Posts Tagged ‘green garlic’

Sunday, June 17th: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

June 17, 2012

The first raspberries of 2012 from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I must admit to a bit of excitement today, as I get to spend Father’s Day with my dad for the first time in many years. Living on opposite coasts for a long time, I appreciate being able to hang with him for dinner this Father’s Day. So, what are you making for your dad for dinner tonight? Whatever it is, we’ve got it fresh and local for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today! In fact, as a special treat just for dads everywhere, we’ve got the first raspberries of the 2012 season from Sidhu Farms today. Woohoo! But get here early, before they sell out, because they will sell out!

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

Yes, I know this is the third week in a row I’ve featured broccoli, but it’s just that it is soooo good this time of year! This gorgeous broccoli is from Summer Run Farm, one of the finest growers and purveyors of broccoli this side of the Rockies, for my money. I enjoyed some for dinner last night, lightly steamed and then sautéed with some Sea Breeze bacon, some Colinwood green garlic, and a little Pipitone crushed red pepper flakes for good measure. Yeah, baby! And hey, broccoli grills nicely, too — perfect for Dad’s Day dinner.

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

Speaking of grilling for dad, how’s about some delicious sausages from Skagit River Ranch? I mean, what dad wouldn’t be happy being treated to fresh, hot sausages right off the grill? Simple, delicious, and because it’s Father’s Day, doctors be damned! Being an ex-pat New Yorker myself, I am particularly fond of their sweet Italian sausages. They are as close to what I grew up with back East as any I’ve found here. But truth be told, I have yet to have any sausage from Skagit River Ranch I haven’t enjoyed.

Red Russian kale from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, you can take kale, like this red Russian kale from Growing Things Farm, toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill it, too. It gives it a nice smoky flavor, and it makes cooking and cleanup easy. It’s been pretty gosh-darned wet over at Growing Things this spring, so their first crop harvest has been a while in coming, but here it is — dino kalecollard greenscurly kale and more!

Apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what?!? Apriums? Already? Cereal. I mean, how crazy a spring is this that the Westside greens are slow in coming, but the Eastside cherries and apriums are early? Go figure. But why spend a lot of time pondering this. Instead, let’s just enjoy an early start to what by all accounts is going to be a record year for stone fruit in Washington. Oh, and apriums are one more thing you can grill for dad! Just cut ’em in half and on the grill they go! These apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce are genetically about 70% apricot and 30% plum, thus favoring apricots in flavor and appearance. Enjoy!

Green garlic from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the fact that our farmers have figured out how to have each of their green garlic harvests come in at different times this spring. The result is that we get to enjoy this true spring treat for many more weeks. I forego cured garlic cloves this time of year for  green garlic, like this from Children’s Garden. I use the whole thing, including the greens. It is milder than mature garlic, and sweeter, with a bit of grassiness, and it cooks up tender and full of wonderful garlic flavor. Just cut it up like you would a scallion and toss it in with your greens, asparagus, broccoli, what have you!

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

Jessie’s Berries in the house! Yes, today marks the triumphant return for the 2012 berry season of Jessie’s Berries from Fir Island. They will have a healthy supply of their famous strawberries for your enjoyment. Time to load up on shortcake and cream and eat strawberries until you pop, yo!

Deer tongue lettuce from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, that lettuce is sticking its tongue out at you! And that’s because it is deer tongue lettuce from Full Circle Farm. We missed Full Circle for several weeks as they shifted from their winter to their spring crop rotations, but they are back with a vengeance now, with heirloom lettucesJapanese wax turnipsmizunaradishes and more!

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

It’s cherry season at Collins Family Orchards in Selah. They’ve got lots of these beautiful Rainier cherries, as well as some nice Chelan cherries, available right now, as well as the last of their 2011 harvest of pink lady apples. Won’t be long until they’ve got every kind of stone fruit imaginable, and a few you’ve never even dreamt of!

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms is rocking the peas right now. They’ve got sugar snap peassnow peas and these first-of-the-season English shelling peas. Grab a bag for dad to shell and eat on the deck this afternoon while he watches you mow the lawn and cook him dinner!

