Posts Tagged ‘chocolate confections’

Some Ballard Farmers Market Success Stories

March 6, 2015
Autumn Martin returns today with her Hot Cakes! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin with her Hot Cakes at Ballard Farmers Market back in 2009. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In the People’s Republic of Ballard, and especially at your Ballard Farmers Market, we know great, local food and drink. So it is no wonder your Ballard Farmers Market has been home to, and indeed a launching pad for, many now very familiar and celebrated names in the local food and beverage industry. And as I continue my personal countdown to retirement from this blog, today I celebrate just a fraction of the extraordinary folks with whom we have shared the street over the years, and the success they have so deservedly achieved.

Like Chef Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes, now with her own storefront just a block up from the Market. Most days, there is a line out the door there to eat her delicious chocolatey creations, but did you know Hot Cakes got its start right here on the street at your Ballard Farmers Market? Yep. We couldn’t be more proud of you, Autumn. And just look at all of the press, from all over the world, she’s getting!

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This photo is from 2010, when a camera crew from Food Network Canada arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market to feature Veraci Pizza on their street food show, Eat Street. You probably see Veraci’s mobile pizza ovens all of town — heck, all over the Northwest. Besides their storefront on Market Street, they have a depot on 15th Avenue on Crown Hill will dozens of the trailers. You will also find them in Spokane, in Oregon and in Idaho. But did you know that they got their humble beginnings right here with us many years ago? Back then, they just had one, and then two trailers. Wow. We just love a great success story!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Firefly Kitchens got its start in a shared kitchen space in Frelard in 2010, introducing Seattle to what has now become one of the biggest trends in food: fermentation. They gathered up local veggies from area farmers and allowed them to naturally ferment with delicious and nutritious results. We liked them so much, we directed them to the Good Food Awards in San Francisco in January 2011, and low and behold they won! And they’ve been winning ever since! And while you can now find their products at finer grocery stores throughout the area, the finest grocery store for them is still right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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

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

Yes, we all still miss us some Farhad, who retired from Tall Grass Bakery last September. So I thought I’d pay homage to him one more time whilst also reminding all y’all that Tall Grass Bakery also got its start with us, way back when your Ballard Farmers Market was wedged into the Fremont Sunday Market at 34th & Fremont, before Fremont was redeveloped and the Market moved to Ballard in 2000. They, too, shared a kitchen with another bakery back in the late 1990s. Now, they make some of the best bread in Seattle out of their storefront on 24th Avenue NW and bring it to you here at your Ballard Farmers Market, as well as other markets and restaurants all over King County.

Market Master Judy Kirkhuff with Nash & Patty Huber of Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Market Master Judy Kirkhuff with Nash & Patty Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In 2008, American Farmland Trust gave Nash Huber of Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness their annual, national Steward Of The Land Award. It is just one of many awards Nash has won over the years for the hundreds of acres and many farms he has not only kept in farm production in Clallam County, but that he has rejuvenated, rebuilding the soils, working with the local climate, and developing his own varieties of seeds that would thrive there. The result is a farm that is at its peak of production all winter long while many other local farmers are home reading seed catalogs or vacationing in Mexico. And like Bob Meyer, whom I saluted yesterday, Nash, too, has pioneered organic agriculture in Washington and helped many an up-and-coming farmer along the way!

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, it is hard to imagine a farmers market around Seattle in August and September without the dozens of varieties of organic peppers from Mabton’s Alvarez Organic Farms (currently prepping their soil for the 2015 growing season!). Don Hilario Alvarez, the farm’s patriarch, is a classic American success story — a true example of an immigrant who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, scrimping, saving and investing, until he became one of the most admired organic farmers in the nation. Way back in 2004, ATTRAnews, the newsletter of the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, celebrated him in a feature story in their issue about Latino farmers.

Roger Wechsler of Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Roger Wechsler of Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 2010, Seattle was host to the American Cheese Society Awards, and frankly, our Market vendors mopped up the floor with its competition. And the winningest of all of your Ballard Farmers Market’s cheese makers was Samish Bay Cheese, taking home four separate awards. Stop by and take a tasting tour on any Sunday right here, and you will understand why!

