Posts Tagged ‘buckwheat flour’

Sunday, April 15th: Asparagus, Garden Starts, Wood Sorrel, Gluten-Free Flour & Rebranded Tea!

April 15, 2012

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gee, I wonder if folks will get excited to hear that two farms will have the first asparagus of 2012 today at your Ballard Farmers Market? Well, if the reaction to this news on our Facebook page earlier this week was any indication, I’d say yes! We had a record response to the announcement there. So here it is: both Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Clayton predicted that Alm Hill’s supply will last all of about 15 minutes this morning, but Alan says Lyall Farms will be harvesting quite a bit for today. (Read: it’ll last until noon.) Bottom line is the early bird gets the asparagus!

Sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By the way, is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in that this year’s tax filing deadline was postponed until April 17th, because April 16th is Emancipation Day? That said, I saw plenty of folks the last couple of days availing themselves of generous April sun to get out and do some weeding in their gardens. Well, with gardens prepped, it’s time to stock up on plants for said gardens. Like these sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company, for instance. Peas are one plant you can safely stick in the ground right now, and they’ll be serving you up legumeliciousness come June!

Field peas and buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the many things I love about Nash’s Organic Produce is how they have been diversifying their crops over the years. And in the process, they are actually helping Washington State University develop crop varieties that will thrive in Western Washington. Take these yellow and green field peas, and this buckwheat flour, for instance. The peas make for great soups, salads, and can even be ground into flour or mashed into hummus. And the buckwheat flour is gluten-free! See, buckwheat isn’t wheat at all. Heck, it isn’t even a grass, as most grains used in our society are. Instead, it is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb, all crops that grow in abundance here. Perhaps the most ingenious thing about these crops of Nash’s is that they are actually cover crops, meant to be used in rotation with vegetable crops, as they help the soil replenish its nutrients. Gotta love that they can produce another cash crop, too! See, this is how we make small-scale farming profitable, right? (Oh, BTW, that chickweed they sell… yet another tasty cover crop!)

Wild wood sorrel from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thpthpthpeaking of thpthpthorrel, ’tis the season for wild wood sorrel, and Foraged & Found Edibles has it… or at least, they had it last week. See, unlike farmers, foragers cannot absolutely predict what they’ll be able to harvest from week-to-week, so I know I am taking a risk whenever I tell you Jeremy will have a particular foraged food in a given week. But hey, it didn’t get cold, or overly wet, this past week, so I’m feeling pretty confident it’ll be here. As well as fiddleheads. Enjoy!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The sun last Sunday made for some fun market photography, did it not? I could not resist these glowing bottles of honey crisp apple cider from Rockridge Orchards. It was like they were lit from the inside. I mean, if all the light was coming from outside, the labels would be more discernible, would they not? But enough talk about art. Let’s talk drink! This is some mighty delicious cider of the non-alcoholic kind. (They’ve got plenty of the other kind, too, BTW.)

Stunning spring succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Not all the plants at your Ballard Farmers Market are for eating. Some just hang around and look good. And you know what? They don’t even feel demeaned by the experience. These succulents from Phocas Farms are in all their spring glory right now, just waiting to be added to your garden, your path, your rockery or wherever you need some beautiful, hearty, draught-tolerent plants to spruce up your surroundings. And now, while it is still the rainy season, is a great time to get them and plant them, so they’ll be well-established and ready to roll on through summer, thriving despite your neglect.

Misfits Bliss Tea, formerly known as Sip-T. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s post with a little presto-chango. You see, Sip-T has reinvented itself into Misfits Bliss, but they still are making amazing tea blends to warm up your day. Personally, I really like the new look, with the jam jars and old suitcases. Heck, the jars even come with their own baggage tags! Kinda give them an out-of-time feel, eh? And why not? I mean, don’t you ever find yourself sipping tea and imagining yourself in Victorian times in some PBS series or something? Perhaps that is why people drink tea when they want to slow down, as opposed to drinking coffee when they want to speed up!

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.

Sunday, January 22nd: No Snow, We Promise! Instead, Find Collard Greens, Purple Top Turnips, Gala Apples, Beautiful Beef, Kimchi Brine, Buckwheat Flour, Crabapple Jelly & So Much More!

