Posts Tagged ‘green garlic’

Sunday, May 4th: Fresh Bucks Returns Today! Plus Westside Asparagus, Turnips, Frilly Mustards, Green Garlic, Tuna & Gifts Unique For Mom!

May 3, 2014

FreshBucks_Logo

Happy May, good people of Ballard! We survived the anarchist uprising for one more year… apparently because they couldn’t agree on what they were protesting about… and tomorrow, all of America, and one small state in Mexico, will celebrate an unlikely military victory 150 years ago by eating guacamole and drinking mas Dos Equis. Woohoo! But the beginning of May is actually significant for one much more important occurrence: the return of the Fresh Bucks program! That’s right! If you receive SNAP/EBT benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), and you use them to buy groceries at your Ballard Farmers Market, we will match your SNAP dollars, up to $10, with Fresh Bucks coupons good for fresh, local fruits, vegetables and fresh-cut herbs from our vendors, once per visit, every week, through December!

Would you like to help us expand Fresh Bucks? Please buy a ticket to our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to Support Fresh Bucks on May 13th, or simply make a donation now! Your generosity will help us create educational programming for kids about cooking with and eating farmers market produce, and to extend this great program into the winter months. And hey… the Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction makes a great Mother’s Day gift!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another reason to celebration the first Sunday in May is tuna! Yup, Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Stock up for the month with some of these gorgeous portioned frozen albacore tuna loins, some canned albacoresmoked or even jerkied! This is the finest, sashimi-grade albacore available!

Japanese Wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you don’t know how much I love radishes, you have not been paying attention the last several weeks. And you know what I love almost as much as radishes? These lovely, little Japanese wax turnips! They are sweet and spicy, great sliced like radishes and added to salads, or sautéed in some nice butter, and their greens are edible, too, meaning you get two veggies for the price of one! In fact, you can do a very quick sauté of the greens, and then top them with the sautéed turnips for a beautiful presentation of deliciousness. You’ll find them, as well as some of that famous purple-tipped asparagus and more, at Alm Hill Gardens today!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we talked about adorable little baby summer squash from Colinwood Farms. Today, let’s talk about squash blossoms. Fill these puppies with some from fresh cow, goat or sheep cheese (all available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!), and fry them up! Hey, now that sounds like a great way to celebrate Mexican military good fortune tomorrow, eh?

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the last couple of years, our buddy Jimmy at Phocas Farms only had enough of his prized saffron to supply just a handful of local chefs. But his 2013 harvest was a good one, and he has a limited number of packets of saffron for you and I right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Jim harvests these saffron threads on his farm in Port Angeles every October, when their crocuses bloom. It is meticulous, painstaking work from dawn to dusk during the harvest, as each thread must be harvested right when the bloom begins to open. It is no wonder this spice is so precious. And you will find no better saffron anywhere on earth!

Gold Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are the aptly named Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Frilly indeed! And they pack a tasty little spicy kick, too. One Leaf also has the first pea vines of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and the return of pink beauty radishes!

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's.

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s.

And the hits just keep on coming! (Yes, I am still giddy about spring!) This is spring garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm. Spring garlic is quite simply one of the most delicious things Al Gore ever invented, but it is only available for a short time each spring. Use it much like a spring onion in sautés, roasts, on the grill — heck, I like to cut it up with spring onions, asparagus and morel mushrooms, toss them with some nice olive oil, and roast them all together in a hot oven until just tender. It is so sweet and mild this time of year. Green garlic is a byproduct of garlic production. When farmers plant garlic in the late fall, they plant way more than they hope to harvest and cure come summer. That way, if some fails, they will still have plenty. In the spring, as the garlic begins to grow with gusto, they thin it out to allow the remaining plants’ bulbs to fill out comfortably. We get to enjoy the thinned plants as spring garlic. You can use the entire plant, from root hairs to the tips of the greens.

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

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

Planting your own vegetable garden this year? Well, the start of May also means it is time to get that going in ernest. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a terrific selection of certified organic vegetable starts to facilitate you in that endeavor. Stop by today and load up, and then eat from your own backyard farm this summer!

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Hey kids! Mother’s Day is next Sunday! Don’t be the schlump who didn’t take care of your mom! You can start with a Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. Everything they make is all natural and gentle, and their soaps, lotions and creams come in a variety of exhilarating scents. Mom will be happy. And when mom’s happy, everyone is happy!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Mom’s love herbal tea, too! And Harbor Herbalist makes an almost dizzying variety of herbal teas, most of which are caffeine-free. They are formulated using different combinations of herbs that offer a broad spectrum of medicinal and flavor profiles. Why not pick up a bag or three this week for mom, and greet her next Sunday morning with a lovely cup of herbal tea, before you take her down to her favorite farmers market, right here in Ballard, of course!

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom’s also love candles, and these non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles will lift mom’s sprits without asphyxiating her on the candles fumes. See, you’ll be telling your mom you love her… twice!

