Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Reasons to Celebrate: March is National Soup Month and Ides of Spring is Upon Us

March 14, 2015

Jerry Baxter, the man behind Got Soup? Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soup is nutritious, delicious, and makes everyone feel better, no matter what the day is like.  We are proud to have Jerry Baxter bringing his handmade soups, always made from local and organic ingredients, every week. Got Soup? has what you need for this Spring weather. This week’s selections are Thai Peanut and Chicken, and four Vegan Soup Choices:  Hot & Sour Mushroom, Green Risotto, Vegetable Chili Verde, and Coconut Red Lentil Dal, and Broccoli & 3 Cheeses. A hint from our busy market master is to “Be sure you have one or more of these soups in your freezer for those times when everyone comes home hungry, tired and needing to eat right away.”  These are real meals, made from local farm produce that are ready in no time at all.  And while the soup is heating, you can add a hearty side dish, such as Cornbread with Caramelized Apples and Onions with Thyme.  Find it on our website at sfmamarkets.com in the Recipes section.   This is an easy, elegant and yet quick answer to those moments you need a dinner fast.  They are also excellent for those times, like the Ides of March, when only comfort food will do.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farm in Port Angeles. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of, “We continue to bring everything of the highest quality that you could possibly need for your kitchen table from local producers” category, how about local Saffron? This herb adds a perfect and sumptuous flavor to feed your soul and body.  Ballard Farmers Market is proud to be the exclusive outlet for Jim Robinson, who grows this delicate herb at his farm in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains in Port Angeles, Phocas Farm. This is superb saffron that has become a favorite with many of the best chefs in Seattle. Why buy Iranian-grown saffron marketed as “Spanish” in the Big Box stores, when you can get better saffron locally?  Use it to flavor your chicken & rice soup and experience greatness.


Speaking of Chicken!

Are you feeling a bit windblown and dreary these recent damp Spring mornings?  Maybe a little grey, or mossy,  or perhaps even chilled? Ballard Farmers Market has the cure for that.  Chicken broth made lovingly out of these products from our impeccable farms.  Place the washed bird into a deep pot, add water, a chopped onion, garlic, a dash of salt, and dry herbs you love.  Bring to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it begins to fill your home with comforting aromas.  Turn off the heat, let sit until you can place the pan into your fridge.  Let it get cold.  Remove the meat from the bones and put back into your broth.  Add any great veggies you love, roots first, and simmer again. Coarsely chop greens and add to the pot about 10 minutes or less before you want to eat.  Serve with a garnish of your choice.  Try finely sliced Swiss Chard or spinach from Colinwood Farm, shredded cabbage, collards, or kale from Nash’s,  Growing Washington, Stoney Plains Farm, or Kirsop Farm, and garnish with mint or cilantro from Children’s Garden.  You get the idea, Ballard is seeing more of these leafy gems appearing every day.

If you need some chicken broth immediately, stop at the Stokesberry Sustainable Farm to pick up a nice cup of the warm and soothing broth that they make at the farm.  You’ll be glad you did.

Check out all of the fine choices available from the local farms at Ballard Farmers Market.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

SeaBreeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market.  Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

SeaBreeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Skagit River Ranch. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skagit River Ranch. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm Copyright Zachary D, Lyons

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm –  They also offer hot broth at the Market or frozen and ready to take home.  Copyright Zachary D, Lyons


Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, these beautiful Fuji apples, and a great variety of other wonderful fruit, including dried fruit, can be found at Tiny’s Organic Produce. These are perfect for an energy boost or as an added ingredient in cornbread.  Check out our recipe pages at sfmamarkets.com  Just in case you want to mix it up a little, you can also find a very easy and delicious recipe for Potato and Leek Soup while you explore the recipes. 

Your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your home, from  all the freshest fruits and veggies, meats, seafood, poultry, cheese, to baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on.

Sunday, February 22nd: Sprouts, Greens & Springy Things!

February 21, 2015
Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring continues its early advance this week, as we in Seattle enjoy the best weather in the country. (It was warmer here than it was in Fort Meyers, Florida the other day!) All the cherry trees in Seattle are in bloom, and all the shrubs are pushing out leaves. Heck, they are already talking about the pollen count on local weather reports! We will enjoy this in the form of deliciousness like these yummy microgreens from Kirsop Farm, great in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish for soups and many dishes and more.

Nash's Best Carrots from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Best Carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And with the onslaught of our early spring, some of our winter crops are on the way out early, too. For instance, this is the last week for carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce for a while. But they are just beginning to harvest their over-wintered leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, collard greens, red russian kale, and even possibly flat leaf parsley.

Braising mix from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter greens kinda took a hit in November and December freezes, but they’ve come roaring back. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has these great braising greens right now with lots of tender young leaves of collard greens and various kales. Nummers!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One fall crop is still going strong: Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Pink Lady’s are a terrific eating apple — crisp and sweet — and they are an excellent keeper, which means they are great deep into the late winter and early spring!

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For a year-round crop, how’s about some delicious, pasture-raised pork from Olsen Farms. These pork rib chops are beautifully marbled, and they grill up wonderfully. Of course, they also have yummy spuds for you, too, in many varieties. Potatoes are almost a year-round crop, themselves.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You already know that Lynden’s Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards grows and sells amazing hazelnuts. But did you also know that they make hazelnut butter and hazelnut oil from those hazelnuts, too?

