you use at the Market today dollar-for-dollar, up to $10. Fresh Bucks are good for fresh fruits and vegetables, so use them to stretch your holiday food dollars. Just remember to use them before the end of the month. (The program is intending to return next spring sometime, by the way.)

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.

“and the lion shall lay down by the lamb…” Thank you, Elvis. You just can’t deliver the holiday toonage like he did without truly believing in it. Brent Charnley, the winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, believes in making really great wines, and so, like Elvis, you can feel it in his products. Stop by for a sample taste today, and I have been assured that Brent will not start swinging his hips about like Sgt. Presley.

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

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

Let’s heat up that kitchen and fill the whole house with the smell of sweet deliciousness! Stock up on these beautiful winter squashes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm, and you will inevitably do just that. And while you are waiting to cook them, they also make great holiday decorations! (You can thank me later.)

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Add a little color and some elegance to the life of that someone special by sliding a box full of hemp fabric fashions from Textures Clothing under the tree!

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“I love those j-i-n-g-l-e bells…” Yes, we’ve moved on to Frank Sinatra now. So get your bippity on. (I have no idea what that means.) I’ve spoken much of holiday sweets so far this week, but few things are as naturally sweet as these carrots from Oxbow Farm. Kissed by a healthy dose of freezing weather already here in Oxbow’s fields, they have sweetened up considerably. After all, sugar is nature’s own anti-freeze. But take notice: this is likely the last week for Oxbow at your Ballard Farmers Market until spring as well, too, so stock up!

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your holidays with some Vietnamese hot sauces from Four Sisters Chili Sauce! Made with peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms and recipes brought over on a boat and a prayer in the 1980s from Vietnam, this is some hot sauce that is not only packed with flavor, it is packed with an amazing story and love. Enjoy!

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I bet someone you love will be very happy to receive this stunning Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. It is just one of their gorgeous collection of hand-crafted jewelry.

Winter spinach from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

WHAT?!? Yes, that is spinach. It is winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce, and some of it made it through the freeze. But not very much. So get here early if you want some of it. Just remember the spirit of the holidays as you fight for that last bunch at 10:53 a.m.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“The wind is blowing, and the snow is snowing, but I can weather the storm…” Dean Martin is in the house! And so is Mt. Townsend Creamery with their amazing artisan cheeses from Jefferson County. Your holidays will not be complete without some great local cheese.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tater Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“But baby, it’s cold outside…” One of these spectacular, hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner will warm things up. Just imagine, every time that someone special pulls this particular stocking stuffer out during a meeting or class, and everyone else in the room turns to look at it, they will be thinking of you. Boom!

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

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

Some more natural sweetness for you, perfect for the holidays, comes in the form of these lovely sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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.

Sweet briny deliciousness, Batman! Make your holiday party or dinner just that much more perfect with some fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster farm so nice, they named it twice! Get your oysters live and in the shell, shucked, pickled or smoked.

Holiday pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And pie! Get your holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies today, but get them early, as they will sell out fast. Pumpkin, pecan, apple and more, better than your mom ever made, but if she asks, tell her, “it’s almost as good as you used to make, mom.”

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or get your Italian desserts on at Pasteria Lucchese. Grab some rice pudding or a cheesecake, or get some cookie dough and bake them at home.

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

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

Do you have someone special in your world who never leaves the kitchen? Then you need to get them some of this magnificent forged iron cookware from BluSkillet Ironware, made right here in Ballard. They have a nice selection of skillets, one of which has become my go-to pan in my kitchen. But they also have these new paella and casserole pans. They hold their heat well, go from stove top to oven, are durable, and they clean up very easily.

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

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

This Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm is wonderful stuff. It has a big flavor that will fill you with garlicky goodness. But whether you like your garlic mild or wild, they have an heirloom variety of garlic you will love. After all, there is no such thing as too much garlic.

