Posts Tagged ‘concord grapes’

Sunday, October 5th: A Fiesta Of Fall Flavors!

October 4, 2014
Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! In case you haven’t noticed, it really is fall now. Temps at night are getting into the 40s. The sun sets before 7 p.m. Sure, the sun is still out, and it’ll break 70 again today, but there is a distinct turn of the seasons in the air. And the crops at your Ballard Farmers Market show it. Like these gorgeous Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. These are the stuff of our childhood. These are the stuff of Welch’s grape jelly and juice. These are the stuff of wines served at bar mitvahs far and wide. They are sweet, juicy and have a big grape flavor.

And just a reminder that we have begun doing shorter posts twice a week to wet your appetite all week long, instead of the usual marathon post once a week. So do remember to read the previous post for more words of wisdom and deliciousness. It’s full of news for this week’s Market, too! And check in on Wednesdays.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For my money, this is the second most beautiful vegetable on earth… second only to Chinese spinach, which graces the tables of Children’s Garden and Mee Garden each summer. This is Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm, and it is in the fall, when the nights get cold, that it really hits its prime. It is both bitter and sweet, but as a chicory, it is predominantly bitter. It is a great addition to a panzanella or bean salad, it is awesome simply grilled and finished with a nice artisan sea salt and some good balsamic vinegar, and I love it sautéed with bacon… and nothing else!

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh organic chickens from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says fall like the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven. It permeates the entire structure, while it warms every room, and every soul. These beautiful organic birds are from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia, and they offer them fresh and frozen right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are the chickens that the Seahawks and Sounders eat.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

8 oz and 32 oz bottles of organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Starvation Alley Farms is the first certified organic cranberry farm in Washington. They are located out on the Long Beach Peninsula, surrounded by one of the largest commercial cranberry growing regions in America. Not Maine. Not Massachusetts, Washington. They are getting ready for the 2014 harvest now, but they still have lots of their amazing organic cranberry juice available, and now they offer it in these nifty new 8 ounce bottles, in addition to their standard 32 ouncers.

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

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

“Choppin’ broccoli… choppin’ brocolliiiii…” Okay, now that that little ditty is stuck in your head (and if it isn’t, look that up with Dana Carvey’s name attached in the Google), let’s talk broccoli from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. They just started harvesting this planting, and it is just what the doctor ordered on a cool autumn night!

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Pa Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish this weekend’s epistle with a stalwart vegetable of fall, the sweet and mighty parsnip. I love to roast these puppies with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms (coming soon, themselves). And no epic autumn root roast would be complete without them. They are deeply sweet with a hint of celery-ness to them. And speaking of celery, try mashing some spuds, some celery root and some parsnips together sometime. Yeah, baby! You’ll find these first parsnips of the season from Pa Garden today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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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Sunday, September 30th: Hard Cider, Pearl Onions, Concord Grapes, Fresh Peanuts & One Adorable Child Eating Broccoli!

September 29, 2012

Hard ciders from Alpenfire Cider. Photo courtesy Alpenfire Cider.

It’s the last Sunday of the month, and that means Finnriver Cidery will let one of its fellow cider makers take over their spot at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Today’s special guest is Alpenfire Cider, from Port Townsend. Their cidery is nestled in the woods at the end of a street on the west side of PT, surrounded by orchards. They make great hard ciders with their own twist on them, and they also make amazing vinegars, too! Plus, they’re certified organic!

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchards is located in the beautiful Methow Valley in Okanogan County. They grow amazing tree fruit — many wonderful heirloom varieties. Like these beautiful Prairie Spy apples. Stop by and learn all about their many amazing apples and pears, and take some home to try!

Fresh green peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It’s fresh peanut season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Take them home and boil them in a big pot of heavily salted water for a great Southern-style treat. Eat them freshly boiled, or drain them, let them dry a little, and then put them on a baking sheet in the oven for a while for fresh-roasted salted peanuts. Or for unsalted, you can just put them straight in the oven and roast them without boiling them.

Flavor Grenade pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, there are so many kinds of pluots, and they come in so many sizes and colors, but one of the coolest looking pluots, and the one I think has the most macho name, is the Flavor Grenade pluot, like these, above, from Collins Family Orchards. And hey, just like their name suggests, they explode with flavor!

