Posts Tagged ‘fennel’

Sunday, June 22nd: Happy Summer Solstice! We Bring You Alaskan Salmon, Blueberries, Shunkyo Radishes, 8 Kinds of Summer Squash, A New Bakery & So Much More!

June 21, 2014
Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Solstice everyone! Yes, today is the first full day of summer! Woohoo! The sun will be up for 16 hours today, with an additional hour of daylight tacked on either side. It’s these spectacular long days that keep us going all winter long, so let’s celebrate. And to get summer started, Loki Fish began catching wild Alaskan salmon this past week, and they will have lots of fresh salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market! We expect them to have SockeyeCohoPink and Keta today, and possibly even some King. They’ll have fillets and whole fish for you, ready for the grill or smoker.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness today, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain’t how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you’ll find around here!

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been one bakery down since the end of May. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from — you guessed it — Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: “A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!” They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

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

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

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has great organic strawberries for you this week. And that’s especially good to know, since we’re experiencing a little bit of a dip in our strawberry supply this week. They also have lots and lots of greens available right now.

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

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

Summertime means that you need mint! Lots of mint. For desserts, cocktails, salads, proteins… pretty much everything, really. Children’s Gardens grows some beautiful mint, including chocolate mint, and this spearmint. Me? I just like crunching up some of the leaves and putting it in my water glass.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Even the wild berries are early this year! These are wild Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Native to the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, the Rockies and the North Central U.S., they are nutrient-dense and mighty tasty. Oh, and Foraged & Found has lots of grey morel mushrooms today, too!

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

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

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them… even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, “oh, but I’ve got that growing wild in my backyard.” No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are full-on into the grilling season now, folks. The kiddies are out of school, the evenings are long and warm, and so much summer produce is great grilled. Plus, you keep your kitchen cool and your cleanup minimal. And with Independence Day just around the corner, you’ll want to stock up on some of these beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Their beef is grass-fed and finished on gorgeous pasture up in Sedro-Woolley, and it is tender and delicious. And can’t you just imagine the smell of them wafting through your house as they sizzle over those hot coals?

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It’s a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means “little hat” in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask them for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting at least eight varieties of summer squash over in Mabton… and summer just started! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Ballard Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for apricots and peaches!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm blesses us with their wonderful salad mix all year round. But this time of year is when it truly shines. Loaded with many kinds of lettuces, hearty and spicy greens and edible flowers, it is a summer delight!

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Da Boyz of Summer are ready to sling you up some serious deliciousness at Patty Pan Grill. Patty Pan embodies farmers market prepared food, being the first to build their menu around what is fresh and local at the market. Their veggies for their quesadillas are all sourced every week from our market farmers, and their tamales are filled with veggies, meats and cheeses from them, as well. And Patty Pan is even a worker-owned cooperative. How cool is that? Enjoy!

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, June 26th: Fava Beans, Cauliflower, Fennel, Carrots, Cucumbers, Kohlrabi, Fresh Alaskan Sockeye Salmon & Other Sure Signs It Is Summer!!!

June 26, 2011

Cauliflower from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, it’s been a cold, wet year so far. And yes, most crops are way behind schedule. But that doesn’t mean your Ballard Farmers Market isn’t full of all sorts of local goodness, much of which is just now coming into season. Indeed, lotsa stuff is back this week! Like this cauliflower from Summer Run. Honestly, I think this is the longest I can ever remember the Market going without cauliflower. The last we saw any was back before last Thanksgiving, I believe. And mind you, it’s just beginning, so get there early if you want some today!

New crop carrots from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I guess I am delivering a mixed message today. Yes, we’ve got lots of crops in the Market now. But also, many of our farmers are hurting from this historically difficult year of cold, wet weather. For instance, these carrots from Oxbow Farm were planted in late winter, and while they are ridiculously sweet, like you’ve come to expect of Oxbow carrots, the yield on this first planting of theirs is below 20%. In other words, they’ll go fast. For us, it’s a bummer. For our farmers, it’s a nightmare. Now, this means two things for you, the faithful shoppers of your Ballard Farmers Market:

  1. You need to get to the Market early today if you want some of these carrots; and
  2. Your Ballard Farmers Market farmers need you to support them by purchasing the other things they have on their tables, even if they are not the sexy new items or the things you’ve been missing.

