Posts Tagged ‘fresh peanuts’

Sunday, September 7th: Return of Booth Canyon & Camelina Gold, Westside Sweet Corn, Table Grapes, Fresh Peanuts, Nectarplums, A Guy Who Loves Making Soup & Nearing The End Of Washington’s 2014 King Salmon Season!

September 6, 2014
Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy cow! It is September already! The kiddies are back in school, the nights are getting longer and a little cooler. And the crops in your Ballard Farmers Market are beginning to trend toward fall. And yet today, Seattle will break the 80 degree mark for the 43rd time this year. Summer is not over! If it were, after all, you wouldn’t be able to get this amazing fresh, wild Washington king salmon from our buddies at Wilson Fish. That’s because the salmon fishing season on the Washington coast ends in mid-September. So enjoy it now, while it is still here. Cuz in a couple of weeks, it won’t be!

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchard returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2014 season. Says owner, Stina Booth, “This weekend, look for Gravenstein apples (the BEST pies in the world), Suncrest peaches (as close to a mango as you can get in Washington), Morretini pears (if champagne were a pear…..), and weird and wonderful Green Gage plums.”

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Westside sweet corn has finally arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market, and this year’s crop is amazing! While we’ve been enjoying the blessings of Eastern Washington’s hot weather and earlier corn crops for almost two months now, the corn fields in Western Washington have slowly been growing to maturity. You’ll find big, beautiful, sweet ears of corn from several Westside farms today, including this beautiful specimen from Stoney Plains Organic Farms in Tenino.

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the past few years, we’ve all gotten quite familiar with our pal, Eric, working behind the tables of Boistfort Valley Farm, slinging ginormous heads of organic lettuce, or hooking us up with amazing fresh herbs or artichokes or any manner of colorful beetsturnips and radishes. But time’s come for Eric to finally hunker down and finish off a college degree he’s be slow-walking for a while now, and that makes today his last day selling for Boistfort Valley at your Ballard Farmers Market. Stop by today, wish him well, and grab some deliciousness while you’re there!

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These sweet seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms make for great white raisins. Just pluck them off of the vine, give them a good rinse, and put them in your dehydrator until raisinesqueness ensues. That is, of course, as long as you don’t eat them all fresh, right off of the vine, first. On second thought. you’d better buy twice as many as you think you’ll need!

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Your local cooking oil returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market, after its summer hiatus. This is camelina oil, made from the seeds of the camelina plant, an old member of the mustard family. It is grown and pressed by Ole World Oils in Ritzville, Washington. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil (475 degrees!), and is high in natural vitamin E, making it shelf stable. It is also high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. It has a great, nutty flavor that makes it a good finishing and cooking oil. It is great for cooking white fish, chicken and pork, for roasting cauliflower, broccoli, roots and potatoes, for blistering padron peppers and more. It is competitively priced, and best of all, it is local!

Hilario Alvarez of Alvarez Organic Farms harvesting fresh peanuts on his Mabton farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hilario Alvarez of Alvarez Organic Farms harvesting fresh peanuts on his Mabton farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It is fresh peanut season at your Ballard Farmers Market again! Yes, our good friends at Alvarez Organic Farms are harvesting peanuts right now from their fields in Mabton, Washington. Still don’t believe peanuts grow here? Then look at this photo I took of Don Hilario Alvarez on the farm two weeks ago! Those are two freshly-harvested peanut bushes in his hands, and behind him is acre after acre of peanuts. Peanuts are not nuts at all, but legumes, and you can see that in the pea-like leaves they have. Love boiled peanuts, or you want to roast your own? Now’s the time!

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, baby. Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm! These lovely little shelling beans are white when dried, but are green when fresh. And when fresh, their flavor and texture are quite different. I love fresh shelling beans in general. They make for great salads, sides, additions to pastas, spreads… but I especially love them in succotash. Just shuck and boil the fresh beans for 15-20 minutes in well-salted water, until just slightly fork tender. Then toss them into a pan with some rendered bacon or some smoked salmon, add corn freshly cut off the cob, some chopped parsley, some green onion, a bit of crushed garlic and some salt and pepper and give it all a good toss until just warmed through. Don’t overcook it. And enjoy! Remember, too, that you can buy, shuck and freeze fresh shelling beans now, and enjoy them all winter.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The last of the season’s funny-named hybrid stone fruit has arrived: nectarplums. Yes, you guessed it. They are a cross betwixt nectarines and plums. They are large, juicy, sweet and delicious, and they’re pretty cool looking, too, eh? Grab some today from Collins Family Orchards.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous bacon is from Olsen Farms. On the left is traditional pork belly bacon, and on the right is pork jowl bacon. And while both are great, the jowl bacon has its own unique, somewhat sweeter, flavor to it that I love for adding to vegetable dishes and pastas.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As the days are getting shorter and (a little) cooler, now’s a great time to enjoy some fabulous late-summer greens. This stunning chard from Alm Hill Gardens is wonderful simply sautéed with a little garlic until just wilted, or added to grain salads or soup.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Why is this guy smiling? Truth is, Got Soup‘s Jerry Baxter always seems to be smiling. Maybe it is the amazing soups he makes for us, in an extraordinary variety of flavors. Maybe it is the great, local ingredients he uses to make his soups, like these from Alvarez Organic Farms, Martin Family Orchards, Nash’s Organic Produce, Olsen Farms, and so many other great local farms, seen at his kitchen recently. Maybe it is because he has figured out how to spend his days either making soup or hanging out at farmers markets, and getting paid for it. Whatever the case, his soups will definitely make you smile, too!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means we enjoy a visit today from Fishing Vessel St. Jude! They have the finest local albacore tuna you will find anywhere. It is available in sashimi-grade frozen loinsdriedsmoked, and canned. In fact, the canned tuna is great to send home with your visiting relatives! Just make sure they understand not to drain off the liquid inside the can. That is the tuna’s natural juices, not added water, and as such, it is full of flavor!