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

Here’s a little rebirth of spring for you! Gaia’s Natural Goods has a fresh crop of pea vines! I love these just sauteed with a little garlic in some olive oil, and imagine serving some local halibut from Wilson Fish, if you get here early enough to get any, or a nice grilled pork chop from Olsen Farms, over a bed of sauteed pea vines, eh? Yummers! They’ve also got carrotsberries and more today, too.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are lots of grapes coming through your Ballard Farmers Market now, ready for making jelly, wine, sauces, raisins or just eating fresh off the vine. These are Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. They grow on the slopes along the east side of the Columbia River in Mattawa. They’re sweet, juicy and delicious!

Tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about early fall, farm-fresh tomatoes? Just look at these beauties from Alm Hill Gardens. Big ones. Little ones. Slicers, poachers. Sweeter ones, more acidic ones. And in all sorts of great colors to liven up your meal! Enjoy them right now. You will miss local, farm-fresh tomatoes come winter!

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

It’s getting into bulb planting season again, and now’s a great time to stop by Choice Bulb Farms to check out the dozens of varieties of flower bulbs they have to offer. Remember, the bulbs you plant this fall will provide beautiful flowers next spring and summer!

Red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is peak season for fall tree fruit at your Ballard Farmers Market, so revel in it.  Looks like a record year! Try out these red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce, for instance. And they’ve got lots of apples and pluots now, too!

Radicchio from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, radicchio! The stunningly beautiful, bitter chicory favored by Italians everywhere. Grill it. Add it to salads. Heck, top a sandwich with it. It’ll add color and a nice bite to many a dish. I love the stuff. Find these lovely heads of radicchio at Growing Things Farm.

Little Marina loves her some Oxbow Farm broccoli! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If there was ever a poster child for eating right, I think little Marina here would be it. Her mom had just purchased this lovely head of broccoli from Oxbow Farm last week, and Marina just had to hold it for mom. Mom soon found out why, as Marina began devouring it on the spot. I loved it when mom calmly asked Marina, “Please don’t eat all of it before we get home. We won’t have any for dinner.”

Red pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish this week’s epistle with one of my favorite things — pearl onions. These little jewels are very hard to grow, so not many farms around here grow them. And yet, they are so amazing caramelized whole with some Sea Breeze bacon and then tossed with some hericot vert beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm — a true treat! Well, lucky us, Boistfort Valley Farm has some of these cured red pearl onions right now! But they won’t last long!

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.

Sunday, October 9th: Award-Winning Wine, A Rainbow Of Chard, Fermented Vegetables, Concord Grapes, Porcini Mushrooms, Alfalfa Honey & So Much More!

October 9, 2011

Two more award-winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery has won many awards for its wines, and in particular for its 2009 Malbec & Madeleine Angevine, above. They have just released their 2010 Madeleine Angevine, of which they only made 40 cases. They’ve set aside 5 cases for their Ballard Farmers Market faithful. If you would like a bottle (or 2) of what could very well be the most flavorful “Mad Angie” they have ever produced (and it has been a consistent award winner for over 20 years), stop by their stall at the Market today, as it may not be here next week! Also, they are offering the last of their Platinum Award winning 2009 Malbec today. Grab some for the holidays now, while you can!

Carrie modeling broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens back in 2009 at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill’s beloved Carrie Palk is leaving us soon to return to Ohio to be closer to her family. So we’ve been honoring her with lots of fun photos of her modeling Alm Hill’s produce each week. Today’s photo was taken back in 2009 at Wallingford Farmers Market. One look at this photo, and even George Herbert Walker Bush would eat broccoli! And truth be told, this year’s broccoli crop is, itself, the best looking in years, and Alm Hill’s got lots of it right now.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The nights are cooler now, and I don’t know about you, but I am spending a lot more time in the kitchen again. I loves me some tasty greens this time of year. Like this spectabulous rainbow chard from Oxbow Farms. Stunning, isn’t it? And sweet as can be! And they’ve got a rockin’ selection of kales now, too, plus collard greens are back. Woohoo! Heck, any day now, it’ll be Brussels sprouts season again. (I can hardly contain myself.)

