Posts Tagged ‘grain’

Sunday, November 17th: Eat Local For Thanksgiving & Every Day!

November 16, 2013
Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table during his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table during his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! There’s no fighting it. We have reached the holiday season, and that means lots of festive eating will be going on. Your Ballard Farmers Market is open year-round with lots of local deliciousness, so really, we make it easy to build your holiday meals, and your everyday meals, around great, local food produced by great local people. And to help get your creative juices (and your salivary glands) flowing, this week and next, we offer our annual Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration series at noon under the red Cooking Demonstration tent. Today, we welcome our old buddy, Chef Dustin Ronspies from Art of the Table. He has been building his restaurant menus around what is fresh and local at your Ballard Farmers Market since 2007, so if anyone can show you a tip or two for adding more localiciousness to your holidays, he can!

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.

Just two more weeks to get amazing heirloom pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Their inventory of these delicious Conference pears, as well as ComiceD’Anjou and Dana Hovey pears is just about exhausted for 2013, so take advantage and stock up this week and next, while you can.

Chile pepper wreathe from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chile pepper wreathe from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The season is winding down for our friends from Alvarez Organic Farms, too. Stop by now and stock up on great storage crops like onionsgarlicshallots and potatoes, as well as dried chiles, and these gorgeous pepper wreathes and strings.

Whole grains from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce has lots of great veggies right now, from parsnips to celery root to Brussels sprouts, as well as tender greens that will not be around much longer, like bok choychard and arugula. They also have delicious, local whole grains like red wheatrye and triticale. Try some out as a side dish this holiday season.

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether just for munching, for pies, sauce or roasting, Collins Family Orchards has an apple for you. Try out these honey crisp apples, for instance. They are crisp and full of flavor, great for the kiddies’ lunch box or that elegant artisan cheese platter.

Delicata winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicata winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are in serious winter squash weather now, aren’t we? There is just something so comforting and cozy about roasted delicata squash from One Leaf Farm on a cold, dark, wet night. The oven warms up the kitchen. The sweet, luscious squash warms up your soul.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

It is tasting day at Kitzke Cellars. Stop by today to give their lineup a test drive right at your Ballard Farmers Market. Then, once you find the varieties of wine you like best, you can stock up for the holidays, ready with the perfect wine for every occasion, be it a friend’s party, an elegant dinner or a gift for your boss. And with Kitzke’s award-winning collection of wines, you are sure to find at least one you will love.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for fast-approaching holiday feasts, we welcome the return of Sno-Valley Mushrooms. They cultivate great mushrooms, like these shiitake mushrooms, over in Duvall. And considering that it is also chicken soup season, think about adding mushrooms to the pot, too.

Sweet potato pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potato pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget to check out our newest vendor, Simply Soulful. They simply make the best sweet potato pies from scratch using Lyall Farms sweet potatoes and freshly-made crust. Stop by for a sample, and then put your orders in for next week!

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 2nd: Local Tuna, Hard Cider, More Strawberries, Spectacular Salad Mix, Glorious Green Garlic & Other Deliciousness!

June 1, 2013
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.

Wow! It’s already the first Sunday in June! Besides the fact that we are charging headlong into summer — and the fact that today’s weather actually feels like summer — it also means that today is tuna day! That’s right. Today, we get our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with their amazing albacore tuna. Better yet, they have a new catch of tuna today cut for you. See, they freeze their tuna at sea after catching it to preserve its quality. Then they cut and wrap it in loins and portions on land for Market. Wait, what? Portions? Yes! They will have, for the first time in months, those smaller portioned sizes many of us have been missing. See, one or two people cannot necessarily get through a 2-3 pound lion all by themselves, but the smaller portions of St’ Jude’s sashimi-grade albacore tuna are the perfect size for anyone!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are so many ways to enjoy local albacore tuna, and one of my favorites is to cut a few steaks off of a loin, pan-sear them simply with a little olive oil — they don’t need much, because of their abundant natural oils — salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, so they are mostly raw inside, and then lay them over the top of a big, beautiful salad. In fact, I did just that on Saturday night, using as my base some of this extraordinary spicy salad mixed, complete with edible flowers, from Colinwood Farms. A mix of lettuces, mustards, arugula, spinach, mizuna and more, and topped off with colorfully delicious edible flowers, I garnished it with some of Colinwood’s carrots, some pink beauty radishes and Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm, and some garlic chives from Children’s Garden. Yeah, baby!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine and Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market on a regular basis now, and we couldn’t be more excited! Eaglemount and Finnriver Farm & Cidery now both bring excellent artisan ciders and fruit wines to you every Sunday from the Jeffereson County on the Olympic Peninsula — a region becoming a center for Washington’s burgeoning old-world cider-making industry. Grab a bottle or two today, and get a taste of one of the oldest forms of food preservation!

Strawberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More strawberries! Woohoo! These lovelies are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) from up on the Canadian Border in Everson. They just started harvesting them a week ago, so numbers are still a little on the low side. You’d better get here early, if you want some today. But never fear. By this time next week, we’ll have at least six farms in your Ballard Farmers Market with strawberries! (BTW, Sidhu Farms has also started harvesting strawberries, and will have some today.)

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Got lettuce? Summer Run Farm does! This is some of their gorgeous, and humongous, red leaf lettuce. Their heads of lettuce are so big, they are often twice as big as your own head (or two-thirds as big as mine)! So, get your lettuce on today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, look! It is some of those aforementioned Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. They are as tasty as they are beautiful. I love to eat them raw, like a radish, on their own, or sliced up in a salad. Or you can do a quick sauté on them. And don’t forget to toss in those greens when you sauté them. You are getting two veggies for the price of one, so don’t waste those greens, people! They also have some awesome spicy salad mix of their own, plus collard greensfrisee and more!

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is sugar snap pea season, folks, and our buddies at Alvarez Organic Farms have a ton of these sweet, crunchy and delicious spring treats just waiting for you to devour them. Throw them into your salad. Dip them in some hummus from House of the Sun. Munch them on their own at the beach, right out of the bag. Lightly sauté them. You cannot go wrong. Enjoy!

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan bread loaves from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While you are having your picnic at the beach and inhaling an entire bag of sugar snap peas, or you are enjoying your big, beautiful salad topped with tuna, you will need some of this magnificent artisan bread from our friends at Grateful Bread Baking. Oh, and be sure to pick up some butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or some fresh goat cheese from Twin Oaks Creamery to smear on it, while you’re at it!

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whatever you are roasting, sautéing, grilled — eating — this time of year, you must add some green garlic to the mix! Green garlic is the immature form of the garlic heads we will see later in the summer. Farms like Pa Garden thin their garlic fields this time of year to allow their garlic to be able to bulb out, and they bring the green garlic they thinned out to market for us to enjoy. You can eat the whole thing, as long as the greens are still green and you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Cut it up like you would a green onion or scallion and toss it in the pan with your favorite greens, or in with your veggies before they go in the oven, and douse it with some olive oil and grill it alongside your protein. Yummers!

Whole grains from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some local whole grains to mill for flour, roll for cereal, or cook whole for a lovely base or side to many recipes? Nash’s Organic Produce has whole grain red wheat and whole grain rye available for you right now. They also have it milled into flour, so you don’t have to do all the work! Nash’s works very closely with WSU organic grain researcher Dr. Stephen Jones, and they are helping him with field trials of various grains, to identify those that will grow best here in Western Washington. See, it used to be, before the advent of modern industrial agriculture, that all grain was local, and each community relied upon the grains that grew in their region. That’s what folks like Nash’s and Dr. Jones are striving to return us to. Pretty cool, eh?

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tummy Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you use them as a cocktail mixer, to dress a salad or enhance your slaw, or you just like to ingest it by the shot glass, your palate and your body will love Firefly Kitchens‘s line of Tummy Tonics. These tonics are actually the residual juices left over from the fermenting process when they make their award-winning krauts and kimchis. When they bottle them, they also bottle the  brine left at the bottom of the fermenting vat. There isn’t a lot of this stuff, so you can pretty much only get it here at the Market. Try some today. You can thank me later!

