Posts Tagged ‘artichokes’

Midweek Update For Wednesday, October 29th: Artichokes, Fall Flowers, Local Wine, Cippolini Onions, Kirsop Farm & More!

October 29, 2014
Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

It’s time for your mid-week teaser! Here is some food for thought — literally — to fire you up for this weekend’s trip to your Ballard Farmers Market. These are some gorgeous artichokes from Growing Things Farm, don’t you think? And they are just waiting for you to use them in your favorite recipes. And though you cannot really tell from this photo, these babies are nice and large.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s gotten so many people disregard the humble red delicious apple in favor of exotic or classic heirlooms, or because they just seem mundane and boring. And while modern red delicious apples that are bred for storage and appearance — the ones you get at the Big Box store or with school lunches — have been accurately described as “akin to old potatoes when they come out of long storage” by a former Washington State Director of Agriculture, these red delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards are not those red delicious apples. These are, in fact, an older variety of them that hasn’t been bred black and flavorless, but instead is one of the finest eating apples you will ever encounter, because Martin brings them to Market fresh from harvest, when they’re at their peak of flavor and crispness. These are the red delicious apples that earned them their name in the first place!

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

The harvest and crush are in full swing at vineyards and wineries all over Washington right now, and that includes LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery). Here, Maggie and farm dog Lola are inspecting some of this year’s Madeleine Angevine grapes on their Lopez Island vineyards. These are the grapes responsible for their most award-winning wine. Stop by for a sample at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems our amazing, endless summer of 2014 has truly come to an end, though we continue to be blessed with lovely Sundays, as the weather gods love them so Ballard Farmers Market as much as you and I do. Still, we can continue to bring home summer sunshine in the form of these spectacular flowers from Mee Garden until they receive their first frost in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. So stop by for a beautiful bouquet this week!

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

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

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm cook down and caramelize wonderfully, making them brilliant for adding deep, rich onion flavor to soups, sauces and sides, or just as a simple garnish. Try them with one of their winter squash! One Leaf also has other great storage onions now, as well as shallots.

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

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

This Sunday, we welcome a new farm to the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market, but Kirsop Farm is by no means a new farm. In fact, they’ve been around for almost 20 years! We’ve enjoyed their stunning organic produce at both Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets for the last two years, and they’ve played a starring role at the Olympia Farmers Market going back to the 1990s. Based in Tumwater, Kirsop Farm is one of those farms, like Boistfort Valley Farm, to which many other farms in Washington look up. Their displays are magnificent, and their produce superb. And for an example of both, just take a gander at the beets in the photo above.

Sunday, August 31st: Ginormous Juicy Melons, Adorable Summer Squash, Charming Cherry Tomatoes, Glorious Gala Apples & Saying Sayonara To Succulents… For Now, Anyway.

August 30, 2014
Succulents in late summer light from Phocas Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents in late summer light from Phocas Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! September begins… tomorrow! And that means our buddy, Jimmy, from Phocas Farms, has to retire to his farm in Port Angeles to tend to his saffron crop, which is beginning to spring to life now. So today is your last chance until early next year to stock up on succulents and saffron corms to plant in your own yard. Stop by today, get what you need, and wish Jimmy a happy fall and a bountiful saffron harvest!

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has lots of these ginormous, delicious, juicy melons right now at  your Ballard Farmers Market. They grow all different kinds of melons, some all too familiar, and others downright strange. But they are all great and just waiting to make a mess out of your best shirt!

A rainbow of carrots from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of carrots from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is rocking the carrots right now, in a rainbow of colors. They’ve got ’em white, orange and purple at present, each with their own particular levels of sweetness, some suited best for roasting, while others are best raw. So stop by and get your carrot on now! And if you want to learn more about carrots than you ever thought there was to know about them, check out the World Carrot Museum online, where you’ll learn, for instance, that orange is a relatively new color for carrots.

Late summer strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Late summer strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sidhu Farms has a fresh crop of late summer strawberries for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Gorgeous, aren’t they? These are from a class of strawberry varieties known as “ever-bearing,” which means they will keep producing blooms and fruit until it gets too cold and dark to do so. Spring varieties are known as “June-bearing,” which means they are naturally genetically preset to bloom and produce fruit for only a specific period of time, usually 10-14 days in and around June, after which they go dormant again until next year. See, aren’t you glad you tuned in to your Ballard Farmers Market blog this week?