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

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

I finish this holiday week epistle of the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market with perhaps the most popular stocking stuffer of them all: fruit! Why not make that fruit local. ACMA Mission Orchards has a dizzying variety of certified organic apples available today, so you can get a different kind of apple for each stocking hanging from your mantel.

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, December 15th: Just 10 Days, or 2 Farmers Markets Until Christmas!

December 14, 2013
Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m listening to the classic Andy Williams Christmas Album as I write this holiday installment of your Ballard Farmers Market blog, getting myself in the spirit to get you in the spirit. Just think of all those hep bright, primary color sweaters and matching slacks Andy and his family used to wear during their annual TV specials, and how could you not get bitten by a festive mood? There’s just something about Andy singing, “hoopdeedoo, and dickery dock, and don’t forget to hang up your sock…” that makes it impossible not to smile, unless you have a Grinch-sized heart. And what person wouldn’t be happy at the sight of an entire side of smoked white king salmon from Wilson Fish, either? I’ve sure love to find one of these beauties under the tree with my name on it, or on the party buffet table. Well, Santa and your helpers, the good news is, Wilson’s elves (yes, David is an elf!) have prepared many of these for you… if you’ve been good, that is.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“They’re’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow…” And you will need candles. Candles of every color and scent to set every mood, and even a few with no scent at all, so as not to interrupt the flavor of your food. Yes, Ascents Candles returns today, after a two-week hiatus, with their wonderful non-toxic candles made with all-natural ingredients and wonderful pure essential oils. Besides brightening your house, they make for great stocking stuffers!

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of these wonderful holiday wreathes from Pa Garden is a must to complete the season’s decor of your home, and they come in sizes to fit any door, be it palatial or pedestrian. Made from greenery from around their farm in the Snoqualmie Valley, and some of their dried flowers, these are stunning!

Mediterranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mediteranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“From the top of the chimney to the top of the wall, dash away, dash away, dash away all…” And why not celebrate this holy season with sauces and dips from the Holy Land? Uncle Eyal’s joins us today with their amazing hummus, mint sauce, tahini and more. This is the food that brings Christians, Jews and Muslims together in peace around the dinner table, and as such, it is perfect for this season in which so much homage is paid to peace on earth.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I do hope One Leaf Farm has a last few of these aptly named Winter Luxury pumpkins today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They are the ultimate eating pumpkin, and they are really cool looking, too! And this is the last week for One Leaf until next spring, so avail yourself while you can!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I swear, you add a little holiday music, and suddenly the festive nature of Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce just kinda smacks you upside the head. They’re red and green, and they make for so many yummy treats, or just a good, crunchy snack. My father made an amazing pie with them at Thanksgiving, and he proudly said, “and I didn’t even have to use any sugar!” Boom.

Produce pendants from Metal Wing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Produce pendants from MetalWing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s wearable art meets farmers market produce meets a beautiful gift that your someone special will love and never take off. Yup, these are veggie pendants from MetalWing Studios, made right here in Ballard! They, too, were on a brief hiatus for a holiday gift show, but they are back today with all manner of Northwest-inspired metal arts, from ornaments to pins to earrings and more! And with the recent deep freeze, that golden chard on the right might be all the chard you’ll see today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some absinthe & black salt caramels from Jonboy Caramels to sweeten up the season? That, and Christmas with the Beach Boys. “Oooooh, Merry Christmas St. Nick (Christmas comes this time each year)…” Made with local cream and butter, they are sure to please. Just let them warm up a bit indoors before you chomp down on them!

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll be doing lots of cooking over the next few weeks, so why not make things a little easier on yourself with this braising mix from Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. It is ready to sauté or toss into a casserole, and nothing says “Happy Holidays” like kale!

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Fay Farm on Whidbey Island raises Nubian goats. They milk those goats and make these lovely soaps with that milk. They also grow a lot of the herbs used to scent the soaps. They offer them in bar and liquid forms, and they are very gentle on one’s skin. And needless to say, though I will anyway, they make great stocking stuffers. And let’s face it, soap is a gift you give to everyone in your household, and to yourself, when your household bathes.

