Posts Tagged ‘cucumbers’

Sunday, August 3rd: Juicy Melons, Local Tuna, Lemon Cucumbers, Cascading Beans, Succulent Sausages & Gluten-Free Goodies!

August 2, 2014
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.

Cantaloupe in the house! Woohoo! Washington produces an amazing diversity and quantity of melons, and our plant researchers and hybridists have developed some of the best melons anywhere. And yet, this humble, downright ancient, cantaloupe from Alvarez Organic Farms still remains a showstopper for flavor and juiciness. They are ripe and ready for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s the first Sunday of August, and that means it’s local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market! Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here the first Sunday of every month with their sashimi grade frozen loins that are favored by chefs all over Seattle, as well as the best canned tuna you will ever taste… anywhere.

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

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

Look kids! It’s time for lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm! Now, of course they get their name from looking like lemons, but I think this year’s crop might look so much like lemons that I might squeeze one into my iced tea by accident and then wonder why it tastes like cucumber.

A cascade of yellow wax beans from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A cascade of yellow wax beans from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm grows lots of different kinds of beans, and their cascading displays of them are almost as delicious as the beans themselves. Like these yellow wax beans flowing like a waterfall out of this bucket. Their beans come in a rainbow of colors, some round and skinny, and others wide and flat, and a few that are speckled. Green bean season is always so short, and when they’re gone, they’re just plain gone. Enjoy them while you can!

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These white-fleshed, organic Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic are very sweet. In fact, when I tried drying them one summer, I ended up with little slices that seemed more like candy than dried fruit.

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This past Sunday marked the earliest we’ve ever been able to capture wild lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles on pixels. Mind you, the fickle nature of, um, nature, and the ever-changing demands of local chefs do influence when we see wild, foraged foods at your Ballard Farmers Market more than cultivated crops. Heck, we aren’t even sure they’ll have these again today. But rest assured that Foraged & Found Edibles will have some delicious jewels of the wild waiting for you today, no matter what!

Cranberry shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry shelling beans are in at Alm Hill Gardens a full three weeks earlier than we’ve every seen them before! Now it is proper succotash season! Cook these bad boys up whilst still fresh by boiling them in well-salted water for about 20 minutes, or until just tender. Then drain them and toss them in a skillet with sweet corn freshly cut off the cob, green onions, fresh garlicparsley and some bacon from Skagit River Ranch or Olsen Farms, and just heat it through. No need to cook it to death. Remember to render out the bacon before adding the other ingredients to the pan, and use the bacon fat as your cooking oil, and for flavor, of course!

Sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Olsen Farms, the folks with all those amazing potatoes and meat, also make some great sausages? And because they come pre-cooked, they are great for picnics and camping, because you don’t have to worry about cross-contaminating your work space with raw meat. Made from animals the Olsens raise themselves, they are great on the grill, the stovetop, or simply on a stick over a campfire!

Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We enjoyed the little apricots of early summer. Now, it’s time for the big, beautiful, delicious ones, like these Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Think of the jams, the tarts, the messy shirt fronts! Rivals are a free-stone fruit, which means they release easily from their pit when you cut them in half, making them very easy to cook with!

Dukes blueberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dukes blueberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Dukes blueberries from Jessie’s Berries are plump, juicy, sweet and utterly blueberrilicious! I’ve been adorning my morning oatmeal with them for the last two weeks, in fact. See, I get a whole bunch of these puppies now, while they’re at their peak of flavor and abundance, give them a quick rinse, dry them thoroughly by rolling them around on a paper towel, and then pop them in waves into the freezer in a single layer in a glass baking dish. They freeze quickly — in just a couple of hours — and then I loosen them up and pour them into a gallon freezer bag so that I can enjoy them for weeks without worrying about them spoiling. I just grab out a handful at a time. They stay loose and good for months. Get enough, and you can enjoy them all winter long this way!

Zucchini Cardamom and Ginger Peach Mini Loaf from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Zucchini Cardamom and Ginger Peach Mini Loaf from nuflours gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Zucchini-Cardamom and Ginger Peach mini loaves from Nuflours Gluten-Free Bakery are so go, you won’t even notice that they are gluten-free. All you will notice is that you are out of cream cheese! But before that particular emergency befalls you, remember to stop by Mt. Townsend Creamery for some truffled fromage today, too.

