Posts Tagged ‘celery’

Sunday, August 25th: Fresh Shelling Beans, Crisp Celery, Marvelous Melons, Bagged Bulk Cukes, Pretty Pears & More!

August 24, 2013
Fresh cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s shelling bean season! And they are in much earlier than last year. These are cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. You are probably most familiar with them as dried beans, but when they’re fresh like this, they are quick to cook and extremely versatile. Honestly, my favorite thing to do with them this time of year is make succotash. Grab some bacon from Skagit River Ranch, some sweet corn and parsley from Alm Hill, some green onion from Children’s Garden and some garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm, and you’ve got all the ingredients you’ll need for a simple and fresh succotash. Enjoy!

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, admit it. You just banged your nose or your finger into your screen while going after this gorgeous organic cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. I snapped this photo on Wednesday at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market. Oh, if you could just smell this melon. Wow. Sweet and juicy and absolutely incredible tasting.

Bagged bulk pickling cucumbers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bagged bulk pickling cucumbers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are like me, when you make pickles, you make a lot of pickles. See, I use them as gifts and trade all winter long. Well, to make things easy for folks like us, Stoney Plains Organic Farm offers these bulk bags of their certified organic pickling cucumbers. They pack them in 20 pound pages, and I figure about a pound per wide-mouth canning jar. I love working with their cukes in part because they are straight and uniform, making packing of pickle jars easier.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, it is kind of mind boggling just how many different varieties of fruit you will find coming into season at ACMA Mission Orchards. Like these Asian pears that just came into season this past week, along with something like four different kinds of peaches, a couple kinds of apples and a plum. What makes things more challenging and adventurous for us is that many of these varieties will only be available at your Ballard Farmers Market for a week or two, so if you want to try them, or if you already love them, you need to act fast, but do so with the joy of knowing that next week, you’ll get to test drive a whole new selection of fruit.

See, ACMA plants a huge diversity of fruit trees, not just because they like each variety, which they do, or because they think it’s cool to offer such an extraordinary number of different kinds of fruit, though we think it’s cool. No, they plant all of these varieties because they come in and out of season a few at a time, from the start of June through the end of October. It just makes good business sense to have fresh fruit every week, you know? And each type of tree in their orchards is naturally genetically programmed to have its fruit come to maturity at a different time. If they had just one or two kinds of cherries, apples and peaches, not only would it be boring for us, but their entire year’s income would be dependent on the success of a few crops, and at greater risk to the mercies of the marketplace. That’s the fate many orchardists face who mono-crop for the big packing houses whose prices are set on the commodities markets, and who sell only a few varieties to the Big Box stores, because that’s what they’ve trained people to think of as “cherry” or “peach” or “apple.”

That’s why ACMA instead comes to your Ballard Farmers Market. You get a plethora of fruit varieties all year long. They get a much more secure and sustainable marketplace for their harvest, and they don’t have to share the sales price with a bunch of nameless, faceless executives from the packing houses, warehouses, brokers and Big Box Stores.

Tomatoes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomato season is in full swing now at your Ballard Farmers Market, and I thought I’d take a break from showcasing our new resident rock star tomato farmers at One Leaf Farm to share with you some gorgeous tomatoes from our friends at Summer Run Farm, which is just across the valley from One Leaf. Yeah, baby! More maters!

Bartlett pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bartlett pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is pear season at your Ballard Farmers Market, earlier than we’ve ever seen them before. These beauties are Bartlett pears from our friends at Collins Family Orchards. They’ve also got some great late-season peaches and nectarines now, too. This really has been one amazing summer, eh?

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

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

Meet Herbs de Provence and Garlic-Parlsey chevre from Twin Oaks Farm in Chehalis. Okay, this chevre is not new to your Ballard Farmers Market, but it is different. See, they ditched the plastic wrap and switched to small containers for their packaging. It makes for a more attractive, less messy chevre that is easy for you to dive into, and you can reuse or easily recycle the container — more than you can say for that plastic wrap!