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.

Ever wonder what makes the Seahawks and the Sounders play so well? We like to believe it is because they eat eggs and chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Need I say more?

Tacos from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tacos from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oscar Mendez comes from a family of great Mexican cooks, and our markets are proud to have fostered them. Now, Oscar’s Los Chilangos lays claim to being the only mobile taco stand sourcing its animal protein locally. He get it directly from local, sustainable and humane farmers, fishers and ranchers right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. He gets rockfish from Wilson Fish, beef and pork from Olsen Farms, and eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Best of all, his food is wonderful!

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I round out this tribute to the achievements of the many vendors we quite frankly consider our family… heck, our children… with neither the last nor the least of our award-winning, storefront opening, international media starring market heroes. This is Brent Charnley from LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards). One of our state’s oldest wineries, the fact that it is certified organic makes it even more unique. Rarer still, it is located in the Puget Sound Appellation, Washington’s coolest, dampest wine-grape growing region, producing many Germanic varieties of grapes, and a few French, that just simply won’t grow elsewhere in Washington. And the list of awards their wines have won over the years is, frankly, almost embarrassing. Stop by for a taste to find out for yourself, and then take a great bottle, or three, home this Sunday!

Sunday, February 8th: Spinach, Sheep Yogurt & Things That Say (or taste like), “I Love You!”

February 7, 2015
First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just as we all crawl back out from in front of the nearest big screen TV to have to face the world for another eight months without Seahawks football (for which we, here at your Sunday Ballard Farmers Market, thank the NFL, cuz it gets kinda lonely here on game day), I must remind you that it is time to make plans for that special someone in your life who is already wondering what your are going to do for them this year. No pressure! Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Why not get a jumpstart on the gratuitous, if not greeting card company induced, love fest this year with a bouquet of fresh tulips from Alm Hill Gardens? And if you get buds that are still pretty tight, they’ll be in full bloom come that magical day.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, I love root vegetables and kale just as much as the next guy, but it is nice to know that Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend is looking out for our culinary sanity by offering us something else out of their greenhouses this time of year. Like this beautiful spinach. No, this is not a stock photo taken in the summertime. This is an honest-to-goodness February image. Enjoy!

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards not only help keep the doctor away all winter long, but they also are just plain delicious! Still plenty crisp, they are one of my favorite eating apples.

First of the new year sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the new year sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The ewes up on Whidbey Island are making milk again, and that means more fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd! I love this stuff. It is part of my morning routine year-round. And I love how the flavor changes with the seasons. You can actually taste the changes in the forage the sheep eat.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Having trouble getting a reservation for Valentine’s Day? Why bother? Make dinner at home! We’ve got the spinach salad and flowers covered above. Grab some fresh artisan pasta made with market-fresh ingredients from Pasteria Lucchese for your main course. They have a wonderful selection of pastas from which to choose, they can give you tips on how to prepare it, and they even have a great lineup of sauces, too!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

How about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates in West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

Raw pet foods from Porter's Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw pet foods from Porter’s Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the love for Fido or Mittens! Stop by Porter’s Pride and check out their raw diet pet foods for cats and dogs. Made with human-grade, locally-raised meats and other ingredients, this is food you can feel good about feeding your four-legged loved ones. And they will slobber and shed all over you with affection in return!

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.

Midweek Update for Thursday, December 11th: Holiday Brews, Breads, Chocolates & Decorations!

December 11, 2014
Fresh holiday wreaths from The Fay Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreaths from The Fay Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to deck the halls for the holidays, and there is no better way to do it than with a fresh holiday wreath, made from local, native evergreens, holly and more. Your Ballard Farmers Market has lots of them now, including these beauties from The Fay Farm.

Prunus ale from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Propolis Brewing.

Prunus ale from Propolis Brewing at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Propolis Brewing.

