Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’

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, July 20th: Melons, More Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Nectarcots & More!

July 19, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Ballard Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last Thursday, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including these SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

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

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

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm are a close cousin to some of the other Asian turnip varieties we see here at your Ballard Farmers Market, only these guys are just a bit more flamboyant. And they taste good, too!

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have a hankering for a good all-beef hot dog, but you fear what’s in it, where it was made and how the animals used in it were treated? Well, be afraid no more! These uncured beef franks are from Skagit River Ranch. That means the cattle were grass-fed on lush pastures, treated well, raised organically, and processed with respect. It also means that they are delicious!

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.

You may have heard me refer to Treviso radicchio as the second most beautiful vegetable on earth and wondered to yourself, “what is the most beautiful vegetable on earth, then?” This is! Meet Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It is only grown by two farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, both Hmong, and the last two summers have been kind of hostile to it, so we haven’t really seen much of it since 2011. It can be simply sautéed with some garlic. Or you can just invite your friends over to sit and look at it.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with lots of heirloom and exotic crops grown by adventurous farmers. But what Summer Run Farm specializes in is growing lovely organic produce standards — the stuff you could find at the Big Box store, but that would pale by comparison to Summer Run’s. Like this cauliflower. Sweet and crunchy, and wonderful roasted, made into soup, dipped in hummus or cocktail sauce, or however you enjoy it best.

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

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

There’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These bell peppers from Colinwood Farm are so fragrant that they seem to steal the show for your olfactory glands as you examine the farm’s tables. Pep up your salads, stuff some, or throw them on the barby. This is going to be a phenomenal year for peppers!

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

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, April 20th: Farmers Market Dinner & Auction, and More Farmers Return!

April 19, 2014

auction

 

Tickets are on sale now for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavilion! Chef Jason Stoneburner of neighboring Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a amazing menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardenswill perform a live auction as only that good ole Kentucky boy can! All proceeds benefit our Fresh Bucks Program that extends the benefits of those on Food Stamps when they use them here at the market, as well as nutritional and cooking classes for kids. Buy tickets now, or simply make a donation, at Brown Paper Tickets. Looking for more details about Fresh Bucks, and the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction? Click here! (And if you’d like to post one of our posters in your business or office, or you just think it’s pretty, click on it to download it.)

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

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

Well, after a winter of Sundays dominated by either bad weather or Seahawks games, we welcome the fifth straight Sunday in a row of lovely spring weather at your Ballard Farmers Market. And with this gorgeousness comes more and more spring produce. Like more radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm! I have been going radish crazy for the last couple of weeks, after months living without them. And hey, maybe your Easter egg hunt got rained out yesterday, but today, you can enjoy some wonderful Easter egg radishes (top left of photo, above). Enjoy!

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

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

And more asparagus! Yes, our friends at Magana Farms return today after their winter hiatus, meaning we now have three farms with asparagus at your Ballard Farmers Market. I suspect they may also bring with them some spring onions, too, if they are true to past history.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis returns today with all sorts of cow’s milk and goat’s milk deliciousness. You’ll find fresh, pasteurized, bottled cow’s milkfresh chevre (goat cheese), cheese curds (cow cheese), goat yogurtgoat feta and likely some aged raw milk cheeses. Woohoo!

