Posts Tagged ‘flower bulbs’

Sunday, October 6th: Local Tuna, Heirloom Pears, Celery Root, Award-Winning Wines, Smoked Salmon Bellies & Other Tastes Of Fall!

October 5, 2013
Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s all sunshine and puppy dogs at your Ballard Farmers Market today, as we celebrate the first sunny and warm Sunday of fall. The leaves are falling from the trees lining Ballard Avenue, the mornings are crisp, and the fall crops are pouring into the Market. Everyone has broken out their finest fall layers — yes, we get to dress again! Let’s celebrate with the deliciousness of the season. Like these heirloom Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard! Booth Canyon grows amazing fruit, but they don’t have a lot this year, courtesy of late summer hail storms, so don’t dillydally!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, and that means is local albacore tuna day! Woohoo! Yup, our friends from Fishing Vessel St. Jude are back with their sashimi-grade tuna today. They catch adolescent albacore as it is swimming south to tropical waters after spending its formative years in the icy cold waters of the North Pacific. That means it is high in beneficial (and delicious) omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. They have it cannedsmokedfrozen rawjerkied and more! Stock up though, as it’ll be another month before we see them again.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is winter squash season throughout your Ballard Farmers Market! These beautiful and tasty edible gourds are from Summer Run Farm in Carnation. They are long keepers, so you can stock up now, and enjoy them all fall and winter. Just protect those stems, and store them in a dark, cool, dry place. They are great roasted, souped, sautéed, and more, and you can eat the skins on most of them!

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley makes some amazing wines at Lopez Island Vineyards. Indeed, many of them are award winners. From big reds made with Eastern Washington grapes, to unique whites made from German varieties of grapes grown organically on their farm that only grow in Puget Sound in this state, because they like cool, foggy nights, you are certain to find a bottle or two that is just right for you. But you don’t have to take my word for it, or even that of some snooty panel of wine judges. You can sample their wines today right here at your Ballard Farmers Market to find the one that best suits your tastes.

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

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

It was just last week when someone walked up to me at your Ballard Farmers Market and asked, “hey, does anyone have celery root yet?” Well, guess what? Boistfort Valley Farm has a fresh crop of it, just waiting for all of your favorite fall recipes, from soups to mashes to roasts to stews. Yippee!

Siberian Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Siberian Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another fall cooking essential is garlic. (Okay, it’s a year-round essential, but I think a lot of us forgot how to cook over a hot summer full of salads, barbecues and dining out al fresco.) Our friends at Jarvis Family Garlic Farm, over in the Dungeness Valley of Clallam County on the North Olympic Peninsula, grow a wonderful variety of heirloom garlics perfect for every cooking application and every preference. Whether you want just a hint of garlic, or so much that you will be offending people with your breath two days from now, they’ve got you covered!

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

I know that many may think that gardening season has passed, but now is a great time of year to get certain perennial flowers in the ground in their bulbous and tuberous forms. Choice Bulb Farm has an extraordinary selection of different kinds of bulbs and such that would impress the most prolific Dutch flower breeders. Pop them in the ground now, and watch the magic happen next spring!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese from Bow produces a lovely variety of fresh, farmstead, cows milk cheeses unlike anything you likely have tasted before. Several varieties have placed first, second or third at the American Cheese Society awards in recent years. Samish Bay is perhaps best known for its signature Ladysmith cheese, which has been described as a cross between Queso Fresco and Ricotta Salata. It won first place at the 2010 American Cheese Society awards competition for the category of unripened cow’s milk cheeses. Stop by for a tasting tour of their cheeses today, and grab some to take home with you!

Smoked king salmon bellies from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon bellies from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that there are people who don’t want the bellies of their king salmon because they think it is “too fatty”?!? For my money, the belly is the best part of the fish! I mean, what’s the point of getting the best of something if you are just going to diminish it? That fat is full of beneficial omega-fatty acids in their natural state — the kind your doctor keeps begging you to add to your diet it. And it is absolutely delicious! But I guess our friends at Loki Fish get enough requests for fillets trimmed of their belly fat that they are able to offer these smoked king salmon bellies right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, they know their value. And if you love them, too, stop by today to pick up a package, because they likely won’t last very long.

Bagels from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bagels from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hmm. Ladysmith cheese. Check. Smoked salmon. Check. Bagels! Check! Grab yourself some wonderfully chewy bagels in a variety of flavors from Grateful Bread Baking today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Now, if we could just get someone to produce capers around here…

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

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

But if you like your bagels toasted with butter instead of fresh and chewy with a fresh cheese and some salmon, Golden Glen Creamery has you covered. Their farmstead butters come plain, with and without salt, as well as in enough different sweet and savory flavors that you will be able to toast the same plain bagel every morning for a week and never use the same flavor of buttery spread on it twice!

