Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

We are glad to have a little more space to keep more of our fine foods and craft vendors longer through the summer as the farms begin to rush into the Ballard Farmers Market with their larger harvests.  You may have noticed over the years, the market experiences a gradual loss of some of our favorite food makers and handmade crafts as we have more and bigger farm presence.  A shout-out goes to the City Department of Parks and Recreation for approving our use permit of Bergen Place.  Now we can keep more of our fine vendors working in Ballard.  You’ll see a rotating variety of vendors over the coming months, like:  Veraci Pizza!  Their famous pizza oven cooking pizzas with many locally sourced toppings, was scheduled to move into Bergen Place at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday, but they brought the wrong size truck and can’t make it work.  I apologize to those readers who saw this False alarm last night and the earlier post this morning.  We will try to work it out for next week.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza into the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

IT’S SPRING TONIC TIME

Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

Once upon a time, in the far distant past, mothers and crones and medicine women were the keepers of the villagers’ health.  It was from them that the secret of the Spring Tonic was imposed into the family diets and for treating illnesses in the community.  The medicine women had learned, what much later would be named by modern science as Micro-Nutrients and Vitamin C, were effective at helping people fight off the ravages of the winter weather and effects of less food for the people during the dark months.  They knew the secrets of recovery that were held within the bright green shoots emerging in the forests around them.

 MINERS LETTUCE

Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, tasty miner’s lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Miners Lettuce, saved many miners’  lives during the mid-1800s. Many men were taken in by the myths of “gold in them thar hills” that came out of the California Gold Rush.  These guys were gullible. They thought that within a few weeks, they could just walk around the mountains, picking up huge gold nuggets, and return home with their fortunes before their families missed them.  Consequently, many opted not to bring food supplies with them and, of course, many soon began to starve.  Luckily, the mountain ranges of the West Coast had a native plant, Claytonia profoliata, growing everywhere in the forests.  This beautiful and delicious green was packed with vitamins, most especially  “C”, and its common name, of Miners Lettuce is a testament to how many miners’ lives it was responsible for saving and how many of those silly men made it back from the wilds of the Northern California Sierras alive, if poorer.  Excellent in salads, as a beautiful garnish on any food, and used on sandwiches in place of lettuce.  The flavor is almost tart, but mild, and children love eating it fresh picked.
Both Nettles and Chickweed, endemic to fields and forest, paths and hedgerows, have also provided natural remedies for eons.  One is scary and the other is stepped on wherever you go.

 CHICKWEED

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization.  From Stoney Plains Farm

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization. From Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed is delicate and if soaked in cold water for an hour or four, will leach many of their healthful nutrients into the water and provide a refreshing drink to those who may have to re-hydrate from congestion or a cough from a cold.  Then use the greens in a fresh salad, on sandwiches, or as a garnish, much like you would parsley or cilantro sprigs.

STINGING NETTLES

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Nettles, with their prickly leaves, should be placed in a bowl of water, rinsed and drained. Best if you use a pair of tongs or a spoon so as not to touch them with your hands. Then throw them into a saute pan with mushrooms, onions and/or garlic, and eaten like any great vegetable.  Their sting disappears with the cooking, and may be responsible for a big part of the nutrition they provide.

AND THERE IS MORE !

Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our amazing weather has caused bumper crops that are popping out of the fields of our area farms like magic.  One Leaf Farm is one of those.  I got a call from Alice, formerly the beauty who was always seen behind the tables of Oxbow Farm in the past years.  Now she works with Rand Rasheed.

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Carnation

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Snohomish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems these two powerhouse women farmers had more greens than the restaurants they normally supply could use this week.  So when they asked if they could bring One Leaf Farm greens this week, I jumped at the chance to bring them to Ballard Farmers Market.