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet baby squash, little summer squash that are so sweet and so beautiful, and the perfect size for sautéing whole. See, Growing Things Farm sorts their summer squash by size — baby, toddler, adolescent… even tiny ones with full blossoms attached — so that you can get the perfect ones for your special meal… which ends up being every meal, when you eat them!

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards, just in time for packing in the kiddies lunch bags. (Yikes! Tomorrow is September!) And in case you haven’t noticed, this year has seen the fruit trees of Washington put out record fruit sets of the most delicious fruit ever, earlier than ever. See, global warming does have its up sides.

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

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

It’s celery season, good people of Ballard! Wait, what? Celery season, you ask? I get it. You still get your celery at the Big Box store, and they have it all year-round. But that celery cannot hold a candle to this celery from Boistfort Valley FarmThis celery is fresh, firm, crisp and, believe it or not, sweet. Yes, sweet. That’s because of its freshness and how it is grown. See, the celery you are getting from the Big Box store was harvested a week or two ago and shipped here from thousands of miles away. This celery was harvested yesterday afternoon in Thurston County. If you have never had farm-fresh celery, you owe it to yourself to try some today. You will never look at Big Box celery the same again!

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Early Italian prunes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart Italian prunes. Yes, prunes. Not plums. These are early Italian prunes from Magana Farms. Prunes are a free-stone stone fruit, meaning they release easily from their pit. They have a denser, sweeter flesh than plums, which are not free-stone, and they take well to cooking and drying, though I love them fresh, too. Of course, the Corporate Agribusiness Yahoos at the California Prune Board would have you believe that these are plums. Why? Because they are about marketing, not about food, and they worry that “prune” is too closely associated with keeping ones bowels regular. And I won’t lie to you… they will do just that. But that should not be a reason to rename them. I mean, why are we so afraid of stuff that is good for us, to the extent we will avoid it even though it is also delicious? How stupid have we become? Well, if you go ask Sam at Pasteria Lucchese what he thinks, he will tell you that he and his fellow Italians are still proud to call these what they really are: prunes! Celebrate them! Eat them! Sauce them! Syrup them! Dry them! Just don’t call them plums!

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

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

Another true love of Italians everywhere (and especially in Italy, for some reason) are fresh artichokes. They steam them. They grill them. They toss them with pasta, make them into soup, put them on pizza. They are crazy for them! If you are, too, now is your time. Get thee to Nash’s Organic Produce with all due haste and enjoy these beautiful artichokes today!

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia's Harmony Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia’s Harmony Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gaia’s Harmony Farm has lots and lots of these spectacular cherry tomatoes today! But wait, don’t they just sell berries and juice, you ask? Nope. So come get you some of these wonderful, organic cherry tomatoes today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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.

Nothing like a nice, chewy loaf of crusty artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to make your meal complete. From pain au levain, a lovely, sour loaf made with whole wheat, to hominy, made with, um, hominy, to their just plain comforting oat and honey bread, Tall Grass has set the standard for great bread in Seattle since their humble beginning with our market organization almost 20 years ago.

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These organic estate wines come from Wilridge Winery in Madrona. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine from Seattle’s original winery: Wilridge. These bottles, above, in fact, are their estate wines, made from grapes they grow themselves in the tiny Naches Heights appellation, just west of Yakima in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. Stop by their tent for a sample today, then grab a bottle of Washington winemaking history from right here in Seattle to enjoy tonight!

A bee enjoying a sunflower from The Old Farmer at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A bee enjoying a sunflower from The Old Farmer at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish this week’s epistle with this image of a happy little honey bee on freshly cut sunflowers from The Old Farmer, just across the isle from Oxbow Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Ballard is home to lots of honey bees, many of which reside atop restaurants like Bastille. And on Sundays, they get to enjoy the wonders of the Market just like you do!

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, June 23rd: Happy Summer! New Winery, Raspberries, Artichokes, Goat Ricotta, Pie Cherries, Wild Saskatoon Berries & More!

