Posts Tagged ‘daffodils’

Sunday, February 15th: Spring Has Sprung In Seattle… A Month Early!

February 14, 2015
Bok choy and baby bok choy from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bok choy and baby bok choy from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We hit 60 degrees again Saturday in Seattle. Crocus, daffodils and cherry trees are in bloom. Meanwhile, it is snowing again in Boston. In fact, Boston has a bigger snowpack than the Cascades. That might cause trouble for us in August, but for now, Boston can keep their Super Bowl trophy… and their blizzards! Because while they can’t even find their cars under snowbanks, we have these fresh, gorgeous greens… what up!? Yes, Kirsop Farm has already begun to harvest a new crop of bok choy and baby bok choy on their farm in Tumwater. This time last year, we were just thawing out from a deep freeze, and fresh, tender greens like these would not be seen until April. Hey, we still love our Hawks, but we love us some fresh veggies and shirtsleeve weather in February, too!

Daffodils from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Children’s Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I did say daffodils! Children’s Garden just started harvesting them over in Fall City. Brighten up your home on this beautiful long weekend with these harbingers of spring!

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Last year, it was so cold in early February that Colinwood Farm’s famous salad mix was pretty much all collards and kale. This year, it is loaded with arugula, spinach, mizuna, mustards and more, as well as collards and kale. It is spicy and crisp and incredible!

Nash's red kale from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s red kale from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that the good folks at Nash’s Organic Produce have been developing their own varieties of crops that will thrive on the North Olympic Peninsula? One such crop is this wonderful Nash’s red kale. Again, this time last year, we didn’t even have kale around. Yikes! But it is young, tender and delicious right now. Woohoo!

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And even though these shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms are grown indoors, they still are rocking right now. Plus, imagine tossing some of these in with some of that baby bok choy from Kirsop. That’s what I’m talking about!

New jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas.

New jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas.

Finally, how about some fresh jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda? Yes, now you can spread the same quality of deliciousness on your toast that you’ve been enjoying by the glassful for the last couple of years!

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, March 16th: Of Emperors, Saints, Confectioners, Fishers & Playwrights, Just For The Halibut!

March 15, 2014
Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Halibut, Batman! The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife has opened the Washington Coast to a rare March halibut fishery. And Wilson Fish will have this prized local fish today at your Ballard Farmers Market, while it lasts! Normally, we don’t see fresh, local halibut until May. When asked why Fish & Wildlife opened this historically early halibut fishery, a spokesperson said, “Just for the halibut.” (And no, I’m not sorry!)

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

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

As we pass through the Ides of March this weekend, we begin to look forward to spring, which arrives at the end of the week. In this March of record rainfalls, let’s celebrate spring’s approach by bringing a little of this month’s rare but spectacular sunshine indoors in the form of these gorgeous daffodils from Children’s Garden. (And for those playing along with this week’s game of “pin the reference in the post title to its corresponding reference in the body of the post,” Ides of March is a reference to both an emperor and a playwright.)

Savoy cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day, the day on which the 13% or so of Americans who do not have any Irish blood in them drink green beer, wear silly hats and act in a manor that, frankly, is unbecoming of the Irish people. Woohoo! And did you know that there were no actual snakes in Ireland? See, the snakes that Saint Patrick drove out were actually pagans. But hey, we Irish-Americans only seem to get this one day of the year to celebrate our heritage, so why not break out the corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and rutabagas and get our soul-warming one pot dinner on?! Personally, my favorite cabbage for said purpose is this lovely Savoy cabbage from Nash’s Organic Produce. Because its leaves are less tightly packed than green cabbage, and it is full of nooks and crannies, it cooks faster and absorbs better all the delicious spices in the corned beef broth. Nummers!

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I am a big fan of these Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms for my corned beef feast. They, too, absorb the flavors of the pot well, and their waxy, yellow flesh mashes nicely with butter. However, if you boil your pot, instead of simmering it, they do have a tendency to break apart. Then again, your corned beef won’t be happy, either! Another great option from Olsen is their Red Lasoda potatoes.

