Posts Tagged ‘winter squash’

Sunday, September 28th: It’s Still Summer, Apparently. And Yet… Hardy Kiwis, Brussels Sprouts & Wreaths Have Arrived!

September 27, 2014
Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm. Photo courtesy Green Water Farm.

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm. Photo courtesy Green Water Farm.

It is hardy kiwi season at your Ballard Farmers Market, folks! Yessir, kiwis do grow around these parts. They are a small variety, about the size of a cherry tomato, and they are awesome! Green Water Farm grows them over in Port Townsend. We missed them here last year, as it was a rough year on the crop. No such problems this year, and they are rolling in earlier than ever! Yeehaw! (Sorry, I’m listening to The Outlaws while I write this.)

Walt models a Brussels sprout tree from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Walt models a Brussels sprout tree from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of earlier than ever, we have never seen Brussels sprouts in September before.. well, before now! In fact, I took this photo a week ago, meaning this is the earliest we’ve ever seen there here by over three weeks! What up?! Summer Run Farm wins this particular record-breaking crop lottery. So bring on fall! We’re ready!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As of last Monday, we passed back into the dark side of the calendar. Longer nights mean cooler days, and cooler days mean roasting a chicken indoors is bearable again, and in fact, doing so reduces the need to turn on your heat overnight. So why not stop by Growing Things Farm for one of these gorgeous, and stunningly delicious, pasture-raised chickens today? These are the chickens my family eats for Thanksgiving. And just to clarify… “pasture-raised” means they get to run around all over the place outdoors. (Trust me, I’ve seen them.) It does not mean they’ve been treated with heat to sterilize them. That would be “pasteurized,” and that would make for a rather strange chicken.

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

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

Today is the final day for Farhad of Tall Grass Bakery at your Ballard Farmers Market… at least in his capacity working for them. Farhad is moving on to other projects after about eight years with Tall Grass. He has always been a delight to work with, and we’ll miss seeing him every Sunday. Stop by for a baguetteolive fougasse or loaf of hominy bread, and wish him well! (Note: Tall Grass Bakery ain’t going anywhere. They started with us over in Fremont about 15 years ago, and we’re pretty much joined at the hip now.)

Cherokee purple tomatoes from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherokee purple tomatoes from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

What an epic year for tomatoes! I’ve been hearing even the lamest of backyard gardeners saying they’ve been rocking the tomato action in their gardens this year. And no one rocks tomatoes quite like One Leaf Farm. These Cherokee Purple tomatoes, for instance, are outstanding right now. So juicy and perfect, begging for a dash of salt and a spoonful of mayo, or to be celebrated in a nice salad or sandwich.

Italian prunes from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Italian prunes from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Stina from Booth Canyon Orchard tells me that they have tons of these amazing Italian prunes this year. One of my favorite fruits, they are amazing dried, made into jams, chutneys or sauces, used to accent a nice duck or some pork, or just eaten right off of the stone. They are deeply sweet with a wonderful, thick flesh. And I think I’ll have one right now!

Pepper wreaths and strings from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pepper wreaths and strings from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been just over a month since my trip to visit Alvarez Organic Farms to see their acres and acres of pepper fields. They have over 400 varieties of peppers now. And they have a group there that has been crafting them into these spectacular pepper wreaths and pepper strings for years. But this year’s are especially beautiful. They will brighten your home for weeks, they make great gifts, and because they are not treated with anything, the peppers are fully edible after they’ve dried out.

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

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

Thank you, Devon, for getting me another great recipe (below) from the kitchens of Nash’s Organic Produce. This week’s feature is cabbage, and they have lovely cabbage right now for you! They still have plenty of sweet corn, too, as well as celery root, spinach and basil, for that last dose of pesto. And they’ll have 3-pound bags of rainbow carrots for the next two weeks at a great value!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Servings: 6

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups veggie or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, brown pork in oil over medium high heat until redness is gone. Drain off fat. In a large mixing bowl combine the onion, tomato sauce, cabbage, rice and salt. Add meat and mix all together. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour broth over meat mixture and bake in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Stir, replace cover and bake for another 30 minutes.

Pie pumpkins and blue hubbard winter squash from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pie pumpkins and blue hubbard winter squash from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish off with some gorgeous gourds from Colinwood Farm. These are blue hubbard winter squash and sugar pie pumpkins. Hubbards make for great soups and stews, are great roasted, and are large enough to feed a small army. And the pumpkins make for great pies, custards and breads. Yes, it is warm and sunny again today, but it is fall, folks. Let’s enjoy it!

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

Sunday, September 14th: Signs Of The Changing Seasons, In Spite Of The Thermometer!

September 14, 2014
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.

Sorry I’m late getting this week’s post up. I was waylaid by the wonderful wedding of Chefs Dustin and Shannon of Art of the Table. Short on ceremony. Long on merriment and amazing local food, much of which came from the farmers right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! (Heck, some of those farmers were even there.) Congrats, kids! But let’s get down to bidniz here, as there is plenty of it. We are seeing strong signs of fall’s approach on our tables this week, in spite of what today’s weather forecast looks like. And cooler, longer nights (and a few epic gully washers) have brought water temps down enough for Hama Hama Oysters to be able to harvest from their oyster beds again. Says Lauren, “We’ll have Hama Hama and Blue Pool oysters again this weekend. Oyster season is back on!”

Suncrest peaches from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Suncrest peaches from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And I love it when our vendors make it easy for me by writing copy and sending it to me. Text like this from Stina of Booth Canyon Orchard:

We have TONS of Italian prunes this year. We will have them at Ballard Farmers Market for at least the next 3-4 weeks. Also this week, very special Crandall BLACK CURRANTS. Not sure what one does with them, but European baker types rave about them. This week also: Sweet 16 apples, Orcas pears (this week only), and more Suncrest peaches (pictured above… last week for those).