Frisee from Stoney Plains Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s end this week’s epistle on a slightly bitter note with some lovely frisee from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Want a nice, simple, elegant salad? Put some frisee in a bowl and toss it with some fresh crumbled bleu cheese. Chunk up some thick bacon and render it out in a hot skillet. Pour the bacon and some of its fat while still hot over the frisee and bleu cheese and toss to coat. The frisee will wilt and the cheese will break down into a nice, pungent dressing with the bacon grease. You can thank me later!

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 13th: Happy Mother’s Day! Treat Mom Right With Local Flavors & Beauty With Soul!

May 13, 2012

A stunning bouquet of fresh flowers from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 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 plans to pick up flowers today from one of our six flower farmers at your Ballard Farmers Market. My advice is to arrive early for the best selection 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 better than it has been for years. 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.

Clockwise, from left, is red king salmon, rockfish, marbled king salmon and halibut, from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for everyone who has ever come home and yelled, “mom, what’s for dinner?!?”, how’s about you do the cooking for mom this evening? It is perfect weather for a picnic or backyard barbecue, and your Ballard Farmers Market has got everything you need to make your meal perfect. How about some fresh Washington halibut, king salmon or rockfish from Wilson Fish, for instance? Easy to fix, super fresh and delicious, and mom will dig it, maybe with a nice loaf of bread from Tall Grass or Grateful Bread, some grilled asparagus, and some salad mix from Colinwood Farms. And don’t forget the cheese from one of our six cheese makers. But again, get here early, as the fish will sell out fast, too!

Delicious purple sprouting broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our buddies at Oxbow Farm returned last Sunday with all sorts of goodies, including an amazing selection of heirloom tomato plants. They’ve also got this beautiful, and yummy, purple sprouting broccoli. This stuff is a real spring treat, so enjoy it while you can!

Magnificent heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Returning this week is Summer Run Farm, from just up the road from Oxbow. Summer Run is famous for their huge, crisp and refreshing heads of lettuce, but usually this time of year, they’ve also got tatsoibaby bok choidwarf sunflowers and more!

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

Brown Butterfly bath, body and skin care products is offering a 10% discount on all gift boxes for Mother’s Day, including their Spa Day At Home (above) and Gardeners gift boxes. If you are still buying your soap and skin care products at the Big Box stores, you must give this stuff a try. I shave with their shaving soap, and my face is smooth as a baby’s bottom. So treat mom. Heck, surveys say the number one preferred Mother’s Day gift for American moms is a spa day. Why not bring the spa to her!

Strawberry plants from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Is your mom a gardener? Then your Ballard Farmers Market is nothing short of paradise for her! We’ve got plants everywhere you look right now, from more than a dozen farms! You’ll find fruit and veggie starts, bulbs, ornamentals, you name it. Just take a gander at these gorgeous strawberry plants from Red Barn Farm.

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

And speaking of fragrant flowers, how about a little of the “stinking rose,” a.k.a., garlic? This is green garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms, and it is one of my absolute favorite things about spring! See, as the farmers thin their garlic fields to give the remaining plants enough space to grow nice, big bulbs, they bring the young, green, scallion-like garlic to market with them. This stuff is sweet and tender, and I use that entire thing, from the root hairs to the tips of their green leaves, save for the part right where the root hairs attach to the bulb, since that’s where the dirt hides, no matter how hard you try to wash it out. Toss green garlic with your asparagus as you roast it, or use it in place of cured mature garlic with your sauteed greens. If you have never used green garlic before, treat yourself. Once you try it, you will spend every winter waiting for it to arrive come spring!

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

It’s gonna top 80 degrees today, and that might mean mom won’t be in a wine mood. Some nice, chilled hard cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery is just the ticket. It will refresh her whilst its bubbles tickle her tongue, and she will be thrilled you thought outside of the box, without coming home with a half rack or gin!

