Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’

Sunday, June 22nd: Happy Summer Solstice! We Bring You Alaskan Salmon, Blueberries, Shunkyo Radishes, 8 Kinds of Summer Squash, A New Bakery & So Much More!

June 21, 2014
Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Solstice everyone! Yes, today is the first full day of summer! Woohoo! The sun will be up for 16 hours today, with an additional hour of daylight tacked on either side. It’s these spectacular long days that keep us going all winter long, so let’s celebrate. And to get summer started, Loki Fish began catching wild Alaskan salmon this past week, and they will have lots of fresh salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market! We expect them to have SockeyeCohoPink and Keta today, and possibly even some King. They’ll have fillets and whole fish for you, ready for the grill or smoker.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness today, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain’t how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you’ll find around here!

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been one bakery down since the end of May. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from — you guessed it — Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: “A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!” They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

Organic strawberries from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic strawberries from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has great organic strawberries for you this week. And that’s especially good to know, since we’re experiencing a little bit of a dip in our strawberry supply this week. They also have lots and lots of greens available right now.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh spearmint from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summertime means that you need mint! Lots of mint. For desserts, cocktails, salads, proteins… pretty much everything, really. Children’s Gardens grows some beautiful mint, including chocolate mint, and this spearmint. Me? I just like crunching up some of the leaves and putting it in my water glass.

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.

Look, kids! Even the wild berries are early this year! These are wild Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Native to the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, the Rockies and the North Central U.S., they are nutrient-dense and mighty tasty. Oh, and Foraged & Found has lots of grey morel mushrooms today, too!

Fennel from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fennel from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them… even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, “oh, but I’ve got that growing wild in my backyard.” No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are full-on into the grilling season now, folks. The kiddies are out of school, the evenings are long and warm, and so much summer produce is great grilled. Plus, you keep your kitchen cool and your cleanup minimal. And with Independence Day just around the corner, you’ll want to stock up on some of these beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Their beef is grass-fed and finished on gorgeous pasture up in Sedro-Woolley, and it is tender and delicious. And can’t you just imagine the smell of them wafting through your house as they sizzle over those hot coals?

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It’s a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means “little hat” in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask them for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting at least eight varieties of summer squash over in Mabton… and summer just started! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Ballard Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for apricots and peaches!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm blesses us with their wonderful salad mix all year round. But this time of year is when it truly shines. Loaded with many kinds of lettuces, hearty and spicy greens and edible flowers, it is a summer delight!

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Da Boyz of Summer are ready to sling you up some serious deliciousness at Patty Pan Grill. Patty Pan embodies farmers market prepared food, being the first to build their menu around what is fresh and local at the market. Their veggies for their quesadillas are all sourced every week from our market farmers, and their tamales are filled with veggies, meats and cheeses from them, as well. And Patty Pan is even a worker-owned cooperative. How cool is that? Enjoy!

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, September 22nd: Chile Peppers, Concord Squash, Cheddar Cauliflower, Red Kuri Squash & More!

September 21, 2013
Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well, how ’bout them… well… insert any name of a local sports team except the Mariners, am I right? (Okay, gratuitous pandering to Seattle’s rabid sports fans. Check.) Above is a variety of goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. They are a medium hot chile with a wonderful, bright flavor. Well, it is full-on pepper season at Alvarez. They grow over 200 varieties, and this is a prolific year for peppers, like for so many other crops. This time of year, the pepper fields are so colorful at Alvarez, they are kind of reminiscent of the tulip fields in Skagit Valley in April. You can get a pretty good idea of their many varieties of peppers by checking out our Facebook photo album of them!