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just a reminder that you will not be the only one next week who wakes up and thinks, “Hey, I oughta get some flowers for mom from one of the many great farms at my Ballard Farmers Market!” Plan on long lines, and don’t wait until the end of the day. These tips will lower your stress level, and will keep you in good standing with the woman who brought you into this world.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, nuflours gluten-free bakery has a new line of cupcakes! This little bites of gluten-free heaven will satisfy even the least sensitive to gluten person in your household. On the left, we have lemon-coconut cupcakes, and on the right, chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. I call dibs on that one in the second row on the right!

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, May 26th: Strawberries, Cherries, Cucumbers, Pea Vines, Frisee, Green Garlic, Halibut & Sticky Buns, for Starters!

May 25, 2013
First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, Ballard faithful, and that signals the traditional start to summer ’round these parts, if not the actual start, which does not arrive until July 5th. But as we already realize, this year just doesn’t seem to want to be as dreary, cold and wet as the past three, so let’s get this party started right now! To that end, we present the earliest arrival of organic strawberries in recent memory! Yep, Tiny’s Organic Produce began harvesting these beauties this past week, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. Woohoodillydoo!!! And just to assure you I ain’t pullin’ yer leg, I took the above photo on Friday at our Madrona Farmers Market. I also made sure to do a little quality control, and these are about as sweet and delicious as strawberries should be allowed to be by law. Seriously. Go figure. So as long as no bridges between here and East Wenatchee collapse in the next few weeks, we are in the strawberries, baby!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, we’re just getting started, people! Yes, these are organic cucumbers, and yes, I did just take this photo in the last week. These cucumbers are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. Using their location in the Banana Belt — that area shielded from rain and clouds by the Olympic Mountains — and their greenhouses, Colinwood harnesses their bonus sun very effectively, and one of the results is cucumbers in May. (Yes, it is still May!)

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries, check. Cucumbers, check. Cherries?!? Check! These are first-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. See, they have this orchard over in Prosser in an area that gets earlier and more heat units in the year than anywhere else in the state. Plus, that orchard is loaded with some varieties of cherries that ripen much earlier than most. The result is that Lyall gets a two to three week jump on everyone else in the cherry department. Add to that our milder weather than in recent years, and it’s go time! And again, I took this photo on Friday, and I did quality control, too. These are the real deal, folks! Oh, and it is last call for Lyall’s cured onions and sweet potatoes until fall, so grab the last of them while you can!

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, don’t give me that sad puppy dog face that says you were expecting to see a photo of tomatoes now instead of this green garlic from Magana Farms. This stuff is pure gold this time of year. With a Market full of tender young greens, asparagus, mushrooms and other deliciousness that pairs well with garlic, green garlic is a magical treat! When farmers thin their garlic fields in the spring, this is what we get. Use the entire thing, from ball to the tips of the stalks. Toss it in where you would garlic, and what you get is not only your garlic flavor, but a sweet, grassy taste of spring unique to green garlic. The only people who know not of what I speak are those who have not tried it. The rest of us are the ones breezing past you to grab a bunch, so we can add it to everything we cook!

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And what’s this? It’s fresh halibut caught off the coast of Washington by Wilson Fish… just for the halibut. This is the freshest, most delicious halibut you will ever eat. These fish aren’t as big as those caught in Alaska, and the result is a superior flesh. Plus, it comes with no frequent flyer miles, freezer burn or having been trucked “live” in a tanker down the Alaska Highway for four days. (Really. They do that!) Grill a piece tonight, along with some asparagus, green garlic and green onions on the barby, and you will be a very happy camper.

Pea vines from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another spring treat is pea vines, These are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm from up in Snohomish. These are great quickly sauteed with some of that green garlic in olive oil. Gaia’s is also making fresh vegetable juice using their produce, and that of other farms at the market, to make a drink that please your palate and your body!

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Memorial Day barbecues, don’t forget to pick up some burger patties or a package of ground beef from Skagit River Ranch today. Or maybe you’d prefer some of their great sausages, steaks or chops on the grill. Grab it today, thaw it in the fridge overnight, and grill it up nicely tomorrow!

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

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

Some lovely, wilted frisee from One Leaf Farm tossed with some of Skagit’s bacon and some of Twin Oak’s feta sounds pretty good right now. Bitter plus salty equals divine. One Leaf also has their first harvest of beautiful, tendor collard greens and kale today, too, plus Japanese wax turnips so tasty, you might finish off the bunch before you get home, so please get two!

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just a few weeks left of fresh cider from Martin Family Orchards. Their 2012 apple harvest is running out, and they won’t have cider again until fall. Grab a jug for your Memorial Day picnic, and enjoy one last sweet taste of fall before summer begins in ernest.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles. No, I am not using a term of endearment here, though I suppose I could be, since the humungous variety of pickles made from local ingredients by Purdy Pickle is rather endearing! And you will need a few jars for your Memorial Day picnics — dilly chips for your burgers, asparagus for the fun of it, and carrots to use as swizzle sticks in your cocktail! You can thank me later.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your day started right tomorrow, or finish off dinner tonight, with one or six of these sticky buns, or maybe a cinnamon roll, from Tall Grass Bakery. Of course, Tall Grass has a spectacular selection of fresh artisan breads to round out your barbecues and picnics this weekend, too. Just get here early enough that your favorites aren’t sold out already!