Buy lettuce and collard greens, people, like you’ve never tasted anything so good in your life. Do it for your farmers, because they are struggling right now. Me, I love collard greens with some green garlic and pancetta. Just sauté them until they’re tender. You can’t go wrong. See, now’s not the time to get stuck in a Seattle Foodie rut where you have to have to newest, coolest, bestest thing ever. Show your farmers the love and buy your next door neighbors some kale! And together, we will get our farmers through this year as a community. Can I get an amen?!

Whole fresh sockeye from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, the Knutsen boys of Loki Fish are hard at work up in Alaska catching salmon right now and sending it down to us here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Dylan tells me they’ll have some of this lovely fresh sockeye available today, along with fresh ikura, the roe of keta salmon that they salt and jar right on the boat. And you know, isn’t this why your Ballard Farmers Market is your favorite farmers market? Well, show your favorite farmers market some love today, too, by voting for it in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. We came in fourth last year. Let’s win it all this year! Just click on “Ballard Farmers Market” in the link.

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms now has fava beans, folks, as well as English shelling peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas, and they still have asparagus, too! If these don’t cheer you up, I just don’t know what will.

Kohlrabi from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And look. It’s kohlrabi. From Growing Things Farm. You know, I would love it if some of you Ballard faithful would share with your neighbors your favorite recipes for kohlrabi on our Facebook page, or by posting a comment here. It really is one of those veggies that mystifies a lot of folks, and we need to rectify that. Let’s here it, Eastern Europeans amongst us! And don’t forget to visit Growing Things at their new location at the top of the Market by 22nd Ave NW.

Chef Jason Stoneburner from Bastille serves up freshly grilled sausages. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey gang! Our buddies at Bastille, who you’ll see every Sunday shopping the Market for their menu, decided they’d start grilling up some of their house-made sausages in their Back Bar patio area on Sundays during the Market. Don’t feel like a full-on brunch? Don’t want to wait in line for a table? Shoot on back to their charcoal grill for a sausage and a pint before finishing up your Market shopping.

Tieton cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More cherries! Woohoo!!! These are Tieton cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Tietons are an early, sweet cherry that looks a lot like a bing. Try ’em. You’ll like ’em!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about cucumbers, eh? Now, if these don’t give you hope, nothing will! Thank you, industrious fellows of Colinwood Farm for going greenhouse crazy and being the first in the Market to bring us cucumbers, right when we need them more than ever!

Apriums from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s wins the “what fruit will be next” sweepstakes with these early apriums out of their orchards in Rock Island, a lovely little micro-climate just downriver from Wenatchee. Yup, the produce in the Market is indeed getting more diverse, colorful and plentiful.

Baby fennel from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I grilled some of this baby fennel from Alm Hill Gardens Saturday night. Oh, baby. It is so sweet and fennelicious, lathered up with a nice olive oil and finished with some sea salt. Now, that’s living! Hey, Alm Hill’s got purslane now, too, and lots of other great stuff!

Aged cheeses from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blessed are the cheese makers. Especially when they bring milk and yogurt with them, too. Silver Springs Creamery does just that. They milk goats and jersey cows, and they make aged, raw milk cheeses, fresh fromage and chevre, award-winning yogurt and milk. And you can get that milk with chocolate, too!

Red radishes from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this week’s epistle with some ravishing red radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. Honestly, it is hard to identify the crop that the Meyer clan doesn’t grow. They’ve got like 40 different crops on their tables right now — more than anyone else in the Market — and that’s not even counting all of the plants they have to add to your garden. Of course, they’ve been at this farming business longer than most everyone else, too.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!

Sunday, May 30th: Happy Birthday Mom! (Oh, Strawberries, Cherries, Pork, Porcinis, Biscotti, Rye Flour, Honey Butter & A Bunch Of Other Stuff, Too.)

May 30, 2010

More strawberries, these from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was a little kid, I always thought it was so cool that the Town of New Paltz, New York would have a parade in honor of my mother’s birthday every year. See, back then (I say, dating myself), Memorial Day was held on May 30th, not that last Monday in May. And May 30th is my mom’s birthday. So I figured that the annual Memorial Day parade was being held for my mom. Heck, everyone’s mom should get a parade, really. I mean, why the heck don’t we have parades on Mother’s Day? Hmm, maybe next year, we should! Anyway, happy birthday, mom! And it’s a good thing you didn’t come out to Seattle for it, because it is cold and grey. The good news, though, is that we finally have strawberries at Ballard Farmers Market. The ones above are from Stoney Plains. Tiny’s has some, too. So for those of you who have stayed in town this first big weekend of the, um, summer (?) season, fear not. You can enjoy strawberry shortcake with your barbecue. And guess what else you can enjoy?

