Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Sunday, December 21st: Happy Solstice! (And Chanukah, Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Yule, Zappadan & Any Other Holidays I Missed!)

December 20, 2014
Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve got the Andy Williams Christmas Album playing on the iTunes, and that can only mean it is time for our annual Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Festivus, Zappadan, Kwanzaa, Yule, and, of course, Christmas Ballard Farmers Market Blog Holiday Extravaganza! So deck the halls with one of these giant, natural wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens, and sing along with Andy, cuz it’s time to get our holidaze on, good people of Ballard!

Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner during his 2013 Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner during his 2013 Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“So hoopdeedoo, and dickory dock, and don’t forget to hang up your suck, cuz just exactly at 12-o’clock, he’ll be coming down the chimney, down!” And to get you further in the holiday spirit, our buddy, Chef Jason Stoneburner from Stoneburner and Bastille will perform an Eat Local For The Holidays cooking demonstration today at noon!

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year (ding, dong, ding, dong).” And yule need a nice roast beast for your holiday table to help ring in the season. Perhaps one of these lovely, freshly smoked holiday hams from Olsen Farms will hit the spot. Or maybe a nice leg of lamb, or a beef rib roast, will do the job.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And if you set some of these gorgeous Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms on your holiday table, you will hit a high note with your guests that could very well send the kind of chills up and down their spines that we all get when Andy Williams hits those high notes when he sings, O Holy Night.

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling down…” Sing it, Elvis! And what could be sweeter than listening to An Elvis Christmas while enjoying some caramelized cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm atop some of their delicata or blue hubbard winter squash, eh?

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

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

“Uh-hubba-hubba, uh, here comes Santa Claus…” I think only Bruce Springsteen’s version of this song even comes close to Elvis’s. It’s that Delta Blues influence that makes it so much fun! And Santa will be quite please with you for setting out a nice plate of sautéed kale from Kirsop Farm with a nice glass of boozy eggnog. After all, we’re one of his last stops here in the Pacific Time Zone, and that means he’ll be all bound up on cookies and milk, and he’ll be ready for some fiber and a cocktail!

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.

“And when those blue snowflakes start falling…” I think Elvis was missing his Pink Lady when he sang those words… his Pink Lady apples, that is, from Collins Family Orchards. And who wouldn’t? They’re at their peak right now, crisp and sweet. They are like candy, without the big bill from the dentist!

Organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Giles Clement.

Organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Giles Clement.

“Don’t fill my sock with candy… no bright and shiny toys…” Santa, bring Elvis’s baby back to him already. And throw in some of these wonderful organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farm, too, please!

Stöllen from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Stöllen from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It doesn’t show signs of stopping, and I brought me some corn for popping…” Just something about the swagger with which Dean Martin signs these word. And let it snow right here on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market! Oh, and to really crank up the spirit, grab a loaf of stöllen from Snohomish Bakery. This traditional German holiday loaf is as much fun to pronounce as it is to eat, and it comes with its own little coating of snow, in the form of lots of powdered sugar!

Drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“But baby, it’s cold outside…” Dean had better break out some of this drinking chocolate from Soulever Chocolates, and the discussion would be over in a heartbeat.

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.

“The snow is snowing, and the wind is blowing, but I can weather the storm. What do I care how it may storm? I’ve got my love to keep me warm.” I think Dean was talking about his dog and his cat in this song. Heck, they come with their own fur coats, after all. So why not treat your best friends with some locally-made with local ingredients raw pet food from Porter’s Pride?

Salish sea salt and madrona smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Salish sea salt and madrona smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s the Little Saint Nick (oohoohoohooh)… Run, run, reindeer… (he don’t miss no one)…” Yes, the Beach Boys had it right. And you’ll have it right with this delicious stocking stuffer. These little sample bottles of sea salt and madrona-smoked sea salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt Company are just you need for those little extra gifts. Oh, and you can cook with it, too!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, like Santa, I’ve got a lot of ground to cover here, so I will spare you additional quotes from my Joan Stafford, Liberace and two Chimpmunks Christmas albums. (Although Liberace’s Twas The Night Before Christmas is an absolute classic!) For me, it just ain’t the holidays without steaming up some rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm and mashing them with some really good better. Yeah, baby!

