Posts Tagged ‘holiday wreathes’

Sunday, December 15th: Just 10 Days, or 2 Farmers Markets Until Christmas!

December 14, 2013
Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m listening to the classic Andy Williams Christmas Album as I write this holiday installment of your Ballard Farmers Market blog, getting myself in the spirit to get you in the spirit. Just think of all those hep bright, primary color sweaters and matching slacks Andy and his family used to wear during their annual TV specials, and how could you not get bitten by a festive mood? There’s just something about Andy singing, “hoopdeedoo, and dickery dock, and don’t forget to hang up your sock…” that makes it impossible not to smile, unless you have a Grinch-sized heart. And what person wouldn’t be happy at the sight of an entire side of smoked white king salmon from Wilson Fish, either? I’ve sure love to find one of these beauties under the tree with my name on it, or on the party buffet table. Well, Santa and your helpers, the good news is, Wilson’s elves (yes, David is an elf!) have prepared many of these for you… if you’ve been good, that is.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic candles made with natural essential oils from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“They’re’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow…” And you will need candles. Candles of every color and scent to set every mood, and even a few with no scent at all, so as not to interrupt the flavor of your food. Yes, Ascents Candles returns today, after a two-week hiatus, with their wonderful non-toxic candles made with all-natural ingredients and wonderful pure essential oils. Besides brightening your house, they make for great stocking stuffers!

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreath from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of these wonderful holiday wreathes from Pa Garden is a must to complete the season’s decor of your home, and they come in sizes to fit any door, be it palatial or pedestrian. Made from greenery from around their farm in the Snoqualmie Valley, and some of their dried flowers, these are stunning!

Mediterranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mediteranean-style dips and sauces from Uncle Eyals. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“From the top of the chimney to the top of the wall, dash away, dash away, dash away all…” And why not celebrate this holy season with sauces and dips from the Holy Land? Uncle Eyal’s joins us today with their amazing hummus, mint sauce, tahini and more. This is the food that brings Christians, Jews and Muslims together in peace around the dinner table, and as such, it is perfect for this season in which so much homage is paid to peace on earth.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter Luxury pumpkins from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I do hope One Leaf Farm has a last few of these aptly named Winter Luxury pumpkins today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They are the ultimate eating pumpkin, and they are really cool looking, too! And this is the last week for One Leaf until next spring, so avail yourself while you can!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I swear, you add a little holiday music, and suddenly the festive nature of Pink Lady apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce just kinda smacks you upside the head. They’re red and green, and they make for so many yummy treats, or just a good, crunchy snack. My father made an amazing pie with them at Thanksgiving, and he proudly said, “and I didn’t even have to use any sugar!” Boom.

Produce pendants from Metal Wing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Produce pendants from MetalWing Studio. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s wearable art meets farmers market produce meets a beautiful gift that your someone special will love and never take off. Yup, these are veggie pendants from MetalWing Studios, made right here in Ballard! They, too, were on a brief hiatus for a holiday gift show, but they are back today with all manner of Northwest-inspired metal arts, from ornaments to pins to earrings and more! And with the recent deep freeze, that golden chard on the right might be all the chard you’ll see today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Absinthe & Black Salt caramels from Jonboy. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some absinthe & black salt caramels from Jonboy Caramels to sweeten up the season? That, and Christmas with the Beach Boys. “Oooooh, Merry Christmas St. Nick (Christmas comes this time each year)…” Made with local cream and butter, they are sure to please. Just let them warm up a bit indoors before you chomp down on them!

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll be doing lots of cooking over the next few weeks, so why not make things a little easier on yourself with this braising mix from Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. It is ready to sauté or toss into a casserole, and nothing says “Happy Holidays” like kale!

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soaps from The Fay Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Fay Farm on Whidbey Island raises Nubian goats. They milk those goats and make these lovely soaps with that milk. They also grow a lot of the herbs used to scent the soaps. They offer them in bar and liquid forms, and they are very gentle on one’s skin. And needless to say, though I will anyway, they make great stocking stuffers. And let’s face it, soap is a gift you give to everyone in your household, and to yourself, when your household bathes.

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

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

Every good holiday feast requires a roast holiday beast, be it a ham or a Tofurky. Or perhaps a chicken, like these lovely beasts from Skagit River Ranch. They have a new harvest of chickens now, while they last, so get ’em while the gettin’s good. Of course, they also have some lovely roasts of other beasts, like beeflamb and pork, and maybe even a stray ham or two!

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies and more from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your soulful holiday season on with undoubtedly the best sweet potato pie you have ever tasted, made from scratch, crust and all, using sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms and no added sugar, from Simply Soulful Pies & Catering. Of course, they’ve got other pies, too, and even some soul food sides, like collardsred beans & rice and more!