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

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

Enjoy a snack of localiciousness, Mexican-style, today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Los Chilangos sources all of their animal proteins from vendors right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, like Olsen Farms and Wilson Fish. No mystery meat here! Enjoy some of their amazing tacos, or grab a breakfast burrito!

And remember, their plates, forks and napkins are all compostable. When you go to dispose of them, please take a moment to recognize our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to put your cup in the correct receptacle. Each receptacle 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. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 8th: Raspberries, Apriums, Snow Peas, Sheep Feta & More!

June 7, 2014
Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! The summer crops keep rolling in early! These are apriums from Collins Family Orchards. They are a hybrid of apricots and plums, genetically 70% apricot and 30% plum. They favor apricots in appearance and flavor, though they are sturdier, making them good for hikes and lunch boxes, and they are the first large stone fruit of the season. Ripe and ready now!

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just last week, we were celebrating the first sugar snap peas of the season from Alvarez Organic Farms. This week, we cheer for snow peas! I sautéed a bunch of these Friday night with some of their green garlic and green sweet onions, and served it alongside a nice grilled King salmon fillet from Wilson Fish. Now, that’s living!

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And under the heading of, “could life get any better?” come the first raspberries of the year! Yes, Sidhu Farms wins the derby on them. And we checked… this is the earliest we’ve ever had raspberries at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Glendale Shepherd has its first sheep’s milk feta of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market. This is the feta they eat in Greece, where sheep reign and cows are less common. So enjoy a little old world flavor, not from the Greek Islands, but from Whidbey Island!

Cucumbers from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how crazy is this? Nash’s Organic Produce has cucumbers today! Yes, you heard me right! And they also have strawberries, spinach and, wait for it, even a little basil!

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. A big, bold, full-flavored cherry, they are the cherry’s cherry. You want dark? You want to know you are actually eating a cherry? Heck, you want to keep your gout away?!? Eat a handful of these bad boys a day!

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

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

Summer Run Farm, from just over in Carnation, is known for their huge heads of lettuce. But they are also known for these adorable dwarf sunflowers. Why not pick up a few for your planter box? Oh, and Growing Things Farm is offering your fourth garden start free when you buy three plants today. So stop procrastinating, and get planting!

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus season is going to go away this year as quickly as it came on, what with our warmer and sunnier than normal weather. So don’t miss out on this wonderful organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Get it while you can!

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this? Yes, this is zucchini! I took this photo last Sunday, in fact. Colinwood Farm manages to always be the first farm with summer squash every year. In fact, I had someone ask me recently, “Where’s that zucchini coming from in Patty’s Pan’s quesadillas?” Colinwood, that’s where!

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

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

How about some lovely, and colorful, purple kohlrabi from One Leaf Farm? Remember, you can eat the greens and the bulb on it. And One Leaf has doubled the number of varieties of heirloom lettuces they have on their tables this week!

Lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Short, and very sweet this week, given all the fruit and peas coming into season, we finish off this week’s epistle with a summer staple: lettuce. Our buddies at Children’s Garden have lots of it right now, as well as mintcilantrorosemaryparsley and many other fresh cut herbs. And don’t forget to grab one of their beautiful bouquets of flowers, too!

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

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, May 11th: Happy Mother’s Day! Say “I Love You, Mom!” With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

May 10, 2014
KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While most of us working at your Ballard Farmers Market think of our Market Master Judy Kirkhuff as our Market Mom, she thinks of KaYing from The Old Farmer that way. But heck, let’s just celebrate them both today, along with all the other moms in Ballard and beyond. It is interesting to note that Mothers Day has its origins in a holiday known as Mother’s Day For Peace that dates back to 1872, in response to mothers having to bury too many of their sons from endless wars. Frankly, I still like this idea. After all, can you imagine a better Mother’s Day gift than world peace?

