Posts Tagged ‘donut peaches’

Sunday, July 27th: Alien Stone Fruit, Ginormous Fish, Spectacular Leaves, Onions You Can Eat Like Apples, Snow Peas Of A Different Color & Something For The Cave Man In All Of Us!

July 26, 2014
Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

These other-worldly looking donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards are one of my favorite stone fruits. And considering that there are literally hundreds of different stone fruits — indeed, dozens of different peaches — that’s saying something! They get their unusual shape from their tiny stone, and because this is a free-stone variety, its flesh separates from the stone very easily, making it an easy eater, and an easy peach to cook with. Donut peaches are sweet and juicy, yet tend to be small enough that they are easy to eat. And while they will dribble on your shirt with the best of peaches, they are perhaps the least sloppy of peaches. Try one today!

Huge king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Huge king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The boys at Wilson Fish have been having a tremendous season catching fish off the Washington coast. These are whole king salmon, weighing in at more than 25 pounds each! That’s some big king salmon, but it is by no means the biggest one they’ve caught. The result is big, beautiful fillets and whole fish that will feed a small army. Do not miss out on this season of wild Washington salmon!

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

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

Talk about stunning colors, I cannot recall a year in which chard has been so colorful. Indeed, in a year in which most crops are thriving, chard stands out. The harvests of chard throughout Western Washington in 2014 have been nothing short of epic, which big, beautiful, delicious leaves that will just plain make you smile. These particular marvels of nature come from our friends at One Leaf Farm.

Sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms are the stuff of legend. They 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. Never the less, Alvarez grows them just outside that range, in much the same hot, dry conditions that result in an onion you can eat like an apple! They’re that sweet.

Heirloom snow pears from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom snow pears from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful snow peas are from Alm Hill Gardens. The yellow ones are an heirloom variety with its roots in India, whereas the purple ones are a relatively new variety, bred over the last three decades. See, purple is a new color for snow peas entirely. Both are sweet and crunchy, and excellent quickly sauteed as a side dish.

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.

To be honest, I haven’t the foggiest idea if Sea Breeze Farm will have any of these Flintstone-esque beef rib chops today, but that’s neither here nor there. That’s because pretty much anything they’ve got in the case today — and their case does vary, a la “it’s a farmers market, folks,” every week — is going to be really tasty, and from happy animals raised by people you know, because those people are the ones standing directly behind the case. Heck, I had some beef tongue and some duck breast from them this past week that were almost transcendental. So grab a chop, a roast, a bird, some charcuterie or a few links, and reconnect with your inner Fred.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In case you haven’t noticed, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend, is all about the seasonal ales. That means that their ales change every month or two to feature the flavors of the season. And today is new release day! Yes, Propolis has informed us that they’ll be releasing their first Washington State award-winning Ale, “Litha,” a Chamomile Saison, as well as a new Spruce Saison & Birch Ale today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Woohoo!

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

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

When Lyall Farms starts bringing in the sweetheart cherries, we know that cherry season is beginning to wind down, because they are the latest cherry variety. So if you haven’t taken the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding cherries that 2014 has produced, do so now, while you still have the chance!

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hericot vert green beans are not only redundantly named, they are the most delicate of green beans — thin and tender — and they just beg to be sautéed with some good bacon and some pearl onions. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has lots of them today, along with at least four other varieties of green beans. Yeah, baby!

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

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

Colinwood Farm is cranking out lots of tomatoliciousness right now. Just look at this veritable potpourri of tomatoes in this basket. Big ones. Little ones. Sweet ones. Orange ones. Round ones and wrinkly ones. 2014 is shaping up to be a barnburner when it comes to maters. Don’t waste your time with those tasteless things at the Big Box store when you can get some of these freshly harvested, vine-ripened beauties.

Detroit beets from Nash's Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Detroit beets from Nash’s Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous shot of Detroit red beets sporting spectacular beet greens from Nash’s Organic Produce serve as a reminder to us all that when you buy a bunch of these sweet, earthy roots, you are actually getting two dishes for the price of one! Roast, grill, steam, pickle or shred the roots, and then use the greens as you would chard. Don’t go wasting perfectly delicious food by tossing those greens!