YES!  WE HAVE EGGS!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here: http://roscommonacres.com/2012/04/how-to-decorate-brown-eggs-for-easter/

LOPEZ ISLAND WINERY’S LAST WEEK

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

A consistent winner of prizes for Best-of-Category, Lopez Island Vineyards will be taking a hiatus from the Ballard Farmers Market in order to catch up with the many Spring chores that a vineyard has. Again, because of this amazing weather, the vines are requiring a lot of attention.  As so many of our farms, Brent Charnley and Maggie Nilan, are working the vineyards and running the winery almost entirely by themselves. You’re encouraged to come to market this Sunday, stock up on their very special wines and say goodbye.  If you have the time, volunteer to help out at LIV, and you could find yourself with an interesting job while you enjoy one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Be sure to pick up enough bottles to last until they return.  Luckily wine keeps in a cool pantry or basement excellently, actually getting better.  It’s a feeling of security to have a stock of great wines, ready for that special occasion when only the best local taste will meet the standard of what you want to sip.  Try taking home their most recent winner, Malbec, their lovely Gold Winning Madeline Angevine, it won a Platinum Award, and the Siegerrebe white wine, declared “top-quality” by Wine Press Northwest.

NEED SOMETHING NEW FOR THE SPRING?

Find a one of a kind skirt to brighten up these warmer days.  Children’s sizes are also available.

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Sunday, December 6th: Great Gifts, Great Bread, Great Produce, Great New Neighbors

December 6, 2009

Bruce Launer creates these magnificent wood cutting boards, and much more. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have a special someone who loves the bounty of your Ballard Farmers Market? Get them a gift you know they will cherish — a spectacular, handcrafted cutting board by Bruce Launer. Oh, and he makes toys, too.

Compagnon (left) and oat & honey bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are lucky in Ballard to have one of Seattle’s best artisan bakeries — Tall Grass Bakery. And better yet, they come to us at the Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday. To say that the two varieties of bread above are among my favorites would do Tall Grass a disservice, as I love all their breads. The compagnon, on the left, reminds me of the bread my grandmother always used to serve us with butter when I was a child in Upstate New York, and the oat and honey is chewy and delicious, and it keeps for days. But I recommend that you systematically try every bread Tall Grass bakes, because really, they’re all good.

Purple kohlrabi from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Someone recently asked me if anyone at the Market has purple kohlrabi. Yep. Boistford Valley Farm has it. Unfortunately, their truck broke down the week before Thanksgiving, but they are back now. Put that old family recipe to work on it!

Seed jewelry from Semilla Designs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Zena McCoy, of Semilla Designs, makes gorgeous jewelry out of seeds she collects from all over the world. These brilliant colors and shapes come from nature, and since they’re seeds, they are a renewable resource. How’s about that for green jewelry?

Marilyn's Nut Butters. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Marilyn’s Nut Butters is back at your Ballard Farmers Market. Marilyn, who hails from all the way up on, um, Queen Anne Hill, makes a lovely variety of nut butters that will dress up that slice of oat and honey bread from Tall Grass just fine, and it makes a great stuffing stuffer!

Fresh Flours bakery and coffee shop is our latest new neighbor on Ballard Avenue. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome Fresh Flours, our newest neighbor on Ballard Avenue. Fresh Flours is a bakery and coffee shop. Try out one of their cookies or croissants. You’ll find them right next to Bastille at 5313 Ballard Avenue NW.

Pieter Muller makes fleeces garments by hand right here in the neighborhood. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is c-c-c-old! It’s colder than a well digger’s belt buckle. It’s so cold… okay, enough of that. But here in the Pacific Northwet, we all count on soft, toasty fleece to keep our important bits from freezing and unceremoniously falling off. So it’s Pieter Muller Designs to our rescue. No need to go to the (it hurts just to say it) mall or REI to pickup some fleece garment made in China or something. Pieter Muller makes his fleece garments by hand right here. The only one sweating in his shop is himself! And ask him about which of his products are made from recycled, um, other products.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alan Scott wasn’t sure if Lyall Farms supply of sweet potatoes is going to last all the way until the end of the holidays, so stock up now, while you can. After all, these are the first sweet potatoes we have ever had at Ballard Farmers Market, like ever! Why eat sweet potatoes from way down south when you can eat local ones?