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards are big, beautiful, sweet and juicy. They are the quintessential peach — the peach’s peach. They are the legendary peach for which Washington is famous. When you look up “peach” in the dictionary, you’ll see these guys. They are a freestone peach, making them easy for canning or making cobblers. And they are in season now!

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

It is fine pasta weather again, since you can count on your house cooling off overnight, in spite of daytime still being warm. These kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese will certainly hit the spot for a lovely blast of flavor and quick prep time on a busy weekday evening.

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, September 8th: Wine Tastings, Cannellini Beans, Kimchi, Grapes, Fresh Peanuts & More!

September 7, 2013
Red and berry wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red and berry wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’re tasting wine this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, while we are able to let our vendors sample their wines and ciders to you now, we can only allow three of them at one time. So, last week, it was the cideries. This week, it is the wineries. Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery has a rare, certified organic vineyard from which they produce their Puget Sound Appellation estate wines, like their Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine. Their award-winning wines also include a beautiful big, red Malbec, too. Stop by and taste it before you buy it!

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Kitzke Cellars is located where the Yakima River empties into the Columbia River in Richland. They are known for their big red wines, as well as a lovely rosé. They are still relatively new to us here at your Ballard Farmers Market, so stop by for a taste of their wines today and find one you like!

Thompson seedless grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thompson seedless grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While we are on a grape theme, I should let you know that Magana Farms has table grapes now, too. They have these Thompson seedless grapes as well as red table grapes. They are great fresh, juiced, and they make awesome raisins!

Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cannellini beans are one of the great shelling beans. They are prized in Italy and France, and dried, they are the classic white bean. They have a lovely flavor and texture for use in soups, stews and salads, and when they are fresh, like these from One Leaf Farm, I love shucking them and building a lovely succotash around them. They are a great substitute for traditional lima beans. And as sweet corn is the other most common component in succotash, lucky us, they’ve got that now, too!

Banana cantaloupe from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Banana cantaloupe from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms grows lots of melons, like this unusual banana cantaloupe. It is weird looking, sure, but it is super sweet and juicy, and it’ll confuse the heck out of your backyard barbecue guests! Of course, Lyall still has plenty of watermelons, too, though they tend to sell out early. Consider yourself warned, sleepy heads!

Fresh peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those people that can’t wrap your head around whether a peanut is a nut or a legume? Do you love the roasted and salted peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms, but wish you could get some fresh peanuts to boil or cook with? Or maybe you just want a conversation starter. Well, here it is — fresh peanuts on the bush, available right now, for a very short time, at your Ballard Farmers Market! Do you see those leaves? Yup, thems are peas alright!

The lineup from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The lineup from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been several weeks since we’ve had a visit from our friends at Firefly Kitchens. Today, we get a quick visit from them, so if you have been missing their amazing, naturally fermented kimchisauerkraut and salsa, stock up today, as it may be a few more weeks before we can squeeze them back in again!

Red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you had any doubt as to whether or not we have turned a corner in the seasons, now that Labor Day has passed, this red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm should clear things right up for you. Sure, we’ve got more amazing summer weather in the forecast, but the shadows are getting longer, and the days are getting shorter, and we’ve been reminded in this past week that it does still rain around here on occasion. So, why not enjoy this sweet, earthy fall treat a little early, eh?

Carrot from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrot from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this week’s installment of the news of the localiciousness with these gorgeous red and yellow carrots from Growing Things Farm. Sweet and crunchy, and great roasted, sautéed, in salads or just munched on whole, in a season in which all other crops have come in early and abundantly, carrots have been on the sparse side. That makes these beauties that much more worthy of celebration!

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, September 25th: Bragging Rights, Salmon Reprieve, Colorful Cauliflower, Fruit Phonics, Delicious Displays & A Word About Your Dog!

September 24, 2011

Judy & Gil are proud of yet another pair of "Best Of" awards from Seattle Weekly. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Judy Kirkhuff, the Market Master of your Ballard Farmers Market, and her son Gil, proudly gloat over our pair of “Best Of Seattle 2011” awards from Seattle Weekly. And why not? We won both the Editors’ Choice and the Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Farmers Market. Woohoo! And thank you, editors and readers for this honor. It means a lot to us. And we love you, too!