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our farmers are producing more eggs than ever it seems, which means that your chances of getting some at your Ballard Farmers Market are better than ever. Just check out these certified organic chicken and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. Laid by happy birds that get to run around and get plenty of fresh air, they are way better than anything you’ll find in a Big Box store. In fact. those duck eggs are the only eggs Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will eat! Yes, Stokesberry supplies both the Seahawks and the Sounders with poultry and eggs. And hey, both teams are at the top of their leagues. What can these eggs do for you? Well, if you want to find out, don’t come tooling into the Market at 2:45 p.m. looking for them. I said our farmers have more eggs. I didn’t say they have an endless supply of them!

Victor Jensen in the aging room at Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright by Mandy Alderink, courtesy of Golden Glen Creamery.

Victor Jensen in the aging room at Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright by Mandy Alderink, courtesy of Golden Glen Creamery.

The Jensens of Golden Glen Creamery have been making gouda and cheddar cheeses up on their dairy farm in Bow for generations. See, when all the Dutch settlers came to the Skagit Valley to grow tulips, someone had to make cheese for them, right? Enjoy a taste of Washington’s history with some their fine cheeses today!

Chesnok Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chesnok Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is time to get your garlic on, folks. Whether you be sautéing some greens, cooking a roast, making pickles, or whatever you might need it for, Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has the right variety of garlic for you, from mild to wild. They grow it over in Clallam County, on the North Olympic Peninsula, where the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains means their soil is not so wet as most other parts of Western Washington. That makes for great growing conditions for garlic, and we are the beneficiaries!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Moist, chewy, with little explosions of salty oliveliciousness throughout, you will adore this kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is just one of a dozen or so varieties of artisan breads they bake. Stop by for some to compliment your Sunday night supper today!

Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and Blueberry-Basil fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and Blueberry-Basil fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, how about some fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Check out their current selection of flavors, including Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and the oh, so localicious Blueberry-Basil. And remember, their cups and their straws are 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.

Sunday, July 28th: Juicy Melons, Heirloom Tomatoes, Ginormous Zucchini, Donut Peaches & Ladybugs!

July 27, 2013
A ladybug on a thistle flower from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A ladybug on a thistle flower from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When’s the last time you saw a ladybug crawling around on flowers at a Big Box store? Round about never, I’d imagine. But ladybugs are common here at your Ballard Farmers Market! This one is on some beautiful thistle flowers from The Old Farmer. And this year, you will find bouquets of flowers here like never before, because so many kinds of flowers are in bloom all at the same time!

Cantaloupe melons and Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe melons and Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has the first melons of the season today! They just started harvesting these cantaloupes and Yellow Doll watermelons this week. And yet again, their arrival is the earliest we’ve ever recorded. So dive in, folks! This summer is awesome, and who knows when we’ll get the next one like it.

Heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has been teasing us for the last couple of weeks with their first heirloom tomatoes of the season, and the early birds got them. Well, now, the teasing is over, and we all are in the tomatoes! This is the scene from their tables at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market this past Wednesday. Oh, yeah, baby!

Donut peaches from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donut peaches from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah. My favorites peaches. These are donut peaches – Saturn donut peaches, to be precise — from Tiny’s Organic Produce. I remember when I first encountered these back in 1999. They were just then beginning to be grown significantly by orchardists here in Washington, and as such, they began making their first appearances in local farmers markets. I came across them when I was visiting the Yakima Farmers Market for the first time — it opened that year. I stayed at a B&B just up Highway 12 in Naches, and that B&B was surrounded by orchards, one of which was full of these funny looking fruits. My hosts offered me one, and I fell instantly in love. They are sweet, juicy, have a tiny, easily removed stone, and are nice and small, so I found them easier to eat, and a lot less messy. And they are delicious. My hosts sent me home with an entire box of them! If you haven’t tried them yet, today’s a great day for them. They are excellent picnic food, and they are great for hikes, too!