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 3rd: Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries, Broccoli, Morels & Big Honkin’ Heads of Lettuce!

June 3, 2012

Strawberries from Billy’s. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been a tough week for our community. The entire city of Seattle could use a hug right about now. We at your Ballard Farmers Market will endeavor to do just that, in the form of our weekly local food, arts and music community happening on Old Ballard Avenue. We welcome you to come and mix and mingle, get some nourishment for your body and your soul, and share some love with each other here in the People’s Republic of Ballard. Let’s get the love started flowing with some spectabulous strawberries from Billy’s Gardens in Tonasket. Billy’s returned to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2012 season just last week. They’ve also got some amazing wild arugulafresh cut herbs and other goodies.

Sugar snap peas from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s sugar snap peas season! Woohoo!!! Now, if that doesn’t put a smile on your face… These beauties are from Magana Farms from over in Sunnyside. They are crisp, sweet and delicious, and you will want to get twice as many as you think you’ll need. Why? Because you are going to eat so many of them before you even get home!

Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what?!? Cherries? Yuppers! These are burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Burlats are the first cherries to come into season each year, and where Lyall grows them in Prosser, they get a 10-14 day jump on the rest of the state with their harvest. That’s why  Lyall always has them first. And don’t think because they are early or an unusual variety that they aren’t good. Burlats rock!

Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chopping broccoli… Oh, yeah, baby! Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. It’s like love in a vegetable! You know, I love Oxbow’s amazing tomato plants — few offer better — but I live for Oxbow’s veggies. And it’s not just broccoli they’ve got now. Their collard greens are also absurdly good. If you’ve never tried them, you must. They are sweet, delicious and tender, and they are loaded with nutrients. I love just sauteing them with a little green garlic, which they also have now, and some nice, smoky bacon from Sea Breeze, Olsen or Skagit River. Now, that’s living!

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushroom season finally arrived, about a month late, but hey, it’s here now, right? And Foraged & Found Edibles has ’em. Lots of ’em! There are endless ways to enjoy morels, but my favorite this time of year is to cut them into rings and toss them with asparagus, green sweet onions and green garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms, some olive oil, salt and pepper in a big baking dish and roast the lot in a 425 degree oven until the asparagus is just tender. You get the sweetness of the asparagus and the onions, the mild garlicky flavor of its immature form, and the earthiness of the morels. Serve it as a side to some fresh king salmon or halibut from Wilson Fish, and some fresh artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery, and you’ve got a simple, serious meal!

Kids tamales from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

Did you know that our own Patty Pan Grill recently introduced tamales made especially for kids? They’re half the size of their adult counterparts, and one variety has just cheese, while the other has a very simple, mild bean filling. They are available hot and ready to eat at the Market and in convenient packs to take home. “Just the thing for those parents on the verge, desperate to come up with an easy meal that isn’t full of processed garbage,” says Devra. Oh, and they are also offering a free small serving of their market-fresh vegetables along with any kids’ menu item.

Purple kohlrabi from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm down in Tenino always seems to be the first with many crops each year, and they are now with this purple kohlrabi. It can be steamed, sautéed, eaten raw with some onion dip, or find the nearest Eastern European to give you some stellar recipes! Oh, and they’ve also got lamb’s quarterepazote and a late resurgence of miner’s lettuce right now, too. Try to find any of these on any other tables in the Market!

Jon from Summer Run Farm holds heads of red leaf lettuce bigger than his own head! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, Jon from Summer Run Farm does not have a tiny head. It’s just that Summer Run grows ginormous heads of red leaf lettuce. Seriously. Just look at these suckers. They are easily twice the size of his head. Indeed, it is these magnificent specimens of leafy deliciousness for which Summer Run is famous. But you might need to bring a trailer with you today to get one of them home with you!