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

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

For all those corned beef leftovers, it’ll be corned beef sandwich time, and for that, you’ll need plenty of classic sauerkraut from Firefly Kitchens. I love this stuff. It is naturally fermented and the perfect compliment to corned beef.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We Irish loves us some butter, the richer the better. And we’ll need plenty of it around for slathering onto our potatoes and our soda bread tomorrow night. Lucky for us, Golden Glen Creamery up in Bow makes great butter from the milk of their Jersey cows. Don’t forget to get a little extra for the Faeries.

An "Irish" marion berry pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An “Irish” marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m sure just how “Irish” a marion berry pie is, but hey, it’s got a shamrock on it, right? And since it is from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, you know it will be ridiculously good. So what the heck? Make dinner in one pot, and let Deborah make dessert!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, okay… alcohol in fact does have historical, if not hysterical, relevance to St. Paddy’s Day festivities. See, the Church let folks dispense with Lenten dietary restrictions on St. Patrick’s Day, and that meant eating and drinking. It is a day of feasting, after all! Why not celebrate with some great, local hard cider from Eaglemount Wine & Cider? Today, they will be sampling many of their cider flavors, so find the one(s) you like!

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

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

Meet the newest member of the vendor lineup at your Ballard Farmers Market: 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). Enjoy!

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea Breeze Farm has some amazing, long dry-aged beef steaks and chops available right now. If you want to indulge yourself with one of the beefiest tasting steaks you’ll ever have, give one of these a try. Their cattle are raised on lush, natural pasture on Vashon Island, and long dry-aging evaporates much of the water weight while deepening the complex flavors. And keep this in mind: dry-aged beef costs more, but you are paying for less water. What you get at the Big Box stores is hardly aged at all and is loaded with water. If you removed the water weight from it, you’d find that you are actually paying a lot more per pound of beef than you realized!

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, February 24th: Swiss Cheese, Daffodils, Stinging Nettles & Spinach!

February 23, 2013
Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Have you met our newest newest farm, Rosecrest Farms from Chehalis? They are a cows milk dairy that specializes in making Swiss styles of cheeses, something truly unique to them in Washington state. And it is some delish cheese, too. This is not your sliced off of a big block and full of ginormous holes at the “deli” in the Big Box store kind of “Swiss” cheese. This is beautiful, rich cheese — the stuff the Swiss produce on steep hillsides, or Wisconsin. It is not the stuff that people who have never been to Philadelphia slap on a so-called “Philly Cheese Steak”, a crime punishable by a serious flogging in Philly, cuz fake Swiss cheese does not belong on a cheese steak. Just sayin’. But I digress. See, this stuff — indeed, the smoky peppercorn & chives swiss cheese pictured here — is cheese I find myself longing for once I’ve finished off the most recent chunk I brought home. And you will, too. So stop by and say ‘hi’ today, get you some cheeseliciousness from our newest farmstead cheese maker, finish it off while you watch the Oscars, and then spend the rest of the week wishing you had gotten more… until you do just that next Sunday.

Daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As if stomping its feet and demanding that we acknowledge that it is, in fact, still winter, a nice, big, blustery storm blew through on Friday, and snow was being measured by the foot in the passes. And yet, as much as the talking heads on the one-eyed god tried to proclaim it “the strongest storm of the year,” it came and went, and now we seem back into our seemingly winterless winter once again. I’m not complaining, mind you. After umpteen years of watching crops come in a month late, we are actually seeing some signs of some crops coming in a bit early this year. And in that spirit, we celebrate the return of daffodils from Children’s Garden! A true harbinger of spring indeed, they will breathe some life back into your hibernating spirit.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And yet more proof that the days are getting longer, the temps higher, and that spring approaches, are these wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. The first of the season are in your Ballard Farmers Market today! Just fight the urge to stick your hand recklessly into the bag. They don’t call them stinging nettles for nothing.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The other new dairy farm here at your Ballard Farmers Market is, of course, Twin Oaks Creamery, which is actually a neighbor of Rosecrest Farms down in Chehalis. And they are now bringing bottles of pasteurized goat milk to your Ballard Farmers Market. But you know, I can’t help but notice a typo in their cute little goat sign above. I mean, isn’t there an “a” missing from it?