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! It’s Concord grapes from our friends at Lyall Farms! Concord grapes make the best juice, and even better grape jelly. They have a deep, bold, natural sweetness to them, and you can even let them ferment with their own natural yeasts (that’s the ashy stuff on the outside of the grapes) into a nice wine.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love this image of garlic framed by cherry tomatoes at Alm Hill Gardens. It just underscores how our farmers do not just work the soil and grow delicious things, but they are artists, too. And we get to enjoy the delicious rewards of their labors and creativity!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The summer of 2013 has been one for the record books. Warm, humid, prolific crop production with epic harvests, lots of thunder storms… and it is this last item that brought with it a dark, destructive side the likes of which we rarely see around here in summer. Sure, there were the lightening-caused fires. But the real trouble came with the deluges of rain, and worse yet, the hail. Not so much on this side of the mountains, but on the other side, along the eastern slopes of the Central and North Cascades. And some of the worst  damage was caused in northern Chelan and eastern Okanogan Counties, like up in the Methow Valley, where Booth Canyon Orchard is located. Between late spring freezes and late summer hail, they lost almost all of their various heirloom apple crops. That is why, when they returned to your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday, they came only with pears, and mind you, these are the pears that made it through the hail storms. So, if you loves you some Booth Canyon fruit, focus on their pears right now, like these Clara Frijs pears, above, and celebrate them. Cuz this year, they are among the chosen few, and the chosen few are invariably the most delicious. Enjoy them, and support Booth Canyon, too!

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.

Nash’s Organic Produce is famous for its carrots. So it’s no wonder they call them “Nash’s Best”. Sure, they produce lots of delicious veggies over in Dungeness. But these carrots are a thing to behold. They are so sweet. And right now, they are available in their iconic five pound bags right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another installment from the Collins Family Orchards book of funky, hybridized stone fruit. These beauties are nectarplums. Yup, they are a cross betwixt plum and nectarine, and they are amazing! But they have a short-lived season, so enjoy them while you can!

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curiously, in this prolific summer of 2013, another of the few crops that underperformed is the cauliflower family. So Oxbow Farm having this colorful cheddar cauliflower and this geometrically pleasing romanesco right now is something worth celebrating!

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! Winter squash from One Leaf Farm! These lovelies are kabocha (left) and red kuri winter squash. They both have such gorgeous textures and deeply sweet flavors, and when you roast them, you can even eat their skins. Oh, and be sure to toss the seeds in some olive oil, sprinkle them with a little salt, and roast them in a pie tin in the oven for a wonderful little salty, crunchy snack. Yup. Fall does begin tomorrow, alrighty!

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

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

This is the last week for blueberries from Sidhu Farms, and likely from all of our farms, as with the return of the rains and cooler weather, the berries are beginning to turn to mush on the bush. So again, enjoy them while you can, for one last time. Stock up and freeze a bunch to enjoy all winter!

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has a fresh supply of these gorgeous pickled jalapeño peppers that they got from Alvarez Organic Farms. These are the perfect compliment to so many thing, or just on their own. Enjoy!

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, September 1st: Taste That Hard Cider Before You Buy It! Jerzy Boyz Returns! And It’s St. Jude Tuna Day!

August 31, 2013
Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve all been talking about it for years. We’ve been hearing about it in the news. We’ve worked for years with the State Legislature to get it to happen. We’ve worked for months with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement it. And today, it becomes a reality. Yes, starting today, you can actually sample hard cider and wine from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market before you buy it! Yup. All the campaigning and paper pushing is done, and now, it’s go time. So stop by Finnriver Farm & Cidery today for a sample of their amazing collection of hard ciders, and find the one that’s right for you. And just maybe, it’s all of them!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you find the sheer number of enticing choices of wines and ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider overwhelming, especially when you can’t taste them first to see which one you like best? Well, Eaglemount will also be sampling today at your Ballard Farmers Market. So maybe you’ve tried one and stuck with it. Try the others today, find a new fave and mix it up a bit!

