Sunday, February 22nd: Sprouts, Greens & Springy Things!

February 21, 2015
Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring continues its early advance this week, as we in Seattle enjoy the best weather in the country. (It was warmer here than it was in Fort Meyers, Florida the other day!) All the cherry trees in Seattle are in bloom, and all the shrubs are pushing out leaves. Heck, they are already talking about the pollen count on local weather reports! We will enjoy this in the form of deliciousness like these yummy microgreens from Kirsop Farm, great in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish for soups and many dishes and more.

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

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

And with the onslaught of our early spring, some of our winter crops are on the way out early, too. For instance, this is the last week for carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce for a while. But they are just beginning to harvest their over-wintered leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, collard greens, red russian kale, and even possibly flat leaf parsley.

Braising mix from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter greens kinda took a hit in November and December freezes, but they’ve come roaring back. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has these great braising greens right now with lots of tender young leaves of collard greens and various kales. Nummers!

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.

One fall crop is still going strong: Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Pink Lady’s are a terrific eating apple — crisp and sweet — and they are an excellent keeper, which means they are great deep into the late winter and early spring!

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For a year-round crop, how’s about some delicious, pasture-raised pork from Olsen Farms. These pork rib chops are beautifully marbled, and they grill up wonderfully. Of course, they also have yummy spuds for you, too, in many varieties. Potatoes are almost a year-round crop, themselves.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You already know that Lynden’s Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards grows and sells amazing hazelnuts. But did you also know that they make hazelnut butter and hazelnut oil from those hazelnuts, too?

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

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

Spread some of that hazelnut butter on a slice of one of these incredible loaves of artisan breads from Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery. The various earthy breads in the image above are all perfect vehicles for hazelnut butter… or oil: HominyOat & HoneyPain au Levain and Compagnon.

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

Sunday, February 15th: Spring Has Sprung In Seattle… A Month Early!

February 14, 2015
Bok choy and baby bok choy from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bok choy and baby bok choy from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We hit 60 degrees again Saturday in Seattle. Crocus, daffodils and cherry trees are in bloom. Meanwhile, it is snowing again in Boston. In fact, Boston has a bigger snowpack than the Cascades. That might cause trouble for us in August, but for now, Boston can keep their Super Bowl trophy… and their blizzards! Because while they can’t even find their cars under snowbanks, we have these fresh, gorgeous greens… what up!? Yes, Kirsop Farm has already begun to harvest a new crop of bok choy and baby bok choy on their farm in Tumwater. This time last year, we were just thawing out from a deep freeze, and fresh, tender greens like these would not be seen until April. Hey, we still love our Hawks, but we love us some fresh veggies and shirtsleeve weather in February, too!

Daffodils from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Children’s Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I did say daffodils! Children’s Garden just started harvesting them over in Fall City. Brighten up your home on this beautiful long weekend with these harbingers of spring!

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Last year, it was so cold in early February that Colinwood Farm’s famous salad mix was pretty much all collards and kale. This year, it is loaded with arugula, spinach, mizuna, mustards and more, as well as collards and kale. It is spicy and crisp and incredible!

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

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

Did you know that the good folks at Nash’s Organic Produce have been developing their own varieties of crops that will thrive on the North Olympic Peninsula? One such crop is this wonderful Nash’s red kale. Again, this time last year, we didn’t even have kale around. Yikes! But it is young, tender and delicious right now. Woohoo!

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And even though these shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms are grown indoors, they still are rocking right now. Plus, imagine tossing some of these in with some of that baby bok choy from Kirsop. That’s what I’m talking about!

New jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas.

New jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas.

Finally, how about some fresh jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda? Yes, now you can spread the same quality of deliciousness on your toast that you’ve been enjoying by the glassful for the last couple of years!

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

Sunday, February 8th: Spinach, Sheep Yogurt & Things That Say (or taste like), “I Love You!”

February 7, 2015
First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just as we all crawl back out from in front of the nearest big screen TV to have to face the world for another eight months without Seahawks football (for which we, here at your Sunday Ballard Farmers Market, thank the NFL, cuz it gets kinda lonely here on game day), I must remind you that it is time to make plans for that special someone in your life who is already wondering what your are going to do for them this year. No pressure! Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Why not get a jumpstart on the gratuitous, if not greeting card company induced, love fest this year with a bouquet of fresh tulips from Alm Hill Gardens? And if you get buds that are still pretty tight, they’ll be in full bloom come that magical day.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, I love root vegetables and kale just as much as the next guy, but it is nice to know that Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend is looking out for our culinary sanity by offering us something else out of their greenhouses this time of year. Like this beautiful spinach. No, this is not a stock photo taken in the summertime. This is an honest-to-goodness February image. Enjoy!

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards not only help keep the doctor away all winter long, but they also are just plain delicious! Still plenty crisp, they are one of my favorite eating apples.

First of the new year sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the new year sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The ewes up on Whidbey Island are making milk again, and that means more fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd! I love this stuff. It is part of my morning routine year-round. And I love how the flavor changes with the seasons. You can actually taste the changes in the forage the sheep eat.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Having trouble getting a reservation for Valentine’s Day? Why bother? Make dinner at home! We’ve got the spinach salad and flowers covered above. Grab some fresh artisan pasta made with market-fresh ingredients from Pasteria Lucchese for your main course. They have a wonderful selection of pastas from which to choose, they can give you tips on how to prepare it, and they even have a great lineup of sauces, too!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

How about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates in West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

Raw pet foods from Porter's Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw pet foods from Porter’s Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the love for Fido or Mittens! Stop by Porter’s Pride and check out their raw diet pet foods for cats and dogs. Made with human-grade, locally-raised meats and other ingredients, this is food you can feel good about feeding your four-legged loved ones. And they will slobber and shed all over you with affection in return!

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.

Friday, February 6th: Patty Pan Grill Makes Own Tortillas with Nash’s Flour!

February 6, 2015
The Patty Pan Grill crew, proud parents of new tortillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Patty Pan Grill crew, proud parents of new tortillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill has been pioneering eating local at farmers markets since 1997, which in modern farmers market terms is just about forever. Back then, there were only two neighborhood farmers markets in Seattle. Now, there are 15! They were the first to use lots of market-sourced ingredients and the first to become a worker-owned cooperative business. And now, with your help, they have become the first to make their own fresh tortillas using local flour!

Fresh, homemade tortillas from Patty Pan Grill at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, homemade tortillas from Patty Pan Grill at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Made from hard red wheat flour grown and milled by Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness, Patty Pan’s tortillas are made from only four ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, olive oil and salt. It doesn’t get much simpler, or much more local, than that! And why did Patty Pan do this? Because for years they have looked for a local tortilla factory that would make tortillas for them from local flour, but none of them would budge. So they did it themselves… with a little help from their customers — that’s you! —  who successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to help make it happen. That helped Patty Pan invest in the commercial kitchen equipment necessary to produce their own tortillas on a scale that can keep up with their farmers market sales. So stop by Patty Pan Grill this Sunday at your Ballard Farmer Market, and taste their latest pioneering innovation!


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