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

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

Every good holiday feast requires a roast holiday beast, be it a ham or a Tofurky. Or perhaps a chicken, like these lovely beasts from Skagit River Ranch. They have a new harvest of chickens now, while they last, so get ‘em while the gettin’s good. Of course, they also have some lovely roasts of other beasts, like beeflamb and pork, and maybe even a stray ham or two!

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your soulful holiday season on with undoubtedly the best sweet potato pie you have ever tasted, made from scratch, crust and all, using sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms and no added sugar, from Simply Soulful Pies & Catering. Of course, they’ve got other pies, too, and even some soul food sides, like collardsred beans & rice and more!

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

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

Winter squash warms up your kitchen and your soul. It is sweet, colorful and delicious. It comes in many shapes, sizes, textures and varieties to appeal to any palate, or to be able to enjoy it every day of the week without repeating it. And it is versatile. Make soups or stews, roast it, sauté it, steam it, even stuff it. Make pasta or pie with it. And you’ll find a great selection of it in many festive colors at Alm Hill Gardens today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nut Crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nut Crunch from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and everyone was gorging themselves of this spectabulous Nut Crunch, and all things toffeefudge and brittle from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Why? Because we can, and because this is the best stuff around. Look, it’s cold outside. We need extra energy. And it’s the holidays, right? Let us get our sweet on! And you know, Pete’s little packages of deliciousness fit perfectly into any stocking, though let’s be honest with each other here… you are sooo going to eat it all while wrapping presents, and it will never makes its way into anyone’s sock. Hmm. Maybe you should buy twice as much, then!

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookie Café. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“You’re going to love these cookies.” Hey, it says it on their website, and I believe everything I read on the intertube. But seriously, meet Michael Pinckney and Pinckney Cookie Café. Michael makes some seriously good cookies, and I can attest… you will, in fact, love these cookies. They come in four flavors: The Pinckney Original, Dark Chocolate Oatmeal, Bing Bling! and Classic Chocolate Chip. They are chewy and delicious, and they are made with local Shepherd’s Grain flour. What? You are gluten-intolerant? Never fear! All four flavors come in gluten-free versions, too! Happy Holidays, indeed.

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, December 8th: More Holiday Treats, Gifts & Goodies!

December 7, 2013
Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today for their monthly Market visit. I know, it’s not the first Sunday of the month, but they had schedule conflicts last week. Point is, you should stock up on all your local albacore holiday needs today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Their tuna is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, low in heavy metals, the frozen loins are sashimi grade, and it is delicious! Plus, these colorful cans of tuna come in many flavors, and make great stocking stuffers. Just don’t drain off the juice in the can. That’s not added water. It’s the natural juices of the fish itself, and that means flavor!

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

Sailboat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

These beautiful sailboat earrings from Itali Lambertini are made from 100% recycled gold. That means no dangerous, environmentally destructive mines are necessary to produce this gold. Besides being unique, and from a local artist, these earrings will not jeopardize the future of salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Holiday wreathes from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreathes from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you gotten your holiday wreath yet? How about one of these beauties from Children’s Garden? Made lovingly by hand using plant material from their farm in Fall City, they are fresh, fragrant and will hold up for weeks, if not months.

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.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards are crisp and sweet and great for holiday parties, pies and sauces. Think of the cheese plate accented with slices of these. Or, maybe you’d like them tossed with some muesli and honey…

Daddy's Muesli and Tahuya River honey. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli and Tahuya River honey. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Funny you should ask… Daddy’s Muesli makes a lovely recipe of this European breakfast cereal. And now, they are also offering jars of Tahuya River Apiaries wild honey, too! Really, all you need still is some milk or yogurt from Twin Oaks Creamery, right? Oh, hey… muesli and honey both make great stocking stuffers, too!