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends from Jerzy Boyz return today for the fall season with their amazing, certified organic fruit. They grow many heirloom varieties of applespears, and other goodies on their farm that hugs the rim of the Columbia River Gorge just north of Chelan. Check out these aptly named Purple Goddess pears, for instance. That’s what I’m talking about!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s tuna day! That’s right. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here with their extraordinary local albacore tuna. They have it frozen, canned, smokedjerkied and more. This is the best tuna you will ever taste, and it is low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And if you get it in the can, don’t you dare pour off the liquid! See, they don’t add any cooking liquid, so what you find in the can is the natural juices from the tuna that is packed with flavor and goodness.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids. It’s Westside sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Since it doesn’t get as hot over on this side of the Cascade Mountains, Westside corn takes longer to mature. But what it lacks in speed it makes up for in flavor and sweetness. But it will go fast, so get here early!

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries are the latest variety of blueberries to come into season at Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. They are kind of the classic blueberry, sweet and a little tart. Toss them in your oatmeal. Make muffins. Add them to pancakes. Relish in their antioxidant qualities!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you fry it, roast it, smoke it, make it with dumplings, or stick a beer can up its bum and barbecue it, a pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm offers you one of the best chickens you’ve ever tasted. Maybe it’s the fresh air and exercise they get. Maybe its because they eat excellent food. Maybe it is just farmer Michaele Blakely’s magic touch. Whatever the case, I’ve been proud to serve these birds for my Thanksgiving dinner many times. So you can imagine the amazing fried chicken they’d make!

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These magnificent little creatures are Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms, and they are just one of about 18 varieties that they grow, 13 of which are gracing their tables right now. If you love eggplant like I love eggplant, check out Alvarez today. And to get your juices flowing , just take a gander at our Facebook photo album of their eggplant.

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

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

It may be September, but it is still berry season. These organic raspberries are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. 2013 has been one of the best berry-growing seasons in history, with better quality, sweeter berries and huge harvests. There is still plenty of time to get your berry on this season!

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez isn’t the only farm with a rainbow of peppers. This colorful collection of sweet and hot peppers are from Colinwood Farms, over in Port Townsend. 2013 is a historic year for peppers, too, and the more sun and heat we get, the better, and in some cases hotter, they are. So load up on peppers this year, too!

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm is as delicious as it is beautiful. It is a little spicy and a little bitter, and it makes for great salads, garnish for sandwiches or a nice, quick wilting for a tasty side dish. Enjoy!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is almost time for the saffron harvest, and that means it is almost time for our buddy, Jim, from Phocas Farms to disappear for a few months back over to Port Angeles. In fact, next week is his last until next year. So if you’ve been putting off getting that succulent garden going, or those saffron crocuses planted, now’s the time. Stock up today, and then use your day off tomorrow to get them in the ground!

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, August 18th: Pears, Peaches, Peppers, Politicians & P-other Stuff!

August 17, 2013
Sen. Ed Murray and Councilperson Richard Conlin enjoying Soda Jerk Soda at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sen. Ed Murray and Councilperson Richard Conlin enjoying Soda Jerk Soda at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

State Senator Ed Murray and Seattle City Councilperson Richard Conlin joined us at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market recently to celebrate not only National Farmers Market Week, but also the fact that Wallingford Farmers Market is the reigning Washington Farmers Market of the Year, according to the Washington State Farmers Market Association. In addition to lovely proclamations, presentations, tours and speechifying, they also enjoyed some Lime Cilantro Jalapeño fresh soda from Soda Jerk Soda (above). Of course, being the marketing machine that we are, we couldn’t help but use this image to promote Soda Jerk. (You’re welcome, Corey!)

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosa Hale peaches are those big, juicy, sweet peaches that dreams are made of. They come on midway through peach season, along with many cousins of similar name. These are the peaches for which Washington is famous. But they are only around for a few short weeks. Try them today atMartin Family Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis. See, in order for yogurt to become, well, yogurt, it needs to be inoculated first. It starts out as goat milk. Then, after quick pasteurization, they add those beneficial and delicious bacteria that are so good for us. They need to take root in the milk, though, to make it yogurt, and that requires a higher temp than a refrigerator for a little while. The result is wonderful goat yogurt that will keep your immune system and digestive tract happy.