Winter spinach from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So maybe this winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce isn’t gonna win any beauty contests, but it is delicious. And seriously, it’s spinach… in February! It may not be those delicate, tender leaves you get in May, but it is loaded with flavor, courtesy of having to weather cool, dark, wet winter days and nights, and it is loaded with the nutrients your bod is craving right now. So have at it, people. And don’t be so judgmental!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is still filled with plenty of apples, even if our supply of orchardists has suffered a bit of attrition lately. Tiny’s Organic Produce has a nice selection of certified-organic apples, like these Mt. Fuji apples. They’ve also got dried fruit and apple sauce, too, made from their own fruit. If you’ve seen entirely too much of your doctor this winter, you clearly have not been eating enough apples. It’s time to rectify that!

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let’s face it. Pickles is just good food. Grab a jar of one of Purdy Pickles’ many varieties of pickles to enjoy alongside your Swiss cheese during the Oscars tonight. Perhaps these Bread & Butter pickles will do the trick. You can thank me later.

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.

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, March 18th: Spring Is About To Sprung. Spinach, Mustard Greens & Daffodils Are Already Riz!

March 18, 2012

Daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve survived the Ides of March, St. Paddy’s Day and Daylight Stupid — err, Savings Time, and despite what the thermometer says, the calendar says spring starts this week. Woohoo! Heck, the daffodils are in bloom, the violets and crocus are in full party mode, cherry trees are exploding in flowers all over the city, and my giant pussy willow tree has already gone to pollen. It may snow tomorrow, but spring is here. Let’s celebrate! For starters, how’s about a gorgeous bouquet of those aforementioned daffodils from Children’s Garden to brighten up your home, or the day of someone special.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring means spinach, and Colinwood Farms has this beautiful, tender and delicious baby spinach right now, fresh out of their greenhouses. In fact, they’re pulling a bunch of lovely stuff out of them currently, like spicy salad mixtender braising mix and mustard greens. Speaking of which…

Red mustard greens from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Full Circle Farm has these fabulous red mustard greens right now, as well as plenty of other goodness. You know, I always have to take pause at the name, red mustard greens. It kinda seems inherently in conflict with itself. Are they red? Are they greens? Actually, they’re both! (I know, I shouldn’t be playing weird word games with you on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. You are still trying to shake of last night’s green beer.)

Wildflower honey from Tahuya River Apiaries. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey. No, I’m not getting fresh with you. I am really talking about honey. Sheesh. But hey, I think we could all use a little bit of wildflower honey from Tahuya River Apiaries about now. It’ll sweeten us up, give our immune systems a boost, mellow out our allergies, and generally put a smile on our faces. Thanks, bees!

Dino kale raab from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raabs are the tender, flowering tips of over-wintered crops like kale, collards and cabbage when they are beginning to bolt and go to seed in early spring. They arrive at your Ballard Farmers Market every year around this time. Nash’s Organic Produce has a large selection of raabs available today, like this stunning dino kale raab, with more arriving in the coming weeks. Give ’em a try. They are an early spring treat!

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

This is brokale from Gaia’s Natural Goods. It is a cross between broccoli and kale, and it is kinda the pride and joy of the Gaia farm up in Snohomish. You won’t find this on any other tables at the Market. Brokale is lovely stir-fried with mushrooms and Chinese sausage, or sautéed on its own. It offers a nice mix of the sweetness of broccoli and the mild bitterness of kale, and it is packed with nutrients. And let’s face it — brokale is just kind of a macho name, don’t you think?

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.