Don’t Forget the Sweet Delights and Beverages

April 5, 2015 by

This weekend is famous for the Extreme Sport of Easter Egg Hunting.  It’s a good idea to have something on hand that will replenish energy and lift your spirits before the day is over.

Ballard Farmers Market has what you need.

Jonboy Caramels – A Perfect Sweet Treat 

But be careful, you can’t stop at just one.

Jonboy Caramels.  A taste of bliss.

Jonboy Caramels. A taste of bliss.

*****

We can’t forget the Pies.

Deborah, and her pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Deborah, and her pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ask Deborah about the marathons she runs every year.

These pies have local farm-sourced ingredients and the best Crusts.

*****

Pete’s Perfect Toffee

The Pete behind Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Pete behind Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Share these toffee bark pieces with your loved ones. They will delight everyone.  All who savor this treat will smile as they whisper   “Yum” repeatedly. Or, you may want to take home a package of his signature “Perfect” toffee. A treasured heirloom recipe passed down by Pete’s grandmother, it can turn into a favorite for your family too. Pete will sample whatever you’d like to try.  When you taste Pete’s fudge, you’ll want to share it. And tell Pete a joke.  He loves them.

Pure bliss in a square called bark.  Pete's Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market.

Pure bliss in a square called bark. Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market.

*****

Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery

Heavenly Brownies from Nuflours Bakery.

Heavenly Brownies from Nuflours Bakery at the Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nuflours Bakery is 100% gluten free.  They have creamy macaroons, cupcakes, lemon bars, multi-grain bread, rolls, and much more.  All of it moist & delicious.

 *****

Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm is Back

Stop at Valerie’s canopy to pick up a package or two of these wonderful berries.  Frozen fresh from last season, they are perfect little snacks for kids of all ages, and make nutrition fun.

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

*****

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Handcrafted Vegan Truffles by Soulever Chocolates

*****

Remember the Liquid Refreshments

Soda Jerk Sodas 

Soda Jerk Sodas-Maker of handcrafteed sodas and mixed jellies

Soda Jerk Sodas-Maker of handcrafteed sodas and mixed jellies. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sodas are available in Growlers.  Cory makes pure Syrups and Fine Jellies too.  You can use these Syrups to create your own signature drinks.  Fun.  Delicious..

*****

Communi-Tea Kombucha

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Refreshing and nutritional.

 *****

Local Foods Provide the Best Choices for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Desserts or Midnight Snacks

April 4, 2015 by

 SeaBreeze Farm has Spring Leg of Lamb and Beef Porterhouse and Rib Eye Steaks, Aged for 60 Days

Leg of Spring Lamb at Sea Breeze Farm

Leg of Spring Lamb at Sea Breeze Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lamb, is an iconic symbol of the arrival of Spring.  Olsen Farm and Stokesberry Sustainable Farm also offer choices in lamb cuts so you will be able to find what you want at Ballard Farmers Market.

Tall Grass Bakery has Special Breads and Goodies for Easter

Look for Hot Cross Buns, Kugelhopf and Challa loaves to love.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

 Gluten Free Pastry also Available

We are proud to say that this bakery started first with Ballard Farmers Market.  Their fine products offer an important option for fabulous tasting pastries and breads that are just plain delicious.

Nuflours is a 100% gluten-free bakery.   We are proud to say Nuflours started out at Ballard Farmers Market.

Nuflours is a 100% gluten-free bakery.

Spring Recipe Suggestion:

Potato & Asparagus Salad for Easter Brunch

First of the year asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the year asparagus at Lyall Farms. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms Spud Nuts Mother Nature's Easter Eggs  copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Olsen Farms Spud Nuts Mother Nature’s Easter Eggs copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut in 1½ in. lengths
  • 1½# Fingerling or Colorful Spud Nuts Potatoes (if any are significantly larger than the other, cut them in half)
  • 1 Shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ c. Italian Parsley Leaves
  • For the Olive Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ c. minced Kalamata Olives
  • 3 Anchovy Fillets, minced into a fine paste (or substitute a squirt of anchovy paste)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl.
  2. Drop the asparagus into the boiling and cook until it becomes bright green and is crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of your spears. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking. When the asparagus has thoroughly cooled, drain, and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil until tender when poked with a knife, 10-15 minutes (again this will vary with the size of your potatoes). Drain.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette to make a thick, chunky purply-black dressing. Season with freshly ground black pepper (between the olives and the anchovies, there should already be plenty of salt).
  5. Put the warm potatoes in a large bowl and toss with half of the olive vinaigrette. Add the asparagus and sliced shallot and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Finally, add the parsley leaves and gently toss, once more. The salad is best served immediately while the potatoes are still a little warm. If you prepare it ahead, be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving.