Split farro from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farm’s cracked farro makes for some amazing porridge. Or use it as a polenta. Heck, all their heirloom grain products are fantastic and nutrient dense. They mill their flours, cereals and mixes fresh before each Market, so they are at their peak of flavor and goodness when you get them, unlike so many bags of denuded flours in the Big Box Store that have been sitting in warehouses for months and have turned rancid. Bluebird makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today, so stock up!

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also making its monthly visit to the Market today is Fishing Vessel St. Jude with its incomparable albacore tuna products. They catch their tuna off the coast of Washington as the adolescent albacore swim south from their spawning grounds in the cold waters of the North Pacific to enjoy a leisurely adulthood in warm tropical waters. Because of their youth, this tuna is very low in heavy metals. Because they’ve been living in cold water, this tuna is very high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. Oh, and it is the best tuna you’ll ever taste, too! They’ve got it cannedfrozen freshsmokedjerkiedloxed and a few other ways, just to mix it up.

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

Sunday, May 6th: Oxbow Farm, St. Jude Tuna & Bluebird Grain Farms Return, Last Call for Sweet Potatoes & People-Powered Juice!

May 6, 2012

Rainbow chard modeled by lovely Adam McCurdy of Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It is our fifth gorgeous weekend in a row, and the only thing I can think of that could make it any better would be the return of Oxbow Farm to your Ballard Farmers Market! Yessir. Luke, Adam and the gang are coming out of hibernation today, and bringing with them lotsa plants and veggies to add more local deliciousness to your spring. So be sure to stop by and say ‘hi’ real loud to them, in case they still have headaches from Cinco de Mayo festivities and howling at the Super Moon yesterday!

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the first Sunday in May, and that means local albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. As they only visit us the first week of each month, be sure to stock up on the finest tuna you’ll find anywhere — canned, frozen, smoked, jerkied, loxed, and more. And because they catch their albacore in its adolescence, as it swims from its spawning grounds in the cold waters of the North Pacific to warmer tropical waters, this fish is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. Whatever you do, though, if you get it in cans, don’t pour that liquid down the drain! That is the natural juices of the tuna, and it is packed with flavor. (They don’t add water.)

Brooke Lucy from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farms returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today for the first time since before Christmas! They, too, are going on a once-monthly rotation for their market visits this year. So again, take this opportunity to stock up on whole grain emmer and rye, cracked cereals, flours and mixes today!

Collard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the few weeks of One Leaf Farm’s attendance at your Ballard Farmers Market we get to enjoy this spring while we await the arrival of other returning farms, after which you will have to go all the way to our Madrona Farmers Market on Fridays to find them. Last week, they got cleaned out early of magnificent radishesleeksbaby lettuces, and much more, so do visit them early!

D’Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

D’Anjou pears from Martin Family Orchards are juicy and sweet, but they aren’t going to be around much longer… maybe another week or two. They just pulled the last ones out of their winter storage, and once they’re gone, they’re gone until late fall. Sure, cherry season is on it’s way, but not until June. Get your pear on now, while you still can!

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

Another short-timer crop is sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Indeed, this is likely the last week for them. Grab one last taste of fall sweetness. Roast ’em up and have yourself a seasonally-confused meal with asparagus and maybe some halibut from Wilson Fish. Hmm. That sounds pretty good, don’t it?

Customers providing the power at Juice Peddler. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

At the Juice Peddler, if you want one of their smoothies made with great local ingredients, you will have to work for it. That’s because Bellingham’s Juice Peddler powers their blenders using bicycles. Hey, your doctor has been pestering you to eat right and exercise more, right? Well, at the Juice Peddler, you can kill two birds with one stone!

Red romaine lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish today with lettuce — red romaine lettuce, in fact. Colinwood Farms grows this early spring beauty in its greenhouses over in Port Townsend, and it is just waiting for you to salad it, sandwich it, wrap it or grill it. Yes, it is lettuce season again. And amen for that!

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.