Early Marlat cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherries! Oh, long, endless winter called spring of our discontent, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it may not, after all, be the headlamp of an oncoming train. Green things are wonderful, but brightly colored fruits and berries will warm our hearts, if not our neighborhoods. Thank you, ACMA Mission Orchards, for bringing to us these first cherries of 2010 — Early Marlats. Who cares if they are not those sexy Rainiers and Bings we’ll enjoy in July? These are still plenty sweet and enjoyable, and any hint of a summer to come, someday, somehow, is truly welcome at this point.

A delectable selection of pigrific pork products from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We will need delicious hunks of pig to throw on the barbie this weekend, if we intend to take full advantage of our long weekend, and Olsen Farms has that covered. Now, I know you are looking at this photo thinking, “well, the chops, ribs and sausage will be great on the grill, but bacon?” Oh, ye of such limited creativity. Have you ever heard of bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped prawns, or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped… um… bacon?!? I mean, it’s bacon, for the love of Mike! If you can’t figure out how to work it into the menu, there simply is no hope for you. (Oh, and by the way, Olsen has the tenderloins, too, but they can’t help you with the prawns. However, Taylor Shellfish can certainly help you with some bacon-wrapped oyster action. And we miss you, Bill. Get well, soon!)

Baby summer squash and squash blossoms from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yet another sure sign that July 5th is just around the corner is this beautiful, tender, young zucchini, complete with blossoms, from Colinwood Farms. Agriculture gods be praised! Those crazy kids over in Port Townsend have put their greenhouses to good use, and we are the beneficiaries. Amen!

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

Beautiful baby fennel is waiting for you today on the tables of Full Circle Farm. Roast a few of these lovelies, or maybe toss ’em on the grill for a few minutes. They are sweet, with a hint of anise, and they will simply make you smile.

Asparagus from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, asparagus would be great on the grill, too, and maybe some baby sweet onions, both of which you can get from Magana today. Actually, this all sounds great alongside some mighty king salmon from Wilson Fish, does it not?

Wild porcini, or king bolete, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These wild porcini mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles would be lovely cooked up in a little foil pouch on the grill, too, if you can get to the Market early enough to get them. Actually, they’d be awesome sauteed and tossed with one of Pasteria Lucchese’s fantastic pastas, too.

Biscotti di Prato from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pasteria Lucchese also just introduced these new Biscotti di Prato. Sam tells me that Sara worked her way through many different recipe variations before she got to this one. We thank her for her due diligence. The result is perfection… again. I am not sure how many of these the Market staff put away at the Madrona Farmers Market on Friday, and with the weather cold enough to justify plenty of hot coffee, we dipped away with them. These beauties are not jawbreakers. They are delicate, and they are delicious — a little something to cap off that holiday barbecue.

Fresh rye flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has come out with yet another flour produced from their gorgeous grains they grow in Dungeness: rye flour. Just think of all the deliciousness you can bake up with this stuff, eh? And ain’t it cool that you can get freshly milled flour right at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, that stuff in the bags at the Big Box grocery store… do you have any idea how old that is? See, whole grains will keep for years, but mill them into flour, and they only have about two months before they lose their nutritional value and begin to go rancid. Blech. So think about that the next time you are in the flour aisle at the Big Box store. Then think about the fact that the grain growers at Ballard Farmers Market a bringing you flour that was milled within two weeks of your purchase of it. Nuff said, eh?

New honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot, steaming bread made from local flour, fresh out of the oven, filling the whole house with its magnificent aroma. Last year, the thought of heating up the house about now seemed absurd, but this year, it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And just imagine that warm slice of fresh bread with some of this honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery slathered all over it. Oh, baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. So, when life gives you a cold Memorial Day weekend, make bread, I say!

Devra, owner of Patty Pan Grill, slinging fine veggies quesadillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Patty Pan Grill, one of Ballard Farmers Market’s oldest vendors, sources all of those veggies for their veggie quesadillas from the many farmers at Ballard Farmers Market? Yep, they sure do. So when you support Patty Pan Grill, you actually are supporting the whole Market. Kinda warms your heart, while it fills your belly.

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

Here’s something I just love about spring… even this spring… purslane. Not a lot of folks grow this stuff, but Alm Hill Gardens does. It has a delicate flavor with slight tartness to it, and a nice crunch. I like eating it as a salad, myself, tossed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and some pine nuts. How do you like it?