Caraway sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As we do the slow fade into the cold, dark, wet months, we bid adieu to some of our farmers who only have summer crops like berries and stone fruit. But that makes room for other familiar vendors to return, after spending the summer vending at our weekday markets. Like Firefly Kitchens, which has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with all manner of fermented vegetable products made from local ingredients, many of which are sourced right here at the Market. One of my personal favorites is their caraway sauerkraut. This is the kraut made for bratwurst — perfect during Oktoberfest, right?

Giant Italian prunes from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everyone, run for your lives! It’s the attack of the giant Italian prunes from Collins Family Orchards, and they’re here to overwhelm you with sweet, juicy deliciousness! Aaaaahhhh! You know, I just have to rant again about those wusses at the California Prune Board who decided we should stop calling these prunes because “prune” has a negative connotation. Maybe the stuff they produce does, but not these beauties. They are magnificent. And being a free-stone, they are super easy to dry or jam, too!

Canned salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are so many ways to enjoy our favorite local fish, salmon. Loki Fish smokes it, freezes it, jerkies it, makes patties and sausages with it, sells their eggs, makes spreads, and, of course, they can it. And this ain’t that mass-produced canned stuff coming from Alaska, via Japan. This is the finest salmon, handled with care, and canned in its own natural juices — perfect for that salmon salad, or stocking stuffers, whenever you like. And, it’s shelf stable!

Concord grapes from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I took a camera class last Saturday at the Woodland Park Zoo, and I got to practice what I learned last Sunday at the Market. The results were interesting, as I played with the use of varying aperture and ISO settings. These concord grapes from Stoney Plains presented a particularly interesting challenge, as I discovered letting more light in was not necessarily desirable, because it tended to wash out the beautiful, deep purple hues of the grapes. Fortunately, I was able to get this crisp shot even with the restricted light on the “auto” setting.

Porcini mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s wild porcini (a.k.a., king bolete) mushroom season again, and Foraged & Found Edibles has lots of them. These are truly one of the great wild mushrooms, but their season is not all that long. Get ’em now, while you can.

Artichokes from Billy's Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Billy’s Gardens. Beautiful, aren’t they? And they are an example of using a low f-stop and a fast ISO. Makes the color pop right out, eh? I mean, don’t you just wanna reach in the computer screen right now and grab a couple for dinner tonight? Hey, if you wanna practice your camera skills, the Market is a great place to do it. Just don’t block anyone’s access to these awesome artichokes, lest you get bonked over the head by a bunch of beets. Trust me. I know.

Pumpkins from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s a shame that many people go through their entire lives thinking that the pumpkins used for jack o’lanterns are the only pumpkins. If they ever tried to cook with them, they’d learn fast they aren’t that good. Heck, they’re bred to be big and hollow, not meaty and flavorful. But cooking pumpkins have been a staple food in many cultures for centuries. They keep for months, they taste great, and they are extraordinarily versatile. And there are an almost unbelievable number of different varieties of them, too — all different colors and sizes, with all different names. Above are just three from Nature’s Last Stand. So, if you thought pumpkins only came from large bins in front of your local Big Box store, or out of a can, introduce yourself to these gems of the winter squash family this fall. And hey, play a fun game with the kids this fall. Challenge them to find the kind of pumpkin Cinderella’s carriage was made out of . It’s here. Trust me. You can thank me later.

Alfalfa honey and crystalized maple honey from Golden Harvest. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest has a couple of limited edition honeys in its lineup right now, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Above left is their alfalfa honey, which has a fairly rich flavor to it. Alfalfa is a legume, which means its flowers are like those of peas or beans — nectarlicious. And how about some crystalized maple honey. Don’t think Vermont maple syrup here, as we’ve got viney and big leaf maples out here, not sugar maples. But they still offer up a sweet kick of their own. Give it a try.

Cookbook author Michael Natkin doing a photo shoot at Ballard Farmers Market on October 2nd. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of photography, local vegetarian food blogger Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious was doing a photo shoot at the Market last week for his new cookbook. You know, with all the camera crews coming to your Ballard Farmers Market these days, we should start charging them the big bucks, like Pike Place does. Then we can all retire early. As if.

