May 8, 2015 by

With Mother’s Day less than 48 hours away, the chances of scoring brunch reservations at your favorite spot are pretty slim. But there’s no need to throw in the procrastinator’s towel; we’ve got tons of ideas for how to fete your favorite gal this Sunday, right here at the market. (And no reservations required.)

Sparkling Cider from Finnriver Farm and Cidery Copyright Zachary D Lyons

Sparkling Cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo courtesy Finnriver.

Brunch at Home, Market Style:

Smoked salmon from Loki Fish Co., with all the fixins:

Fromage blanc (better than cream cheese) from Mt. Townsend Creamery

Hothouse cukes from Nash’s

A loaf of that salt-crusted marble rye from Tall Grass Bakery

Granola from Marge and sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd

Sparkling pear cider from Finnriver

A leisurely dinner at home, Market Style:

Roast her a Peking duck from Stokesberry (See, 4/29 Post) with:

A compote of rhubarb from Sidhu Farms Stir-fried asparagus from Magana Farms

A bottle of red from Wildridge Winery

Snacks and apps hour, Market Style:

One of those fab raw milk Alpine-style cheeses and a slab of pork terrine from Seabreeze

Baguette from Tall Grass

Radishes from Kirsop Farm served on a bed of

Ginger and pepper pickles from Britt’s Pickles

Garlicky herb dip from Thyme + Season surrounded by pickled garlic cloves from Purdy Organic Pickles and Asian  Salad Turnips on a bed of Mizuna, both from Growing Washington Farms

Pa Garden Flowers Copyright Zachary D Lyons

Pa Garden Flowers. Copyright Zachary D Lyons

And of course, you’ll be showering her with flowers, right? You’ve got all kinds of choices: Mee Garden, Pa Garden, Ia’s Garden, The Old Farmer, Children’s Garden and Choice Bulb Farm will all have multitudes of beautiful blossoms.  Choose Mom’s favorite color or the type of flowers she most likes.

Fleur de Sel caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fleur de Sel caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

From eye candy, we go to candy candy — Fleur de sel caramels from Jonboy, try those locally sourced, organic truffles from Soulever Chocolates, or the ever popular and buttery-tasting Pete’s Perfect Toffee.

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

There’s nose candy, too — soaps and skin care products from Karmela Botanica,   lavender potpourri and oil from Market Lavender Farm in Fife, or the silky salves from the Fay Farm on Whidbey Island.

Blu Skillet Ironware-

Blu Skillet Ironware. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A few years ago, Santa surprised me with the 13-inch gratin pan from BluSkillet Ironware, which has become one of my most prized possessions. If you like to cook and have been hankering for a pan that will last you a lifetime, I might start putting the word out. These things are really special.

To our mothers and the many important mother hens in our lives, we salute you! Happy Mother’s Day. P.S. Next Sunday, May 17, the market will not be using Bergen Place and the market will close at 2 p.m. (one hour early) due to the previously scheduled 17th of May Festival and parade that travels through Ballard.

Ballard Farmers Market Named Best in State

May 7, 2015 by



Ballard Farmers Market is very honored to be recognized as the Best in Washington by Cooking Light magazine.  The article paired one excellent farmers market in each state, with a recipe created by an excellent chef of a fine restaurant in the market area.  Ballard Farmers Market was paired with Chef Jason Miller of Crush.  Located in the Madison Valley, very close to our sister market Madrona Farmers Market.  Click here to see the whole article:


We are proud and happy to also see the recognition of  Skagit River Ranch and Foraged and Found Edibles, who are mentioned in the article.  Without their consistently fine contributions to every week’s market, we would not be shining so brightly. I want to give a shout-out to Renee Erickson, restauranteur extraordinaire, for mentioning Ballard Farmers Market, and to Nicole and Chef Jason Miller, owners of Crush.  It is a tremendous honor to be in the company, not to mention to have the acknowledgement, of some of the biggest stars of the fine restaurant world that is here in Seattle.

Hope you click on the article, it is great to see success and recognition for farmers markets all around the country.  To our supporters goes our heartfelt gratitude.  Without you, we couldn’t do anything like this.