Black trumpet wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild black trumpet mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This has been an epic fall for wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Treat yourself to some of these awesome black trumpet mushrooms, or maybe some yellowfoot chanterelles or hedgehog mushrooms during the holidays!

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

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

Not only is there no such thing as too much garlic, but you’ll need it for all sorts of holiday dishes. Plus, garlic makes a great stocking stuffer, too. Seriously! Garlic is known as the stinking rose, and who doesn’t like roses? Am I right, people? Think of the gourmand on your list for whom you need that little surprise gift. Then visit Jarvis Family Garlic Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and let them introduce you to their wonderful selection of heirloom garlic varieties that will please you, and the recipient of your garlicky gift.

Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are poaching them, baking them, saucing them, adding them to salads, or just eating them right off the core, you can’t go wrong at the holidays with a bunch of these great Bartlett pears from Martin Family Orchards.

Chanukah pecan pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chanukah pecan pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lest anyone think this post is too Christmas heavy (and really, it’s just Christmas music heavy!), check out these special Chanukah-themed pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. She’s got them in peachpecan and several other flavors, as well as some with snowmen on them, and others with reindeer! Save yourself some work in the kitchen this week, and bring home the best pies in town!

Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Cidery & Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll really get in the holiday spirit with some of this Spirited Apple Wine from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. This is their cider taken in a wine cordial direction, then they add a bit of extra bunch that’ll make you smile. Just don’t plan on driving for a while. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the day!

Beautiful, unique necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, unique necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s take one more crack at that holiday gift list of yours. Remember, you will find truly unique gift items, direct from the local artists who created them, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these stunning necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Heck, you can actually watch Corrine make some of her pieces right in front of you at the Market! So give a gift with a real person behind it.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tator at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And Vern Tator, Woodturner, joins us today for his only pre-holiday visit of the 2014 season. Vern makes these magnificent works of functional art using wood from his own property. He turns, sands and polishes them by hand. And you get to give someone very special a spectacular set of wooden salt and pepper mills, a fantastic wooden salad bowl, a gorgeous wooden rolling pin, heirloom-quality wooden pens, and more!

Shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we look a week ahead to New Year’s Eve. While your Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 28th, for you to stock up to celebrate the coming of a near year, Hama Hama Oysters will be absent. Why not stock up on shucked oysters today? They’ll have a freshness date that will carry through the changing of the calendar, and you’ll be all set for the big party!

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, November 23rd: Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2014
Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

It’s here, folks! The first really big holiday of the holiday season: Thanksgiving! Or as we call it in my family, “Thanks For The Land Day!” Whatever you and yours call it, this coming Thursday is a day to take a break, take stock, and express our thanks for what we have, and especially for the bounty that reaches our tables. For Thanksgiving, the first American holiday, ultimately commemorates when mighty, advanced indigenous peoples welcomed undocumented foreigners with open arms and saved them from starvation at Plimouth, so that they might make better lives for themselves in a new world.

We in the farmers market community encourage you to Eat Local For Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, and we have pretty much everything you’ll need to do so right here. We then ask you to give thanks for the many local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans who bring you the best food on earth right here at your Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday, year round. This year, the best way you can do that is to make a public comment in opposition to unreasonably high permit fee increases on farmers markets and their vendors proposed for 2015 by Public Health – Seattle & King County. For a great discussion of the issues at hand, and what is at stake, check out this week’s Ballard News-Tribune article, and for more details on how to comment, please see this blog post from last week. And in return, we thank you!

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving is Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. There are plenty of Brussels in your Ballard Farmers Market right now, including those beauties up above from Nash’s Organic Produce. And several farms will have shallots, including this from Alvarez Organic Farms. I caramelize my shallots while browning and rendering out my chunked up bacon in a hot skillet. When the bacon begins to get browned, and the shallots caramelized, I drop in the Brussels, cut in half, and sauté them in the bacon grease until they get bright green and just beginning to get tender. At that point, I deglaze the pan with some white wine. The wine combines with the tasty browned pits, or fond, on the bottom of your skillet, reincorporating them back into the Brussels with delicious results. The Brussels finish cooking in this yummy wine sauce and the wine cooks down. The result is that your Brussels sprouts hating kin will ask for seconds!