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

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

Maybe it’s just me, but frankly, I was almost as excited to see this fresh crop of celery from One Leaf Farm show up this week at our sister Madrona Farmers Market as I have been to see all of their dozen or so tomato varieties come into season. Seriously, there is nothing quite like a crisp stalk of locally-grown celery fresh from the farm. It is sweeter and tastier, and once you try it, you won’t look at this staple of most kitchens quite the same when you see it in the Big Box stores.

Red Hiromi plums from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Hiromi plums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, that is one spectacular plum, don’t you think? It is a Red Hiromi plum from Tiny’s Organic Produce. It is the first plum harvested at Tiny’s each summer. It tends to have a mildly sweet to slighty tart flavor, and it must be very soft before eating to bring out maximum flavor, Tiny’s advises.

Korean garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Korean garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you checked out the selection of heirloom garlics offered by Jarvis Family Garlic Farm from over in the Dungeness River Valley of Clallam County in the Banana Belt? It is amazing stuff grown in an microclimate perfectly suited to garlic. Jarvis has garlic ranging from mild to hot, pleasant to testing who loves you after you’ve eaten it. Stop by for a garlic lesson, and try out a few kinds. Remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is high time for pink salmon from Loki Fish at your Ballard Farmers Market. Whether you are enjoying the last of their fresh catch from Alaska, or the first of their Puget Sound catch, which just started, this wonderful salmon that is so often relegated to cans is incredibly versatile. It takes well to grilling, smoking, pickling, marinating, seasoning and saucing. It is pink instead of red, like its cousins, because pink salmon is vegetarian. And it only returns to Puget Sound every other year, which makes it so much more important to enjoy it now, while you can. 2013 is shaping up to see an historically large pink salmon run here, too. So, celebrate with our truly local salmon!

Fresh grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magaña Farms has the first table grapes of the year for your snacking, juicing and raisining pleasure. These white table grapes are wonderfully sweet and juicy, and they beat the heck out of eating grapes from the Southern Hemisphere, which you end up doing much of the year, if you are getting your grapes from the Big Box store. Washington produces a lot of grapes. They don’t all have to be made into wine.

Experimental brie from Port Madison Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Experimental brie from Port Madison Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is called Experimental Brie, and it is one of three kinds of brie that Port Madison Farm is making currently with its goat milk. It has a lovely tang and a flavorful rind, and it just begs for a nice crusty baguette from Tall Grass Bakery. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we only have three more weeks with Port Madison’s cheese before they leave us again. So take full advantage of their wonderful offerings 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.

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.

Saturday, October 28th: A Tribute To Essential Fall Crops!

October 27, 2012

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids. It’s pumpkin pie season. And you can’t get much better for pie making than these Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. They are not only beautiful, they are delicious! Indeed, they are aptly named. Stop by One Leaf for a couple of these cool looking gourds, and perhaps some lovely radicchio, too.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing like sweet potatoes fresh out of the oven on a cool, fall night. They fill you with warmth while stoking your energy and pleasing your palate. And while they are a perfect side dish to so many proteins, try adding them to a simple or downright busy root roast. I love cutting them up and roasting them with parsnips, or with beets, carrots, parsnips and sunchokes. Or you can mash them with garlic, some chipotles in adobo sauce, and a touch of maple syrup. Yeah, baby. These Beauregard (left) and O’Henry sweet potatoes (above) are from Lyall Farms.

Golden Nugget squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Golden Nugget winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm have a sweet flesh with a wonderfully smooth texture that’ll just make you purr. And isn’t that what you want from fall foods? It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. Give us comfort food! This is comfort food.

Yellow storage onions from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What doesn’t call for onions in the recipe this time of year. And while the onslaught of October rains may quickly be making our record warm and dry stretch this summer a distant memory, the truth is that that weather made for an epic onion harvest. They loved the sun, and then they were able to dry and cure without getting wet and moldy. That means we’ve got more storage onions, like these yellow onions from Nature’s Last Stand, than we’ve had in years at your Ballard Farmers Market. Enjoy!