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered cauliflower is in the house! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! Go Nash’s! It’s your birthday! (Sorry. Lost it a bit there.) This image is, in fact, cauliflower in the field at Nash’s Organic Produce. And when it’s made it through a tough winter, it is oh, so sweet now! They’ve also got a bunch of over-wintered leeks today, too. And I hear they are sending me a recipe to make some awesome soup with the two, so stay tuned.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil is back today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Produced by Ole World Oils on their farm yonder in Ritzville, this is your local cooking oil. It has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and it is stable, so you don’t need to refrigerate it. It has a wonderful, nutty flavor great for both cooking and as a finishing oil. And I love tossing cauliflower in it and roasting it in a 425 degree oven until just fork tender. The flavors compliment each other well. And best of all, it is priced competitively with olive oil.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is still plenty of time to crank out your first rhubarb crumble of the season before the rest of the family shows up for Easter supper. Just grab some of this fresh rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens today, and go home and get your crumble on! Just get here early, both because it will sell out, and because it will lower your stress level whilst making your holiday feast.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for that last-minute Easter ham? Stop by Sea Breeze Farm! They will have plenty today… depending on your definition of “plenty.” Of course, if you are the slacker that rolls in after 2 p.m. today looking for it, you might find that our definition of plenty and yours are at odds. Oh, they will have some fresh lamb today, too!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When you think about Belgian ales, you think of monks, right? And besides making great beer, what else do Belgian monks do? That’s right! They practice Catholicism. And since this is Easter Sunday, it only follows that you should grab a bottle or three of this holy beverage from our newest vendor, and our first-ever brewery, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend. Using malted Washington grains and many local, seasonal ingredients to give each variety its unique flavor, this is the first brewery to qualify to sell at your Ballard Farmers Market, because we actually require all of our alcoholic beverage producers to use at least 95% Washington-grown ingredients. Enjoy!

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. “This rich buttery flavored golden coffee cake with a rich, buttery flavor is named after the pan with which it is made-kugelhopf pan,” says iFood.tv on its list of the top 10 Easter breads. (Who knew?) It is a German specialty bread, and our friends at Tall Grass Bakery make it extra special. Plus, they will have some hot cross buns (#2 on the list. Kugelhopf is #1.) today, too, and maybe a few other surprises to round out your Easter festivities.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids (young and old)! Whidbey Island Ice Cream is back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Boy Howdy!!! 2013 was kind of a roller coaster for them, but they’ve settled into their new production facility, and it is time again to get our ice cream on, folks. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ll finish this week’s epistle — not a Papal epistle, but a farmers market epistle — with this lovely image of Easter’s past from our buddies at Olsen Farms. These are their Easter potato bunnies surrounded by Easter potato eggs. And if you need spuds still for today’s Easter feast, they’ve got those, too. As well as a bunch of freshly smoked hams!

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, November 3rd: We’ve Fallen Back To Standard Time. It’s Time To Vote Like It Matters… Because It Does!

November 2, 2013
Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Janelle & Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you voted? If not, please do. Several items on your ballot will directly affect your Ballard Farmers Market, including:

  • I-517, Tim Eyman’s latest that could unleash aggressive, paid signature gatherers to stand between you and the farmer from whom you are trying to lettuce, literally
  • I-522, the GMO-food labeling law against which corporate agribusiness interests like Monsanto and PepsiCo have spent some $20 million to defeat
  • Seattle City Council & Mayoral races that will determine how the City regulates and supports farmers markets for the next four years

Please do not make the assumption that any race is a sure thing. It is an off-year election, and turnout will determine every race. If you and yours vote, your candidates and issues will prevail. If not, theirs will. You can’t win if you don’t show up. On behalf of the many farmers supporting I-522, like Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, thank you!

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

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

These beauties are Pazazz apples from Collins Family Orchards. They are, essentially, the same as Jazz apples, which makes them phenomenal! Collins has all their rock star apples in now, from Honey Crisp to Pink Ladies to Fuji, so there’s no excuse not to have your apple a day to keep the doctor away. (BTW, did you set your clocks back an hour?)

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lopez Island Vineyards will be sampling their award-winning, wonderful Puget Sound Appellation wines, as well as their big reds from the Yakima Valley, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Try it before you buy it!

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is Puget Sound Keta salmon season at Loki Fish! For the next few weeks, you can get your salmon as local as it can get — Puget Sound. In fact, it they catch much of their Keta salmon right out in the center of the sound, off of Magnolia Bluff. Keta is an under-appreciated fish. It takes well to sauces, rubs and smoking, is priced well, and it is the one and only commercial salmon fishery of significance on Puget Sound. Other species are slowly making a comeback, but the Keta fishery is robust. If you love local salmon, and you want to support family fishers working the waters you see every day, this is the fish for you!

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

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

Growing Things Farm is celebrating the return of Standard Time with a rainbow of cauliflower! From white to yellow to green to purple, and those cool ones with the fractalized spires in them, they’ve got everything cauliflower right now!