Brussels sprouts tops from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts tops from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a short time each fall, before Brussels sprouts season hits, we are sometimes treated to Brussels sprouts tops by folks like Oxbow Farm. See, they trim the tops off of the stalks so that the stalks put their energy into producing those lovely, round sprouts we will all be swooning over in just a few short weeks. But the tops are tasty, too, and very quick and easy to prepare! Just this past week, I sautéed a bunch of them with some Oxbow shallots, and then I added a little white wine, to deglaze the pan of all the delicious caramelized flavor of the shallots, and to add a little sweetness. Finish off with a nice salt and some fresh ground pepper, and you’re done!

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, September 30th: Hard Cider, Pearl Onions, Concord Grapes, Fresh Peanuts & One Adorable Child Eating Broccoli!

September 29, 2012

Hard ciders from Alpenfire Cider. Photo courtesy Alpenfire Cider.

It’s the last Sunday of the month, and that means Finnriver Cidery will let one of its fellow cider makers take over their spot at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Today’s special guest is Alpenfire Cider, from Port Townsend. Their cidery is nestled in the woods at the end of a street on the west side of PT, surrounded by orchards. They make great hard ciders with their own twist on them, and they also make amazing vinegars, too! Plus, they’re certified organic!

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchards is located in the beautiful Methow Valley in Okanogan County. They grow amazing tree fruit — many wonderful heirloom varieties. Like these beautiful Prairie Spy apples. Stop by and learn all about their many amazing apples and pears, and take some home to try!

Fresh green peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It’s fresh peanut season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Take them home and boil them in a big pot of heavily salted water for a great Southern-style treat. Eat them freshly boiled, or drain them, let them dry a little, and then put them on a baking sheet in the oven for a while for fresh-roasted salted peanuts. Or for unsalted, you can just put them straight in the oven and roast them without boiling them.

Flavor Grenade pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, there are so many kinds of pluots, and they come in so many sizes and colors, but one of the coolest looking pluots, and the one I think has the most macho name, is the Flavor Grenade pluot, like these, above, from Collins Family Orchards. And hey, just like their name suggests, they explode with flavor!

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

Here’s a little rebirth of spring for you! Gaia’s Natural Goods has a fresh crop of pea vines! I love these just sauteed with a little garlic in some olive oil, and imagine serving some local halibut from Wilson Fish, if you get here early enough to get any, or a nice grilled pork chop from Olsen Farms, over a bed of sauteed pea vines, eh? Yummers! They’ve also got carrotsberries and more today, too.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are lots of grapes coming through your Ballard Farmers Market now, ready for making jelly, wine, sauces, raisins or just eating fresh off the vine. These are Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. They grow on the slopes along the east side of the Columbia River in Mattawa. They’re sweet, juicy and delicious!

Tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about early fall, farm-fresh tomatoes? Just look at these beauties from Alm Hill Gardens. Big ones. Little ones. Slicers, poachers. Sweeter ones, more acidic ones. And in all sorts of great colors to liven up your meal! Enjoy them right now. You will miss local, farm-fresh tomatoes come winter!

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

It’s getting into bulb planting season again, and now’s a great time to stop by Choice Bulb Farms to check out the dozens of varieties of flower bulbs they have to offer. Remember, the bulbs you plant this fall will provide beautiful flowers next spring and summer!

Red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is peak season for fall tree fruit at your Ballard Farmers Market, so revel in it.  Looks like a record year! Try out these red Bartlett pears from Tiny’s Organic Produce, for instance. And they’ve got lots of apples and pluots now, too!

Radicchio from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, radicchio! The stunningly beautiful, bitter chicory favored by Italians everywhere. Grill it. Add it to salads. Heck, top a sandwich with it. It’ll add color and a nice bite to many a dish. I love the stuff. Find these lovely heads of radicchio at Growing Things Farm.

Little Marina loves her some Oxbow Farm broccoli! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If there was ever a poster child for eating right, I think little Marina here would be it. Her mom had just purchased this lovely head of broccoli from Oxbow Farm last week, and Marina just had to hold it for mom. Mom soon found out why, as Marina began devouring it on the spot. I loved it when mom calmly asked Marina, “Please don’t eat all of it before we get home. We won’t have any for dinner.”

Red pearl onions from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish this week’s epistle with one of my favorite things — pearl onions. These little jewels are very hard to grow, so not many farms around here grow them. And yet, they are so amazing caramelized whole with some Sea Breeze bacon and then tossed with some hericot vert beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm — a true treat! Well, lucky us, Boistfort Valley Farm has some of these cured red pearl onions right now! But they won’t last long!