Celery from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This also seems to be a stellar year for celery, too. It is bigger, crunchier, even sweeter than in years past. And again, every recipe seems to call for it, from roasts to soups to stuffings. Nash’s Organic Produce has some lovely celery right now at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms are one of my favorites, and not just because they are gorgeous and have a really cool, Ballard-friendly kind of name. They have this amazingly fluffy, snow-white flesh when they are steamed that just begs for a big dollop of your favorite butter. Mmm.

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

Shallots also find their way into many a fall recipe. One of my faves is to caramelize them in the same pan with some nice chunky bacon, then toss in some Brussels sprouts, and cook them until they just start to get tender. Then deglaze the pan with some white wine, which will finish cooking the sprouts while it reduces. The shallots above are from Summer Run Farm.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall is an excellent time to enjoy pears, like these Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. So great in salads, baked, in pies and tarts, or just on their own, eaten right off the core. Right now, there is a great selection of pears at your Ballard Farmers Market, so do enjoy them while you can!

Carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us not forget the formidable carrot, whose own ubiquitous presence can be found on almost any fall recipe page. Carrots are sweeter this time of year, due to cooler whether, making them great for any application, or just plain munching on their own. The lovely specimens (above) are from Gaia’s Natural Goods.

Spanish red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And perhaps no ingredient from your Ballard Farmers Market is more called for in your fall cooking than garlic, and lucky for us, Jarvis Family Garlic Farm from out of Sequim joined us this year with a bunch of amazing heirloom varieties of garlic for you to enjoy. After all. there is no such thing as too much garlic!

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s installment with one of the most quintessentially fall crops — cranberries. Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm returned last week with their gorgeous cranberries, so there’s no excuse for you not to bring fresh cranberry sauce with you to grandma’s house on Thanksgiving, is there?

Finally, another reminder to please 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.

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 14th: Hardy Kiwis, Carving Pumpkins, Holiday Hams, Celery Root, Cheesecake & More!

October 13, 2012

Hardy kiwis from Greenwater Farm. Photo courtesy Greenwater Farm.

The rains have returned, and frankly… yippee! Don’t get me wrong. I, too, enjoyed having a summer that, well, was a summer. But I wouldn’t live here if I didn’t like rain. And after 81 days without it, it is quite refreshing. The air smells cleaner. The dust is washing off of, well, everything. And I can hear each and every blade of grass cheering. Imagine how our beloved farmers are feeling! So, it really is October. Most farms have already felt a nip of frost by now, and your Ballard Farmers Market is awash in fall crops. Today, we celebrate the arrival of a particularly special Northwest fall crop, the hardy kiwi. These tiny jewels of sweet deliciousness are indeed kiwis, but they have evolved so that they thrive in a cool, temperate climate like we have here in Western Washington. Greenwater Farm grows them in Port Townsend, and they’ll only have them available for a few short weeks. If you’ve never tried them, avail yourself of this opportunity!

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Halloween is fast approaching, and it is high time to get that perfect pumpkin and carve it. Grab one of these lovely Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins today from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Cut the top out. Scoop, wash and roast the seeds, and carve it up with some menacing looking face. Just be sure to let your kids pick out a pumpkin, too!

A holiday ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you ordered your holiday turkeys and hams yet? It’s not too early. Heck, it’s already October 14th! Thanksgiving is less than five weeks away. Seriously. It’s early this year — November 22nd. Swing by Skagit River Ranch today and place your order, so you’ll been sure to have a delicious, humanly-raised, local centerpiece for your Thanksgiving feast.

Celery root, a.k.a., celeriac, from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is by no means the most handsome of fall vegetables, but celery root, or celeriac, is an essential ingredient to many fall dishes. From soups to roasts to amazing mashes — think celery root, parsnips and potatoes! — you’ll need it. In fact, many have been asking about it for weeks. Well, One Leaf Farm, which returned to your Ballard Farmers Market just last Sunday, wins this year’s celery root sweepstakes, being the first farm to roll in with it this year. Woohoo!

