Posts Tagged ‘broccoli’

Sunday, March 8th: Just A Few Of My Favorite Product Photos & My Farewell!

March 7, 2015
A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to combine my three passions into one gig over the last eight years. I managed to find a job in which I got to help develop our local food system while at the same time writing about it and photographing it. What a blessing! I have been working with farmers markets since 1991, and I have served on the board of Seattle Chefs Collaborative since 1999. I also served as executive director of Washington State Farmers Market Association from 1999-2005, and in 2006, I co-authored the Washington State Farmers Market Manual for Washington State University. I have loved all this work, and I am proud of all we’ve accomplish here, leading the nation in local food. So even though I am leaving my farmers market job after today, I will still be around.

For this last official regular blog post for your Ballard Farmers Market, I’d like to revisit with you some of my favorite photos from over the years. Like the one above, taken at Wallingford Farmers Market last summer. This naturally-occuring heart-shaped tomato was grown by Poulsbo’s Around The Table Farm. Yet one more reason to love vine-ripened, farm-fresh tomatoes over homogenous, boring tomatoes from the Big Box stores, if you really needed another reason.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While the previous photo was copied all over the intertubes, it is this photo that actually circled the globe. Yes, this is my single-most plagerized photo ever, and I say that with pride (and a little bit of annoyance — please don’t republish photos without permission or giving credit!). I took this photo of baby rainbow carrots that look like an exploding firework not long before Independence Day in 2012. These carrots were grown by Gaia’s Harmony Farm in Snohomish. I published this photo across all of our markets’ blogs and Facebook pages for the 4th that year, and it just spread across the interwebs from there. Imagine how far it would have travelled had a vision of the Virgin Mother be visible in it?

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve taken a lot of nice photos of Sea Breeze Farm’s meats over the years, but I’ve always liked this one of their sausages best. The sausages are all uniform in size and stacked perfectly, highlighted by the wooden butcher block below them. But what sets them off is that they are three such distinctly different colors. Kinda makes you want some right now, doesn’t it? And that is what makes this photo so special.

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.

Rutabagas are one of my favorite vegetables. I must owe that to my Irish heritage. My family eats them every Thanksgiving. Indeed, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Then my Aunt Joyce taught me to add them to the corned beef pot on St. Paddy’s Day. (You need to add them 15-30 minutes before your potatoes, as they’re much denser.) They absorb all the flavors of the spices and meat. Nummers. I’ve also always found rutabagas to be quite beautiful, with their deep yellows and purples. And of all my lovely photos of rutabagas — indeed, of all the thousands of images I’ve taken of markets over the years — this one of rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm, spread out randomly in a wooden farm box, is one of my absolute favorites.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This wonderful photo of symmetrically-arranged cabbages in a wooden box was taken back in 2010. They are from one of the gorgeous displays that Big Dave used to erect for Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. The image quality suffers a bit from my old camera’s inferior technology, but the image is still nice, don’t you think?

Chicories from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicories from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is known for growing lots of deliciously bitter members of the chicory family. They are quite beautiful, too, and in 2012, I managed to capture this image of escarole, treviso radicchio and Palla Rosa radicchio here at your Ballard Farmers Market. This image is now used on One Leaf’s own website, which pleases me every time I visit it.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of the most stunning vegetables — one that magically grows in perfect fractals — is this romanesco, a member of the cauliflower family. And my favorite photo is of this romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market back in 2011. This photos has served as the cover photo for Madrona’s Facebook page ever since.

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But for my money, the most beautiful vegetable of all is this Chinese spinach. With its purple and green leaves, it is just flat-out stunning. Only two farms bring it to your Ballard Farmers Market each summer: Mee Garden and Children’s Garden. This image is of some from Children’s Garden from 2011. And in fact, before I published this photo and waxed poetic about the virtues of this gorgeous leafy green, these two farms were hard-pressed to sell any of it. Now, they can’t harvest enough of it. And for that, I love you, good people of Ballard Farmers Market! You are willing to be adventurous in the name of eating local!

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

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

Most people probably don’t even think about what broccoli looks like growing in the fieldThis is what it looks like! That’s the developing floret right there in the center surrounded by all those lovely, and edible, mind you, leaves. That’s why I’ve always loved this photo from Growing Washington in Everson — it surprises people. No, milk doesn’t just magically come in a carton, and yes, broccoli does have leaves!

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

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

Winter squash is also very photogenic. And this photo of delicata and carnival squash from Summer Run Farm taken just this past fall happens to be my favorite. The colors are simply explosive, aren’t they? No wonder so many restaurants will use their squash as decorations around the dining room for weeks before cooking them!

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that cauliflower comes in so many colors? Just it this photo you’ll see purple, yellow, green, white and green romanesco from Growing Things Farm. Seriously, aren’t farmers markets so much more fun in every way than a boring Big Box store, where you’ll only get white cauliflower, and it won’t be remotely as sweet as this stuff is?

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally… and this is the big finally… in honor of Ballard’s Scandinavian roots, and because this photos has actually been republished in national print magazines, let’s finish off my celebration of my favorite product photos, and my role as Blog Master, with these Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Their magnificent purple skin belies snow white flesh that makes them a perfect masher.