And if you have a favorite use for those Crandall Black Currents, do share. (And thanks, Stina!)

Black turtle shelling beans from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Black turtle shelling beans from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm’s lovely displays of green beans have given way to displays of shelling beans now. See, that’s what many of those green beans do. They mature into these shelling beans. It’s like “green onions” and “green garlic.” It’s the immature fruit of the plant. And these black turtle shelling beans are the mature fruit. If you like black beans, these are them, fresh from the field. Pop open the pod, and those beans are black as night! And they will taste better than any dried beans you’ve ever had, too.

Italian prunes from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Italian prunes from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Italian prunes, ACMA Mission Orchards has them right now, too. But aren’t these really plums, you ask? Aren’t all prunes dried plums? Actually, all plums are members of the family Prunus. These are proper prunes, with a more oval shape, to a plum’s round shape. And all prunes are freestones, meaning they come easily off of their pit for easy eating, drying and cooking. Think of the sauces, chutney and jams! This is an extraordinary year for these prunes, like so many other crops, so enjoy it while you can.

Celery from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s getting deep into celery season folks. Nothing like some crisp celery on a crisp night. Besides, you are cooking more now, and your heartier fall recipes call for lots of this super food. Lucky for you, One Leaf Farm has some gorgeous celery right now, grown just a few miles from here in Carnation!

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish holding a whole wild Washington king salmon at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish holding a whole wild Washington king salmon at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Washington coastal king salmon fishing season closes on September 15th — that’s Tuesday. And it means that you have just this Sunday and next to get some of this amazing fresh, local king salmon from our friends at Wilson Fish. And don’t forget their amazing smoked king salmon, too!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Piper from Propolis Brewing reports that they have a few new releases today, and the return of their award-winning Litha, their chamomile golden saison. Their three new releases include:
  • Salmonberry Sour 7.5% ~ a tart, creamy, woodsy, can’t-put-your-finger-on-it…wild salmonberry ale… Ridiculous…and very limited…
  • Erthe 4.5% ~ a crisp golden saison brewed with thyme (classic refreshing Golden Saison)
  • Gardin 7.5% ~ an amber herbal saison aged in a beautiful Eaglemount Syrah barrel
And it’s last call for Corona Farms Borage ~ a borage flower ale with delicate cucumber, floral, marmalade champagne notes.
Coriander from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Coriander from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is something we don’t see very often at your Ballard Farmers Market: coriander! But given this summer’s heat, many a farmer’s cilantro crop bolted. And a few patient farmers just let it go to seed. And what is the seed of cilantro called? That’s right, it’s called coriander. If you are in the market for the freshest coriander you will ever encounter, stop by Oxbow Farm today and grab a bunch. Oh, and they’ll have some righteous strawberries today, too, as well as some lovely table grapes.

Concorde pears from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concorde pears from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Big, beautiful and delicious Concorde pears from Tiny’s Organic are in at your Ballard Farmers Market. These giants of the pear world are the quintessential pear, a cross between the great ancient Conference and Comice varieties, developed in England years ago. They enjoy a superior flavor, texture and a dramatic, classical pear shape. They are only around for a month or two each fall, so enjoy them while you can!

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

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

Holy season changes, Batman! Winter squash is in the house at your Ballard Farmers Market! Yup. Several farmers today will have the sweet, delicious gourds favored for the cold, dark, wet months. With our nights longer and cooler, it is time to crank up the oven and roast you some squashy deliciousness, filling your whole home with its aroma before you devour it mercilessly. These particular beauties come from Boistfort Valley Farm.

Sweet corn from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

More Westside sweet corn has arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market. You’ll find these big, beautiful, sweet ears of corn from Alm Hill Gardens in Everson.

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

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Look who’s back today at your Ballard Farmers Market! It’s Firefly Kitchens, and their awesome selection of naturally fermented vegetables made with great local ingredients. Choose from their award-winning kimchi, their Yin-Yang carrots, or any of their krauts, from the classic kraut that is the friend of hot dogs everywhere, to the brilliant caraway kraut that pairs perfectly with any of the various bratwursts from the farmers in the Market.

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

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

You may recall that 2013 was a great year for many crops, but a lousy year for carrots. And the carrots for which Nash’s Organic Produce is famous took a particularly bad beating last year. So this year, to hedge their bets, Nash’s planted a lot more carrots. Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, 2014 turned out to be a great year for carrots. The result is, Nash’s has lots of their famous carrots now, and they are offering them at a special price today.

Sweet peppers from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet peppers from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm is harvesting a bunch of beautiful peppers from their greenhouses in Port Townsend this summer. They have these colorful sweet peppers as well as a great selection of hot peppers. And while it is true that Westside peppers tend not to be as hot as Eastside peppers, even the Westsiders are toasty this year. See, hot peppers get their heat enhanced by the sun. More sun and more heat means hotter peppers. Their poblano peppers are particularly good right now. Enjoy!

Young reishi mushrooms from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Young reishi mushrooms from Ascended Grounds at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a block of fresh, young reishi mushrooms that were ground by Cascadia Mushrooms for Ascended Grounds. Ascended Grounds then takes these wonderfully medicinal fungi and makes beverages and tinctures that are both delicious and darn good for you. I’m not sure I am versed well enough to do it justice, but they say, “Ascended Grounds transforms what it means to drink a cup of coffee. Using the ascended health practices of ancient masters, we are awakening your mug and your consciousness to upgrade your health and quality of life. Let us introduce you to the incredible synergy of medicinal mushrooms and coffee. Your ‘morning cup of joe’ will never be generic again!” Stop by today for a taste, and for the whole story, at your Ballard Farmers 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.

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.


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