New liquid soaps from Karmela Botanica. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New liquid soaps from Karmela Botanica. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve loved the handmade, local soaps from Karmela Botanica for years at you Ballard Farmers Market. And soap always makes for a great stocking stuffer itself. This year, they have introduced these great new herbal liquid soaps in these convenient pump bottles. (Oh, and they, too, are perfectly sized to slide into any stocking.)

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.

It is hard not to adore Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce, but this past week has been coooolllllddddd, and that has shortened their season — really, shortened the season for a lot of things — so as best as we understand, this may be the last week for them for quite a while. Stock up!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we missed Growing Things Farm, as Michaele was hold up on the farm on flood watch. But the flood never quite materialized, and they’re back this week with their jams and roots and squash and eggs and soaps and, well, these amazing chickens. This is the chicken I ate for Thanksgiving this year. If you still haven’t tried a pasture-raised chicken direct from one of local farmers here at your Ballard Farmers Market — if you still get your chicken from the Big Box store — you have no idea what a chicken truly tastes like.

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

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

It is a great time of year for cooking hearty soups and stews, and making stick-to-your-ribs, soul-warming dishes. And a fundamental ingredients for many a house-warming winter recipe is dried beans, like these from our buddies at Alm Hill Gardens. Because they work closely with WSU developing varieties of beans that will thrive in our cooler, damper Western Washington climate, they have a wonderful collection of beans from which to choose.

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

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

Are you striving to keep it as local as you can, and you can’t wait until global warming allows for local production of olive oil? Well, fear not! We have the perfect cooking oil for you that is local and full of flavor, so you can finally cross that off your list of things you must get at the Big Box store. Yes, Ole World Oils in Ritzville grows and presses camelina oil, an old world oil made from the seeds of this mustard-family plant. It is non-GMO, high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and antioxidants, it has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), and it is luscious and has a great, robust flavor. I used it to cook my chicken on Thanksgiving, to pop popcorn, and even with my corned beef hash Saturday morning. It is also a great finishing oil, and it is reasonably priced, too!

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm was also on flood watch last week. They return today with much deliciousness, from rutabagas to celery root to beets to garlic to honey to these gorgeous winter squash.

Parsnip ravioli from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnip ravioli from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s pasta weather! The big pot of boiling water warms up your kitchen while the steam helps replenish the moisture your furnace has sucked out of the house. It warms your belly and gives you energy. Oh, and it tastes great, too! Pasteria Lucchese makes a great selection of artisan pastas, from stuffed to noodles, using many ingredients from Market farmers. And today is a great day to stock up, as you don’t have to worry about them thawing before you get home!

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.

Wilridge Winery is Seattle’s oldest winery. They make some great wines, and they offer three of them in magnums that are refillable — perfect for the holiday season. And they are priced right, too! Stop by today and sample their wines, and then grab a magnum for that holiday party, and bring back the empty next week to trade for a fresh bottle.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In a cold week with limited greens, this is as good a time as any to introduce yourself to sunchokes. This tuber is a member of the sunflower family. It is native to North America, and it was introduced to the first European colonists by the resident tribes. It substitutes well for potatoes in recipes from home fries to soups to root roasts, and it can even be eaten raw. These lovely red sunchokes are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Canned salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish catches all five species of Pacific salmon. They fish in Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound, where keta salmon season just wrapped up. This time of year, you can find their salmon smokedcanned (a great stocking stuffer!), in salmon spreadpickledloxed, in frozen patties and sausages, as ikura (salmon eggs), and as blast-frozen at sea sides and fillets. And because Loki takes such great care of their fish, bleeding and cleaning it as soon as they catch it, then blast-freezing it right on their boat, their frozen fish is fresher and better tasting than much of the “fresh” salmon you’ll find in the Big Box stores!

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

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

Finally, if you are looking to warm up while you are at your Ballard Farmers Market today, try a breakfast burrito or some tacos from Los Chilangos. They are the first taco stand in Seattle to use all local meat, fish and eggs on their Market menu, all sourced from other vendors right here.

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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