Posts Tagged ‘dried green field peas’

Sunday, April 15th: Asparagus, Garden Starts, Wood Sorrel, Gluten-Free Flour & Rebranded Tea!

April 15, 2012

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gee, I wonder if folks will get excited to hear that two farms will have the first asparagus of 2012 today at your Ballard Farmers Market? Well, if the reaction to this news on our Facebook page earlier this week was any indication, I’d say yes! We had a record response to the announcement there. So here it is: both Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Clayton predicted that Alm Hill’s supply will last all of about 15 minutes this morning, but Alan says Lyall Farms will be harvesting quite a bit for today. (Read: it’ll last until noon.) Bottom line is the early bird gets the asparagus!

Sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By the way, is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in that this year’s tax filing deadline was postponed until April 17th, because April 16th is Emancipation Day? That said, I saw plenty of folks the last couple of days availing themselves of generous April sun to get out and do some weeding in their gardens. Well, with gardens prepped, it’s time to stock up on plants for said gardens. Like these sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company, for instance. Peas are one plant you can safely stick in the ground right now, and they’ll be serving you up legumeliciousness come June!

Field peas and buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the many things I love about Nash’s Organic Produce is how they have been diversifying their crops over the years. And in the process, they are actually helping Washington State University develop crop varieties that will thrive in Western Washington. Take these yellow and green field peas, and this buckwheat flour, for instance. The peas make for great soups, salads, and can even be ground into flour or mashed into hummus. And the buckwheat flour is gluten-free! See, buckwheat isn’t wheat at all. Heck, it isn’t even a grass, as most grains used in our society are. Instead, it is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb, all crops that grow in abundance here. Perhaps the most ingenious thing about these crops of Nash’s is that they are actually cover crops, meant to be used in rotation with vegetable crops, as they help the soil replenish its nutrients. Gotta love that they can produce another cash crop, too! See, this is how we make small-scale farming profitable, right? (Oh, BTW, that chickweed they sell… yet another tasty cover crop!)

Wild wood sorrel from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thpthpthpeaking of thpthpthorrel, ’tis the season for wild wood sorrel, and Foraged & Found Edibles has it… or at least, they had it last week. See, unlike farmers, foragers cannot absolutely predict what they’ll be able to harvest from week-to-week, so I know I am taking a risk whenever I tell you Jeremy will have a particular foraged food in a given week. But hey, it didn’t get cold, or overly wet, this past week, so I’m feeling pretty confident it’ll be here. As well as fiddleheads. Enjoy!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The sun last Sunday made for some fun market photography, did it not? I could not resist these glowing bottles of honey crisp apple cider from Rockridge Orchards. It was like they were lit from the inside. I mean, if all the light was coming from outside, the labels would be more discernible, would they not? But enough talk about art. Let’s talk drink! This is some mighty delicious cider of the non-alcoholic kind. (They’ve got plenty of the other kind, too, BTW.)

Stunning spring succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Not all the plants at your Ballard Farmers Market are for eating. Some just hang around and look good. And you know what? They don’t even feel demeaned by the experience. These succulents from Phocas Farms are in all their spring glory right now, just waiting to be added to your garden, your path, your rockery or wherever you need some beautiful, hearty, draught-tolerent plants to spruce up your surroundings. And now, while it is still the rainy season, is a great time to get them and plant them, so they’ll be well-established and ready to roll on through summer, thriving despite your neglect.

Misfits Bliss Tea, formerly known as Sip-T. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s post with a little presto-chango. You see, Sip-T has reinvented itself into Misfits Bliss, but they still are making amazing tea blends to warm up your day. Personally, I really like the new look, with the jam jars and old suitcases. Heck, the jars even come with their own baggage tags! Kinda give them an out-of-time feel, eh? And why not? I mean, don’t you ever find yourself sipping tea and imagining yourself in Victorian times in some PBS series or something? Perhaps that is why people drink tea when they want to slow down, as opposed to drinking coffee when they want to speed up!

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

Sunday, January 24th: More Greens, Field Peas, Paprika, Caramels & Hot Dogs

January 24, 2010

Colinwood Farms' salad mix is big and bold with spicy mustards and bitter mizunas. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes do not deceive you. Those are salad greens. Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with this lovely salad mix, spuds, onions, kale and more. Normally, we’d see them by late December, but a wind storm took out one of their greenhouses, and they are just now getting back up to speed. Good for them. Great for us!  Green things!!! Woo-hoo!!!!

Dried green field peas from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are dried green field peas from Nash’s Organic Produce. You probably encounter them most often in the form of split pea soup, and these would make some great soup, but they are a quite versatile and nutrient dense legume — a staple in the diets of cultures all over the world. The good folks at Nash’s will be happy to give you some ideas, and even some recipes, for preparing them.

