Posts Tagged ‘farro’

Sunday, December 19th: Delicious Local Fixins For Great Holiday Meals, Unique Gifts Hand-Crafted By Local Artists & Morris Dancers! Where Else But Your Ballard Farmers Market?!?

December 19, 2010

Whole emmer/farro from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

(Note: Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 26th.)

I spent last week on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Okay, I hear you thinking, “lucky bastard,” but believe it or not, it was colder there on a few days than it was here, and just as stormy. With weather like that, if my parents didn’t live there, the place would hold no redeeming value for me at all. I bring this up to remind us all that we’re pretty friggin’ lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwet. Even when the weather is crappy, we’ve got plenty to keep us going. So I don’t wanna hear anymore whining about La Nina. Get on out to your Ballard Farmers Market today and get everything you need for a great holiday season direct from the local farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans and artists that help make this place the best place on earth to live, and visit all of our neighbors terrific shops, restaurants and watering holes. Invest in your local economy this holiday season instead of the Mall, and maybe by this time next year, we’ll all feel more comfortable. That said, Bluebird Grain Farms is here today with all of their magnificent organic heirloom grain products, from whole grain emmer/farro to cereal blends, flours, pilaf, mixes and more. Stock up today, as Bluebird likely won’t be back again for at least another month!

Various fish products from Cape Cleare Fishery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cape Cleare Fishery is back today. They are the folks who peddle their bicycles all the way from Port Townsend to Ballard each week… except last week. Apparently riding face-first into a driving rain along flooded roads didn’t sound too attractive to them last week. Go figure. But they’re back today. So pickup some frozen-at-sea Alaskan salmon, maybe a nice package of lox, or perhaps some smoked salmon to impress your guests with this holiday season.

A display of FDA documents and U.S. Marshall postings from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are interested in learning more about the FDA seizure of Estrella Family Creamery, and efforts to help the Estrella family during this difficult time for them, a group of supporters and friends have set up a blog here on WordPress. It contains discussions of the situation and info on how you can help. There has also been setup a “Save the Estrella Family Creamery” Facebook page.

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

Today may be your last chance to get a pepper strand or wreath from Alvarez Organic Farms. These beautiful creations will liven up any home, and they make great gifts. And the best thing is, once they are dried, if you don’t want to leave them hanging, you can actually cook with the dried peppers. Of course, if you don’t want to break it up once it’s dried, why not pickup some dried peppers from Alvarez. They have several varieties of peppers dried this year. Stock up.

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things still has some lovely winter squash available this week, and of course, they also still have amazing pastured poultry, eggs, jams and soaps. Michaele makes an amazing variety of soaps, in fact, from spearmint — my favorite — to lemongrass to cinnamon. And she makes her soap from beef tallow and lard from her own animals, the old-world way.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Gluten-Free Bread from Platypus Breads. Photo courtesy Platypus Breads.

The bad news is, this is the last week for Platypus Breads at your Ballard Farmers Market. The good news is, Lindsay is here today with her amazing gluten-free breads for one last hoorah. Frankly, Platypus Breads is one of the most remarkable new vendors of 2010. Lindsay decided that people who must eat gluten-free products deserved to have just as good bread to eat as everyone else, and she set out to make it. And she succeeded. She proved that the terms moist, flavorful and gluten-free are not inherently mutually exclusive, if you just put some effort, thought and creativity into it. So thank you, Lindsay. You, and your bread, will be missed.

Shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish make it easy to add fresh, local oysters to any recipe. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shellfish. You need it. Lots of it. Especially during the holidaze. Think oyster stuffing or stew, baked oysters or oysters on the half-shell, sauteed mussels or clams, or even some geoduck ceviche. Whatever you decide to do with your shellfish, Taylor Shellfish has what you need. So visit Oyster Bill today for this week’s fix, and maybe put in a request for next week’s.

Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens still has some of their beautiful holiday wreaths today. They handcraft these marvelous creations using foliage from their farm just for us. And they smell amazing! Oh, Alm Hill should have some saute mix, squash and other edibles today, too.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All the Northwet loves a tasty root roast this time of year, and what root roast is complete without parsnips, like these from Nash’s. Actually, you can also make soups, purees and mashes with parsnips, too, combined with celeriac and maybe potatoes. Parsnips are so wonderfully sweet and delicious, and they cook pretty quickly, so beware and don’t overcook them. Though they look like carrots, they are not nearly as dense as carrots. Enjoy!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On the other end of the root density spectrum, though equally loved by me, is the humble rutabaga, a.k.a., Swedes or Swedish turnips, like these from Boistfort Valley Farm, which will hopefully grace us one more time today with their presence. These giant-looking turnips are not really turnips at all. Their dense flesh has a deeply sweet, savory flavor that is great steamed and mashed with plenty of butter. Or toss them in the root roast, too. But remember, they will take the longest of any of your roots to cook, as they are the densest.