Okay, there is, as always, plenty of other good stuff this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner. However, do keep an open mind today, as our current cold weather may have temporarily knocked out some of the crops on the list.

Sunday, November 29th: Local, Handcrafted, Direct, Unique, Beautiful, Fun, Special Gifts at Ballard Farmers Market

November 29, 2009

22k gold Chrysophrase drop earrings by Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

I thought “Black Friday” referred to the day most retailers finally get into the black on their balance sheets for the year. But apparently its meaning has been changed to be mass hysteria and mob mentality while spending all night after Thanksgiving dinner waiting in line in the cold at a store that pays its employees next to nothing and gives them no health insurance so that you can get the same thing made in China as your next door neighbor for the same price they’ll spend on it a week from now, because after all, he who dies with the most stuff wins, right? Well, if you are as sick of this as I am, chuck the whole lot of it and shop on Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market for the holidays. Trust me, your neighbor will not have this handmade pair of recycled gold earrings from Port Townsend’s Itali Lambertini, above. Ballard Farmers Market is full of locally-made, handcrafted, unique, beautiful, fun, special gift ideas direct from the people — yes, real people — who made them.

Handmade garments from Suzanne de la Torre. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Choose from a diverse group of local artisans over the next month at Ballard Farmers Market, like Suzanne de la Torre’s handmade knitwear, for a gift that will not only be special and unique, but will also have meaning and a story and a face.

Handcrafted soaps in so many scents from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find great, and great smelling, stocking stuffers throughout the Market, like this handcrafted bar soap from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. If you are tired of that harsh, mass-produced soap and are looking for a gentle, refreshing change, local soap from Ballard Farmers Market will make your day, and that of those loved ones of yours whose stockings you stuff.

Honey sticks from Golden Harvest Honey make a perfect stocking stuffer for the kids. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest honey sticks come in a variety of flavors to please the palates of kids of all ages. And hey, while your kids may not appreciate a bar of good soap in their stockings, they will definitely enjoy a honey stick!

Snooter-friends from Snooter-doots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snooter-friends by Snooter-doots will put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest person on your gift list. Each Snooter-friend is made by hand and is absolutely unique. Heck, buy one or two for yourself to dress up your holiday home. Really, I think we all need a felt carrot in the house, right?

Dogs chews from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget your furry friends. Several vendors throughout the Market have goodies for your critters, like these dog chews from Olsen Farms.

Beautiful bracelets from Solstice Designs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So make sure you fully explore your Ballard Farmers Market, as well as the many locally-owned shops in Ballard that neighbor the Market, for great gift ideas, like these beautiful bracelets from Solstice Designs, that will tell your loved ones that you actually put some thought into their gift. Anyone can follow orders from the talking heads on TV and buy stuff from the Big Box stores that will be forgotten in mere weeks and broken almost as quickly. Give a gift that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Oh, and, of course, there is still plenty of great food to be had from our many farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans. For a full accounting of what food you will find this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Sunday, November 22nd: Bastille’s Chef Shannon Galusha Cooks Local For Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2009

A beautiful pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Celebrated an intimate Thanksgiving dinner this week with just a few family members and/or friends? Don’t need a huge turkey, or just don’t want turkey? Do what I’ve done on more than a few Thanksgivings: roast a local chicken from Growing Things Farm. These happy, pastured chickens are better tasting than any chicken I’ve ever gotten from a grocery store, and they are just the right size for a smaller dinner.

Speaking of local (like I am ever not speaking of local, right?), Chef Shannon Galusha, from neighboring Bastille restaurant, will be performing a cooking demonstration today at noon in the middle of the Market as part of the Eat Local For Thanksgiving campaign. Come get some great recipe ideas for your Thanksgiving table, and click on “chef recipes” in the right-hand menu for some simple Thanksgiving recipe ideas from local chefs.

Three kinds of mustard greens from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll want some nice greens as a lovely side on your table this Thursday.  How about some of these gorgeous mustard greens from Red Barn Farm? Mustard greens vary in flavor and spiciness depending on the variety. Ask Julie about them. She’s a wealth of information.

