Posts Tagged ‘grapes’

Sunday, August 25th: Fresh Shelling Beans, Crisp Celery, Marvelous Melons, Bagged Bulk Cukes, Pretty Pears & More!

August 24, 2013
Fresh cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s shelling bean season! And they are in much earlier than last year. These are cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. You are probably most familiar with them as dried beans, but when they’re fresh like this, they are quick to cook and extremely versatile. Honestly, my favorite thing to do with them this time of year is make succotash. Grab some bacon from Skagit River Ranch, some sweet corn and parsley from Alm Hill, some green onion from Children’s Garden and some garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm, and you’ve got all the ingredients you’ll need for a simple and fresh succotash. Enjoy!

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, admit it. You just banged your nose or your finger into your screen while going after this gorgeous organic cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. I snapped this photo on Wednesday at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market. Oh, if you could just smell this melon. Wow. Sweet and juicy and absolutely incredible tasting.

Bagged bulk pickling cucumbers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bagged bulk pickling cucumbers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are like me, when you make pickles, you make a lot of pickles. See, I use them as gifts and trade all winter long. Well, to make things easy for folks like us, Stoney Plains Organic Farm offers these bulk bags of their certified organic pickling cucumbers. They pack them in 20 pound pages, and I figure about a pound per wide-mouth canning jar. I love working with their cukes in part because they are straight and uniform, making packing of pickle jars easier.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, it is kind of mind boggling just how many different varieties of fruit you will find coming into season at ACMA Mission Orchards. Like these Asian pears that just came into season this past week, along with something like four different kinds of peaches, a couple kinds of apples and a plum. What makes things more challenging and adventurous for us is that many of these varieties will only be available at your Ballard Farmers Market for a week or two, so if you want to try them, or if you already love them, you need to act fast, but do so with the joy of knowing that next week, you’ll get to test drive a whole new selection of fruit.

See, ACMA plants a huge diversity of fruit trees, not just because they like each variety, which they do, or because they think it’s cool to offer such an extraordinary number of different kinds of fruit, though we think it’s cool. No, they plant all of these varieties because they come in and out of season a few at a time, from the start of June through the end of October. It just makes good business sense to have fresh fruit every week, you know? And each type of tree in their orchards is naturally genetically programmed to have its fruit come to maturity at a different time. If they had just one or two kinds of cherries, apples and peaches, not only would it be boring for us, but their entire year’s income would be dependent on the success of a few crops, and at greater risk to the mercies of the marketplace. That’s the fate many orchardists face who mono-crop for the big packing houses whose prices are set on the commodities markets, and who sell only a few varieties to the Big Box stores, because that’s what they’ve trained people to think of as “cherry” or “peach” or “apple.”

That’s why ACMA instead comes to your Ballard Farmers Market. You get a plethora of fruit varieties all year long. They get a much more secure and sustainable marketplace for their harvest, and they don’t have to share the sales price with a bunch of nameless, faceless executives from the packing houses, warehouses, brokers and Big Box Stores.

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

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

Tomato season is in full swing now at your Ballard Farmers Market, and I thought I’d take a break from showcasing our new resident rock star tomato farmers at One Leaf Farm to share with you some gorgeous tomatoes from our friends at Summer Run Farm, which is just across the valley from One Leaf. Yeah, baby! More maters!

Bartlett pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bartlett pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is pear season at your Ballard Farmers Market, earlier than we’ve ever seen them before. These beauties are Bartlett pears from our friends at Collins Family Orchards. They’ve also got some great late-season peaches and nectarines now, too. This really has been one amazing summer, eh?

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Herbs de Provence and Garlic-Parlsey chevre from Twin Oaks Farm in Chehalis. Okay, this chevre is not new to your Ballard Farmers Market, but it is different. See, they ditched the plastic wrap and switched to small containers for their packaging. It makes for a more attractive, less messy chevre that is easy for you to dive into, and you can reuse or easily recycle the container — more than you can say for that plastic wrap!