Until that day, you can take care of your mom with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from KaYing, or one of our other flower farmers, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Or better yet, you could give your mom, our Market moms, and a lot of moms of lesser means a huge gift by buying a ticket to the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks coming up this Tuesday at Hotel Ballard. We’ll be on the rooftop in glorious sunshine, eating deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market, prepared by Chef Jason Stoneburner, THE Stoneburner behind Stoneburner Restaurant. A limited number of paper tickets to this event will be available for sale at the Market Information Desk during today’s market!

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You could take your mom out to dinner today and fight the masses all doing the same. But on such a spectacular Mother’s Day Sunday as this, why don’t you make her dinner? Dinner from your Ballard Farmers Market, with fresh, Washington troll-caught king salmon from Wilson Fish, no less! Few things say, “I love you, mom,” quite like cooking her an amazing dinner. In fact, we’ll be eating some of this salmon Tuesday night at the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction!

Brilliant tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, fresh flowers are right up there, too. These beautiful blooms are from Ia’s Garden, glowing in spring sun much like today’s. We have seven flower farms at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but lines will be long. Come early, pack some patience, and maybe work in teams. You know, one of you gets in line for flowers while the rest of you get your groceries, and maybe a quesadilla, some tacos or salmon sliders.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Mom’s Day, how about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Rand and Paul can attest that I have been like an annoying little kid for the last few weeks, endlessly asking them, “are there going to be turnips this week?” over and over, again and again, in a repetitive and redundant fashion. And today, they are finally here! I love slicing the roots up and tossing them in salads like radishes, but they are also lovely sautéed whole or halved in a little butter, and then served atop a lovely bed of their wilted greens, which you had better eat, too, as they are awesome. It’s like getting two veggies for the price of one!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this?!? These are Japanese cucumbers from Colinwood Farm, fresh out of their greenhouse over in Port Townsend, a.k.a., The Banana Belt! And not only cucumbers. They’ve got baby summer squash and squash blossomsspinach and carrots now, too, and a lot of other stuff!

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your rhubarb on, good people of Ballard! Yes, it is full-on rhubarb season, and our friends at Sidhu Farms have begun to harvest plenty of it from their fertile fields down in the Puyallup River Valley, the single most prolific rhubarb producing region in America! (“Alex, I’ll take Washington Agriculture Trivia for $800, please!”)

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I cook up spring king salmon from Wilson Fish, I love to serve it with some fresh organic asparagus, like this from Alm Hill Gardens, roasted in a 375 degree oven until just tender with some…

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. I like to slice them in rings about a half inch thick and then toss them in with the asparagus. Then, I like to add some…

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. I cut the white part into rounds about a quarter to a half inch long, and the green part into one to two inch pieces. Add a little green garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm, prepared the same as the onions, and toss it all with some olive oil, for a nuttier, more local flavor, some camelina oil from our own Ole World Oils, some good, course sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, and roast it for 10-15 minute at 375 degrees, until just tender. That, and king salmon. Oh, how I love spring. And you will amaze mom with this meal, despite how simple it is. Trust me, I know. My mom is amazed every time I make it for her!

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For Mother’s Day, why not give your mother a heart shaped kombucha mother from CommuniTea Kombucha? That way, she can make her own kombucha at home… and it’s just plain a really cool thing!

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.

While mom is relaxing in the sun in the backyard while you cook her dinner, bring her a plate of award-winning sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Sheep cheese is not very common around these parts, and we are so lucky to have it here. And this stuff is delish! Of course, you’ll need a separate plate for these…

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Fresh oysters on the half shell that you picked up from Hama Hama Oyster Company today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Hama Hama is the oyster company so nice, they named it twice! And their Blue Pools are gorgeous right now. So get you some, get shucking, and make mom feel like a queen!

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab mom some artisan bread, a few bagels and some of these heart-shaped ‘mom’ cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, while you are at it.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the wine! Like this gravity-defying Eaglemount Red Table Wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make mom a nice salad with some fresh red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Yes, head lettuce is back at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Mothers Day pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finish mom’s special dinner off with a Mother’s Day pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Yes, I know… you’d think I would be telling you to make the pie yourself. But let’s be honest with each other. Deborah’s pies are so much better than anything you will make on the fly today. Mom will love you all the more for caring enough to admit when making pie has you licked, and just going ahead and getting one you know is going to be really, really good!

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.