Propolis Brewing is offering some special releases of their wonderful ales just in time for the holidays, list their Prunus. “Handpicked from the wild ancient cherry trees of our childhood: Prunus~Malbec Barrel one-year aged wild cherry ale…only 22 cases…enjoy with care…” Also enjoy their Cedar Imperial Golden Saison, a 9.5% Imperial Saison aged for 4+ years, and bottled in November, as well as Grewit Barrel-Aged Old World Ale, their 7.5% (Reserve Ale) Wild Ale aged one year Malbec a Barrel.

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

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

Looking for a traditional ginger bread for the holidays? Look no further than Tall Grass Bakery! Every year, they craft these beautiful and delicious loves special for this season, using only the finest flours our region has to offer. Look also for their holiday stöllen bread available now!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

Finally, for this midweek epistle, how about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone on your list, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates from West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

 

Sunday, November 30th: It’s Buy Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

November 29, 2014
Coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve survived the insanity of “Forego Being Thankful & Let’s Go Shopping Thursday,” “Black Friday,” and “Small Business Saturday.” Now, it’s time for “Buy Local Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!” Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with locally-made, unique gifts that will be treasured by that special someone on your list. Plus, we’ve got lots of great food and beverage perfect for your holiday festivities. And best of all, it all comes with the face of a real person — a neighbor — behind it, and you know that your hard-earned dollars are going right back into our local economy, instead of onto some distant corporate spreadsheet.

For instance, check out these naked clay coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery from Port Townsend. Naked clay has been used for centuries in culinary traditions from Mexico to India. The minerals in the clay help to mellow the bitterness in many foods and beverages, like coffee. If you’ve got a hardcore coffee aficionado on your list, they will love one of these!

Hand-knitted clothing from Suzanne de la Torre at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-knitted clothing from Suzanne de la Torre at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you looking for truly one-of-a-kind, stunning, hand-knit articles of clothing for you-know-who… or maybe for just you? Then stop by Suzanne de la Torre at your Ballard Farmers Market and take a gander at this year’s styles, made right here in Seattle. Suzy’s creations always brighten up the Market, and they will brighten up someone special’s holidays, too!

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I imagine you can find a party somewhere on your calendar that calls for a whole side of smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. The finest smoked king you’ll ever taste, it is moist and delicious, and it is caught off the Washington coast! Of course, no one will judge you harshly if you just bring the whole side home and eat it yourself.

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

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

We’re finally past Thanksgiving, and now it is appropriate to deck the halls for the rest of the holiday season. A terrific start can be made with one (or six) of these fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington). They make these wreaths fresh each week using a wide variety of native pine, cedar, fir and spruce branches mixed with holly, pussy willow and whatever else they might find on the farm. They are wonderfully fragrant, and while most folks think they need to go up outdoors, I like bringing mine indoors, sprucing up my living room and making it smell great! Oh, they have fresh garlands, too!

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time again to play that annual game of, “What the heck should we get for dad this year?” I recommend one of these old school shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. The shaving soap is refreshing and soothing to one’s skin, and you don’t have to deal with wasteful shaving cream cans filled with questionable gas. Plus, you are investing in a local business, instead of Gillette. They also have a lineup of bar soaps that come in a nice variety of scents. And while many soap makers cater to women, this is soap designed with men in mind! (That said, Brown Butterfly also makes spa kits for mom.)

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t show up at your friends’ party empty handed. Bring some of this award-winning aged sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd on Whidbey Island. Their Island Brebis and Saratoga Passage cheeses are at their prime right now. Saratoga Passage is a deep, creamy cheese that will tantalize your tastebuds, and the slightly drier, sharper Island Brebis is the winner of a 2014 Good Food Award. Make sure you get enough for yourself, too!

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal's. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal's.

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal’s. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal’s.

And you’ll need plenty of dips and sauces this holiday season. Lucky for you, Uncle Eyal’s has returned this week with their wonderful Israeli-style dips and sauces, from this great baba ghanoush, to hummus made with local chickpeas, to garlic mint sauce that is to die for, and more!

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also returning this week: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). They are also well-suited for the holidays! Enjoy!

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.