Kiss The Pig mini cupcakes from Cupcake Luv. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market has dessert covered, too! From pies to cookies to rhubarb just ready for being crisped, we’ve got the sweets for your sweet mommy! And if cupcakes are her thing, you can’t go wrong with, well, anything from Cupcake Luv, all made with local flour. From these savory Kiss The Pig mini-cupcakes that are like little BLTs, to their sweet cupcakes, including red velvet and carrot cake, to their whoopie pies, you are bound to find something to meet mom’s fancy. In fact, why not just get a variety pack, to be sure you get it right. Just remember to give mom the first choice!

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 29th: Farewell To Anselmo’s, Our Founding Farm.

May 29, 2011

Chuck Long of Anselmo's Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the end of an era at your Ballard Farmers Market. On Friday, May 20th, we lost our friend and farmer, Chuck Long, of Anselmo’s Farm after a lengthy illness. Chuck, with his partner Arlene Debrusca, who we lost just over one year ago, started Anselmo’s in 1998. Arlene had been a nurse, her daughter, Marie, worked in the health insurance industry, and Chuck was an auto mechanic. Chuck wanted to grow organic vegetables, so they got a 4-acre patch of dirt in Mukilteo. They originally sold at Fremont Sunday Market, as well as several other markets. They followed Market Master Judy Kirkhuff to the U.S. Bank parking lot in Ballard (where the library is now) in August 2000, when redevelopment in Fremont forced the Fremont Sunday Market to move to a location that hurt farmer sales.

During the first winter in Ballard — the winter of 2000-2001 — for almost all of that winter, Anselmo’s was the only farm at the market. Indeed, says Judy, Arlene was a trooper through rain and snow and cold to provide service to her loyal customers.

Daughter Marie Debrusca hugging her mom, Arlene, for warmth (and because Arlene liked to hide from my camera) back in November 2005, when we still set up the winter market in the lot on Ballard Avenue where Moshi Moshi stands today. Photo copyright 2005, 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In 2001, Anselmos moved to a 28-acre parcel in Machias, in Snohomish County, where they began cultivating 10-12 acres, and where they produced greens all winter in their 90′ x 20′ greenhouse. By the winter of 2001-2002, they had been joined by five other vendors in a little lot off of Ballard Avenue (where Moshi Moshi resides now) after the Market moved to Ballard Avenue in late 2001. Anselmos eventually stopped selling at any other farmers markets because of the support they had in Ballard. “The customers we got when we were alone in the U.S. Bank lot still buy from us today,” Arlene told me in early 2009. “We love the folks in Ballard.” And Ballard loved them back.

Lilacs from Alm Hill Gardens in season now. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We truly owe a debt of gratitude to Anselmo’s. Without its commitment to Ballard Farmers Market and the people of Ballard, we might not have seen the creation of the first year-round farmers market in Seattle, which has, in turn, inspired other markets to operate year-round. One farm, standing alone in cold winter rain, forged a path for what we know today as this amazing weekly event called the Ballard Farmers Market that draws more than 9,000 people per week to a neighborhood bustling with new storefronts and eateries that once was a ghost town on Sundays. Sunday, May 22nd marked the last day Anselmo’s would sell at your Ballard Farmers Market. Arlene & Chuck, and the entire Anselmo’s clan, thank you. You will be missed.

Michaele Blakely of Growing Things showing off her prized eggs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely and Growing Things Farm, another very familiar farm to Ballard Farmers Market faithful, will be moving to the corner stall at the 22nd Ave NW end of the Market to occupy the longtime space of Anselmo’s. Indeed, folks who have been patronizing the Market’s farms all the way back when they still were part of the Fremont Sunday Market may recall that Michaele was the first manager of the farmers market, before Judy took over from her not long before the move to Ballard. Perhaps the single most diversified farm in our Market, Growing Things offers everything — and I do mean everything — from fresh produce to amazing eggs to chickens my family eats for Thanksgiving to plants to soap made from the lard and tallow of the farm’s own cattle and pigs to the pork and beef from those animals to jams… the list seems endless. (And so does the paperwork Michaele has to fill out with the State because she produces farm products in so many different categories.)

Baby red butterhead lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm, also with your Ballard Farmers Market for many years, will still be found back-to-back with Wilson Fish mid-market. This week, they’ve got some beautiful baby lettuces, like this red butterhead lettuce, as well as some amazing collard greens, dino kale, pea vines and other braising greens, and lots of tomato plants.