Want to try something a little different?   You could add a truly unique twist to the Asparagus and Potato Salad, by adding some blanched Ladyfern Fiddleheads to the above ingredients.   Right now is the only time you’ll be able to share this northwest treasure with your family & friends, and they are delectable.

Preparation:  Lightly rinse a cup of fiddleheads while you bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Toss in the rinsed heads to the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute.  When they are bright green, using a slotted spoon, pull out of boiling water and put into a bowl of cold water, to stop the cooking process-you want them to maintain their crispness as well as their beautiful color.  Then add to the potatoes along with the other ingredients mentioned in step 5 in the recipe above.

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ladyfern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Foraged & Found Edibles brings the first Ladyfern fiddleheads to your Ballard Farmers Market, an unofficial, but formal announcement that Spring is Here. Together with Stoney Plains Farm (see below for last weeks post  titled: “It’s Spring Tonic Time) you can quickly mix up another beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest salad: wash & cut Fiddleheads, Wood Sorrel or Garden Sorrel, Stinging Nettles, and Miners Lettuce into mouth-sized pieces.  Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a splash of white wine or light Japanese vinegar, and a dash of salt.  That’s it.

The King Salmon are Here

Whole king and coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole king salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The run has just opened, and Wilson Fish caught some fresh, wild-caught King.

Thank you all for your patience during the past few weeks as substitutes have stepped in to keep you informed of the changes that are going on at Ballard Farmers Market each week.  Seattle Farmers Market Association is excited to let you know that we expect to have a new addition to our staff, taking over the blog postings.  Keep an eye out for that announcement.

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015 by
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

We are glad to have a little more space to keep more of our fine foods and craft vendors longer through the summer as the farms begin to rush into the Ballard Farmers Market with their larger harvests.  You may have noticed over the years, the market experiences a gradual loss of some of our favorite food makers and handmade crafts as we have more and bigger farm presence.  A shout-out goes to the City Department of Parks and Recreation for approving our use permit of Bergen Place.  Now we can keep more of our fine vendors working in Ballard.  You’ll see a rotating variety of vendors over the coming months, like:  Veraci Pizza!  Their famous pizza oven cooking pizzas with many locally sourced toppings, was scheduled to move into Bergen Place at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday, but they brought the wrong size truck and can’t make it work.  I apologize to those readers who saw this False alarm last night and the earlier post this morning.  We will try to work it out for next week.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza into the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

IT’S SPRING TONIC TIME

Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

Once upon a time, in the far distant past, mothers and crones and medicine women were the keepers of the villagers’ health.  It was from them that the secret of the Spring Tonic was imposed into the family diets and for treating illnesses in the community.  The medicine women had learned, what much later would be named by modern science as Micro-Nutrients and Vitamin C, were effective at helping people fight off the ravages of the winter weather and effects of less food for the people during the dark months.  They knew the secrets of recovery that were held within the bright green shoots emerging in the forests around them.

 MINERS LETTUCE

Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, tasty miner’s lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Miners Lettuce, saved many miners’  lives during the mid-1800s. Many men were taken in by the myths of “gold in them thar hills” that came out of the California Gold Rush.  These guys were gullible. They thought that within a few weeks, they could just walk around the mountains, picking up huge gold nuggets, and return home with their fortunes before their families missed them.  Consequently, many opted not to bring food supplies with them and, of course, many soon began to starve.  Luckily, the mountain ranges of the West Coast had a native plant, Claytonia profoliata, growing everywhere in the forests.  This beautiful and delicious green was packed with vitamins, most especially  “C”, and its common name, of Miners Lettuce is a testament to how many miners’ lives it was responsible for saving and how many of those silly men made it back from the wilds of the Northern California Sierras alive, if poorer.  Excellent in salads, as a beautiful garnish on any food, and used on sandwiches in place of lettuce.  The flavor is almost tart, but mild, and children love eating it fresh picked.
Both Nettles and Chickweed, endemic to fields and forest, paths and hedgerows, have also provided natural remedies for eons.  One is scary and the other is stepped on wherever you go.

 CHICKWEED

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization.  From Stoney Plains Farm

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization. From Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed is delicate and if soaked in cold water for an hour or four, will leach many of their healthful nutrients into the water and provide a refreshing drink to those who may have to re-hydrate from congestion or a cough from a cold.  Then use the greens in a fresh salad, on sandwiches, or as a garnish, much like you would parsley or cilantro sprigs.