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It continues to be a spectacular year for grilling, and that means you’ll need some of this beautiful wild Washington coastal king salmon from Wilson Fish for the barby. I recommend picking up some alderwood smoker chips, too, or better yet, cut some fresh alder branches off of your tree — get ones that are pinky to index finger in diameter and cut them 3-4″ long — and toss them on your hot coals before putting your fish on the grill. The alder smoke with make for absolutely amazing flavor in your salmon!

Slinging fish tacos at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slinging fish tacos at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of fishliciousness, how’s about fish tacos from Los Chilangos right here at your Ballard Farmers Market? They use fresh rockfish from our own Wilson Fish, and cook it up to order for you. Sure, you can find fish tacos other places, but can those places tell you the name of the people who caught that fish, let alone be able to direct you just a few feet up the street to where they are standing selling their fish?

Summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Yet another crop arriving earlier than we’ve ever recorded. These are wild summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. And when I took this photo last week, they also still had morel mushrooms. Yet again, the spring meets the fall in the middle of summer in this extraordinary year we call 2013!

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Okay, franco-snobs, I do realize that the name of these beans I just typed is redundant. It’s like saying “chevre fresh goat cheese.” But some people studied Spanish in grade school, so please… Anywho, these most delicate of green beans — they are very slim and cook quickly — are a true summer treat. I love to do a quick sauté of them with some pearl onions, or the little purple onions Stoney Plains has, and some nice bacon. (I used some of Olsen Farmsjowl bacon Friday night with them — yummers!)

Fresh chevre from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh chevre from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of the department of redundancy department, have you tried one of the several flavors of chevre (fresh goat cheese) fromTwin Oaks Creamery? They are wonderful, with a nice bit of sweetness and tang. Grab a loaf of bread from Tall Grass Bakery, tear off a hunk, slather some of this on it, and you are all set! And don’t forget to try out their fresh goat yogurt and goat and cow milk, too.

Sangiovese from Kitzke Cellars. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sangiovese from Kitzke Cellars. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kitzke Cellars returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market… hopefully with some of this lovely sangiovese. And if we’re lucky, they’ll have some more of their recently bottled rosé, too. Cuz it has been some serious rosé weather this summer!

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It is a fresh batch of whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle! Woohoo! And lucky for them… and us… pickling cucumber season started waaay early this summer, which means so too does pickle season. Grab a jar and get your pickle on today!

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

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

And finally, I promised you ginormous zucchini, and here they are! No, that is not an optical illusion. They are bigger than Chai’s head. You could hunt moose with them. Or make a lot of zucchini bread. Back in my days at Olympia Farmers Market, a lifetime ago, we called zucchini this big “Norwegian trout” for some reason, though I cannot now recall why. “Viking battle club” might make more sense.

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, July 21st: Sunflowers, Organic Sweet Corn, Donut Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes, Boysenberries, Gluten-Free Bread & So Much More!

July 20, 2013
Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 is already an epic year for our farmers, and it is only mid-July. I hope you are taking full advantage of this historic year for local crops. Warm weather is not only causing crops to arrive earlier than ever, it is also resulting in record harvests and superb quality. And many crops are also hanging around later than usual, too. Take, for example, flowers from Pa Gardens. Right now, they have in season sweet peasgladiolasdahlias and sunflowers — all at the same time! It is kind of mind-boggling, but it also means they get to make some of the most extraordinary fresh flower bouquets, the likes of which we may never see again. So, please, I beseech you. Avail yourself of this unique summer!

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! Fresh, organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms! And this bi-color variety is super sweet right now. Of course, they also have like a gagillion kinds of summer squash now. They’ve even got pickling cukes now, too! (Scroll down for your pickling dill source.)