Winter squash from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash warms up your kitchen and your soul. It is sweet, colorful and delicious. It comes in many shapes, sizes, textures and varieties to appeal to any palate, or to be able to enjoy it every day of the week without repeating it. And it is versatile. Make soups or stews, roast it, sauté it, steam it, even stuff it. Make pasta or pie with it. And you’ll find a great selection of it in many festive colors at Alm Hill Gardens today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nut Crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nut Crunch from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and everyone was gorging themselves of this spectabulous Nut Crunch, and all things toffeefudge and brittle from Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Why? Because we can, and because this is the best stuff around. Look, it’s cold outside. We need extra energy. And it’s the holidays, right? Let us get our sweet on! And you know, Pete’s little packages of deliciousness fit perfectly into any stocking, though let’s be honest with each other here… you are sooo going to eat it all while wrapping presents, and it will never makes its way into anyone’s sock. Hmm. Maybe you should buy twice as much, then!

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney from Pinckney Cookie Café. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“You’re going to love these cookies.” Hey, it says it on their website, and I believe everything I read on the intertube. But seriously, meet Michael Pinckney and Pinckney Cookie Café. Michael makes some seriously good cookies, and I can attest… you will, in fact, love these cookies. They come in four flavors: The Pinckney Original, Dark Chocolate Oatmeal, Bing Bling! and Classic Chocolate Chip. They are chewy and delicious, and they are made with local Shepherd’s Grain flour. What? You are gluten-intolerant? Never fear! All four flavors come in gluten-free versions, too! Happy Holidays, indeed.

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, December 8th: More Holiday Treats, Gifts & Goodies!

December 7, 2013
Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today for their monthly Market visit. I know, it’s not the first Sunday of the month, but they had schedule conflicts last week. Point is, you should stock up on all your local albacore holiday needs today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Their tuna is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, low in heavy metals, the frozen loins are sashimi grade, and it is delicious! Plus, these colorful cans of tuna come in many flavors, and make great stocking stuffers. Just don’t drain off the juice in the can. That’s not added water. It’s the natural juices of the fish itself, and that means flavor!

Sail boat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

Sailboat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

These beautiful sailboat earrings from Itali Lambertini are made from 100% recycled gold. That means no dangerous, environmentally destructive mines are necessary to produce this gold. Besides being unique, and from a local artist, these earrings will not jeopardize the future of salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Holiday wreathes from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday wreathes from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you gotten your holiday wreath yet? How about one of these beauties from Children’s Garden? Made lovingly by hand using plant material from their farm in Fall City, they are fresh, fragrant and will hold up for weeks, if not months.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards are crisp and sweet and great for holiday parties, pies and sauces. Think of the cheese plate accented with slices of these. Or, maybe you’d like them tossed with some muesli and honey…

Daddy's Muesli and Tahuya River honey. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli and Tahuya River honey. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Funny you should ask… Daddy’s Muesli makes a lovely recipe of this European breakfast cereal. And now, they are also offering jars of Tahuya River Apiaries wild honey, too! Really, all you need still is some milk or yogurt from Twin Oaks Creamery, right? Oh, hey… muesli and honey both make great stocking stuffers, too!

New liquid soaps from Karmela Botanica. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New liquid soaps from Karmela Botanica. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve loved the handmade, local soaps from Karmela Botanica for years at you Ballard Farmers Market. And soap always makes for a great stocking stuffer itself. This year, they have introduced these great new herbal liquid soaps in these convenient pump bottles. (Oh, and they, too, are perfectly sized to slide into any stocking.)

Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is hard not to adore Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce, but this past week has been coooolllllddddd, and that has shortened their season — really, shortened the season for a lot of things — so as best as we understand, this may be the last week for them for quite a while. Stock up!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we missed Growing Things Farm, as Michaele was hold up on the farm on flood watch. But the flood never quite materialized, and they’re back this week with their jams and roots and squash and eggs and soaps and, well, these amazing chickens. This is the chicken I ate for Thanksgiving this year. If you still haven’t tried a pasture-raised chicken direct from one of local farmers here at your Ballard Farmers Market — if you still get your chicken from the Big Box store — you have no idea what a chicken truly tastes like.

