Posts Tagged ‘Boistfort Valley Farm’

Sunday, July 7th: Boistfort Valley Farm Returns, Growing Things Farm Needs Your Help, Green Beans, Nectarines, Berries Galore & So Much More!

July 6, 2013
Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now it’s summer, cuz our good friends from Boistfort Valley Farm have finally returned to your Ballard Farmers Market! We now have our full compliment of row crop farms, and the Market is literally bursting at the seams with incredible local produce direct from the Washington farms that grew it, and much of it far ahead of when we would normally expect to see it. Read on in today’s epistle to see what I mean. Boistfort, for its part, today will be arriving with: artichokes, beets, broccoli, carrots, golden and red chard, cilantro, garlic flowers, green onionsapple mint, chives, oregano, curly and dino kale, green leaf, red oak & bibb romaine lettuce, shelling and snow peaspurple radishes, spinach and more!

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm, which brings all manner of deliciousness every week to your Ballard Farmers Market, from eggs to jams to chickens to fresh veggies, is asking for your help to “Raise the House.” You see, Growing Things Farm is located in a flood plain in Duvall. Many farms are. Why? Because the flood plains that line our river valleys in Western Washington are extremely fertile – made so by the forest matter and minerals that flow down from the Cascade Mountain – and  are unattractive to developers, meaning they have land still available for farming in one of the most populated counties in the nation.

A major flood in 2006 damaged the farmhouse at Growing Things Farm, rendering it uninhabitable until it can not only be repaired. See, the house cannot be torn down and rebuilt under current laws, but it can be raised above historic flood levels, and then repaired. King County has offered the farm a grant to raise the farmhouse, but not to repair the house itself. For that, the farm needs your help. The farm  launched a Kick Starter campaign to raise $20,000 to repair the house. With a little over a week left, they are two-thirds of the way to their goal. Please to go to their Kick Starter page and contribute to saving the farmhouse, and in so doing, saving the farm itself.

FreshBucks_LogoA program called Fresh Bucks has been created by a partnership between the City of Seattle and local farmers markets to double Food Stamps, now known as SNAP, at Seattle farmers markets. Beginning Sunday, July 14th, for every SNAP dollar spent at Ballard Farmers Market, SNAP benefits users can receive an additional dollar to spend on fruits & vegetables, up to 10 dollars. Get them, and more information, from at Market Information Desk at your Ballard Farmers Market. You can also get more information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association.

Morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jeremy reports that his Foraged & Found Edibles will have lots of lovely wild gray morel mushrooms today at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a great year for morels, and really, just about everything else, so be sure to take full advantage will you can!

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What the…? Nectarines?!? Yes! These are Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce photographed on Friday at our sister Madrona Farmers Market. I kid you not! This year really is out of control in the most delicious of ways. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Tiny’s also has begun to harvest Flavorosa pluots, too. Seriously. Wow.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And green beans! Yes, green beans. These are from Lyall Farms, but we’ve also seen them already from Magana Farms, and they have yellow wax beans, too! We may even see some hericot verts from Alvarez Organic Farms today, as well. Oh, the humanity!

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this early rainbow of berries? Yes, our friends at Hayton Berry Farms are already harvesting blueberriesblackberriesraspberries and strawberries from their Skagit Delta fields, and it is only July 7th! Oh, I am liking this summer.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a great year for fava beans. What? You’ve never eaten them? You think they’re too much work? Well, let me tell you a little secret. If you get them when they’ve got small, young, tender pods, the best way to eat them is grilled. Seriously. Just remove the stem and the string on one side, wash, slather with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and on the grill they go. Once the pods get soft, pull them off, hit them with a little nice finishing salt, and serve. You eat the whole thing, pod and all. But this is finger food. There will be one more string in them to remove. Get messy. Have fun. Eat well! You’ll find a nice big pile of these fava beans today at Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wait, what?!? Tomatoes? Westside tomatoes? We usually don’t see these much before August, in a good year. And yet here they are. These gorgeous sungold and cherry tomatoes are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. But One Leaf Farm will have some sungolds today, too, for the early birds, and we’ve already seen a few beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. If it were possible, I’d be speechless right now.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another crop we’ve been woe to see until weeks later in recent years: new potatoes. These beauties are new Purple Majesty potatoes from One Leaf Farm. They are so sweet at this time of year. We’ve also already seen them from Summer Run Farm and Colinwood. If you aren’t eating fresh, local deliciousness at every meal this summer, you are truly missing out!