And speaking of cooking tips, celebrated James Beard Award winning local chef, Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants (including Ballard Ave’s Ballard Pizza Company, Chippy’s and Staple & Fancy) will preform an Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. today.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need some of this amazing bacon from Skagit River Ranch to complete your Brussels sprouts masterpiece this week, but get here early, as it’s sure to sell out. And speaking of things selling out, here are some shopping strategy tips for today’s Market:

  • Get here early, if you can.
  • Pack patience with you, as crowds will be big.
  • Maybe pack a cooler, too.
  • Purchase things like eggs, bacon, cranberries and other items likely to sell out early first.
  • If you don’t plan on watching any sporting matches today, you may prefer to shop after 1 p.m., when big games will thin out our crowds, though keep in mind that some prime items may be sold out by then.
  • If you do plan to watch either the Seahawks or Sounders games, do your shopping first, or during halftime, and watch the games on one of the many TV screens in bars and eateries up and down Ballard Avenue. It will likely be cool enough that, even without a cooler, your Market goodies will keep just fine in your trunk until after the big game!

Here is a list of where you may be able to watch the Sounders playoff game in the neighborhood at 2 p.m. today:

  • Bad Albert’s
  • Ballard Smoke Shop
  • Billy Beach Sushi & Bar
  • El Borracho (on Leary)
  • Kangaroo & Kiwi (on Market, soccer only)
  • Kickin’ Boot
  • Lock & Keel
  • Loft
  • Market Arms (on Market, soccer only)
  • Moshi Moshi
  • Patxi’s
  • The Gerald
  • The Noble Fir

Here is a list of where you will be able to watch the Seahawks, in addition to all of the places above:

  • Bastille (at the bar)
  • Bitterroot (in the bar)
  • Hattie’s Hat (at the bar)
  • Matador (at the bar)
  • Stoneburner (in the bar)

And that’s how you can have your game, and Eat Local For Thanksgiving, too!

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you use a bottle of Siegerrebe from LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards) to deglaze your pan whilst cooking up those Brussels, but it would be a nice accompaniment to your meal. It, or any of the many other award-winning wines from LIV. And try out their new raspberry dessert wine, too!

Rutabagas from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another favorite of mine this week is steamed rutabagas mashed with lots of good butter. You’ll find these lovely little bagas at Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), right at the bottom of the Market. Nummers!

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm will help sweeten up your holiday feast. They have many different varieties from which to choose, in many flavors, textures, colors, shapes and sizes. Ask for cooking tips. Roast your seeds. And remember, you can eat the skins on many squash varieties!

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking to add a little taste of spring to your fall feast? How about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm? They come complete with greens, meaning you get two dishes for the price of one! Or, better yet, cook them together! Cut the turnips in half, sauté them in butter or olive oil until tender and a bit browned. Then add the greens and some crushed garlic and toss together until the greens wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the spuds! Olsen Farms has a couple dozen varieties of potatoes from which to choose, with one perfect for your needs. Some or white, others golden, and others red or blue. Some are waxy and others starchy. Some are better suited to baking, while others like roasting, and still others steaming or frying. Ask questions. Read tags. Have fun with your potatoes.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One thing you can do with your potatoes is mash them with some celery root and parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Talk about an elegant mash! You’ll want equal amounts of all three. I also like to cut up my parsnips into small chunks and roast them in a hot oven with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms cut into similar-sized pieces. When they’re tender, they’re done… in about 15-20 minutes. Toss them once, midday.

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

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

With all the meat, potatoes, sugary things, roots and such, you’ll want some roughage. Lucky for us, in spite of the recent cold weather, Colinwood Farm’s greenhouses are still cranking out some righteous spicy salad mix just for you! Slice up some of those turnips like radishes and add them to it.

Farmbox Greens' vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Greens’ vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and add some superfood to your salad, too! This week, we welcome Farmbox Greens to your Ballard Farmers Market with these Seattle-grown microgreens. In their seedling form, they are little nutrient bombs, and they are packed with flavor, too. Garnish your soups, mashes, meats and more with them.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Apples are good for all sorts of dishes, from salads to sauces to pies, during the holidays. I chose this particular photo of Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic because I recently returned from a trip to Arkansas, and I am here to testify that this apple is, in fact, the apple of Arkansas!

