Sunday, June 20th: Happy Blue Tarp Father’s Day!


Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Father’s Day! Now, some of you might be thinking, “Happy? But this relentlessly crappy weather is going to ruin it!” Oh, puh-leeze! We’re talking about Dad here, right? This is the guy who, for all each of us know, invented blue tarp camping. This is the guy who figured out how to make the best of it regardless of the reality that surrounds him. This guy does not care if a little drizzle is falling from 16 hours of cool, slate-gray daylight. This guy wants nothing more than to kick back today, wherever he is, with his family, maybe a frosty bottle of beer, and probably some of this beautiful Washington-coastal king salmon from Wilson Fish slowly smoking on the Weber with alder chips.

Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Dad will want strawberries. Lots of strawberries. It’s been a slow year for strawberries so far, but they are finally beginning to rock. Hopefully, Jessie’s Berries will be able to join us today with more of their awesome berries. If not, others will have them. My Dad grew up a farm boy in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. He has always had a big garden that included strawberries. My Dad’s ancestors actually settled the Mid-Hudson Valley in the late 1600s. They built the first stone house in the French Huguenot settlement at New Paltz in 1692. How cool is that? What incredibly cool things do you know about your Dad?

A beautiful pork shoulder blade steak from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Maybe Dad wants a big old hunk of pork or beef on the barby, like this delicious pork shoulder blade steak from Sea Breeze. You’ll find all sorts of goodies for the grill throughout your Ballard Farmers Market to make Dad happy. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around my Dad grilling stuff over a wood campfire in the mountains somewhere. In particular, I remember my Dad would fill up a grilling basket with breakfast links and cook them while my Mom would whip up some blueberry pancakes. Sigh. Food packs with it some powerful memories. Why not conjure up some, and make some new ones, today with Dad over some great farmers market food.

Asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dad will love some Alvarez asparagus on the grill, too. In this whacky weather year we are having (yeah, like the weather this time last year was normal!), apparently the asparagus crop at Alvarez has almost run its course, so definitely enjoy it while you can.

Zucchini from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some summer squash would go great on the grill for Dad, too. Full Circle is already bringing both zucchini and sunburst squash. Young, small and tender, they are ideal for grilling. In fact, you should enjoy this zucchini now, because a month from now, everyone you know will be trying to give you their garden surplus of the stuff. When I was a kid, my Dad’s garden was one of the few in the neighborhood, and it prolifically produced zucchini. We gave so much away that I sorta recall at some point that our neighbors would all run into their houses and lock their doors in August as soon as they would see us emerging from the garden. My point is, Dad’s make you laugh, if not with them, at them, and you should eat some zucchini now, while it is still a novelty this year.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo courtesy Growing Washington.

No, your eyes do not deceive you. These are raspberries, from Alm Hill Gardens. In a year when strawberries and cherries are coming into season late and begrudgingly, Alm Hill already has raspberries! Oh, yeah. Dad is gonna love these.

Apriums from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if that were not enough, Tiny’s has apriums now, too. Yup. Can’t you just see Dad sitting in a comfy chair — maybe that green plastic Adirondack chair he loves so much under the blue tarp, while the salmon smokes — munching on one of these while the juice dribbles down his chin and onto his shirt, only to be followed by the perfunctory wiping of his mouth onto his sleeve while Mom winces? My Dad’s Dad used to built wooden Adirondack chairs — the real deal, on account that he, and the Adirondacks, were both in Upstate New York. He’s gone now, but if you are lucky enough to still have your grandpas(s) around, don’t forget them today either, okay? It was my Mom’s Dad who we thought of as the Ambassador of Kingston, because he knew everyone, and my Dad’s Dad had the strongest hands I have ever known, and they could craft anything. I think I favor my Mom’s Dad more than my Dad’s.

Dante's Inferno Dogs. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And since you are making a day of it with Dad, while you are at your Ballard Farmers Market today fetching all sorts of deliciousness to cook for him later, why not indulge him in a dog from Dante’s Inferno Dogs. I know, I know. He’s not supposed to be eating those, but who’s day is this anyway? It does not say, “Doctor’s Day” on the calendar, it say’s “Father’s Day,” gosh darn it. You can get him back on the salads tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. Just type “Ballard” in the search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And if you have a good, used digital camera what needs a new home, I am still looking. Post a comment.

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