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seriously. Stop already! Yes, these are Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. They are two weeks earlier than their earliest arrival for which I have photographic evidence. I just checked my files. These are those big, juicy, meaty apricots that will make a delicious mess of your favorite shirt. Enjoy!

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

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

Summer Run Farm is known for rocking the broccoli, and this year is no exception. And never fear warm nights on which you don’t want to warm up your kitchen, roasting or steaming broccoli. This stuff grills amazingly well! Summer Run has gorgeous, massive heads of lettuce, of course, too, and lots more!

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, you’re killing me! Peaches?!?  Yup! Peaches are coming in this year a week or two ahead of their historic earliest arrivals! These are Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. These slightly smaller early season peaches still pack a big, sweet, juicy punch you will miss come October.

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

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

Absolutely unbelievable! This is the earliest, by at least two weeks, we have ever had radicchio make an appearance at our markets. Until this month, it was mostly the perennial crops like berries, tree fruit and such that was way, way ahead of schedule, but now the row crops are catching up! This Pall Rossa radicchio from Oxbow Farm makes for amazing bitter salads with a nice salty treatment, like feta or bleu cheese or anchovies, and it is also great grilled. Either way, finish it off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a nice touch of sweetness.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is known for producing a lot of delicious food, but they may be most well known for their raspberries. The farm was first and foremost a berry and flower producer before diversifying significantly over the last 15 years or so.  They have acres and acres of raspberries, some in the open air, and some under row tunnels, resulting in some of the tastiest berries you will even encounter. Sure, you can find cheaper berries at the Big Box stores, but what’s the point? I, for one, spend good money on good quality. Saving a few bucks to have something I don’t really enjoy just seems wasteful to me.

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now’s a great time of year for grilling up some steaks and chops, or slow cooking a nice roast on the barby. Olsen Farms has lots of great lambbeef and pork raised on natural pastureland way over in Aladdin, just northeast of Colville — so far into the northeast corner of Washington, I swear it is almost in Alberta. No farm travels farther within Washington to sell at farmers markets, and we are all the richer for their efforts.

Succulents in bloom from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents in bloom from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish off this week’s installment with this magnificent image of blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. It may be hot and dry, but you can still plant a succulent garden. That is, if you get to it right now. See, Phocas Farms likely won’t be here after this week, as we are needing to make room for even more produce farms coming in next week. So get your succulents on today, while you can! (This just in: Phocas Farms will here through the end of July!)

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, July 25th: Boistfort Valley Returns (Honest), Sweet Corn, Paprika, Bluebird, Vote!!!

July 25, 2010

July 18th was another busy summer day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that there is a national contest going on right now to select America’s Favorite Farmers Market? Yup. And you get to choose the winner by voting for your favorite, which you and I know is your Ballard Farmers Market. Okay, now, did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is solidly in 3rd place in that voting as of this moment? Since there are something like 7,000 farmers markets in the United States, that’s pretty good, but come on good people of Ballard, we know we should be in first place, right? And what chaps my hide most about our 3rd place position is that 2nd place belongs to Davis, California, and 1st place belongs to Rochester, New York. Are you kidding me? Davis, which gave us much of our corporate agribusiness, and Rochester, which gave us, um, Kodak and Pyrex?