Farm-fresh honey from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve been a little short on honey this past year at your Ballard Farmers Market, so we’ve allowed some of our farmers to bring in honey produced on their farms for sale. This honey, from Boistfort Valley Farm, is made by their resident bees that also pollinate all their crops on the farm.

Kale and collard greens from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gaia’s Natural Goods returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market will lots of tasty greens, like the above kale and collard greens. See, with a little nip of frost in the air recently, greens have gotten a lot sweeter, making this a great time of year to enjoy them. Plus, cooking them helps warm up your kitchen and takes the nip out of your house.

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

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards are in their prime right now. Sweet, juicy, and wonderful to eat, they make for a great addition to junior’s lunchbox, a salad, or a snack at the office during your afternoon break. Enjoy this fall treat while you can!

A colorful fall display at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just had to share this photo of the display at Nash’s Organic Produce last week. It comes under the heading of “spectacular displays.” Oh, the fall colors of goldenchiogga and Detroit beetsturnipscelery and arugula. Comforting veggies for cool fall days!

Daikon radishes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about some daikon radishes from Colinwood Farms? They have a bright, clean, mild flavor, with just the slightest hint of spiciness. Add them to salads like any radish, shred them as a garnish or to use with sashimi, sauté them. These Asian delights are deliciously versatile!

Cheesecake from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you are ordering your holiday turkeys, roasts and hams, don’t forget about dessert! From sweet breads to pies to one of these amazing cheesecakes from Pasteria Lucchese, check in with your favorite Ballard Farmers Market dessert makers now to learn about what you’ll need to do to ensure you’ll bring the best dessert with you to whatever holiday festivities.

Finally, another reminder to please 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.

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, September 9th: Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Black-Eyed Susans, Saffron Corms & Some Folks Taking A Break After Today’s Market, So Stock Up!

September 9, 2012

Black-eyed Susans from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t usually start off with flowers in my weekly blog posts, but I also don’t usually have a photo of these stunning black-eyed susans from Pa Garden. They just scream September, don’t they? You know, ever since I first began working with farmers markets like a century ago — okay, it was 1991, but still… — I have come to recognize that our seasons are color-coded. And at no time of year is this more evident than right now, as we begin our shift from summer to fall crops. Think about that as you continue on reading this week’s epistle, and enjoy it in all its splendor as you walk through your Ballard Farmers Market today. Because we have now entered the highest of the high season — September is peak season for local produce, and at no other time of year will you find more different crops on our farmers’ tables than right now!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It’s sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yeah, baby! Sweet, nutritious tuberous deliciousness! And an early taste of fall. Only one local farm grows sweet potatoes to sell at Ballard Farmers Market. Most in Seattle come from far, far away. Enjoy these. They are wonderful!

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Right now is also peak season for fresh king salmon from Wilson Fish. Why? Because right now, the salmon are beginning to swim from the Washington coast, where they’ve been fattening themselves up for months now, through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and into the Frasier River, where they will make one of the longest journeys of any fish on earth, deep into Canada to eventually spawn until they die. See, once they leave the ocean and enter the River, they stop eating, so they need to have stored a lot of fat up before they start that journey. Add to that that we are seeing big returns of four and five year kings this year, and the result is fish that are much larger and loaded with flavorful fat, making them the best of the year. And add to that that the Washington coastal salmon season ends in just a couple of weeks, and the answer is that now is the time to enjoy incredible, local salmon!

Saffron corms from Phocas Farms. Photo courtesy Phocas Farms.

“This will be the second of three, possibly four, Market Sundays at which I’ll have saffron corms available for purchase,” says Jim Robinson of Phocas Farms. They are sustainably grown with OMRI approved nutrients in an herbicide and pesticide free environment. Many know Phocas Farms for their spectacular collection of succulents, and some know them for the saffron they produce in Port Angeles. The problem lately is that they are a victim of their own success, having all of their saffron harvest pre-sold to many of Seattle’s top chefs. That means, if you want some of Jim’s saffron, your best bet is to get some of these saffron corms today and grow it yourself! (For more information about saffron cultivation, visit SaffronBulbs.com.)