June 22, 2013
Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Happy summer, all y’all! We peaked at 16 hours of sunshine on Thursday, and it’s just going to get darker from here on out. But we’ve got a whole summer of spectacular weather and delicious local flavors in store for you here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Let’s start this first post of Summer 2013 by introducing our newest vendor, Kitzke Cellars. Their vineyards and winery are located just west of Richland where they have an amazing view of Candy Mountain, and they produce some stunning wines. The Kitzke Family has been farming there since the 1970s, though their transition from being orchardists to being winemakers has been gradual. Stop by and introduce yourself today, and pick up a bottle of one of their big reds!

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes do not deceive you. These are raspberries. From this year. Grown locally by Sidhu Farms. They just started harvesting them last weekend on their farm in the Puyallup River Valley. Just another sign of what a remarkable year we are in. It is warmer, drier, and crops are coming in earlier than we’ve seen in years. Enjoy!

Artichokes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Artichokes. From Nash’s Organic Produce. Oh, the possibilities. Though if you’re like me, you’ll end up steaming them, tearing off the leaves, dipping them in a good mayo and eating the soft, fleshy bit. But hey, by the time I get home from your Ballard Farmers Market, that’s about all the creative energy I’ve got. You can probably put more thought into it!

Squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More fairly simple summer fare can made with these squash blossoms from Alvarez Organic Farms. Stuff them with a nice fresh goat cheese, give them a dunk in a nice batter and pan-fry them. Oh, yeah, baby. That’s living!

Goat ricotta from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat ricotta from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lucky for us, one doesn’t have to go very far from the Alvarez tables to find good, local goat cheese. Just a few tents down is Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis. They’ve got fresh and aged goat and cow cheese, as well as goat yogurt and fresh goat and cow milk! And you know what would be nice stuff in those squash blossoms? This new goat ricotta from Twin Oaks.

Pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pie cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for pie cherries? ACMA Mission Orchards has you covered, but only for a limited time. Pie cherries have a very short season — just a couple of weeks — so if you’ve got cherry pie, or maraschino cherries, in your future, you’d better get over here on the double!

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! More simple, and simply delicious, summer food from your Ballard Farmers Market. This gorgeous salad mix is from Growing Things Farm in Carnation. Just pick up some carrots and radishes, a little crumbly, salty cheese, and maybe some fresh peas, toss it altogether with your favorite dressing, and you are good to go! And talk about making picnics easy. Just grab a loaf of bread, some fresh fruit and a bottle of wine, and maybe a pie or some cake, and you have an instant, all-farmers market meal on the go!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude won’t be able to make it to your Ballard Farmers Market on July 7th for their normal first Sunday of the month visit, so they are coming today, and then again on July 21st, to make up for it. So be sure to stop by today to stock up on your monthly supply of the best albacore tuna anywhere, directly from the fisher. And right now, they’ve got these perfectly-sized frozen loins that will easily feed one or two people.

Carrots from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots! Finally!!! These are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. If we’ve been suffering one crop in particular this year so far, it has been a lack of carrots. We’ve had a few here and there, but these most colorful, sweet and crunchy of delectable roots are made of love, sunshine and puppy dogs, and we should always have them, and never have to wonder when we’ll see them again. Welcome back, dear carrots!

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome back wild Saskatoon berries, too! Foraged & Found Edibles let us know Saturday that the first wonderful wild berries of the season have arrived, a bit ahead of schedule, like so much else this year, although in reality, things are just on schedule this year, for a change. Oh, they’ve got morelsporcinis and sea beans still, too.

Red, white & blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red, white & blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Independence Day, Colinwood Farms has the first red, white and blue new potatoes of the season. In the past few years, we’ve been lucky to see any of these before mid-July. So there is no excuse this year not to have a red, white and blue potato salad on the menu for your 4th of July barbecue!

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill's Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill’s Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! Bill is back! Yup, Bill’s Fruits returns today for one more summer of juicy, sweet stone fruit. Today, he should have Bing and Rainier cherries, and if we’re lucky, some of these apricots, though it is still just a little early for them. Welcome back, Bill!