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery is what they, and I, call a “Northwest camembert.” It is the perfect cheese for any occasion, great on a nice slice of local bread and topped with some ikura from Loki Fish. You’ll need some for your holiday festivities!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And here is a perfect local bread for that pairing: kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is all chewy and salty and delicious, and it keeps fairly well, so fear not picking it up today for later in the week. And if you are simply a worrier by nature, then pop it in the freezer today, then pop it in the oven around 300 degrees on Thursday for about 20-30 minutes. It’ll be like it just came out of the bakery’s oven!

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon fillets from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon fillets from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish will have just a little bit more fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon today in fillet form before the Puget Sound season closes for 2014. They had one more brief opening on Thursday night, so this is super fresh. If you’re just not a turkey eater, or you are looking for something distinctly different for your other meals this week, here you go! But it will sell out early. However, they will have plenty of that aforementioned ikura, freshly cured and ready to pep up that cheese and bread, or your soup or salad.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Why spend the entire day in  your kitchen on Thursday? Give yourself a bit of a break and get one of these amazing pumpkin pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, or apple or pecan. Not only will it lower your stress level, it will likely be better than anything anyone you know can bake! And if you are attending a feast at someone else’s house, and you’re supposed to bring dessert… here you go! Just grab a pinch of AP flour out of the cupboard before you leave home and dust yourself a bit. Everyone will believe you baked it yourself.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we’d like to give one last shout out to Adam and House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods. Adam is retiring his company as of today’s Market, and he is moving to Portland. Stop by, wish him well, and grab yourself one last container of his awesome Green Dragon hummus for old times’ sake. Thanks, Adam! We’ll miss you!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog posts (Tuesday & Thursday) for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And 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, November 16th: Local Hazelnuts, Holiday Hams, Sweet Squash, Perfect Pears, Soul-Warming Teas & More!

November 15, 2014
Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been c-c-c-c-c-o-l-d-d-d-d this past week, and that means we may be missing some crops today. But hey, it could be worse. We could live in Fargo, where you needed a jackhammer to harvest potatoes this week. Guess what else? There are just 11 days left until Thanksgiving! Have you gotten your turkey or ham yet? If not, better snap to it. You can still arrange for hams from Olsen Farms or Skagit River Ranch, and Growing Things Farm still has a few turkeys left, but you need to buy or reserve them today for delivery next Sunday!

(BTW, if you love being able to get meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, eggs and other animal products at your Ballard Farmers Market, please read our Tuesday blog post about ridiculously high proposed new health permit fees from King County that could drive some farms out of farmers markets and some markets in the county out of business. We need your help writing letters and attending meetings on behalf of your favorite farms and markets!)

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, I am just nuts for nuts. Aren’t you? And lucky for us, Washington’s own Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards is returning today to your Ballard Farmers Markets after several years’ absence! Up in Whatcom County, they grown some of the finest hazelnuts you will ever taste anywhere. They are big, fresh and sweet. They have them raw, roasted, seasoned in a wide variety of flavors, and they even offer some absolutely fabulous hazelnut oil, great for finishing soups, salads and other dishes.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm also has lots of gorgeous winter squash and pumpkins right now. Choose from a couple of varieties of kabocha squashsweet dumpling squashred kuri squashJarradhale pumpkins, or these beautiful carnival squash.

Crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These are crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards. Honestly, I don’t remember seeing them in previous years. So I did what any farmers market blogger worth his salt would do… because I care about you. I got one, and I ate it. (It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!) These cute little pears are quite juicy and not overbearingly sweet. I quite enjoyed mine. I think you’ll enjoy these, too!

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This past Thursday may have marked the last day in the 2014 Puget Sound Keta salmon fishing season, so today may be your last day to enjoy fresh Keta salmon from Loki Fish. They actually catch this keta in the center of Puget Sound, straight out from Magnolia Bluff. And besides the versatile fillets Loki offers, they also take Keta roe (eggs) and cure them with salt to make ikura. This local delicacy is great for the holidays. I love it on some Tall Grass Bakery baguette with some truffled fromage from Mt. Townsend Creamery.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Cold nights and approaching holidays call for tea. Why not try some local herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist this fall? They are blended with many ingredients grown on Vashon Island and other local farms, and they come in a terrific selection of delicious blends. Some will relax you. Some will wake you. Some with help cure what ails you. And some will even put you in the mood. Now, that’s a tea that will warm you up, people! And it makes a great stocking stuffer, too!