You won't find canned salmon like this, right from the boat, at the Rochester Farmers Market! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is only one explanation I can find for this, and that is that not all of you reading this epistle right now have voted yet. On average, over 2,000 people read this every week. Rochester currently has just over 1,600 votes. So if every one reading this voted right now, Ballard Farmers Market would take the lead! And look, you can vote with cookies turned off. You don’t have to join anything. You don’t have to give any personal info beyond your name and email address. And you won’t get any spam as a result. Trust me. I hate that stuff, and I haven’t gotten any spam. So vote for Ballard now! Click the link, type “Ballard” into the market search field, click vote, fill in your name and email, and you’re done. 30 seconds tops. Let’s kick some serious New York and California butt, Ballard!

Valerie Rose of Boistfort Valley Farm holds up some of their beautiful Red Oakleaf and Salad Bowl lettuce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did I say that Boistfort Valley Farm was returning last week? Whoops. See, I was given bad info from my boss, and that’s the story I’m sticking with. Don’t worry. I already told her I was throwing her under the bus on this one. But now she assures me that Heidi has given her the official call, and Boistfort will, in fact, return today. For those of us who know and love them, that’s all we need to know. For those who are unfamiliar with Boistfort (and we know there are two or three of you still out there), you are in for a treat. Boistfort Valley not only grows produce of supreme quality and beauty, but they specialize in growing varieties of heirloom crops from Japan, Italy, and other great food nations. And they grow so many different crops that only Stoney Plains, which is a neighbor of theirs, can rival them.

Brooke Lucy from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of unrivaled, Bluebird Grain Farms grows certified organic grains in the Methow Valley of North Central Washington that is prized by chefs from coast to coast. They are most well known for their emmer (or farro, as it is also known), the ancient grain of the Fertile Crescent. Emmer is one of the oldest cultivated crops, and the oldest cultivated grain. It has been farmed for over 17,000 years, and kernels of it over 3,000 years old found in the tombs of the Pharaohs have actually been sprouted. It is very high in protein and relatively low in gluten, extremely versatile, and quite delicious.

Sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo!!! It’s sweet corn season! Oh, happy day! Just take a gander at this gorgeous stuff from Alvarez Organic Farms. They, along with Magana and Lyall, have sweet corn now. They are all in the heart of the Yakima River Valley, the Palm Springs of Washington, which means it is hot, hot, hot. Corn loves it there. And you love corn. Life is, indeed, good.

Several varieties of local paprika from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some Like It Hott! returns for a brief stint with its amazing paprikas. Charlie grows his special peppers in a little greenhouse in Port Townsend, just around the corner from Colinwood Farms. He then dries, smokes and grinds his peppers to make an awesome variety of paprikas, from mild to face-melting. And they are not just about heat. Indeed, they are really about flavor. Charlie’s folks came from Transylvania, where they know a thing or two about paprika. So stop by and stock up today, while you can, or you might just have to wait until fall.

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. Just type “Ballard” in the market search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And thank you!

Sunday, July 18th: Welcome Back Boistfort Valley Farm & Some Short Timers!

July 18, 2010

A beautiful Boistfort Valley Farm display. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you been missing these spectacular displays from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market? Well, miss them no more, because today they make their triumphant return for the 2010 season. In a year when we have seen many crops come in late, Boistfort Valley, which is usually our last farm to come in each year, is coming in especially late. That’s because they don’t like to come into Ballard until they can come in big, and big is how they are coming in today! Woohoo!!! (Doh! Late update on Sunday… we’ll have to wait another week for Boistfort. Apparently they weren’t quite ready to come in big today, and someone forgot, but we won’t mention any names (my boss). But everyone else is here!)

Jerry Baxter, the man behind Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, one side effect of the last of our regular farm contingent finally returning is that it makes for less room for other folks. Fortunately, with the absence of a few other farms briefly for a couple of weeks, the processed food vendors on the bubble have squeezed in a little extra time with us. But that reprieve is likely to expire soon, perhaps as soon as next week. So visit these folks now and stock up, while you can, lest you wait until fall for their return. Got Soup? is one such vendor on the bubble. Jerry’s making some amazing cold soups, perfect for hot summer days. I am a particular fan of the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, but I recommend you try them all!