Crisp celery from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Crisp celery from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Maybe it’s just me, but frankly, I was almost as excited to see this fresh crop of celery from One Leaf Farm show up this week at our sister Madrona Farmers Market as I have been to see all of their dozen or so tomato varieties come into season. Seriously, there is nothing quite like a crisp stalk of locally-grown celery fresh from the farm. It is sweeter and tastier, and once you try it, you won’t look at this staple of most kitchens quite the same when you see it in the Big Box stores.

Red Hiromi plums from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Hiromi plums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, that is one spectacular plum, don’t you think? It is a Red Hiromi plum from Tiny’s Organic Produce. It is the first plum harvested at Tiny’s each summer. It tends to have a mildly sweet to slighty tart flavor, and it must be very soft before eating to bring out maximum flavor, Tiny’s advises.

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

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

Have you checked out the selection of heirloom garlics offered by Jarvis Family Garlic Farm from over in the Dungeness River Valley of Clallam County in the Banana Belt? It is amazing stuff grown in an microclimate perfectly suited to garlic. Jarvis has garlic ranging from mild to hot, pleasant to testing who loves you after you’ve eaten it. Stop by for a garlic lesson, and try out a few kinds. Remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic.

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.

It is high time for pink salmon from Loki Fish at your Ballard Farmers Market. Whether you are enjoying the last of their fresh catch from Alaska, or the first of their Puget Sound catch, which just started, this wonderful salmon that is so often relegated to cans is incredibly versatile. It takes well to grilling, smoking, pickling, marinating, seasoning and saucing. It is pink instead of red, like its cousins, because pink salmon is vegetarian. And it only returns to Puget Sound every other year, which makes it so much more important to enjoy it now, while you can. 2013 is shaping up to see an historically large pink salmon run here, too. So, celebrate with our truly local salmon!

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

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

Magaña Farms has the first table grapes of the year for your snacking, juicing and raisining pleasure. These white table grapes are wonderfully sweet and juicy, and they beat the heck out of eating grapes from the Southern Hemisphere, which you end up doing much of the year, if you are getting your grapes from the Big Box store. Washington produces a lot of grapes. They don’t all have to be made into wine.

Experimental brie from Port Madison Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Experimental brie from Port Madison Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is called Experimental Brie, and it is one of three kinds of brie that Port Madison Farm is making currently with its goat milk. It has a lovely tang and a flavorful rind, and it just begs for a nice crusty baguette from Tall Grass Bakery. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we only have three more weeks with Port Madison’s cheese before they leave us again. So take full advantage of their wonderful offerings now!

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 16th: Nectarplums, Purple Carrots, Banana Cantaloupes, Asian Pears, Greek Yogurt, Earl Grey Tea Jelly & Other Deliciousness!

September 15, 2012

Purple carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, them’s some carrots, eh? Purple Haze carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm, in fact. Stunning, aren’t they? And admit it. You either just hurt your fingers or smeared your nose all over your screen trying to get at these, didn’t you? These beauties are plenty satisfying raw, but they really shine cooked. They get a big, deep, wonderful carrot flavor to them — more earthy, less sweet, and just plain delicious. Plus, they look really cool, too! Stop by Boistfort Valley Farm today to see all the stunning produce they’ve got for you this week at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Bolsa Chica lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce is still rocking your Ballard Farmers Market, and Oxbow Farm has some amazing heirloom varieties of lettuce to please every palate and fit every application. This lovely oak leaf variety of lettuce is called Bolsa Chica lettuce. It is bold and beautiful, with its deep green color and its spiky leaves, and it packs a big flavor and tons of nutrients. This ain’t no Big Box store iceberg lettuce, my friends!

Nactarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s another one of those stone fruits from Collins Family Orchards that has two names, because it is a hybrid of two different fruits. These are nectarplums — part nectarine, part plum. All delicious. This is one of those new stone fruits that consistently blows away anyone who tries it. Of course, that means you should probably get to Collins early, before they sell out!