Lovely little Cherokee lettuces from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has some of its wonderful heirloom lettuces for you already, like these beautiful little Cherokee lettuces. Think salads, sandwiches, even roasted. Lettuce. It’s what’s for dinner. (The Beef Board can… sorry… it’s a family show.)

Mint and dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dress up that salad, that cocktail, that piece of salmon or halibut, that whatever it is with some fresh mint or dill from Children’s Garden. They have a bunch of fresh herbs for you now, plus plenty of lettuce, greens, garlic, choys and, of course, flowers. Lots of spectacular flowers.

Napa cabbage from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, this would actually be pretty good on the grill, or for you non-carnivores, great tossed with some tofu, soy sauce and sesame oil. Isn’t this napa cabbage from Summer Run fabulous? Hmm. Maybe a fresh kimchi in lieu of cole slaw for the picnic, eh? Just pick up some cayenne powder from Pipitone Farms or some paprika from Some Like It Hott so your kimchi will have that proper kick.

A beautiful bouquet for my mom on her birthday, from The Old Farmer. (No, dad. You are not The Old Farmer. You are simply an old farmer.) Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this rather lengthy epistle this week with one more happy birthday wish to the bestest mom in the whole wide world… mine. Oh, you can argue this point with me all you want, but you will lose. And if all else fails, I have inherited her sharp elbows, so if you persist in arguing the point, I may have to jab you with one of them. Anywho, mom, since I cannot be with you by the lake in Northern New York today, these flowers from The Old Farmer are for you — virtually. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Oh, 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.

July 12th: Lavender, Chicken, Berries, Tomatoes & (wait for it) Maybe Even CORN!!!

July 12, 2009
Lavender in full-bloom in Sequim. Photo copyright 2009 by Robin Moses. Used with permission.

Lavender in full-bloom in Sequim. Photo copyright 2009 by Robin Moses. Used with permission.

It is the height of lavender season on the Olympic Peninsula, and Moosedreams Lavender Farm is bringing that wonderful fragrant herbaceous shrub’s flowers in all types of products, and fresh, to the Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that the Olympic Peninsula is the lavender capitol of the U.S.? Yep. And if you are one who always must go to the Tulip Festival to see the spectacular displays of color, then check out the Sequim Lavender Festival next weekend. There, you get to see and smell the scene, and maybe even taste some of it.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm.

Growing Things has freshly harvested frozen chickens this week. 10 years ago, my family had one of these chickens for Thanksgiving dinner. After that, I have never purchased another chicken from a grocery store. I mean, who knows how long they’ve been there? Sure, “fresh” is convenient, but Growing Things chickens are frozen immediately, so when you thaw them to cook them, they are at their peak, not a week or two old. The difference is in the flavor.

A berry mix from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A berry mix from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t know if this photo of a mixed flat of berries from Jessie’s Berries speaks as many as a thousand words, but it does make clear the point that it is berry season.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s tomato season now, too. My favorite tomatoes are the incredible Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, these above from Local Roots. I eat these suckers like candy. They are sweet without much acidity, and they have a wonderful, kinda warm flavor.

Fresh chickpeas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh chickpeas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By now, you are used to the big bins of dried beans and peanuts at Alvarez Organic Farms. Of course, at some point, these dried legumes were fresh. And right now, their chickpeas (a.k.a., garbanzo beans) are fresh. But it is a very short season — maybe two weeks — so get them while you can. Just get there early.

Green and yellow wax beans from Magana. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green and yellow wax beans from Magana. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also bean season, like these yellow wax and green beans from Magana Farms. Oxbow has Dragon’s Tongue beans, and Stoney Plains has Harricot Verts, too. In fact, you will find beans all over the Market today.

Wilson Fish's Washington-coastal coho salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish's Washington-coastal coho salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The coho salmon season is now open on the Washington coast, and Wilson Fish has beautiful, whole and filleted fresh coho ready for your barby.

Gogeous Riland apricots from Pipitone Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gogeous Riland apricots from Pipitone Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pipitone Farms is back at Ballard every week now with fresh apricots and peaches. And Tiny’s even has nectarines and pluots already.

Fresh pluots are available now from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pluots are available now from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in addition to their beans and tomatoes that they are adding this week, Oxbow has a fresh crop of fennel, too.

Oxbow Farm fennel. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm fennel. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is so much more. Check the “What’s Fresh Now!” directory to see a fairly complete list of everything our farmers will be selling this week.