Oh, and Nash’s Organic Produce is bringing freshly milled hard red wheat flour for the first time today, just in time of all those holiday baking needs. From a variety of wheat called “Hank,” it makes a flour that weighs in at 14% protein that is high in gluten for excellent rising.

Butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everything is better with butter, especially on Thanksgiving. Be sure to stock up on it at Golden Glen Creamery, our only local butter maker.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms are the perfect mashing potato for Ballardites. They have a creamery white flesh that mashes wonderfully and takes well to butter, and they are named “Viking” and are grown by people named Olsen. (Or course, Olsen grows more than 20 varieties of potatoes, so ask them about their other kinds, too.)

Black trumpet mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether it is stuffing, a nice dish with grain, or gravy, you’ll need mushrooms. Foraged & Found Edibles always has great, local wild mushrooms, like these black trumpet mushrooms. And they should have fresh cranberries this week, too.

Beautiful November bouquets from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The flower bouquets that our local Hmong farmers bring to the Market every week never cease to amaze me. Just look at these magnificent November arrangements from The Old Farmer. No matter the season, they always present us with spectacular foliage that surprises and delights us. Brighten up your holiday table with one of their creations this week.

Monogrammed sour dough bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An excellent vehicle for that Golden Glen butter, for sopping up gravy, or for making turkey sandwiches is this sour dough bread from Tall Grass Bakery. But there remains some debate over whether the monogrammed “TG” on the loaf stands for “Tall Grass” or Thanksgiving.”

Sausage from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What? You don’t get what sausage has to do with Thanksgiving dinner?!? Oh, pity you! Think sausage stuffing. Or sausage gravy. Or sausage with kale or collard greens. Heck, sausage should really start with a “b”, so it can fall into the “everything’s better with” category of b’s, which includes, or course, butter, bacon, bourbon and beer. In any case, Skagit River Ranch is your sausage connection. A frustrated ex-pat New Yorker, when it comes to Italian sausage out here, I am a particular fan of their sweet Italian sausage.

Deborah, and her pies. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pie. You’ll need pie! Thankfully, Deborah’s Homemade Pies has a great selection of pies, from classic pecan or the best chocolate decadence I’ve ever tasted (and it’s gluten-free!), to various fruit pies made from local ingredients, let Deborah take a little pressure off of you.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How do you keep your guests out of your way in the kitchen while you are putting the perfect finishing touches on a spectacular Thanksgiving feast? Easy. Lay out a spread of fresh, delicious local cheeses on some platters, like these from Samish Bay Cheese, and plunk them down in the general proximity of the Lions/Packers football game, maybe with a little Loki Fish Company’s smoked halibut on the side.

Smoked halibut from Loki Fish Company. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And while you are stocking up on all these Market delicacies for the coming week’s trough, don’t forget that the gift-giving holidays are just around the corner. Take Black Friday off and go for a walk or relax with family. Instead, pick up handcrafted local gifts from the artists who created them, today or next Sunday, right here at Ballard Farmers Market. For example, Lizanne Fisk, of Edith & Wallis, makes lovely felt bowls, boxes, acorn, pumpkins and more to liven up your home or brighten a dear friend’s day.

Lizanne Fisk and the lovely felt creations of her Edith & Wallis. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sorry I am posting this puppy so late, or more accurately, so early. My keyboard, WordPress and my internet connection all went on strike during much of the day Saturday. But heck, you kids weren’t gonna read it until morning anyway, right? But please forgive me if I am stupid with fatigue (stupider than usual, that is) during the cooking demonstration today.

And remember, really, everything you need for the most extraordinary Thanksgiving dinner you and your guests have ever had, save, perhaps, the salt and pepper, you will find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Eating local for Thanksgiving couldn’t be simpler. For a fuller accounting of everything you’ll find today, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the right-hand menu, and we’ll see you today at your Ballard Farmers Market! (I’m going to bed now, for a couple of hours.)