Winter squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash has arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market! Find kabochabutternutdelicataspaghetti and carnival winter squash now from Alvarez Organic Farms. I realize that winter squash might seem premature on your menu, but remember, if you let the stems dry fully, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place with stems intact, they will last for months.

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

This weird looking creature is a banana cantaloupe melon from Lyall Farms. It is large, long, and quite fragrant, and it is bright orange inside, just like any cantaloupe. Stop by Lyall Farms today and give one of these a good sniff. Then bring it home, cut it open, and dribble its juice down the front of your chin and shirt as you devour it!

All Blue potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Potatoes also keep well, so stock up on them, too! These all blue potatoes from Olsen Farms are exactly what they sound like — all blue, through and through. They are great roasted in a hot oven, steamed and mashed with good butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or even chipped and fried. Yes, blue potato chips! In fact, pick up some red-fleshed and white fleshed potatoes from Olsen, and make red, white and blue potato chips!

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

Wanna make raisins? Then you’ll want some of these seedless Thompson grapes from Magana Farms. They are perfectly sweet. And this is an amazing year for grapes. Bring them home, separate them from their vine, give them a good wash, and then load them into your dehydrator. In no time, you’ll have your own homemade raisins! Yeah, baby!

Red onions from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These cured red onions from Nature’s Last Stand are great on sandwiches, sautéed, pickled, what have you, and they will store for months in a cool, dry, dark place. Nature’s also has the first yellow storage onions of the season now, too, plus lots and lots of great spuds and greens.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some Asian pears, while we’re at it? This lovely harbinger of fall has a flavor unto itself — oh, so much more that just a pear. It contains a symphony of tasting notes, like any fine wine, and it comes with a texture that’ll make your teeth sing and bring a tear to your eye. Heck, I’m a bit verklempt just writing about it. Find them at ACMA Mission Orchards today!

Cherry tomatoes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomato season rolls on. With our late-starting warm, dry summer, they are hitting their peak right now! Doesn’t a salad with lots of these cherry tomatoes from Summer Run Farm sound lovely right about now? Or how about poaching them in some olive oil and then adding them to a lovely succotash or pasta dish. Seriously. They’re vine-ripened tomatoes. How can you got wrong?

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Samish Bay Cheese for their unique and delicious cheeses and their meat, but did you know that they make yogurt and Greek yogurt, too, from Jersey milk? Yup! Here it is right here. (I wouldn’t kid about something like that.) Now, with the departure of Silver Springs Creamery for an indefinite period of time, this is very good information for yogurt lovers to know!

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

Sure, we featured winter squash above, but it really is still summer, both on the calendar and the weather report! So why not continue to enjoy these gorgeous, sweet and delicious summer squash from Growing Things Farm? Make some ratatouille, pickle it, grill it, roast it, make bread with it, do that voodoo that you do with it. But enjoy it while it is fresh, sweet and local, cuz you know that the stuff from the Big Box store does not compare.

Gluten-free dinner rolls from Dolce Lou. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These savory gluten-free dinner rolls from Dolce Lou will please any palate, whether or not your diet requires you to avoid gluten. Of course, if your diet does, these rolls will make you extra happy! They are moist, chewy and full of flavor — words not often associated with gluten-free bread products. Then again, everything Dolce Lou produces is special!

Earl Grey Tea jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let us finish off this week’s epistle as you should be finishing off every piece of toast — with jams and jellies from Deluxe Foods! Their products are made from heirloom recipes handed down over many generations going back to old Europe, and they use the finest local ingredients fresh from the farmers at the Market. Check out this Earl Grey Tea jelly, for instance. Talk about a morning time-saver! Just make toast, and then add a schmear of this, and BAM, you’ve got tea and toast in a single bite! You can thank me later.

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.