Posts Tagged ‘green’

Sunday October 25th: Sweet Potatoes, Rutabagas, Colossal Squash & Pear Sorbet

October 25, 2009
Beautiful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. These really are sweet potatoes at the Ballard Farmers Market. Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms, to be specific. Sweet potatoes are a tough crop to grow here, and until this month, no farm has brought sweet potatoes to any Seattle-area farmers market in recent memory, if ever. Besides Lyall Farms, Alm Hill Gardens also has them — a few varieties, in fact. And don’t get confused by that whole yams versus sweet potatoes debate. What Americans call yams are sweet potatoes. But they are in limited supply, so stock up now.

Many cameras filled the Market on October 18th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many cameras filled the Market on October 18th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may have noticed that there was a bit of a media circus going on at your Ballard Farmers Market on October 18th. That’s because the Market hosted the launch of Puget Sound Fresh’s Eat Local For Thanksgiving campaign. Among the media outlets in attendance, note the presence, above, of cameras from KOMO-TV and Q13. Ain’t it nice to know that eating local for Thanksgiving is actually newsworthy? Then again, we should all be working for the time when doing something so obvious, and obviously delicious, would be so commonplace that it wouldn’t be newsworthy.

The Rat City Roller Girls, and some folks dressed as carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Rat City Roller Girls, and some folks dressed as carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take the Pledge! Take the pledge to Eat Local For Thanksgiving! You’ll be asked to commit to having one item of local food on your Thanksgiving table, but we know our loyal Ballard Farmers Market shoppers can do better than that. Heck, you already eat more than one local food at every meal, right? So why not make your pledge to have everything on your Thanksgiving table be local. And we’ll help you with great ideas from a pair of cooking demonstrations, on Nov. 15th and 22nd. (See Cooking Demonstrations on the right for more info.) Whatever you do, you’d better take the pledge, or the Rat City Roller Girls and some people dressed as carrots (above) will come to your house and punish you in unspeakable ways, and as much as I know some of you are thinking that sounds like fun, trust me, it won’t be.

New harvest rutatbagas from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New harvest rutatbagas from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I eat rutabagas every Thanksgiving. I just steam those puppies up and mash ’em with butter. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Alm Hill just started harvesting these fine rutabagalicious specimens above.

Cinderella pumpkins from G & J Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cinderella pumpkins from G & J Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

G & J Orchards has some beautiful squash and pumpkins right now, like these large Cinderella pumpkins that are as good eating as they are looking.

A crown of goat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A crown of goat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Quilceda Farm has got your goat. Just look at this gorgeous crown of goat, waiting for you to roast it and wow your guests. Goat is delicious, and I’m not kidding. (Though I am punning.)

Bok choy (right) and baby bok choy from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bok choy (right) and baby bok choy from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those folks who can’t figure out what the difference is between bok choy and baby bok choy? Well, thanks to Red Barn Farm, which grows both, we have a visual aid for you. Above, on the right, is bok choy, and on the left is baby bok choy. The latter is not a younger version of the former, regardless of the names. These two Asian greens are in fact completely different plants, and you can see the difference in this photo. Note how white the rib of the bok choy is? Now, note that the baby bok choy’s rib is green. They taste different, too. Get some of each, and do a little comparison of your own.

Fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish had fresh Washington rockfish this past week, and with any luck, they’ve have more this week. And Loki Fish hopes to have local Washington keta salmon this week, too.

Tom Lambert, right, and Sheryl Morgenstern, of Itali Lambertini jewerly. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tim Lambert, right, and Sheryl Morgenstern, of Itali Lambertini jewelry. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As the holidays approach, remember Ballard Farmers Market has more than just food for your holiday table. We have talented artists with great works that make for great gifts, like Itali Lambertini, above. Goldsmith Tim Lambert makes this magnificent jewelry from recycled gold, so not only will you wow them, you will do it with a clear conscience.

Colorful pepper wreathes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colorful pepper wreathes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And you can festively decorate your house for the holidays with these brilliant pepper wreathes from Alvarez Organic Farms. These spectacular creations are strung carefully by hand every year by the crew at Alvarez to brighten your home.

I know, you are wondering when I am going to get to the pear sorbet. Okay, here goes. Empire Ice Cream is nearing the end of its 2009 Market season, and in the spirit of fall, their featured offering this week is pear sorbet. Stock up now on all their frozen goodness while you can.

You can see a full accounting of what you’ll find today at Ballard Farmers Market by clicking on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner, and we’ll see you today at the Market.

Cover Cropping for Home-Garden Success

April 22, 2009

From the good people at the Tilth Producers of Washington and Nash’s Organic Produce:

Cover cropping is a method used by organic growers to increase the biological activity and health of soil. A critical tool for soil fertility management in any size garden or farm, cover crops are fabulous nitrogen fixers and are an integral part of the natural cycling of nutrients.

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When planted in the fall, cover crops hold nutrients that are otherwise leached away in the winter, while protecting the soil surface from erosion. If used in the spring and summer, cover crops are ideal for fixing atmospheric nitrogen and building the soil’s organic matter. If your soil is particularly poor, begin cover cropping in the spring and apply two to three rounds, ending with a final planting in the fall (mid-September to early October).

  • Gardeners should use about 10 pounds of seed to cover crop 500-700 square feet.
  • Plant 1/2-1 inch deep and water as needed. If soil is not too wet, the seeds will germinate in cold soil, so cover crop seed can be planted in the cool spring.
  • When it is mid-calf height, turn the cover crop in with a space or shovel, inverting the top two inches of soil.
  • 2-4 weeks after turning it in, the cover crop should mostly be broken down, and you’re ready for a second round, or to plant your garden. Allow more time in the spring for the rye/vetch to break down. The ease with which it breaks down is directly related to its height, so don’t let it get too big before you turn it under.

Find a cover crop seed blend of rye and vetch at Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market.

Cellophane Salad Bags

April 22, 2009

Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend uses fully-compostable cellophane bags for its delicious salad mix. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend uses fully-compostable cellophane bags for its delicious salad mix. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keeping the keeping of your greens green green is easy with Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend. They use fully compostable cellophane bags for their salad greens, which means that after that bag has reached the end of its life keeping your salad greens green, the bag itself remains green as you file it in your compost pile or stash it in your yard waste bin. Oh, by the way, Colinwood’s salad greens are a good thing, too!

Support Your Local Dairy!

April 1, 2009

Golden Glen Creamery produces a broad line of cow's milk dairy products. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons

Golden Glen Creamery produces a broad line of cow's milk dairy products. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons

Golden Glen Creamery used to be one of those nameless, faceless dairy farms that sold to the local big dairy company. You know these companies well, as the big box grocery store near your house has a dairy cooler full of cartons of milk from them. You have no idea what farm’s milk is in that carton, or how they raised their cows. In fact, there may be the milk of dozens of farms in those cartons — certainly of thousands of cows.

Golden Glen got a better idea: it decided to market dairy products under its own farm name. Now it can control every aspect of its milk and dairy products production, and we reap the rewards. Milk from cows raised on real pasture, instead of a confinement barn, not only tastes different (and better), but it is also healthier, both for the cows and us. And if you compare milk from between local dairies, you can actually taste the difference in their pastures and in the breeds of their cows in the milk itself. 

Golden Glen produces cheese, sure, but it also produces butter, cream and milk, including chocolate milk. If you haven’t tried these market rarities, you don’t know what you’re missing. And perhaps one of the coolest things about Golden Glen is that it bottles its milk in returnable glass bottles! Glass better protects the integrity of the flavor of the milk, and it is much lighter on our environment, especially considering they reuse them.