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

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

We finish off this week’s Memorial Day Weekend installment with some gorgeous asparagus from Collins Family Orchards in Selah. You will obviously need asparagus for every meal in your immediate future, so grab a bunch of bunches, eh?

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, May 12th: Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2013
KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mother’s Day is not a Hallmark holiday. It has far cooler, and more important, roots than that. In fact, Julia Ward Howe proclaimed the first Mother’s Day in 1870 as an anti-war holiday in response to the U.S. Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. She was tired of mothers having to bury their sons. Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide at many different times of year in different countries to honor the important role of mothers in our lives and societies. Heck, looking at the list of international dates, one could reasonably say that every day is Mother’s Day somewhere! Now, we know that round about all of you within the sound of my keystrokes plan to pick up flowers today from one of our seven flower farmers at your Ballard Farmers Market, like KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. I suspect she will be channeling the spirit of Julia Ward Howe today, given what she’s seen in her time on earth.

My advice to you is to arrive early today for the best selection of flowers, and to pack some patience with you, as there will be lines. But given our beautiful weather lately, the flower selection this year for Mother’s Day is wonderful. So get mom some flowers that mean something. Get local flowers with a face behind them. She will appreciate what that means. After all, she gets that whole nurturing thing. Oh, and peace be with you!

Sparkling ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sparkling ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we celebrate the return of Finnriver Farm & Cidery to your Ballard Farmers Market! They produce a wonderful selection of artisan hard ciders and fruit dessert wines on their farm over in Chimacum in Jefferson County. They’ve been busy bottling ciders of 2012 vintage in recent weeks, and now it is time for you to treat mom with some… and yourself!

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.

Today also marks the glorious return of Carnation’s Summer Run Farm for the 2013 season. Summer Run is famous for their beautiful and ginormous heads of lettuce, like this red leaf lettuce. Tired of living without great, local lettuce, or of eating that so-called “lettuce” from the Big Box stores all winter that seem devoid of flavor? Your long, dark winter is over! And doesn’t mom deserve a nice salad made by you tonight for dinner?

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of great dinners for mom, how’s about some wild Washington king salmon, caught just off of the Washington Coast by Wilson Fish? They like to say, “It’s so fresh, it’s from the future!” And frankly, that’s not far from the truth. If you’ve never had this king salmon, and you are thinking of holding out for Copper River salmon at almost twice the price, you need to forget the TV hype and give this a try. Once you’ve tried it, you won’t go back to that over-priced stuff from Alaska with all the frequent flyer miles!

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

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

You know what goes great with king salmon? Asparagus, of course. And Alm Hill Gardens grows some of the sweetest, most tender and delicious asparagus anywhere right up on the Canadian border in Whatcom County. Grill your mom some of that salmon, and side it with some of this asparagus, and you will be golden for the rest of the year!

It's green garlic season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s green garlic season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And you know what goes great with asparagus? Green garlic! Every spring about this time, farmers like Alvarez Organic Farms thin their garlic fields. They bring the thinned out baby garlic, know as green or spring garlic, to Market for us to enjoy. It is sweet, mildly garlicky, and you can eat the whole thing, from root to tip! Think of it like a green onion. You can grill them or sauté them, but I tend to like them best tossed in a big glass baking dish with olive oil, salt & pepper, some spring sweet onions, asparagus and wild morel mushrooms

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

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

Or wild porcini mushrooms, if you like. Foraged & Found Edibles has them both today! In fact, the forests and coastline are providing us will all manner of deliciousness for mom’s day today, including wild watercressgoose tongue (that’s a plant, BTW), sea beans and more! So, stop by Foraged & Found, and grab some indigenous local goodness!

Strawberry plants from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberry plants from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today seems like as good a day as any to get that strawberry patch started for mom. And Red Barn Farm has these beautiful strawberry plants for it! They also have raspberry plantscabbage starts and plenty of other great things for your garden.

Tomato plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomato plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if tomatoes, ripe from the vine in your yard or on your deck or porch, are the stuff of your dreams, check in with Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They have tomato plants in an amazing selection of varieties from which to choose, as well as racks and racks of other goodies for the planting!

Olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget bread for mom’s dinner! And it is now olive fougasse season at Tall Grass Bakery. This stuff is so good, I can eat a whole loaf in a single sitting. Just don’t dillydally getting to Market today if you want any. This stuff, like many of today’s featured items, will sell out early, and you really don’t want to have to explain to mom that you don’t have any because you slept in, do you?

A variety of pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A variety of pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, let us not forget dessert! Bring mom one of the best pies on earth from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Made with local flour and lots of other local ingredients, there are many flavors from which to choose, as long as you get here early enough!

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.