January 22, 2012

Just another gorgeous day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thought we could all use this warm, sunny image from last May. Ah, doesn’t that sunshine feel good? And just look at that blue sky! Well, the good news is that the muck, slop and slush are just about gone, and things are getting back to normal. The kiddies will be back in school tomorrow, finally, and you’ll be back at work. And you will need nourishment to get you through it. So many of you were scared off from attending your Ballard Farmers Market last week for fear of snow that I imagine many of you practically starved to death this past week. And that is a shame, since we didn’t have any snow at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday – none! We could see it falling on Queen Anne — where it belongs, frankly! — but here in the People’s Republic of Ballard, it was like a magic force field had been erected, and we remained snow-free, with a full compliment of vendors! And we’ll have close to a full house today, too.

Collard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So come on down support your local farmer, and get some delicious local food in your belly after that long last week. Like these spectacular collard greens from Colinwood Farms. They will absolutely recharge you. And Colinwood will have salad mix, braising mix, some righteous kale, parnips and more today, too!

Gala apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce will be in attendance today with lots of these gala apples, and a bunch of other organic apples, too. And given how many sniffles I heard while I was out and about on Saturday, you are gonna need some of these beauties in order to ensure that you keep the doctor away, right?

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

You know, being holed up in my house for a week, foraging out now and then for a brief walk in the frozen tundra of North Ballard, only to find almost every business, bank and library closed, I kinda started to develop a bit of a hankering for milder days, when I would fire up the barby on my deck to grill up a nice grass-finished beef steak from Skagit River Ranch. But this is Ballard, and a milder day simply means my Smokey Joe ain’t encased in ice. So grill I will tonight!

Purple top turnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m thinking a nice root roast, and some of those aforementioned collard greens, will side my steak nicely, eh? Full Circle Farm has these lovely purple top turnips now, ripe for the roasting, as well as some gorgeous celeriac, and plenty more.

Kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else those turnips would go well with? Some of this kimchi brine from Firefly Kitchens. You’ve had their outrageously good kimchi, right? Well, this is the juice left in the crock after the kimchi is fermented, then removed to be bottled. This stuff is incredible, and it’ll put some kick into all sorts of dishes. And like their various fermented foods, this stuff is alive with pro-biotics, and if I am anything, I am pro-biotic! Stop by and visit them for a sample taste. You will be going home with a bottle.

Gluten-free buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 1999, during my first year as Executive Director of the Washington State Farmers Market Association, we had our board retreat in the tiny little city of Waterville, perched high up above the Columbia River gorge on Highway 2, surrounded by wheat fields. We met there then because grain, one of Washington’s largest crops, was essentially unheard of at farmers markets, and we wanted to be reminded of that while we met. 13 years later, much like wine, meat and cheese, we cannot imagine our Ballard Farmers Market without local grain products direct from area farms, and lots of baked goods made with local flour. But what we still have not had, until now, has been gluten-free flour. That changes today! Welcome buckwheat flour from Nash’s Organic Produce. Yup. You heard right! Enjoy!

Lavender honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch was one of the few vendors unable to make it last Sunday due to weather. Seems Whidbey got the gift of snow on Saturday last week. Ah, the glories of the Convergence Zone. (I mean, do you ever find yourself talking to someone from outside the Puget Sound area, and you mention the Convergence Zone, and they have no idea what you are talking about? You can find it on weather maps, but not Google maps!) Well, they are back today, with their wide assortment of local honey flavors, like this lavender honey.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love these kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. These guys make all sorts of great raw, vegan foods using local ingredients. But these chips baffle people. How do they make ’em with cooking ’em, folks wonder. Simple. They season them, and then they dehydrate them. Genius! Sure, we could do this at home, but it is so much simpler, and most likely tastier, to get some from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. And guess what? They no longer package them in plastic containers! That’s right. They’ve gone to fully compostable paper bags lined with natural cellophane!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Blessed are the cheese makers.” Thank you, Monty Python, for that. And thank you, Samish Bay Cheese, for being one of those blessed cheese makers. Samish Bay makes quite a variety of cheeses these days, from mild to sharp, and seasoned with from chives to chocolate. This photos shows just six of them! Are you getting enough cheese?

Crabapple jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rebecca tells me she found the crabapples for her Deluxe Foods crabapple jelly right here in the neighborhood, if I’m remembering the tale correctly. See, not a lot of crabapples are grown commercially around here, which is a shame. Cuz crabapples are seriously old school. You know, Deluxe Foods specializes in heirloom jam recipes like this, made with amazing local ingredients. Stop by for a taste today, and give your toast a little more class tomorrow morning!

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.