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms won this year’s race for the first donut peaches of the season. And I so love donut peaches. They are cool looking. They are compact. They have a small, easily removed stone. They are delicious. And this year, they are a week earlier than we have ever seen before.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow's Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow’s Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is famous for their carrots, be they of the orange or the purple variety. And Alice of Oxbow is such a fan of carrots that she’s given them a place of permanent honor on her shoulder! This seems like an excellent time for some carrot trivia. Did you know that orange is not the original color of carrots? Carrots actually come in a rainbow of colors, from white all the way to black, and orange is the newest. And they have a history so rich that an entire British website is dedicated to them. If you love carrots, or food in general, I encourage you to check out this site.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Soda Company makes fresh sodas using local ingredients from Washington farmers, and their flavors change with the seasons, so it is worth visiting them every week for a taste treat! This week, they’ve got Blackberry Cardamom, Lemon Lavender & Cucumber Mint, from the left. The latter is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, though I like them all. None are too sweet. Enjoy!

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jarvis Family Garlic Farm returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Located on the North Olympic Peninsula over in Clallam County, they grow a delicious variety of heirloom garlic. They range from hard necks to soft necks, mild to very hot, and long storage to use ’em now. And remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic!

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms are just waiting to adorn your burger, BLT or salad! Sure, I loves me some heirloom tomatoliciousness as much as the next guy, but sometimes I just need a nice slice of a hearty, humble, domesticated beefsteak mater on my sandwich. And please, by all means, do not let this of all seasons get by you without celebrating to exceptional volume, quality and earliness of local tomatoes!

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of a hot, dry summer, we’ve all been missing our weekly Whidbey Island Ice Cream fix for the last few weeks. But they are back up and running again, and thus they are back here today with lots of great flavors of ice cream bars ready for you to devour!

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 has seen the earliest arrival of apples at your Ballard Farmers Market since we started keeping track by a solid two weeks, and they are a full month earlier than normal. These organic Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are actually now the second wave of apples already this year, and from here on out, we will likely see a new variety of apple every week. Rumor has it that the Early Galas may be only a week or two out. Amazing.

Beets from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just take a gander at these gorgeous beets from Gaia’s Harmony Farm — chioggaDetroit and golden beets, from the left. They are sweet, earthy, and they come with greens that make for a second dish for no extra charge! Oh, Gaia’s famous organic strawberries have made a return this week, too!

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know you’ve heard me prattle on about the ginormous heads of lettuce from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. This week, I thought I’d give you some photographic evidence. Seriously. They are more than twice the size of Dana’s head!

Boysenberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boysenberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie’s Berries has just about every kind of berry legal in the state of Washington right now, I swear. These stunners are their boysenberries. I bet you just hurt your finger jamming it into your screen trying to reach for one, didn’t you? They’ve also got marionberries now, too. No, not the infamous former mayor of Washington, DC, but the blackberry cousin. Sheesh.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun raw & vegan foods has all sorts of deliciousness that everyone enjoys, and no one will ever miss the meat or the cooking. These newish Coconut Curry Kale Chips are packed with flavor, yet light, crunchy and full of goodness, and as one who is not a huge coconut fan, I found these to suit me just fine.

Radicchio from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radicchio from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm specializes in heirloom varieties of both Italian and Asian crops. I know, it seems like an odd marriage, but it works for them… and for me! This colorful radicchio obviously falls in the Italian camp, along with artichokes and garlic right now.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I told you I had you covered for a source for pickling dill, didn’t I? This dill is from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), and I’ve been using it for years to do my pickling. The flowers are full of aromatic flavor to impart into your favorite vegetables. Yummers!

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pluots are not only fascinating because of their hybridized genetics — part plum and part apricot. They are also way cool because of all the rad colors they come in, inside and out. Like these Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. What they lack in a creative name they make up for in flavor and appearance!

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you require gluten-free products, or are you just convinced that they all taste like sawdust? Either way, you should be beating a path to d:floured gluten-free bakery, because they have built their business on the premise that everyone deserves really good bread and brownies. For instance, check out these two new sandwich bread loaves, above. They are moist, chewy, tasty and sliceable! On the left is their sesame loaf, which they intentionally developed to be a full-sized loaf of bread, perfect for a nice, big sandwich. On the right is whole grain, which while a stitch smaller, still makes for a fine PB&J. So now, you can have your gluten-free diet and your BLT, 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, August 1st: Happy Farmers Market Week! It’s Peak Season, People! Woohoo!!!