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, October 24th: Puget Sound Keta Salmon, Brussels Sprouts, Black Truffles, Gluten-Free Bread & A Rainbow Of Cauliflower!

October 24, 2010

Fresh Puget Sound keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Sunday, all! Never mind the calamity you see outside your windows this morning, because your Ballard Farmers Market is about as well stocked as ever with a veritable cornucopia of fall deliciousness normally unheard of this late in the year. Like fresh Puget Sound keta salmon from Loki Fish. Yup. Keta salmon is quite versatile, and in this case, it is the only commercially viable salmon fishery still remaining on Puget Sound. And since you can actually easily walk from the Market to Puget Sound, you’ll agree: it doesn’t get much more local that this.

Concord grapes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The grape harvest is very late this year, but here it is — concord grapes from Alm Hill Gardens. These sweet and quintessentially grape-flavored grapes are great as table grapes (complete with seed spitting!), or you can make your own grape juice or wine with them. And did I mention that grapes are loaded with anti-oxidants?

Brussels sprouts from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts! Oh, happy day!!! How I have missed you, oh, mighty mini cabbages put on this earth to befuddle many and to enthrall those of us who appreciate their inextricable relationship with bacon, shallots and white wine… and Ciscoe Morris, of course. Congratulations to Catherine at Summer Run for winning this fall’s Brussels sprouts sweepstakes by having the first farm at your Ballard Farmers Market to harvest them.

Kohlrabi from Red Barn. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I was just thinking that during my recent visit to Milwaukee, Wisconsin — a great city that has one of the most impressive local food scenes in the United States (Seattle having the most impressive, of course) — I had perfectly cooked local Brussels sprouts to accompany my local, grass-finished beef meatloaf at The Comet Cafe. But being a city of many Eastern Europeans, I also found myself enjoying dishes featuring kohlrabi at the Serbian restaurants I visited. Our farmers around here grow some absolutely magnificent kohlrabi, like that above from Red Barn, which we recently welcomed back to your Ballard Farmers Market with all manner of deliciousness. Perhaps if we could encourage some of our neighbors with great kohlrabi recipes to share them with us, the many of us who are intimidated by this unusual vegetable will give it a chance. If you’ve got a recipe to share, please use the comment field below send it to us. Thanks!

Fall flowers from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our Hmong farmers are famous for the spectacular flower arrangements they make year-round. But I think I like the fall bouquets best of all. There is a vibrance and warmth to these beautiful blooms from The Old Farmer, don’t you think? Now, I know that you are not really thinking you want to bring fall into your home today, but I think one of these lovely bunches of floralrificness on your dining room table would take the edge off our first big storm of the season, don’t you?

Washington black truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Washington black truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles pack an enormous amount of flavor in their little fungal bodies. And one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways I’ve eaten them is when Chef Seth Caswell of emmer&rye served them simply shaved over some Pasteria Lucchese pappardelle that had been tossed with butter. Delicious!

Gluten-free breads from Platypus Breads. Photo courtesy Platypus Breads.

Platypus Breads is back at your Ballard Farmers Market today with gluten-free breads worth seeking out. Lindsay took a well deserved break for a couple of weeks, but she’s back and baking up gluten-free breads which are — I will say it again until it sticks — moist and flavorful. Have you been looking for a gluten-free bread to add to your elegant dinner? Here it is!

White, green, cheddar and romanesco cauliflower from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower is in the house! (Okay, it’s in the Market. But if you bring it home with you, it will be in the house.) Again, here’s another crop that came to us oh, so late this year, but now that it is here, let’s celebrate it. Especially when it comes in so many varieties from our friends at Growing Things Farm. I’ve captured 4 kinds above — white, green, cheddar & romanesco, which is the only vegetable that actually grows in fractals! So get your cauliflower on, baby!

Herbs de Provence butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The ladies up at Golden Glen Creamery got inspired by the recent visit to Seattle by the American Cheese Society, and they’ve started having fun with all sorts of flavors infused into their farmstead butter. They’ve got three new flavors on their table, including: Bittersweet Chocolate & Orange; Northwest Mushroom Trio; and Herbs de Provence (above). Enjoy!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!