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

Speaking of Wilson Fish, they’ve got some incredible fresh king salmon today, including the first white and marbled king of the season. And did you know that marbled king salmon is unique to the north Washington and south British Columbia coasts? You won’t see it coming from Alaska! Wilson will have some true and ling cod, halibut, rockfish, and freshly smoked king today, too, all just in time for your Memorial Day barbecues and picnics!

Spring garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love spring garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms. It is fresh, sweet and mild compared to cured garlic. You can use all of it, even the hairy roots, though you should compost the dirt-hugging bit where the roots hit the bulb. But you can simply cut it up without peeling it, stalk and all, and toss it in with your asparagus and morel mushroom roast, your sautéed greens, or grill them whole alongside your salmon.

Morel mushrooms, finally, from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Few things have come to symbolize just how late our growing seasons are this year than the mighty morel mushroom. Between the cold, the record snow pack, and the fact that that snow pack persists at low elevations, morels have been especially slow to emerge this year. Well, finally, Foraged & Found Edibles has some. Finally.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, May 22nd: Summer Run Returns, Pea Vines, Green Garlic, Rhubarb & Oysterliciousness

May 22, 2011

Lovely lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, another one of our bedrock farms returns today for the 2011 season: Summer Run! Catherine always has the most amazing — and huge — lettuce to start of the year. And we can likely expect to see other gorgeous greens and some plants from the farm, too.

You know, this past week has been a big one for us here at Seattle Farmers Market Association, the folks who operate your Ballard Farmers Market year-round. See, besides opening up two of our four seasonal markets this week — Madrona Farmers Market (Fridays) & Georgetown Farmers Market (Saturdays) — we also announced the new location of the Olympic Sculpture Park Farmers Market, which had to relocate due to budget cuts at the Seattle Art Museum. We are happy to introduce to you to Interbay Farmers Market as our new Thursday market. Located in front of the Whole Foods store on 15th Avenue W, it will continue to serve the residents of North Belltown and Lower Queen Anne, while it also will serve commuters headed by car, bus or bike from Downtown to Ballard and Magnolia! That’s you guys!!! So you’ll now have mid-week access to many of your favorite Ballard vendors. How cool is that? Interbay Farmers Market opens Thursday, June 9th at 3 p.m., and will operate every Thursday, 3-7 p.m., through the end of September.

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy binding tendrils, Batman! It’s pea vines from Oxbow Farm! (Must I say more?)

Alm Hill has the first green garlic of the season. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, if you have never enjoyed green garlic, a.k.a., spring garlic, please do yourself the favor of trying it now. Alm Hill Gardens is just one of several farms offering it now. Basically, green garlic is a lot like green onions. It looks like scallions, and it is basically the garlic (like with onions) before it forms the familiar bulb that most of us think of as garlic. But it is tender, sweet and grassy, and at a time of year when the storage garlic is all sprouting or rotting in our root cellars (or cabinets), green garlic gives us our garlic fix with a milder flavor, no peel to, um, peel, and it cooks up beautifully with greens or asparagus, or just toss it on the grill. Me, I like tossing it with spring onions, morel mushrooms, asparagus and some olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish and roasting the lot for about 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Simple. And a little bit of spring heaven!

Rhubarb from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I have to admit it. I am grooving to KC & The Sunshine Band as I write this epistle. I have no idea what that has to do with this lovely rhubarb from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. I just thought I’d share. Maybe I’m a bit bandy from all the big doings this past week. I am certainly sleep deprived. But I’m not so far gone as to be unable to appreciate how good this rhubarb would be in a nice rhubarb crisp, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. (“Shake, shake, shake your booty.” – KC)

Live oysters & clams from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what would go well with some KC? Oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, that’s what! Shuck, shuck, shuck. Shuck your oysters, baby. But hey, maybe your not into shucking. Then get yours pickled or smoked! And if you’re just not into oysters, get a bag of the clams. I’m just sayin’… (More cow bell, baby, yeah!)

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.