Posts Tagged ‘ground beef’

Sunday, June 30th: Peaches, Blueberries, Apricots, Summer Squash, Basil & Other Stuff What Shouldn’t Be Here Yet!

June 29, 2013
Sugar Time Peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Time Peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know. I know. I was rubbing my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing things either. But I took this photo on Wednesday at our Wallingford Farmers Market. These really are the first Sugar Time peaches of the season from Collins Family Orchards. For real… and in June!!! But it gets even crazier than that, as they’ve also got their first harvest of Tomcot apricots of the season now, too! After three consecutive years of our harvest schedule being two to four weeks behind schedule, it is really confusing to have things two weeksahead of schedule this year, but who’s complaining?!? Now, if you are wondering why not all crops are ahead of schedule, that is because row crops, which require being planted each spring, were planted close to on schedule, so their harvests are not coming quite so early — at least not yet — though that will change in the coming weeks. But tree, bush and vine fruit, and things like strawberries, are perennials, so they are able to take full advantage of this warmer, drier year so far!

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Yes, these are blueberries, from Sidhu Farms. Again, this photo was also taken on Wednesday. I cannot remember when last we had so much fruit available so early, and I cannot remember blueberries and peaches in June, well, ever! Oh, and blackberries, too! Yup, blackberries made an appearance on Sidhu’s tables at our Madrona Farmers Market on Friday! Wow.

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

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

And even with all these crops coming on early this year, there is still time to get some of your own basil plants in the ground, or in a big pot on your deck. Red Barn Farm has a wonderful selection of basil plants for just that purpose, and with a hot summer like we’re are going to have this year, your basil will be very happy indeed, and it will reward you with all the basil you will need for pestos, capreses and more! Of course, if you are really impatient, you can pick up a bit of freshly harvested basil today from One Leaf Farm, while it lasts.

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.

Just in time for Independence Day, Skagit River Ranch will be firing up their grill today at your Ballard Farmers Market and sampling out their outstanding ground beef patties and sausages. You know, being an ex-pat New Yorkers, I used to miss dearly good sweet Italian sausage here in Seattle. That is, until I met Skagit River Ranch’s. And I’ve heard the same thing from many other folks from Back East… chefs even. They just do it right. And today, Skagit will introduce their new hot dogs, too! So stop by, try a few samples, figure out what you like best, and then stock up for your 4th of July barbecue!

Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has begun harvesting this beautiful broccoli, and you know, it is really good on the grill, right alongside those burgers and sausages. And let’s face it: you do not want to be cooking indoors over the next week, am I right? It is just too hot. Well, now, you can have your broccoli and grill it, too! And some more food for thought… kale grills well, too!

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

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

What up?!? Organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. These big, beautiful berries are exploding with flavor, as are their amazing organic strawberries. Their strawberries are grown under row covers, which is why they are also so perfect looking. They don’t get splattered in the rain with dirt.

Gluten-free dinner rolls from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free dinner rolls from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some gluten-free dinner rolls from d:floured gluten-free bakery. After all, who says you have to live without a nice roll for your burger, or something flavorful, chewy and crusty alongside your salad, just because you have to avoid gluten? They’ve got these lovely rolls in a variety of flavors, not to mention all the other sweet and savory goodies they make!

English shelling peas from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s some vege that requires no heating at all… just eating! Yup, it’s English shelling pea season at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Just grab a bag of them, sit out your porch, and pop open pod after pod and enjoy straight. Add them to salads. Get extras, shuck them, put them in pint freezer bags, pop them in the freezer now, and enjoy them all next winter, too!

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Soda Company has a great lineup of refreshing fresh sodas on tap for you today made from great local ingredients.  Today’s flavors include Raspberry Vanilla featuring raspberries from Sidhu Farms, Cherry Chipotle featuring cherries from Lyall Farms and Bill’s Fruits, and Lemon Lavender using lavender from multiple farms in the Sequim area. They are all refreshing and delicious. Grab some for your picnic in the park, and grab a jug to take home for later!

Tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms, based in Sunnyside, has two advantages: the warmest climate in the state and big hot houses. And that means they are the first to have tomatoes. You’ll want some of these for slicing up to top your burgers, or for making that aforementioned caprese. They also have green tomatoes for frying, if you are so inclined, and they even have a few pints of cherry tomatoes already, too!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash has returned… just in time for summer! Alvarez Organic Farms is already harvesting eight varieties, and soon they’ll have half a dozen more! I love grilling these puppies, but there are so many ways to enjoy them. Share your recipes on our Facebook page!

Fresh keta salmon ikura and skeines from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh keta salmon ikura and skeines from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is fresh Alaskan salmon season at Loki Fish, and they’ve got fresh ketapinkcohosockeye and king salmon right now! They also have fresh ikura (keta roe) and skeines (the whole egg sack, top). So get your tasty, salty, popping with deliciousness fish eggs on now!

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m thinking that sprinkling some of those keta eggs over this spicy salad mix from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) sounds pretty good right about now. And hey, salads are the way to go in this heat. Get some radishes, carrots, turnips, snap and shelling peas, spring sweet onions, maybe some goat feta or ricotta from Twin Oaks Creamery, and add a little protein over the top, or on the side, and you are good to go! And with that, please, stay hydrated, and wear that sunscreen today. We’ve got your localiciousness right here. Stock up and then get thee to a beach or to a picnic table under a shady tree at a park!

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.