Varnish clams from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These little clams are affectionately called varnish clams by the good folks of Hama Hama Oyster Company because of the color of their shells. They are tasty, and you should eat as many of them as you can, because in reality, they are an invasive species brought here from the East Coast many years ago. So, you’ll actually being doing yourself and Hama Hama a favor by gorging yourself on them! (Don’t you just love mixing virtue with gluttony?)

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of an early taste of fall, how’s about winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm? Yuppers, they’ve got it already. Deeply sweet with a divine texture, you gotta love ‘em. And keep in mind that they store really well, so even if you are not quite in the mood for it now, get some for later. Because we’ve only got four more weeks left in the season for your Ballard Farmers Market. Just store them in a cool, dark, dry place, and be sure to let the stems fully dry out without molding, and whatever you do, don’t remove the stem!

Award-winning jersey cow yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The good news is that this is the best yogurt in America. This jersey cow yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery is rich and creamery and absolutely amazing, and it won Best Yogurt at the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards. Their jersey cow milk and goat milkyogurt and cheese are great as well. The bad news is that this will be their last week at your Ballard Farmers Market for a while, as Farmer Eric is taking a bit of a rest break, due to doctors orders. So, stock up on yogurt and cheese today, as it keeps, and get your last fix of their milk for a while.

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of rocking the fall colors, how’s about these peppers from Colinwood Farms. They’re on fi-wuh, as Elmer Fudd would say. These babies vary in intensity, so do as questions, so you’ll get what you’re looking for. I am loving grill-roasting peppers right now. Their sweet meatiness combined with the grill’s smokiness are simply delicious.

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

Celery seems so un-sexy, especially amidst all this magnificent late summer color, but fall is a season that begs for good celery — for making soups, roasts, salads, stuffings and more. And no one grows better celery than Boistfort Valley Farm. Seriously, if you’ve only ever experienced celery from the Big Box stores, you are in for a real treat. This celery is fresher, sweeter, tastier and more nutritious. I know. You’ve been hearing all that anti-organic propaganda lately saying it is no more nutritious than conventionally-grown produce, right, and that it still has pesticide residues. Well, perhaps someone should have suggested that the folks down in Palo Alto at Stanford University take the time to actually compare conventionally-grown crops, and large-scale organic crops, for that matter, to freshly-harvested local crops at farmers market. Because the reality is that the crop diversity, care for the soil and the fact that crops are harvested usually within 24 hours of coming to market makes the crops on the tables of the small, local, family farms at your Ballard Farmers Market more nutritious. The better the soil, the better the crop variety, and the fresher it is, the more nutrients are packed in them. Just sayin’.

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

Now, there’s some fall color, eh? Wild lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles! These dense, earthy mushrooms are incredibly flavorful, easy to work with, and make for an excellent accompaniment to meat, fish, pasta and more. And we are blessed with an extra early, long season for them this year, so enjoy!

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are looking for non-toxic candles made from natural, essential oils, you must check out our own Ascents Candles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Think about it. You are likely burning candles in your home, right? But most candles are made from materials that, when burned, release toxic gases into the air… meaning into your house. I’m thinking you probably don’t want to be doing that, right? Solution: get your candles from Ascents Candles. Simple. Except that Julianna is about to take a month-long break from the Market after today. So stock up! You’ll find lots of great prices today, too!

Cucumbers from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! Even the cucumbers are getting in on the colorful action today! Just take a gander at this collection of the fruity vegetables from Full Circle Farm. From slicers to lemon cukes to picklers, they’ve got a cucumber for every occasion, and I’m not even sure what that means.

Sunrise apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another sure sign of the waning days of summer is the return of Jerzy Boyz with their gorgeous organic orchard fruit, like these sunrise apples. They grow a number of heirloom varieties not grown by any other orchardist at your Ballard Farmers Market, from peaches to apples to pears. Stop by, welcome them back, try a sample or two and pick up some fruit for the week!

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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.

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.