STINGING NETTLES

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Nettles, with their prickly leaves, should be placed in a bowl of water, rinsed and drained. Best if you use a pair of tongs or a spoon so as not to touch them with your hands. Then throw them into a saute pan with mushrooms, onions and/or garlic, and eaten like any great vegetable.  Their sting disappears with the cooking, and may be responsible for a big part of the nutrition they provide.

AND THERE IS MORE !

Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our amazing weather has caused bumper crops that are popping out of the fields of our area farms like magic.  One Leaf Farm is one of those.  I got a call from Alice, formerly the beauty who was always seen behind the tables of Oxbow Farm in the past years.  Now she works with Rand Rasheed.

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Carnation

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Snohomish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems these two powerhouse women farmers had more greens than the restaurants they normally supply could use this week.  So when they asked if they could bring One Leaf Farm greens this week, I jumped at the chance to bring them to Ballard Farmers Market.

YES!  WE HAVE EGGS!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here: http://roscommonacres.com/2012/04/how-to-decorate-brown-eggs-for-easter/

LOPEZ ISLAND WINERY’S LAST WEEK

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

A consistent winner of prizes for Best-of-Category, Lopez Island Vineyards will be taking a hiatus from the Ballard Farmers Market in order to catch up with the many Spring chores that a vineyard has. Again, because of this amazing weather, the vines are requiring a lot of attention.  As so many of our farms, Brent Charnley and Maggie Nilan, are working the vineyards and running the winery almost entirely by themselves. You’re encouraged to come to market this Sunday, stock up on their very special wines and say goodbye.  If you have the time, volunteer to help out at LIV, and you could find yourself with an interesting job while you enjoy one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Be sure to pick up enough bottles to last until they return.  Luckily wine keeps in a cool pantry or basement excellently, actually getting better.  It’s a feeling of security to have a stock of great wines, ready for that special occasion when only the best local taste will meet the standard of what you want to sip.  Try taking home their most recent winner, Malbec, their lovely Gold Winning Madeline Angevine, it won a Platinum Award, and the Siegerrebe white wine, declared “top-quality” by Wine Press Northwest.

NEED SOMETHING NEW FOR THE SPRING?

Find a one of a kind skirt to brighten up these warmer days.  Children’s sizes are also available.

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Another Sad Loss for the Ballard Farmers Market Family

March 25, 2015 by
Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya and her daughter Alexandria.  Smiling as usual. Photo Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 Anita Vizcaya passed away in her sleep, after a productive day of making candles in the farm house kitchen and going to bed happy.  Her family is grateful for the mercy that she left this world peacefully and without pain.

All who knew her, realized that Anita was a wonderful mother and friend.  Alex and Anita were a team, working together with a shared respect and love between them that was unmistakable.  One of her favorite quotes, and the one that her family named as her memorial statement is from “On Motherhood” by Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  

Anita was born in Mt Vernon, Washington, and grew up on her parents’ farm, Jessie’s Berries. Located in Skagit County, the farm was named by her father to honor Jessie, Anita’s mother, when they began farming in the late 50’s.  Anita took on a greater share of the farming as her parents grew older and the farming became harder for them.  And like so many small farmers must, she worked full time in a real-world job too.  She retired last year from the Tesoro Refinery, after a long and illustrious professional career.  

Long after Anita’s Dad passed away, the 3 Vizcaya women worked diligently to keep the berry farm productive.  We benefited from  their hard work.  Their ever present beautiful and infectious smiles were glorious gifts to all the people who came to the market, not to mention the marvelous berries they brought to us each week.  

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Energetic and full of the love of life, Anita’s passion was drawing and painting, which she pursued during the dark and wet winters on Fir Island Rd in Mount Vernon.  Anita  is survived by her mother, Jessie, her sister, Ofelia, brothers, Alfredo and Javier, son-in-law Daniel, and of course, her daughter Alexandria.  

Their family was open and loving to each other and so they know that she did not want the family to organize a memorial service.  Instead, she insisted they go to Hawaii and enjoy the beauty, warmth, and comfort that Aloha can provide in a time of need.  

Yet, in her good natured way, she understood that some in her extended family, friends, and co-workers might want to have a recognition of some kind.  The family has informed us that they won’t be accepting guests for a while, but if you find yourself going by their farm, they will have a guest book on the front porch for you to share your feelings.

We who worked so many years together with Anita at the market, would like to invite her fellow vendors and her customers to join in recognition of the beautiful person that she was, by stopping at the Market Information desk to share memories of her with an entry in the Anita Vizcaya Remembrance Book we will have available there.  In lieu of flowers/gifts, it was her wish that donations be made to N.O.A.H. www.thenoahcenter.org.   All notes of condolence you wish to leave with us, will be forwarded immediately to Anita’s family.


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