May 6, 2015 by


Nash's Organic Farm - Black Mustard Seeds

Nash’s Organic Farm – Black Mustard Seeds

The season for hot chile peppers may be months away, but in the meantime, Nash’s Organic Farm has just the thing to take care of that spicy hankering – black mustard seeds. Devon Beck from Nash’s reports that the flavor is reminiscent of wasabi – “its spice is in the front and goes away quickly.” If you’ve ever cooked with black mustard seeds, you’ve probably bought them in the spice section of the supermarket; what a rare treat to get these fresh from the farm. Who knew – black mustard seeds are a rich source of heart-healthy Omega-3s – something we typically turn to wild salmon and other oily fish for. As a member of the brassica family, they’re rich in cancer-fighting phytonutrients called glucosinolates. Eaten raw, mustard seeds are intensely acrid; but half a minute spent popping in oil mellows them in nutty morsels. Add them to vegetable stir-fries, rice pilaf, roasted potatoes, or as a finishing touch to a potful of lentils. Like any other spice, keep the seeds in an airtight container and in a dark, cool place to keep from oxidizing (and turning rancid). And in case you missed it, Nash’s is doing fun things with wheat; since February, they’ve been grinding their hard red wheat for Patty Pan Grill’s homemade tortillas.

Patty Pan Grill's Handmade Tortillas are made with Nash's Ground Hard Wheat

Patty Pan Grill’s Handmade Tortillas are made with Nash’s Ground Hard Red Wheat

 Pick up a package at Ballard Farmers Market from Patty Pan Grill


Colinwood Farm is bringing Summer it to Ballard Farmers Market in May.

Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend - Cucumbers

Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend – Cucumbers

Cucumbers and zucchini fresh from Colinwood Farm’s sustainably heated greenhouses.  While you pick up some of these tender beauties, ask Jesse about his system that allows the heat from the air conditioner to grow cukes & zukes for harvest in April and to Ballard in May. His system re-uses the energy.

Need a Special Gift Soon?

Consider Ballard Farmers Market as a Source

Flower bouquet making mayhem at Mee Garden. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flower bouquet making mayhem at Mee Garden. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flowers Always Qualify are Always Special

Chinese Peking Duck in Your Kitchen

April 29, 2015 by
Stokesberry Ducks copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Stokesberry Ducks copyright Zachary D. Lyons



When we talk about seasonal ingredients, most of us think of fruits and vegetables. But animals have a seasonal clock, too – and now’s the time for Peking duck! Also known as Long Island duckling, Peking (also spelled as Pekin) duck is an American descendant of the Chinese Mallard. Mild, tender and meatier than the gamier Muscovy, Peking duck loves high heat, all the better for that crispy skin. Many of us only have had the pleasure in a Chinese restaurant; now’s the chance to try it at home – while they last! Janelle Stokesberry reports that they will also have duck eggs on hand.

A few kitchen tips:

* Ducks typically have a thick layer of fat (not as fat-laden as geese but noticeably denser than chickens). Take the time to trim away fat pockets, particularly around the neck cavity.

Many duck-loving cookbook authors suggest air drying the duck to help draw out the moisture in the fat and ensure your chances of crispy skin. Pat it dry inside and out, place uncovered on a rack-lined pan or plate, in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. (Don’t fret if you don’t have that kind of time; even an hour will help.)

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven 425 or 450 and bring the duck up to room temperature.

  • Season really well with salt inside and out – estimate about 1 teaspoon salt (we like fine sea salt) for every 1 ½ pounds. Other seasonings that are nice: Grated fresh ginger in the cavity, five-spice powder, smoked paprika, a simple syrup of honey.
  • With a fork, needle or pin, prick the fat all over, be careful not to pierce the meat. If you don’t own a rack, make one with a few ribs of celery so that the duck doesn’t sit in its own juices.

After 20 to 25 minutes, spoon off any fat in the roasting pan (and there will be some). Don’t discard – it’s like liquid gold, taking roasted vegetables to a whole new deliriously delicious level. (Use sparingly –it’s rich!)

Reduce the heat to about 350 degrees and roast for an additional 20 minutes, drain more of that glorious fat, and check its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Now here’s when cookbook authors are all over the map – some like it pink inside, at about 145 degrees in the deep part of the breast; others wait til juices are closer to clear, at about 170 degrees. That’s cook’s choice.

Some, including Janelle Stokesberry, recommend a final blast of heat (back to 425 or 450 degrees ) to ensure crispy, crackly skin. Regardless of what you decide, transfer the duck (and carefully) to a platter. Check for accumulating juices inside the cavity and pour out (and reserve – those are delicious morsels). Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy!