I know. I told you last week of the triumphant return to your Ballard Farmers Market of Tahuya River Apiaries, but it bears repeating. See, in this whacky year we’ve all been enduring, even the honey bees have been thrown off kilter. The wildflowers they depend on to make honey have all come into bloom very, very late this year — the latest Roy Nettlebeck, owner of Tahuya River Apiaries, can remember. Yup, honey is seasonal! But that smile on Roy’s face, above, means he, and his honey, are back, baby, so it’s time to load up on those natural sweets for the sweet!
Oh, and it is also time to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. The deadline is August 31st. That is this coming Wednesday. And our vote count is way below last year’s! What are you waiting for? Vote now! Do it for us. We ask so little, and give so much. (Sorry, if I sound like your parents.)
Nature’s Last Stand always has fun mixing up the red, white and blue potatoes they harvest. And you can have fun with them, too! Why not bring some red, white and blue potato salad to your Labor Day picnic this year, eh? That’ll get your friends talking!
Speaking of colorful, check out these gorgeous orange and purple carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. And they’re as tasty as they are beautiful. Hey, few things satisfy like a sweet, fresh, crunchy carrot, am I right people?
You may have noticed that our neighbors at the Olympic Health Club finally tore down that old garage next to their main gym in preparation for their expansion. And in the process, they erected a chain-link fence around the property for safety. But what really struck me last Sunday was how quickly all the bicyclists in the neighborhood recognized this fence for what it really is — a big, new bike rack! Yep. I mean, Ballard’s loaded with cyclists, and they love to ride to their Ballard Farmers Market. Problem is, Ballard lacks much in the way of proper bike racks. There had been talk between Sustainable Ballard and the City of Seattle about putting some of those high capacity bike racks in one or two of the current street parking spaces near the Market, but the City has back-burnered this plan during our economic downturn. Um, but wait! I thought the City was investing a whole lot in making Seattle more bicycle friendly, and now they want us to vote in November to add $60 per year to our car tab fees to pay for, in large part, improvements for transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. Hey, City of Seattle! You screwed us out of our monorail. You want us to vote for your tab fee? Then let’s see a guarantee that Ballard will finally get its share! We want bike racks and better transit service!
Look, ma! It’s golden raspberries from Hayton Farms! Oh, think of the possibilities. Jam that’ll confuse your family at the holidays. Berry desserts with like four or five different colors in it. Oh, what fun! But their season is short. Get ’em now, while you can.
Okay, I know some of you still don’t get the difference between baby bok choy and true bok choy, So I thought, with the help of the good folks at Nash’s Organic Produce, that I would give you a visual aid. See, they are two completely different plants. They look different. They taste different. They are different. Above, you will see baby bok choy on the left and bok choy on the right. Bok choy has white stems, and its leaves have white veins. Baby bok choy is a lighter green, and it is all green. Baby bok choy certainly bares a resemblance to bok choy, but so do lots of crops in the choi, or Chinese cabbage, family. It gets its name, “baby”, because of its smaller size at maturity. But, it is not the same.
It is that time of year when the early apple varieties are coming in. And every week brings new varieties now, as these early varieties tend to have short seasons, and they also tend not to be grown in large numbers or have long storage lives. So, enjoy these ginger gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards, and all the others, as you see them, because you won’t see them very long. Think of it as a game you can play, trying to sample every variety of apple there is as it comes into the Market. There are hundreds of kinds of apples. You will not get bored.
Ah, shelling beans. These cranberry beans from Stoney Plains represent the very first shelling beans of the season. And while you are likely used to working with dried or canned shelling beans, you have not truly enjoyed them until you have had them fresh! They are so tender and full of flavor, and they make for some outstanding succotash, great side dishes, and fantastic salads. And you can shell them and freeze them to enjoy the taste of fresh shelling beans all winter, too!
But we’re not done with our green beans yet, and these yellow Romano beans from Oxbow Farm are a true treat of summer. They are big and crunchy and just waiting for you to take them home. Woohoo! So many beans, so little time!
Don’t forget the flowers! We are getting into our late summer and fall flowers now, and Pa Garden has plenty of fabulous bouquets at great prices for you to bring home to brighten up the joint, or for you to brighten the day of someone special. Why spend money on flowers at the florist or Big Box store that aren’t fresh, aren’t from around here, and are too expensive, when you can get them fresh, local, affordable, and directly from the folks who grew them!
There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!