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

There are only two more Sundays for House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods at your Ballard Farmers Market. Adam is retiring his business and moving on to other adventures. So stop by now for all the kale chips you can carry to your car! And give the big lug a hug and a thank you, while you’re at it!

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Peppers are pretty much done for this year. Pretty much, I say, save for the fact that Stoney Plains Organic Farm harvested a LOT of them before the cold set it, and today, they’ll have some left just for you at your Ballard Farmers Market! They should still have jalapenospoblanos and some of these lovely serrano peppers. These… and red sunchokes, too!

Decorative gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Decorative gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish our weekend installment this week with these pretty ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm. They are perfect for sprucing up your home for fall. Boistfort also has plenty of the edible gourds, too — winter squash and pumpkins, as well as garlichoneyrutabagasparsnips and lots of other fall localiciousness!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog post for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And 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.

For Sunday, November 2nd: Fall Back 1 Hour, Local Albacore Tuna, Rutabagas, Heirloom Apples, Beautiful Broccoli, Award-Winning Ales & We Welcome Kirsop Farm!

October 31, 2014
Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to set you clocks back Saturday night! And that means it’s baga season, baby! Yes, the food of our people — the Scandinavians and Irish who built Ballard — is here again to sustain us through the cold, dark, wet months. These beautiful rutabagas are from Boistfort Valley Farm in, you guessed it, Boistfort Valley. I love them steamed and mashed with a good butter as a side dish at Thanksgiving, and I toss them in the pot with my corned beef on St. Paddy’s Day. What my Irish kin still call “turnips” or “Swedes” over on the Emerald Isle are a root that is much more dense than a turnip, with a distinct flavor. They take longer to cook, but they hold up well in wet cooking. And they’re gorgeous! (Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down to see our midweek post for even more news on this week’s localiciousness at your Ballard Farmers Market.)

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..

It’s the first Sunday of November this week, and that means local albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. This sashimi-grade tuna is blast frozen at sea to preserve flavor and freshness. It is younger albacore from the North Pacific, meaning it is higher in beneficial  omega-fatty acids and lowering in heavy metals than tuna from the tropics. Get it in frozen loins, like above, or canned, dried or smoked. If you get the canned, don’t pour off the juices. Those are the natural juices of the tuna, not added oils or water. In other words, that is pure flavor you’d be draining off! And trust me, this is the best canned tuna you’ve ever tasted.

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

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

Please welcome the newest farm in our vendor ranks at your Ballard Farmers Market: Kirsop Farm. While they’ve sold at our markets in Wallingford and Madrona for the past two years, this week marks the first time they will be at your Ballard Farmers Market. But they’ve been at this organic farming business going on 20 years. Based in Tumwater, Washington, they grow some of the most beautiful produce in Washington, and we are very excited to have them here. We’re certain you will be just as excited as we are, once you meet them and try out their deliciousness!

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Prairie Spy apples was introduced by the University of Minnesota back in 1940, one of the earliest varieties produced there. It is one of the sweeter varieties of apples, good for eating right off the core or cooking. It is just one of the many interesting varieties of apples and pears offered currently by Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With our cooler, wetter weather, broccoli is rocking tables through your Ballard Farmers Market right now. It is, after all, the good food that’s good for you, right? And ain’t it nice to get to adulthood and realize you actually really like broccoli? I sometimes toss it with some bacon, garlic, chile flakes and fusilli for one simple, yet primo pasta dish. This beautiful broccoli is in the field up at Growing Washington at Alm Hill Gardens. Why not get your broccoli on today?

Award-winning ales from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Award-winning ales from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Propolis Brewing won Best Belgian-style Ale from Sip Northwest in their 2014 Best of the Northwest issue, on newsstands now. “At Sip Northwest, we like to think we are advocates of local,” said Erin James, managing editor of Sip Publishing, publishers of Sip Northwest. “Through this extensive and taxing process of blind tasting, we have found varying results over the past three years that give us even more producers and people to cover and celebrate in the Northwest. It’s very eye-opening to the amazing beverages being produced in our region, and we hope it serves as a shopping list for our readers.” Stop by and try some of their great ales for yourself this week at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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.