August 1, 2010

Mother's Day 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Peak Season, Batman, it’s August already, and that means it’s Farmers Market Week 2010! Yup, from August 1-7, 2010, the whole gosh-darned country celebrates Farmers Market Week. Read Governor Christine Gregoire’s official proclamation. And while you are at it, vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. We’re still in 3rd place nationally, out of some 7,000 farmers markets, but we should be in 1st! But Davis, CA is right now, and Rochester, NY is in 2nd. A lot of Ballard fans voted this last week, and we gained a lot of ground on them, but we still have a ways to go. Do you really want to be responsible for allowing CA & NY to beat Ballard because you didn’t take 30 seconds to vote? CA & NY win everything, regardless of who is really the best, and we all know Ballard Farmers Market is the best, don’t we? So vote! Vote with every one of your email addresses. Email all your friends, family, neighbors, bankers, attorneys, doctors, plumbers, cats, dogs, goldfish, everyone you know and encourage them to vote, too! You see this photo above? That’s from Mother’s Day 2010. 12,500 people came through your Ballard Farmers Market that day. If half of them voted for Ballard, we’d bury CA & NY. You don’t have to have your cookies turned on. You don’t have to register with the site. You won’t get any junk mail unless you opt in to receive it. You don’t have to make a donation. Just click the link, click vote, fill in your name and email, and you are done!

Tomatillos from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, did I tell you that I finally got a new camera? It has been just over two weeks, and I am still learning all its bells and whistles, but I am pretty happy with the photos it is producing. I must give a shout out to the good folks at Glazer’s Camera for taking such good care of me and for matching me up with a rockin’ camera perfectly suited to serving the needs of these market blogs. In honor of my new (to me, anyway) camera, I will share more photos than usual today, while at the same time perhaps being a little less verbose. You can’t expect me to spew mind-blowing witticisms for all of these lovely photos. I mean, a fellow can give just so much. That said, just look at all those lovely tomatillos from Alvarez Organic Farms above. Salsa verde time!

Artichokes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love photographing artichokes almost as much as I love eating them. They really are remarkably beautiful vegetables, aren’t they? And I must respect any food that threatens me with bodily injury while I pursue eating it. These gorgeous chokes are from Summer Run.

Korean red garlic from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s 2 a.m. as I write this, and I must admit that I am indulging in the guilty pleasure of listening to Hall & Oates while I work. Not sure if it’s the delirium of the hour or my Philly roots, or maybe it’s this heaping pile of that stinking rose known as garlic that just takes me back to those soulful tunes I enjoyed in my youth in those sweltering Augusts in South Philadelphia’s Italian neighborhood, when the temp and the humidity would both be 95, and the garbage collectors would go on strike. You know, this Korean Red garlic from Stoney Plains will keep away even the fiercest of vampires while bringing a tear to any Italian’s eye. And it is strong enough that it will cover up the odor of that garbage strike, too!

Rainbow carrots from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out these gorgeous rainbow carrots from Full Circle Farm. The other day, as the low clouds from the onshore flow were finally burning off in late afternoon, there was just enough hazy moisture left in the air that I actually saw a rainbow around the sun! It formed a perfect ring encircling the flaming orb. The only time I have seen this phenomenon before is during winter when humidity in the air forms ice crystals that create the rainbow ring, usually indicating that snow is on the way. But to see it in summer was new to me.

Pickling cukes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling cucumbers are arriving at your Ballard Farmers Market now, like these bathing beauties from Alm Hill Gardens. When I first got involved with farmers markets way the heck back in 1991, one of the farmers at the Olympia Farmers Market, where I got my start, shared her pickling recipe with me. I used pickling cukes grown by Mike Peroni for my first batch of pickles. Mike currently owns Boistfort Valley Farm, and no longer grows pickling cukes. Back then his farm was called Flying Rhino. Ah, the fond memories.