The tiny Olympia Oyster from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As you can see from the photo above, the tiny Olympia oyster is not much larger than a quarter. But this little oyster more than makes up for its size with its big flavor. ‘Tis the season for Washington’s only native oyster, and Taylor Shellfish will be offering them for the next several weeks — just in time to build up your immune system and lebido for Valentine’s Day.

Peppers drying before being ground into paprika for us by Port Townsend's Some Like It Hott! Photo courtesy Some Like It Hott!

Saffron will be back next Sunday, but today we are pleased as punch to introduce yet another new farm with paprika to our diverse Ballard Farmers Market — Some Like It Hott! Charles Bodony’s family hails from Transylvania, where they know a thing or two about paprika, and he has put that genetic heritage to good work in Port Townsend, rounding up and growing the best peppers in the world, and drying and grinding them for fresh paprika. Yup. Yet another spice you no longer have to get from an importer. You can get it direct from a local farmer. How cool is that?

Baby arugula from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, happy day! Arugula is back. A-friggin-men. Full Circle Farm has glorious, and a bit spicy, baby arugula that will smack the winter blues right off of your sour puss. Just get there early enough to get some, as it sold out quickly last week, and the rest of us couldn’t stand another week of you being a sour puss. Really. Trust me.

Snacks Ballard Bodega, brought to us by Dante's Inferno Dogs, just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may not have noticed it tucked away in the back of this little lot between King’s Hardware and Bop Street Records, by our favorite hot dog cart guy, Dante, has opened Snacks Ballard Bodego, a great place to get your favorite dog seven days a week, until late at night, and a great place to get lots of your other favorite farmers market goodies, from Rockridge cider to Pete’s toffee to St. Jude’s tuna to a Caveman Bar.

Just a sampling of the Ballard Farmers Market goods you'll find at Snacks all week long. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market has a long history of incubating local businesses. From Tall Grass Bakery to Anita’s Crepes to Veraci Pizza and more, many of the local storefront businesses you see around Ballard got their start at the Ballard Farmers Market and our sister market in Fremont. It makes us very proud to see Dante’s Inferno Dogs spawn its own storefront, right here on Ballard Avenue. But more than that, Dante, out of appreciation and respect for his Ballard Farmers Market roots, is selling many of the wonderful products from his fellow Ballard Farmers Market vendors in his store, so we can enjoy access to them all week long. Wander down to his little hideaway shop and support a local business that is itself dedicated to supporting local businesses. And check out Snacks’ Facebook page for more info.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm eggs and chicken breakfast sausage. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Stokesberry Sustainable Farm from Olympia for their great organic eggs (above), chicken and beef. Now they are offering organic chicken sausage in four varieties: maple breakfast patties (above), sage & garlic patties and hot and sweet Italian in bulk. They are all yummy. So give those eggs some company, eh? You’ll thank me later.

Bags of sweet, winter baby carrots from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s talk about sweet things for a bit now, like these incredibly sweet baby carrots from Stoney Plains Farm in Tenino. If there is one thing carrots, and most other roots and hearty greens, like, it’s a good freeze. As a defense to the cold, they actually produce more sugar, and the result is a sweeter carrot — much sweeter. If you haven’t enjoyed some over-winter carrots lately, well, plain and simple, you’re nuts! They are like candy.

More sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems the longer into the winter we get, the bigger the sweet potatoes get from Lyall Farms. Hmm. Think there’s a connection? (Yes, I know. You’re thinking I am going to leave this gig to become a rocket scientist, aren’t you?) In any case, they ain’t gonna last forever, so get ’em while you can.

Delicious handmade caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jonboy Caramels makes delicious, handmade caramels using butter and heavy cream from a Skagit Valley dairy. They make small batches of their fleur de sel and molasses ginger caramels, and hand-wrap them in parchment paper. It seemed fitting to round out my little trip down sweet tooth lane by visiting them. And you should visit them, too, for sample, and, of course, then a box full.

Chicken pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s wrap up this week’s epistle on all things (well, many things at least) Ballard Farmers Market with talk of pie. Not the sweet kind of pie, though Deborah’s Homemade Pies certainly has many great varieties of those. But I already finished my sweets talking for the week, so now I want to talk about savory meat pies. Oh, yeah, baby. Chicken pie. Deborah uses local and Market ingredients in her chicken pies, just like she does with her sweet pies. And, as you can see above, she makes them in two sizes, so whether you are feeding the whole fam-damily or just feeding yourself, she’s got you covered. So if you need the night off from cooking from scratch, grab a chicken pie from Deborah. Just get there early, as they always sell out. Oh, and don’t forget to grab some pie for dessert, too.

Remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your kitchen and beyond. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.