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is cauliflower season at Growing Things Farm, and for them, that means a rainbow of cauliflower, from white to green to yellow to purple, and that wonderful, fractalized variety known as romanesco. Steam it, then top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Sauté it with bacon, cayenne pepper flakes and some bread crumbs. Toss it with pasta, or into a salad. Dip it raw into cocktail sauce or hummus. Roast it in the oven with olive oil. Make cheesy cauliflower soup with it. Heck, throw it on the grill. You are only limited by your own imagination!

Purple Sensation pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Sensation pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also pear season already, a full week earlier than we’ve ever seen them here before! Wow. This beauties are called Purple Sensation pears, and they are from the certified organic orchards of ACMA Mission Orchards. ACMA also has the early Gale Gala apples today, and a dizzying variety of stone fruit, including peachesnectarinespluots, plums and Italian prunes. In fact, no other orchard has the variety of tree fruit that ACMA does now at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Jim holds a gigantic sweet onion from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jim holds a gigantic sweet onion from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Jim. Jim was shopping at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday, and he really wanted a sweet onion. What he found was a sweet onion that was the size of his head from our buddies at Nash’s Organic Farm. Seriously. There is no photographic trickery going on here. And the fact is, most of their sweet onions are this big. Must be all the clean living and the rich organic soil over there in Clallam County or something.

Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms grows over 200 different kinds of chile peppers, from the most mild bell peppers to the infamously hot ghost chile. And they are all coming into season right now. August and September is peak pepper season, and at the absolute peak, the pepper fields of the Alvarez family are awash in almost every color in the rainbow, much like the tulip fields of Skagit Valley in April. So enjoy a veritable tsunami of these tasty nightshades while you can, as they will go away again soon.

Treviso radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of my favorite vegetables, and really, one of the most stunningly beautiful, is this treviso radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Unlike many radicchios, treviso grows tall instead of round. A member of the chicory family, it is naturally bitter, but grill it or sauté it with a nice slighty sweet, smoky bacon, and it sweetens up a bit. It likes salt and a good dose of olive oil (on the grill) or the rendered fat from the bacon, but not much else. It likes to stand alone, and it kinda clashes with garlic. Of course, if you like it a little sweeter, try drizzling a little balsamic vinegar on it when you serve it.

Berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of gorgeous, just look at this array of fresh berries from Hayton Berry Farms. We’ve got blackberriesblueberriesraspberries and the elusive golden raspberries. Sounds like the golden ones will be available in a somewhat greater quantity this year, but supplies will still be limited, so get here early!

Jubilee tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jubilee tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s time for the One Leaf Farm tomato of the week! And by my count, they are now up to harvesting 10 different kinds of maters. (See them all in our Facebook photo album.) These are Jubilee tomatoes. There seems to be debate amongst the seed companies on the Intertubes about the origins of this tomato, but it has been around since at least the early 1940s, and maybe as long ago as the 1890s. A golden to orange tomato, they are lower in acid, and thus a possible alternative for folks who have issues with high-acid tomatoes.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off with some fresh Washington rockfish from Wilson Fish. Rockfish is that fish that is misnamed “red snapper” by many folks, and it wasn’t until the feds cracked down of labeling practices of fish over the last decade that we finally realized we’d been eating rockfish this whole time. (Then again, most so-called “grouper” on menus still is, in fact, another species.) Rockfish kinda looks like a champion boxer that had to go the distance in order to win — not the prettiest of fish. But it is delicious. I love it coated with a nice blackening rub or jerk seasoning and pan-fried. Yummers. Of course, if you are reading this at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, you may be out of luck. This stuff tends to sell out very fast at your Ballard Farmers Market, so get here early!

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.