Wynne Weinreb and Scott Beaton of Jerzy Boyz Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wynne Weinreb and Scott Beaton of Jerzy Boyz Farm support I-522. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You won’t find any food that came out of a test tube at Jerzy Boyz Farm. Their heirloom apples and pears were bred for flavor, appearance and durability over centuries, and the seeds are readily available for all to enjoy and grow. No patented crops or trademarked names here. No multinational corporate agenda of greed that spends hundreds of millions of dollars to pressure governments and farmers worldwide to accept their products. Just delicious, wholesome fruit from family farmers with dirt under their fingernails. No wonder they support I-522 and GMO-foods labeling. They’ve got nothing to hide.

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

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

Wow. Just take a gander at these lovely carrots from One Leaf Farm. They are sooo long and slender, and sooo sweet, too. You know you want to munch a couple of them right now, don’t you? Heck, some of you are now wiping a nose print off of your screen because you tried to go in after one. Well, get yourself to your Ballard Farmers Market now, and grab a bunch… or three!

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 is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it is local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market! See visit Fishing Vessel St. Jude, and stock up on the best canned tuna you will ever taste, low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. Or grab some frozen tuna loins, some smoked tuna, or perhaps some jerkied tuna.  Mmm. Tuna.

A beautiful field of Camelina at Old World Oils. Photo courtesy Old World Oils.

A beautiful field of Camelina at Ole World Oils. Photo courtesy Old World Oils.

This is a field of camelina growing at Ole World Oils, just west of Ritzville in Eastern Washington. This member of the mustard family has been used as a cooking oil for centuries. A seed crop, it is a perfect compliment to grain crops, as it helps build nitrogen and other nutrients into soils, thus reducing the need for chemical additives. Camelina has never been genetically modified, like its much younger cousin, canola. And it produces a cooking oil with a very high smoke point — 475 degrees — that is loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidents. Ole World Oils now offers their cold-pressed, unrefined Camelina Gold cooking oil at your Ballard Farmers Market. So, you can say you know your cooking oil guys now, too!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keep your mouth and your tummy happy with naturally-fermented kimchisauerkraut and more from Firefly Kitchens, based right here in Ballard. They make a perfect condiment to many dishes — I am partial to the caraway kraut on a nice bratwurst from Skagit River Ranch or Stokesberry Sustainable Farm — or you can just enjoy them as is. They often offer bottles of brine from their various batches, too, and it makes for a great mixer, or it’s great straight as a tummy tonic. After all, this is living food full of billions of happy, healthful probiotics. Good… and good for you!

Aged goat cheeses from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aged goat cheeses from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well. the goatee girls at Twin Oaks Creamery are drying up for the winter, which means no more goat yogurt for a few months, though they do still have chevre available. They also have some lovely aged goat cheeses, from their feta to their ashed goat cheese to a nice, hard aged goat cheese (center, above). Of course, they also still have cows milkfresh curds and other cows milk cheeses, too.

Brilliant kales and chards from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant kales and chards from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How can you not love fall greens? Boistfort Valley Farm produces some of the most beautiful greens around. Just look at those stunning golden chard and red chard bunches above, flanked by red Russian kale on the left and curly leaf kale on the right. And here’s a shopping tip for you. Look at the cuts on those chard stalks. See how there is little to no discoloration? That’s how you know this chard is very fresh.

Sugar Pie pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Pie pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you are venturing to make yourself a nice pumpkin pie, or some pumpkin soup, or even some pumpkin bread. You will find these gorgeous Sugar Pie pumpkins at Oxbow Farm. Remember, not all pumpkins are for eating. You wouldn’t want to eat a carving pumpkin, for instance. But these babies are specifically for eating. These are the pumpkins from which Pasteria Lucchese makes its famous pumpkin cappellacci. Enjoy!

Pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of pumpkin bread, this is gluten-free pumpkin bread from nuflours gluten-free bakery. And it is awesome. If you require a gluten-free diet, rejoice! If you don’t, ignore the fact that this is gluten-free and enjoy! You can thank me later.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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.


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