Family-sized cheesecake from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, I hope Sam & Sara of Pasteria Lucchese made some of their incredible cheesecakes this week. Have you tried one? Well, take it from this ex-pat New Yorker that they are the real deal, and you will want one, or three, on your holiday table. You can thank me later.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.

Bluebird Grain Farms Orange Hazelnut Farro Salad

October 31, 2010

Bluebird Grain Farms Orange Hazelnut Farro Salad
Courtesy Bluebird Grain Farms

Bluebird Grain Farms Orange Hazelnut Farro Salad. Photo courtesy Bluebird Grain Farms.

Makes about 4 Cups Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups cooked Bluebird Grain Farms Emmer Farro
  • Zest and juice from one organic orange
  • 4 Tender chard leaves, stems removed
  • 1/3  Cup dried fruit (plums, cherries, or apricots)
  • 1/3  Cup roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 Cup hazelnut oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar or honey

Preparation:

Place cooked farro in a large mixing bowl. Grate orange zest (avoid the bitter white pith just underneath the zest). Chop or tear the chard into small strips 1/2 inch wide. Roughly chop the dried fruit and hazelnuts. Add zest, chard, dried fruit, and nuts to farro. To make dressing, use a jar with a tight-fitting lid and combine fresh squeezed orange juice, hazelnut oil, salt, dijon, and agave nectar. Screw on lid and shake well. Pour 1/3 cup dressing into the farro salad (or desired amount) and stir salad. Save remaining dressing in the refrigerator to toss with salad greens later.

Sunday, April 25th: Billy’s, Bluebird, Magana & Sequim Prairie Star Return; A Visit To OlyPen Farms.

April 25, 2010

Whole grains from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farms returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with their renowned, organic, heirloom grains and grain products. Bluebird’s emmer/farro is prized by top chefs up and down the West Coast who say it is as good or better than any they can get from Italy. And their fresh-milled flours, cereals and mixes are delicious and nutrient dense. Why get a bag of flour at the Big Box Store that was milled who knows when? Bluebird can tell you exactly when their flour was milled — usually in the past week or two.

Asparagus from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2008 by Zachary D. Lyons

Magana Farms from Sunnyside, Washington makes its 2010 season debut today with fresh asparagus. And in short order, they will have sweet onions. Billy’s Organic Produce from Tonasket, Washington is back at your Ballard Farmers Market today, too.

Sequim Prairie Star Enterprises worm tea. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sequim Prairie Star is one of eight Ballard vendors I visited this past week on the Northern Olympic Peninsula. With gardening season upon us, it is good to have them back at your Ballard Farmers Market. They have a variety of worm compost products to help your plants thrive, and their vegetable starts are as healthy as they get. Visiting their little farm, I now understand where they get their name. They are located on a windswept bit of prairie on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Sequim, where they enjoy spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains, and some of the best star gazing imaginable. And because they are under the “Blue Hole” caused by the rain shadow of the Olympics, they receive much more sun, and much less rain, than most places in the U.S., making it a pretty perfect place to operate a couple of greenhouses and a healthy composting operation. Plus, the prairie grasses around them make for great worm food.

A crew at Nash's Organic Produce harvests green garlic and leeks for Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another farm I visited this week was Nash’s Organic Produce. Nash’s is singlehandedly keeping hundreds of acres of prime agricultural lands in service in Clallam County, sparing it from developers. Nash’s grows a broad selection of fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, livestock and more on almost 400 acres of land spread across more than a half dozen farms. Situated in Dungeness, a little town just north of Sequim on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Nash’s cultivates some of the richest soils found anywhere. Which perhaps makes that fact that Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend has even richer soil almost impossible to comprehend.

Jessie Hopkins from Colinwood Farms sits atop the farm's antique, horse-draw potato planter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms soil is so fertile, it is almost black. And they take full advantage of their position in the Olympic rain shadow, harvesting beautiful, tender salad greens and mustards all winter long from their greenhouses when such crops wouldn’t have a prayer of surviving in other parts of the state. Their network of large greenhouses also gives them a head start getting crops out into the fields in the spring when the soil warms up, and then they serve to raise tomatoes and peppers all summer long in their preferred hot, balmy conditions.

Purple sprouting broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm returned to Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday. Luke told me months ago, “We will return when we have tomato plants and purple sprouting broccoli.” Well, here is the photographic evidence that he was good for his word. (Okay, wisenheimers, I do have a separate photo of the tomato plants, so back off!)

Local vinegars from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is our mission here at Ballard Farmers Market to find farmers and food artisans to bring you as close to everything you might ever need in your kitchen as is possible in our climate, so that you really will have no excuse to have to go to the Big Box Store to buy stuff they have hauled in from who knows how far way. And that includes vinegar. Yep, vinegar. Rockridge Orchards produces four different flavors of apple cider vinegar. This stuff is used by many of Seattle’s best chefs. Pick some up today, and add one more product in your pantry to your “locally produced” list.

