Sunday, July 8th: Peaches, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Apricots, Carrots, Blueberries, New Potatoes & Many More Summer Crops!


First-of-the-season blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! It’s blueberry season!!! Oh, happy day! Sidhu Farms has the first blueberries of the season today. Time to dress up your salads, your oatmeal, your muffins, your pies… time to freeze them so you can enjoy them all winter, too! But wait. There’s more! That’s right. If you act right now and go to Sidhu Farms to acquire fresh blueberries, you may be eligible to purchase some first-of-the-season blackberries, too!

And remember to bring your own bags today, and every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new composting and 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.

Beefsteak tomatoes on the vine at Alm Hill Gardens in Everson. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beauties are beefsteak tomatoes on the vine in one of Alm Hill Gardens’s greenhouses up in Everson, Washington, just a few miles south of the Canadian border in Whatcom County. Clayton tells me they are harvesting lots of them right now, so we should have plenty for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Still… I bet they’ll sell out fast, so don’t dillydally.

Green beans from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Green beans have arrived as well from several of our Eastern Washington farms — in this case, from Magana Farms in Sunnyside. Yup, Magana won the green beans sweepstakes this year with the first beans in the Market. They’ve also got nice cured sweet onions and summer squash now, too!

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you in an absolute lather, how’s about sugar time peaches from Collins Family Orchards in Selah? Seriously! It’s as if the farmers market gods decided we had all suffered enough in May and June, and now they are rewarding our collective Job-ness with just about every crop imaginable to make us grin ear-to-ear. Can I get an “amen”?

Red, white and blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, foe reelz? Yes, new potatoes have arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market, too! Colinwood Farms has these gorgeous red, white and blue new potatoes right now. A few of you lucky ones got some last Sunday and made patriotic potato salad with them for the 4th. Cuz these are red fleshed, white fleshed and blue fleshed potatoes, after all. Who says beauty is only skin deep?!

Apricots from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And did I mention apricots? Well, now I did! These lovelies are from ACMA Mission Orchards in Quincy. Can you not just imagine devouring one… or six… of these, face covered in slimy yellow flesh, juice dribbling down your chin and onto your shirt right now? I mean, face it, you probably just bonked your nose on your computer screen trying to get at them!

Collard greens on ice from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, iced down collard greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farms may not look all that sexy, but on a day when the mercury is expected to surpass 80 degrees, you’ll be happy it was iced. The ice keeps the greens hydrated and cool so you can enjoy them later. We also recommend you consider bringing a cooler with you in your car on days like this. But say your greens have gone a bit limp by the time you get them home. You can rehabilitate them. Fill up a large bowl with cold water — you can even add ice cubes to it — and submerge your greens in the water for a couple of hours… 30 minutes in a pinch… and they will perk back up and be good as new!

Oxbow Farm’s famous carrots! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! It’s carrots from Oxbow Farm! Oxbow’s carrots are renowned for their flavor and sweetness. The orange ones are sweeter and perfect for salads, juicing or just plain old munching, and the purple ones are excellent raw and roasted. And did you know that orange is a relatively new color for carrots? If you want to consider yourself a true foodie, or you just are a nerd at heart (or, I suppose, at brain), you should visit the online World Carrot Museum. It will give you a fascinating look into the history of our favorite root vegetable, including the many colors of carrots, from white to yellow to red to purple to black. In fact, you may be surprised that orange was one of the last colors carrots took on, when the Dutch House of Orange popularized them in the 1500s.

Douglas fir jelly on a fir “cookie” from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Did you know that the new growth on Douglas fir trees, know as “fir tips”, are edible? And did you also know that Hama Hama Oyster Company also has a sister timber company that manages its own private stands of forestland along the Hood Canal, next to the tidal flats where their shellfish grow? Well, today, Hama Hama begins bringing some of those forest products to your Ballard Farmers Market along with their shellfish. For instance, in the photo above, you will see not only their Douglas fir jelly, but also what they call a “fir cookie, a beautiful cross-section slice of one of their trees. Hama Hama will also have today, in addition to their normal compliment of oysters and clamsfresh dungeness crab and live geoduck, while they last!

Hey, there is plenty of 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.

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