Lapins cherries from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lapins cherries, like these from Tiny’s, are one of the last cherries to come to harvest each summer. I think they are perhaps the most lovely cherries of them all. Just look at that deep, dark, red color they have. They are also one of my favorites to eat. Can you imagine if you didn’t have your Ballard Farmers Market to bring you varieties of cherries other than Rainiers and Bings? How boring that would be, but that is in fact the reality of things at even the best grocery stores here in Seattle, a place with better grocery stores than just about any other place in the country, and a place with better cherries, too. That is the difference between farmers markets and grocery stores. And let’s face it: grocery stores that do bring in new kinds of crops only do so after those crops have proven themselves at farmers markets for several years. But you and I are savvy enough to cut out the middle man and at the same time enjoy the many heirloom crops our farmers offer us, like Lapins cherries. So, have you voted yet for Ballard Farmers Market?

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm grows some of the most photogenic produce, don’t you think? Could these collard greens be any prettier? I think not. They are perfect. Divine. You know, collard greens here are so tender and delicious — not like the huge collard leaves down South that have to be cooked for friggin’ ever, until they are mush. I like sauteing these with bacon and garlic until just wilted and eating them alongside a nice steak. Oh, yeah, baby!

All-Rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now that is a spectacular loaf of bread, is it not? It’s the All-Rye from Tall Grass Bakery. It is an incredibly moist, quite dense, and uncompromisingly wonderful bread perfectly suited to a big old slather of some of that incredible butter from Golden Glen Creamery, whether your slice be fresh off the loaf or fresh out of the toaster.

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was during the summer of my first year as Executive Director of the Washington State Farmers Market Association back in 1999 that I was on a trip to visit the brand new farmers market in Yakima. I was staying at this lovely bed & breakfast on a farm in Naches, and the farm was one of the first few farms to be licensed to grow this new peach called a donut peach. The farmer, still looking for a market for his peaches, sent me home with a box of them. Boy, howdy! I was in love, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. See, I have always been one of those wusses who doesn’t like to deal with all that juice pouring all over me while eating peaches, and the special nature of donut peaches and their tiny pits meant I could enjoy an amazing peach with only a fraction of the mess. I brought home a bunch of these donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards the other day, and I am in peach heaven right now. Makes me think how that Presidents of the United States of America song is passé now that the peaches come to us in the city. No need to move to the country to eat a lot of them anymore.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In as much as I am a wuss when it comes to sloppy peaches, I am a slacker when it comes to salads. So I reach for a bag of salad mix from Colinwood Farms  each week. And besides being easy, what I love about salad mix is that it gives me so many different flavors all mixed together without me having to round up all those different ingredients separately. It would take me forever to go through all that stuff it I did. I also love that salad mix is a true expression of the farmer. Each farm’s salad mix is different. And I think I have tried just about all of them in Washington over the years. There’s this farm over in Sequim called Kol Simcha Farm that produces superb lamb, but they used to also produce the single best salad mix I’ve ever encountered. I used to go all the way to the Tacoma Farmers Market just to get it from them on Thursdays. You’ll find at least a half dozen different salad mixes at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Find the one that works best for you, or just mix it up every week.

Raspberry-Blueberry Cream Pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did I say I was going to be less verbose today? Right. Who was I kidding?!? But really, what words can do justice to this image of Raspberry-Blueberry Cream Pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies? It really speaks for itself. But if you have yet to try one of Deborah’s ridiculously spectabulous pies, you are out of your flipping mind!!! Honestly, she makes perhaps the best pies on earth. Look, my dad kicks bottom when it comes to making pies, and I genuinely thought I’d never meet a pie that would compare to his… and then I met Deborah and her pies. I swear, if I find at the end of the Market today that she has not sold out of every single pie, I will be forced to stop each and every one of you in the Market next Sunday to ask you how the heck you could get through another week without one of these suckers! I’ll do it, too. And for those of you gluten-intolerant types, she’s got gluten-free pies even, and she’s got savory meat pies for dinner. That’s it. Now you’ve got me wound up. She better be sold out by 2 p.m. today, people!

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. And thank you!