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

Hey kids, look! More fresh king salmon from Wilson Fish. Gene and the boys managed to score an opening in Oregon waters, courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and we are the beneficiaries. Yippee! A reprieve! Enjoy ‘em while you can, because this, too, shall pass.

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

I swear, these orchards are like a bunch of mad scientist hybridists, creating new kinds of stone fruit every year. There are apriums, which are 70% apricot and 30% plum genetically. Then there are pluots, which are 70% plum and 30% apricot. Then came nectarcots — part nectarine, part apricot. And now we have, from Collins Family Orchardsnectarplums, a cross between nectarines and plums. Personally, I am still holding out for nectareachs! When they finally cross a peach and a nectarine, then I will be truly impressed. Oh, and it is not true that cherry tomatoes are a cross between cherries and tomatoes, BTW.

Carnival & golden nugget winter squash from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall began on Friday, though the weather didn’t really reflect it until today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Perfect timing to heat of the kitchen with this beautiful winter squash from Stoney Plains. Roast it. Soup it. Stuff it. Fry it. Love it!

This spectacular display of roots by Big Dave at Full Circle Farm I call, "Display 101." Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If we gave awards for spectacular displays, this display of carrots and radishes by Big Dave from Full Circle Farm would without question be in the running. I mean, don’t you just want to reach into the photo and grab one of those carrots to munch on? Our local farmers grow some of the finest produce to be found anywhere, but they say the first taste is with the eyes, and thus it is often the brilliant artistry of each farm’s Market staff that ultimately catches your attention. It also makes we photographers very happy!

Nash's Kia Armstrong and Wynn Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I feel like I should entitle this photo, “Union Break for Farmers.” If only! But if a picture tells a thousand words, this one illustrates the family that is your Ballard Farmers Market community, and behind that, it speaks to a deeper level of community that farmers markets give to farmers. After all, farming has the highest suicide rate of any profession, because so many farmers suffer the economic woes of their work in isolation in rural countrysides. But at farmers markets, not only do farmers enjoy access to the full retail value of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, but they also get to enjoy the appreciation of grateful public week after week, and they get to interact on a regular basis with their fellow farmers. I mean, Kia Armstrong of Nash’s Organic Produce comes to Ballard from Sequim, and Wynne Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz Farm comes to Ballard from Chelan. The two have Puget Sound, a huge city and the Cascade Mountains between them. But they get to see each other at Ballard every week! Pretty cool, huh?

Fresh grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, another sure sign of fall is grapes from Magana Farms from over in Sunnyside. You know, it used to be that people identified fall with apples in this state, but now, grapes are just as strong an association. We are, after all, the #2 wine producing state in the nation. Wanna practice making your own wine? Or maybe some jelly? Now’s the time! But maybe not raisins. These bad boys have seeds in them.

Galactic purple cauliflower from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is absotively possilutely blowing the doors off their cauliflower right now. Just take a gander at these fabulous heads of galactic purple cauliflower they’ve got this week, and their white cauliflower is pretty awesome today, too! This is the best year for it in a very long time, so have at it people!

Focaccia rolls from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These focaccia rolls from Grateful Bread Baking are a perfect quick snack on the go. They’re chewy, cheesy and vegetably, and they’re loaded with yummy, local goodness. Of course, they also have plenty of artisan breadsbagelscookiesmuffins and pastries, as well as some great challah for your Sabbath dinner or some screaming French toast!

Peanuts on the vines from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, peanuts do grow in Washington. And these are raw peanuts – green peanuts still on the vine, in fact. Alvarez Organic Farms is in the midst of its annual peanut harvest right now, and that means we get to enjoy fresh, local peanuts to roast, boil, stir-fry and more at home!

The perfect basket of tomatoes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another display fit for a postcard! This is truly the perfect basket of tomatoes, is it not? Summer Run Farm gets the props for this one. And you know, many of us never get to see farm tables that look like this, as this is what they tend to look like at the start of the Market, right before we hungry masses descend upon them and mess them up!

Baby artichokes from Boistfort Valley Farm lack the choke! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The good folks at Boistfort Valley Farm are almost a bit apologetic about calling these beauties “baby artichokes“. See, they harvest these young pups before they develop the “choke” in the name artichoke — you know, that hairy inside with the spikes? These are the lovely, tender, chokeless artichokes. Maybe we should just call them “arti“.

Jack the Bat Dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally today, a note about your best friend. We welcome your pooch at your Ballard Farmers Market, but only in a bag, or on a short leash, and under your control at all times. See, dogs take their lead from their human, and unfortunately, while most dogs are very good at following instructions, many humans are not. If you like bringing your dog with you to Market, we need you to keep your dog short-leashed. That means that another person should not be able to walk between you and your dog at any time. Yes, we know you have the most well-behaved dog on earth. Everyone does, apparently. Just ask them. But if that was true, we wouldn’t have to be giving you this reminder right now. Please follow this simple rule, or leave your pup at home. And thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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.