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spread some of that hazelnut butter on a slice of one of these incredible loaves of artisan breads from Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery. The various earthy breads in the image above are all perfect vehicles for hazelnut butter… or oil: HominyOat & HoneyPain au Levain and Compagnon.

There is plenty more 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.

Sunday, February 8th: Spinach, Sheep Yogurt & Things That Say (or taste like), “I Love You!”

February 7, 2015
First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just as we all crawl back out from in front of the nearest big screen TV to have to face the world for another eight months without Seahawks football (for which we, here at your Sunday Ballard Farmers Market, thank the NFL, cuz it gets kinda lonely here on game day), I must remind you that it is time to make plans for that special someone in your life who is already wondering what your are going to do for them this year. No pressure! Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Why not get a jumpstart on the gratuitous, if not greeting card company induced, love fest this year with a bouquet of fresh tulips from Alm Hill Gardens? And if you get buds that are still pretty tight, they’ll be in full bloom come that magical day.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, I love root vegetables and kale just as much as the next guy, but it is nice to know that Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend is looking out for our culinary sanity by offering us something else out of their greenhouses this time of year. Like this beautiful spinach. No, this is not a stock photo taken in the summertime. This is an honest-to-goodness February image. Enjoy!

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards not only help keep the doctor away all winter long, but they also are just plain delicious! Still plenty crisp, they are one of my favorite eating apples.

First of the new year sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the new year sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The ewes up on Whidbey Island are making milk again, and that means more fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd! I love this stuff. It is part of my morning routine year-round. And I love how the flavor changes with the seasons. You can actually taste the changes in the forage the sheep eat.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Having trouble getting a reservation for Valentine’s Day? Why bother? Make dinner at home! We’ve got the spinach salad and flowers covered above. Grab some fresh artisan pasta made with market-fresh ingredients from Pasteria Lucchese for your main course. They have a wonderful selection of pastas from which to choose, they can give you tips on how to prepare it, and they even have a great lineup of sauces, too!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

How about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates in West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

Raw pet foods from Porter's Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw pet foods from Porter’s Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the love for Fido or Mittens! Stop by Porter’s Pride and check out their raw diet pet foods for cats and dogs. Made with human-grade, locally-raised meats and other ingredients, this is food you can feel good about feeding your four-legged loved ones. And they will slobber and shed all over you with affection in return!

There is plenty more 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.

Sunday, January 4th: Honor Your Eat Healthy Resolution At Your Ballard Farmers Market!

January 3, 2015
Organic Carrots from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Carrots from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, who here resolved to eat healthier in 2015? Come on. Get those hands up high in the air. Wait, keep them up. I’m still counting! Wow, that’s a lot. And I am assuming the rest of you, if you are reading this post, already think you eat healthy enough, or you don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. Whatever the case, your Ballard Farmers Market is here to serve you! We’ve got plenty of fresh, locally-grown, and offered to you direct from the farm, nutritious produce, even this time of year. Like these gorgeous carrots from Kirsop Farm, our newest year-round farm at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Starting off the new year with some roughage will make your body happy, and will please your palate in the process. Stop by Colinwood Farm for some of their lovely braising mix for said purpose!

Rutabagas from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the rutabagas right now. One of my favorite roots, I love them simply steamed and mashed with good Irish butter. But Patty sent along another great way to enjoy them, and here’s the recipe:

Golden Rutabaga Sunset

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

  • 1 large rutabaga, coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium yam, about coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium onion, sliced vertically into half moons
  • 1 large leaf kale, rib discarded, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Pinch cayenne, salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions for garnish
  • 1 sprig fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil) for garnish

Combine the rutabaga, yam, onion, and kale in a large, deep skillet. Add the water and cook, stirring over high heat for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to cook the vegetables and prevent burning. Add the raisins and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the green onions and herbs. Recipe adapted from http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps a nice, local pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm will warm your soul and be a nice change of pace from heavier holiday foods. And hey… you could make some chicken soup with it, which is always a good boost to the old immune system, especially when you add…

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Considered both a culinary and a medicinal mushroom, these babies with cure what ails you while adding a big boost of flavor to any dish!

Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is no such thing as too much garlic! This Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm will ward off colds and vampires (and perhaps a few unworthy friends who don’t appreciate your garlic breath), and it packs some powerfully delicious flavor, too!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes it’s monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Come get some of their most excellent local albacore tuna, full of beneficial omega-fatty acids, which your doctor (or your PBS guru) will tell you is very, very good for you!

Sunchokes from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes, but sunchokes have no relation to artichokes whatsoever. They are, in fact, a tuberous vegetable produced by a member of the sunflower family, and they are native to North America. Sunchokes, like this from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) are loaded with nutrients, and while they can be prepared any way a potato is, they actually have the opposite effect on your blood sugar, which makes them great for diabetics!

Golden Russet apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Russet apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And, of course, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? So stock up on apples from Booth Canyon Orchard, like these super yummy, if not super attractive, Golden Russet apples.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Finally, as we welcome back Hama Hama Oysters from their holiday hiatus, let us not forget that oysters are loaded with zinc, which can help you ward off those winter colds. And rumor has it that oysters are good for other healthy things, too, but this is a family show.

There is plenty more 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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