Fava beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fava beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm just began harvesting these lovely fava beans this past week. And when fava beans are this young and tender, they are amazing on the grill. In fact, it was One Leaf’s Rand who turned me on to this method of eating them, and now I can’t get enough this time of year. Just toss them in a bit of olive, salt and pepper to taste, and throw them on the grill. When the pods get soft, they are ready to eat, pod and all. Just take off the stem and the string! You can thank me (and Rand) later.

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.

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

Sunday, June 24th: Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Fresh Alaskan Salmon, Artichokes, Cabbage, Fava Beans & The Return of Bill’s Fruits!

June 24, 2012

Wine and hard cider from Eaglemount. Photo copyright 2012 by Gregory Heller.

Happy summer, all y’all! Did you know that on the last Sunday of each month, a different member of the Northwest Cider Association from Washington takes over Finnriver Farm & Cidery’s space at your Ballard Farmers Market? This week, we are visited by Eaglemount Wine & Cider from Port Townsend. Port Townsend is fast becoming a cider making mecca here in Washington. Stop by and check out why by picking up a bottle or two of Eaglemount’s excellent ciders today!

Gorgeous lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are those who may not think lettuce is sexy. But look at this beautiful lettuce from Oxbow Farm — three different heirloom varieties, brilliantly colorful, crisp and delicious. Lovely lettuces like this aren’t available year-round, and this is the peak season for them. Let’s face it, the stuff in the Big Box Stores from Arizona is just plain boring. So enjoy your local lettuce now, while you can! Think beyond salads to wraps, sandwiches, grilling and more!

Stunning strawberries from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, these are some of the most stunningly beautiful strawberries you have ever seen, and they are not the magic of Photoshop. These strawberries from Gaia’s Natural Goods really do look like this, and they taste ever better! See, many early strawberries have an astringent quality to them, but not these. And they are so clean and perfect looking because Gaia’s uses row covers. That keeps the rainwater from splashing all the dirt up onto them, and it also keeps the plants warm, so they bare fruit sooner. If you haven’t introduced yourself to Gaia’s yet, you must do so today!

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

Mmm. Fresh artichokes from Nash’s Organic Produce. There are countless ways to enjoy these over-sized thistle buds. Just ask any Italian you know. Or, you can just take the lazy route and simmer them with some herbs and then just tear off the leaves, dip the fleshy end in some nice mayo, and enjoy!

Carrots from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do I really need to spend much verbage on why you should love carrots? I mean, they’re carrots! We all wait on pins and needles for carrots to come into your Ballard Farmers Market this time of year, and when they do, we forget what polite Ballardites we are, knocking each other out of the way for that last bunch. I mean, you’d think we were talking about eggs here, or the first asparagus of spring. Well, these lovely carrots are from Summer Run Farm. Try not to injure anyone as you dive into their tent headfirst, like Pete Rose, for a bunch of them today.

Baby cabbages from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another humble crop that makes summer just that much more summery is cabbage. With all those backyard barbecues and picnics on the beach coming up, we will need some serious slaw action, right? Or maybe even some homemade kraut for our dogs. Heck, however you love your summer cabbage, head on over to Stoney Plains Organic Farm to get some of the first cabbages of summer today!

Jonah Knutsen of Loki Fish filleting salmon for market. Photo courtesy Loki Fish.

Fresh Alaskan salmon is another right of summer here in Ballard. In a few weeks, we’ll shut down the whole of Downtown Ballard for an entire weekend to celebrate our longstanding relationship with the Alaskan salmon fishing fleet based right here in Ballard’s Salmon Bay. One of those boat’s is our own dear Loki Fish, and today will be the first of many Sundays to come that Loki will have fresh salmon flown down from Alaskan for us to enjoy. Happy summer indeed!

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of fava beans, oh, for some liver and a nice chianti right about now, eh? For it’s fava bean season at Alvarez Organic Farms. They also have snow peasEnglish shelling peas and more today. Heck, before long, they’ll have sweet corn for us, too. I can’t wait! But I will enjoy the joy of favas and peas now, while I can. Won’t you join me?

Bing cherries from Bill’s Fruits. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we also welcome back Bill’s Fruits for another season of delicious stone fruits from the Yakima Valley. They’ll have bing and Rainier cherries to start, and it won’t be long before we see apricots and nectarines, too! Woohoo!

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.