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

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

Sunday, October 16th: Fall Flour, Sweet Potatoes, Seedless Grapes, Sunchokes, Ginormous Leeks, The Difference Between Celery & Celeriac, and One Final Farewell To Carrie!

October 16, 2011

Freshly milled flour from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yuppers, it’s fall, good citizens of the People’s Republic of Ballard. And we are breaking out the layers. Brrr. But hey, Bluebird Grain Farms is just wrapping up their fall grain harvest, and that means they’ve got all sorts of freshly-milled flour with which you can warm up your house as you bake all manner of deliciousness. They specialize in growing the finest emmer in the country, but they also grow some rye and wheat, too, and it is super fresh right now. And you can get it whole, cracked, and in cereal and mix blends. Tis the season! Enjoy!

Canadice einset table grapes from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These canadice einset table grapes from Jerzy Boyz are sweet, juicy and seedless. That makes them perfect for turning into raisins. So break out the dehydrator, and stock up on these beauties. Of course, you can eat them fresh, too. Just don’t dilly-dally, as they’ll only be available for a couple more weeks.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes are back at Lyall Farms. They are the only farm currently bringing local sweet potatoes into Seattle-area farmers markets. See, sweet potatoes like it hot, and Lyall Farms grows them in Sunnyside — about the hottest place in the state. These babies are deeply sweet. They are of the so-called “yam” school of sweet potatoes. Of course, they aren’t yams. Yams grow in Africa and Asian and are white, starchy things. The sweet orange and red tubers we call yams are sweet potatoes. Blah, blah, blah. Just get you some. You can thank me later!

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With our cool, fall weather and the plethora of root vegetables flooding your Ballard Farmers Market right now, it seems to me that it’s high time for a good, old-fashioned root roast. Some of those sweet potatoes, and some of these sunchokes (a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes) from Summer Run Farm, will make a great start on that. Sunchokes make for an awesome alternative to potatoes in many recipes, including home fries and soups, too. So enjoy this North American native, tuberous vegetable that is from the sunflower family this fall. Eat like a pilgrim!

Celery (left) and celery roots (a.k.a., celeriac, right) from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it’s time for a little visual aid. Above is a photo of celery (left) and celery root (a.k.a., celeriac, right) from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are closely related, but no, they are not the same plant. And you do cook with them differently. Now you know. That said, you will be hard-pressed to find finer examples of either anywhere else.

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Welcome a new farm to your Ballard Farmers Market — Choice Bulb Farms. Mind you, they are not new to farming, just new to our Market. They produce an extraordinary variety of flowering bulbs up in our own little Holland in Skagit County, the #2 bulb producing region in the world. And now is the perfect time to plunk some fresh bulbs into your garden, so that you can enjoy them all next year.

Bulk yellow carrots from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Woohoo! More sweet, delicious roots! It’s yellow carrots from Colinwood Farm. These are awesome. And did y0u know that Colinwood Farm is right smack in the middle of the city of Port Townsend? Yup. It sits on 12 acres of fertile bottomland, surrounded by several neighborhoods, just a stone’s throw from downtown.

Monster leeks from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

No, those are not miniature ears of sweet corn from Nash’s Organic Produce. To the contrary, they are full-sized and delish. It’s just that they are dwarfed by Nash’s humongous leeks. I have heard rumors that these leeks, if left unsupervised, will, in fact, destroy Tokyo! Make soup from just one of these bad boys, and you could feed an entire army.

Maple-walnut fudge with chocolate from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Pete’s been in the kitchen experimenting again. The result is this new maple-walnut fudge with chocolate — the latest addition to the Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee lineup. And hey, you eat all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables all the time from your Ballard Farmers Market, right? The meat, seafood and poultry you consume is all sustainably produced and healthy. And you’re eating your share of fermented vegetables from Firefly Kitchens. So treat yourself! You’ve earned it!

Padron peppers from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

If you count yourself a foodie, you know that padron peppers are all the rage right now, especially since the good folks at The Harvest Vine in Madison Valley introduced many of us to them fried and salted. Full Circle Farm grew some this year, and if you are lucky, you will get to see David today before he sells out of them, so you can enjoy the deliciousness at home your own self.

Carrie disappears behind a mountain of roots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo courtesy Clayton Burrows.

It’s time for one last, colorful, silly goodbye to Carrie Palk of Alm Hill Gardens, as she breaks our hearts and abandons us to return to her roots in Ohio. (Hey, ho, way to go…) In this photo, taken by Clayton Burrows last week, it’s as if Carrie is a setting sun behind a mountain of roots, and they are filled with all the colors of a spectacular sunset. Carrie, we’ll miss you, but it is good to know we’ve got a couch to crash on in Cincinnati.

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.