Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

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, February 22nd: Sprouts, Greens & Springy Things!

February 21, 2015
Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Spring continues its early advance this week, as we in Seattle enjoy the best weather in the country. (It was warmer here than it was in Fort Meyers, Florida the other day!) All the cherry trees in Seattle are in bloom, and all the shrubs are pushing out leaves. Heck, they are already talking about the pollen count on local weather reports! We will enjoy this in the form of deliciousness like these yummy microgreens from Kirsop Farm, great in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish for soups and many dishes and more.

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.

And with the onslaught of our early spring, some of our winter crops are on the way out early, too. For instance, this is the last week for carrots from Nash’s Organic Produce for a while. But they are just beginning to harvest their over-wintered leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, collard greens, red russian kale, and even possibly flat leaf parsley.

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

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

Winter greens kinda took a hit in November and December freezes, but they’ve come roaring back. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has these great braising greens right now with lots of tender young leaves of collard greens and various kales. Nummers!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One fall crop is still going strong: Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Pink Lady’s are a terrific eating apple — crisp and sweet — and they are an excellent keeper, which means they are great deep into the late winter and early spring!

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For a year-round crop, how’s about some delicious, pasture-raised pork from Olsen Farms. These pork rib chops are beautifully marbled, and they grill up wonderfully. Of course, they also have yummy spuds for you, too, in many varieties. Potatoes are almost a year-round crop, themselves.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You already know that Lynden’s Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards grows and sells amazing hazelnuts. But did you also know that they make hazelnut butter and hazelnut oil from those hazelnuts, too?

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spread some of that hazelnut butter on a slice of one of these incredible loaves of artisan breads from Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery. The various earthy breads in the image above are all perfect vehicles for hazelnut butter… or oil: HominyOat & HoneyPain au Levain and Compagnon.

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, January 25th: Local Meat, Winter Greens, Super Sweet Carrots & Coastal Fish!

January 24, 2015
Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! It’s a Sunday with football! (Well, there’s the Pro Bowl, but seriously…) What are we going to do with ourselves? We could start be stocking up on fresh, nutritious localiciousness at our very own Ballard Farmers Market! It may be January, but there is still plenty of farm-fresh goodness just waiting for you right here! Like these certified organic, grass-finished beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Cook it low and slow, filling your kitchen with warmth and aromas, then devour its big, beefy flavor, and remember what real beef, raised humanely and naturally, really tastes like. Pick some up this week, and cook it up for your Super Bowl party next weekend.

Winter braising mix from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter braising mix from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) has plenty of this gorgeous, colorful and hearty winter braising mix available now, freshly harvested from their fields in Everson. This mix includes collard greens, various kales and cabbage, and I’ve been enjoying it all week, sautéed with some Jarvis Family Garlic Farm garlic.

Super sweet carrots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Super sweet carrots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t let the fact that these bulk organic carrots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm are all different shapes and sizes, with the ends trimmed off, discourage you. They are incredible sweet and satisfyingly crunchy, and they will make your body and soul happy in the dead of winter.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish still offers fresh fish most Sundays at your Ballard Farmers Market all winter long. Of course, it all depends on the previous week’s weather if, how much and what kind of fish they will have. Two Sundays ago, they had a great supply of this rockfish in their coolers. Last week, it was true cod (what the FDA now insists is “Pacific cod.” Whatever.). Regardless of the species of the week, do get here early, as Wilson always sells out of fresh fish early. Then again, you can always bring home some of their amazing smoked king salmon, if push comes to shove.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm keeps me going all winter long. Grown in their Port Townsend green houses, it is made up of kales, chards, mustards, arugula, and other freshly harvested greens that will keep you true to that hardest of New Year’s resolutions.

Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yeah, yeah. You’re cutting back on the carbs as put of your new diet. But I am quite certain that if you read the fine print, the rules of your diet clearly make room for you to enjoy one of these awesome loaves of Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery.

Lavender-infused honey from Brookfield Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lavender-infused honey from Brookfield Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met our new (well, sort of new) honey producer? Brookfield Farm produces and sells wonderful wildflower honey from its own hives, and it also sells honey from other local producers. They offer various natural and flavor-infused honeys that will pep up your tea, toast or biscuit!

Seahawks quiche from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seahawks quiche from Deborah’s Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally this week, real 12s eat quiche — fiesta quiche from Deborah’s Homemade Pies to be exact. Is it ironic that her quiche last week came in Packers green and gold? Not if you picture a group of Seahawks fans devouring it!

Go Hawks!

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, January 4th: Honor Your Eat Healthy Resolution At Your Ballard Farmers Market!

January 3, 2015
Organic Carrots from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Okay, who here resolved to eat healthier in 2015? Come on. Get those hands up high in the air. Wait, keep them up. I’m still counting! Wow, that’s a lot. And I am assuming the rest of you, if you are reading this post, already think you eat healthy enough, or you don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. Whatever the case, your Ballard Farmers Market is here to serve you! We’ve got plenty of fresh, locally-grown, and offered to you direct from the farm, nutritious produce, even this time of year. Like these gorgeous carrots from Kirsop Farm, our newest year-round farm at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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

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

Starting off the new year with some roughage will make your body happy, and will please your palate in the process. Stop by Colinwood Farm for some of their lovely braising mix for said purpose!

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

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

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the rutabagas right now. One of my favorite roots, I love them simply steamed and mashed with good Irish butter. But Patty sent along another great way to enjoy them, and here’s the recipe:

Golden Rutabaga Sunset

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

  • 1 large rutabaga, coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium yam, about coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium onion, sliced vertically into half moons
  • 1 large leaf kale, rib discarded, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Pinch cayenne, salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions for garnish
  • 1 sprig fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil) for garnish

Combine the rutabaga, yam, onion, and kale in a large, deep skillet. Add the water and cook, stirring over high heat for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to cook the vegetables and prevent burning. Add the raisins and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the green onions and herbs. Recipe adapted from http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps a nice, local pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm will warm your soul and be a nice change of pace from heavier holiday foods. And hey… you could make some chicken soup with it, which is always a good boost to the old immune system, especially when you add…

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Considered both a culinary and a medicinal mushroom, these babies with cure what ails you while adding a big boost of flavor to any dish!

Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is no such thing as too much garlic! This Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm will ward off colds and vampires (and perhaps a few unworthy friends who don’t appreciate your garlic breath), and it packs some powerfully delicious flavor, too!

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..

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes it’s monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Come get some of their most excellent local albacore tuna, full of beneficial omega-fatty acids, which your doctor (or your PBS guru) will tell you is very, very good for you!

Sunchokes from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes, but sunchokes have no relation to artichokes whatsoever. They are, in fact, a tuberous vegetable produced by a member of the sunflower family, and they are native to North America. Sunchokes, like this from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) are loaded with nutrients, and while they can be prepared any way a potato is, they actually have the opposite effect on your blood sugar, which makes them great for diabetics!

Golden Russet apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Russet apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And, of course, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? So stock up on apples from Booth Canyon Orchard, like these super yummy, if not super attractive, Golden Russet apples.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Finally, as we welcome back Hama Hama Oysters from their holiday hiatus, let us not forget that oysters are loaded with zinc, which can help you ward off those winter colds. And rumor has it that oysters are good for other healthy things, too, but this is a family show.

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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