Josephines from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot Cakes is another one of our short timers. Can you really live without one of Autumn’s Josephines until fall? Better get your fix now! And while you’re at it, those molten chocolate cakes in jars actually freeze very well. So stock up on them. Then, all you have to do is thaw them and slide them in the oven whenever you are in the mood.

Fleur de Sel caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Given the fresh nature of Jonboy Caramels, I’m not sure how much stocking up will serve you, but you can certainly get yourself a nice big fix of them, right? Honestly, I recommend that you eat nothing but caramels for the next three days, just to get it out of your system for the next couple of months. Of course, if you must have another dose of any of these three vendors goodies, as well as some other folks you may be missing, or even if you need a mid-week restock on veggies, we encourage you to visit us at our newest farmers market at the Olympic Sculpture Park on Thursday evenings from 3:30-7:30 p.m. This market is located in a spectacular setting, and offers cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and dancing lessons, too!

Hummus from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun makes delicious raw & vegan foods right here in Ballard. Besides this hummus, above, they make salads, crackers, snack bars, entrees, veggie chips, coconut juice and much more, right here in Ballard at a kitchen about a block from the Market. You can normally find them at some of our other markets, like Madrona and Georgetown, but today, for one day only, they are joining us at your Ballard Farmers Market. Come meet them, try out some of their products, find out where in the neighborhood you can get their stuff, and then let us know what you think. And if you are unfamiliar with the art of making raw and vegan cuisine, I am betting you will be blown away by what they can do without any cooking or animal products of any kind. Believe me, this is not rabbit food! It’s too good for that.

Kombucha from Communi-Tea. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When times are tough, so are regulators. And the latest victim of the regulatory machine is our buddy, Chris, and his Communi-Tea kombucha. It seems that the Washington State Liquor Control Board has been on the warpath with regards to kombucha lately, because the process of making it, which involves the fermentation of green tea, results in the production of a very minute amount of alcohol. Apparently, the limit is something like 0.25% alcohol content before the Man gets cranky, and since fermentation accelerates in the warm summer months, keeping the alcohol content that low gets a bit squirrelly. But come on. “Near Beer” sold to minors in some states has much more alcohol than that. The point of all of this is to say that Chris will be at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but only to answer your questions, not to sell his delicious, healthful kombucha. So stop by and have him explain more about this to you, so that we all can better understand how the oldest and one of the most restorative preservation methods known to human beings — fermentation — is something that the Man really doesn’t need to obsess over.

Pie cherries from Prana Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, back to the future. These are pie cherries. They are tart, not sweet. And that is why they make for great pies. They can stand up to the addition of sugar without ending up overwhelming sweet. They tend to have a very short season. Prana Farms has them right now, so run, don’t walk, to see Eric at Prana to get you pie cherries now!

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

And these are Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. These wild-foraged berries that are related to the blueberry also have a short season, so stop by and try some now, while you can.

Rhubarb from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Has this whacky weather year got you missing your rhubarb crisp? Good news! Rhubarb back with a vengeance. In fact, Clayton from Alm Hill tells me, “I was wandering the farm, and I found a whole field of rhubarb!” (Actually, it is kind of amusing just how many times he has told me something like that.)

Sweet peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about some peppers? Yup, Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend wins the pepper sweepstakes for 2010 with the first ones of the year, right out of their greenhouses. I don’t know about you, but I will be grilling some of these alongside a nice piece of fresh king salmon from Wilson Fish later.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms is located in the Palm Springs of Washington — the Yakima Valley — and that means they grow a lot of hot weather loving crops. That includes these beefsteak tomatoes. Yes, it is BLT season! And just imagine that Skagit River Ranch burger with a slice of vine-ripened tomato on top. A-friggin-men!

Artichokes from Nash's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My final nod to all things deliciousness this week goes to Nash’s Organic Produce, and their new crop of artichokes. You know you want them. You must have them. You will be wrestling with your neighbors today to get them. But please, don’t get too out of control, and remember to pickup some butter from Golden Glen to dip them in.

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. Just type “Ballard” in the market search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And thank you!