Fresh beef, left, and pork from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The bottom line is, I think good meat is beautiful. Don’t you? I mean, just look at this display of gorgeous, fresh beef and pork in Sea Breeze Farm’s refer case. And it eats as good as it looks.

Dogs chews from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every time Olsen Farms processes a beef, it produces a small amount of smoked beef tendon dog chews that will please your favorite pooch for hours. But they go fast, and then you have to wait weeks for the next bunch. Olsen humanely raises its livestock. But it will be you who is guilty of animal cruelty if you deprive Fido of these yummy treats.

Jim Robinson of Phocas Farms shows how his saffron crocuses have multiplied over the winter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It bears repeating: Phocas Farms grows saffron in Port Angeles. Above, Jim Robinson shows how they just keep multiplying and multiplying. And he will separate out the bulbs and expand his acreage of them. Now, some folks figure saffron would be harvested this time of year, because this is when crocuses bloom. Not all crocuses, however. Saffron crocuses bloom in the fall. I visited Jim at Phocas Farms this past week, and I learned that what you see in the photo above is the saffron crocus at the end of its annual growth cycle. Its leaves are beginning to yellow in preparation for its summer slumber. Jim harvests thousands of tiny saffron threads for weeks every fall, and he spends much of the spring and summer separating the new bulbs and expanding his crop. Stop by and pick up a packet of saffron from Jim today, and find out why it is favored by the chefs at The Herbfarm, Art of the Table and Elliott Bay Cafe.

Hot Cakes cakes in bags and jars. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I found myself wondering what kind of music video Justin Timberlake would make about Hot Cakes’ Cake In A Bag. I just cannot look at Autumn Martin’s latest creation of deliciousness without that SNL sketch (you know the one I’m talking about) rattling around in my brain. But hey, that was perhaps the funniest SNL sketch in years, right? And this is perhaps the tastiest little cake you will ever bring home. So I suppose it fits. (If you’ll pardon the expression.)

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. 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.

Bolles Berries, Local Roots, Daikon Radishes & Potlatch Pilaf

June 20, 2009

Siri and Jason of Local Roots Farm at Ballard Farmers Market on June 14th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Siri and Jason of Local Roots Farm at Ballard Farmers Market on June 14th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you miss the Market on Sunday, June 14th? If you did, you missed the introduction of our newest farm vendor, and the return of three others. Local Roots, from Carnation, grows some of the most unique, and most beautiful, produce found anywhere. Just take a look at this gorgeous chard they had this week.

Rainbow Chard from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow Chard from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bolles Organic Berry Farm returned to the Market for the 2009 berry season on the 14th with their succulent strawberries. They’ll have raspberries and blueberries in July, and maybe someday in the future, they’ll have some of the first cultivated truffles, but they tell me that is still in the development stage. Stay tuned.

Bolles Organic Farm's berries are back at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bolles Organic Farm's berries are back at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farms, from Twisp, is known for their magnificent, hearty and delicious heirloom grains and grain products. Now, they have introduced a new product, Potlatch Pilaf, that combines their great emmer/farro with wild rice from Oregon.

Bluebird Grain Farms' Potlatch Pilaf. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farms' Potlatch Pilaf. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessies Berries is another farm that returned to Ballard this week, with their strawberries that are so fragrant, you can smell them from space. I know. I have a direct line to the International Space Station. Really. Would I like to you?

Lyall Farms, which has orchards in Mattawa, Desert Aire and Prosser, also returned to Ballard on June 14th with Tieton and Rainier cherries.

Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know I missed a week of my running series of huge heads of lettuce last week. I was thinking about it, and I decided that maybe sexy heads of lettuce is a better slant to take. In that case, this Colinwood Farm lettuce display has got to be the pin-up photo for the month of June in the sexy lettuce displays calendar.

Okay. Look at the lettuce, not the sexy farmer! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay. Look at the lettuce, not the sexy farmer! Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Most of the planet thinks every week is a good week for goat meat. Did you know that goat meat is the most commonly consumed animal protein on earth? It seems only we Americans have yet to develop an appreciation for it, but personally, I love the stuff. Well, any week is also a good week for goat meat at Quilceda Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Just look at all these lovely cuts of goatiliciousness.

Quilceda Farm's goat meat display at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Quilceda Farm's goat meat display at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of farms that grow all sorts of unique and uncommon crops (okay, that was at the top of this post, but work with me), Stoney Plains Organic Farm from Tenino brought their first daikon radishes of the season to the Market on the 14th. Are they spectacular?

Daikon radishes from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daikon radishes from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So, I ask you… how can you possibly justify to yourself missing yet another week of the Ballard Farmers Market? Really, how can you?