Thank you for joining me week in and week out for all these years, as I have brought you the news of the day as to what’s fresh now at your Ballard Farmers Market, with a sprinkling of snark and commentary. If at times my tone has seemed revolutionary, that is because the revolution starts here, on your fork. Know that I won’t be too far away, and that you’ll likely still see me around the Market on Sundays. Hopefully, I’ll contribute the odd guest post in the future. And now that I have the time, I’ll be whipping my personal blogs into shape with tales of food and adventure from near and far. You can find my blogs via mayoroffoodtown.com, though give me a couple of weeks to spit-polish them a bit, as they’re a bit tarnished from years of neglect. (If you have need for a skilled writer, photographer or event organizer, contact me through that site.) And I won’t turn down hugs today, either. (Unless you’re sick. Just got over norovirus, and that stuff is just plain nasty.)

xoxo Zach

Sunday, March 1st: Nettles, Chard, Dandelion Greens, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Albacore, More Flowers & Street Pizza!

February 28, 2015
Nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just another sunny weekend in “winter” in the People’s Republic of Ballard, eh? Wow! And the spring crops are starting to come on with a vengeance now. Like these first of the year wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Make yourself some tea or pesto, or whatever you like best, and enjoy a nice boast of healthful deliciousness! Oh, they’ve also got wild miner’s lettuce this week, too. High in vitamin C, it gets its name from being the wild green that helped keep many a miner alive when other greens, and any sources of vitamin C, were scarce at the end of winter. I love them simply dressed with a little oil and some lemon juice as a nice salad.

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

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

Yes, this is chard. No, this is not a file photo. I took this last Sunday, in fact. These gorgeous, tender, colorful leaves of chard are from the greenhouses of Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend. They also have the most amazing dino kale raab right now that tastes like broccoli, as well as spinachcollard greens and more!

Dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another sure sign of our early spring is these dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. An intensely bitter green, you can make tea and soup with them, but I love to toss them with anchovies and avocado and make for one amazing and nutrient dense salad! Stoney Plains also now has green onionschickweed and other early spring delights!

Daffodils from Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mee Garden has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market up on the 22nd Ave end. They have beautiful fresh-cut daffodils right now, as well as dried flowers and more!

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.

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it is local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today with cannedsmokedjerkied and frozen albacore that is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. It is sashimi grade, and it is the finest tuna you will ever taste!

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

For a very limited time, you will find this purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce! It has a very short season, so get it while you can. They also have leekscollard greensNash’s red & green kale and red Russian kale, and even a few more carrots! They are also featuring dried Diana fava beans this weeks. “These tasty little nuggets are perfect in soups and stews, offering a hearty, meaty, delicious taste,” says Devon. “With 23% protein (the highest of any legume we grow on the farm), they’re sure to fill you up, too!”

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this week’s epistle with the news that Veraci Pizza has been told to “hit the bricks” from the private side lot next to the Ballard Inn they’ve called their Sunday home for many years. So hit the bricks they did. Currently, they are setting up in the Market itself, on the bricks up at 22nd Avenue. They will hang out there at least until we hit peak season for farmers.

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.

Sunday, October 5th: A Fiesta Of Fall Flavors!

October 4, 2014
Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! In case you haven’t noticed, it really is fall now. Temps at night are getting into the 40s. The sun sets before 7 p.m. Sure, the sun is still out, and it’ll break 70 again today, but there is a distinct turn of the seasons in the air. And the crops at your Ballard Farmers Market show it. Like these gorgeous Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. These are the stuff of our childhood. These are the stuff of Welch’s grape jelly and juice. These are the stuff of wines served at bar mitvahs far and wide. They are sweet, juicy and have a big grape flavor.

And just a reminder that we have begun doing shorter posts twice a week to wet your appetite all week long, instead of the usual marathon post once a week. So do remember to read the previous post for more words of wisdom and deliciousness. It’s full of news for this week’s Market, too! And check in on Wednesdays.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For my money, this is the second most beautiful vegetable on earth… second only to Chinese spinach, which graces the tables of Children’s Garden and Mee Garden each summer. This is Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm, and it is in the fall, when the nights get cold, that it really hits its prime. It is both bitter and sweet, but as a chicory, it is predominantly bitter. It is a great addition to a panzanella or bean salad, it is awesome simply grilled and finished with a nice artisan sea salt and some good balsamic vinegar, and I love it sautéed with bacon… and nothing else!

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says fall like the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven. It permeates the entire structure, while it warms every room, and every soul. These beautiful organic birds are from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia, and they offer them fresh and frozen right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are the chickens that the Seahawks and Sounders eat.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Starvation Alley Farms is the first certified organic cranberry farm in Washington. They are located out on the Long Beach Peninsula, surrounded by one of the largest commercial cranberry growing regions in America. Not Maine. Not Massachusetts, Washington. They are getting ready for the 2014 harvest now, but they still have lots of their amazing organic cranberry juice available, and now they offer it in these nifty new 8 ounce bottles, in addition to their standard 32 ouncers.

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

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

“Choppin’ broccoli… choppin’ brocolliiiii…” Okay, now that that little ditty is stuck in your head (and if it isn’t, look that up with Dana Carvey’s name attached in the Google), let’s talk broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. They just started harvesting this planting, and it is just what the doctor ordered on a cool autumn night!

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish this weekend’s epistle with a stalwart vegetable of fall, the sweet and mighty parsnip. I love to roast these puppies with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms (coming soon, themselves). And no epic autumn root roast would be complete without them. They are deeply sweet with a hint of celery-ness to them. And speaking of celery, try mashing some spuds, some celery root and some parsnips together sometime. Yeah, baby! You’ll find these first parsnips of the season from Pa Garden today 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.


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