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

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

It is a great time of year for cooking hearty soups and stews, and making stick-to-your-ribs, soul-warming dishes. And a fundamental ingredients for many a house-warming winter recipe is dried beans, like these from our buddies at Alm Hill Gardens. Because they work closely with WSU developing varieties of beans that will thrive in our cooler, damper Western Washington climate, they have a wonderful collection of beans from which to choose.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you striving to keep it as local as you can, and you can’t wait until global warming allows for local production of olive oil? Well, fear not! We have the perfect cooking oil for you that is local and full of flavor, so you can finally cross that off your list of things you must get at the Big Box store. Yes, Ole World Oils in Ritzville grows and presses camelina oil, an old world oil made from the seeds of this mustard-family plant. It is non-GMO, high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and antioxidants, it has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), and it is luscious and has a great, robust flavor. I used it to cook my chicken on Thanksgiving, to pop popcorn, and even with my corned beef hash Saturday morning. It is also a great finishing oil, and it is reasonably priced, too!

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm was also on flood watch last week. They return today with much deliciousness, from rutabagas to celery root to beets to garlic to honey to these gorgeous winter squash.

Parsnip ravioli from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnip ravioli from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s pasta weather! The big pot of boiling water warms up your kitchen while the steam helps replenish the moisture your furnace has sucked out of the house. It warms your belly and gives you energy. Oh, and it tastes great, too! Pasteria Lucchese makes a great selection of artisan pastas, from stuffed to noodles, using many ingredients from Market farmers. And today is a great day to stock up, as you don’t have to worry about them thawing before you get home!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilridge Winery is Seattle’s oldest winery. They make some great wines, and they offer three of them in magnums that are refillable — perfect for the holiday season. And they are priced right, too! Stop by today and sample their wines, and then grab a magnum for that holiday party, and bring back the empty next week to trade for a fresh bottle.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In a cold week with limited greens, this is as good a time as any to introduce yourself to sunchokes. This tuber is a member of the sunflower family. It is native to North America, and it was introduced to the first European colonists by the resident tribes. It substitutes well for potatoes in recipes from home fries to soups to root roasts, and it can even be eaten raw. These lovely red sunchokes are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Canned salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish catches all five species of Pacific salmon. They fish in Southeast Alaska and Puget Sound, where keta salmon season just wrapped up. This time of year, you can find their salmon smokedcanned (a great stocking stuffer!), in salmon spreadpickledloxed, in frozen patties and sausages, as ikura (salmon eggs), and as blast-frozen at sea sides and fillets. And because Loki takes such great care of their fish, bleeding and cleaning it as soon as they catch it, then blast-freezing it right on their boat, their frozen fish is fresher and better tasting than much of the “fresh” salmon you’ll find in the Big Box stores!

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Breakfast burrito from Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, if you are looking to warm up while you are at your Ballard Farmers Market today, try a breakfast burrito or some tacos from Los Chilangos. They are the first taco stand in Seattle to use all local meat, fish and eggs on their Market menu, all sourced from other vendors right here.

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, December 1st: It’s Buy Direct From The Local Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

November 30, 2013
Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know when it starts snowing on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market that we have arrived in the holiday season. We all experienced the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah this past week, and now we look ahead to Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Zappadan, Christmas, New Year’s, my buddy Jimmy’s birthday and anniversary, or whatever you might celebrate. It’s time to get festive all up in here, people. This year, let’s make it special. Let’s make it unique. Let’s make it beautiful and delicious. Let’s make it local. And let’s do it all right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s get it started with one of these fresh, fragrant holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Made from a variety of fresh cuttings of gorgeous plants right on the farm, they will last for months, even indoors, and they smell amazing. I got to visit Clayton and the gang on Wednesday up in Everson, and I witnessed the farm crew assembling these beauties (see top photo). They come in various sizes, so whether you live in an apodment with a tiny door, or in a McMansion, they’ve got a wreathe that is perfect for you. They also have garlands and such for dressing up your mantle and your dining room table. And while you are in the festive spirit, keep in mind that if you open a new checking account at HomeStreet Bank on Crown Hill (at 15th & 83rd) between now and December 7th, they will donate $50 to the Ballard Farmers Market Fresh Bucks program, but you have to remember to tell them that’s where you want that $50 to go. And thanks in advance!

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is getting darker and colder each day, as we march headlong into the Winter Solstice, and that means we all want to devour the nearest breads and cakes. That can be frustrating for folks who require a gluten-free diet. Lucky for you, though, nuflours gluten-free bakery makes some of the most incredible baked goods you’ll find anywhere — not just great gluten-free products, but stuff anyone would happily inhale. Just take a look at this bread. Have you ever seen gluten-free bread that looked that gorgeous? Stop by and try out their cookiescakessweet and savory breadspastries and more!

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Yes, it is getting chilly outside, but this is not ice. This is salt from our own Salish Sea. What you are looking at is sheets of sea salt that have formed atop the solar-powered evaporation ponds in the greenhouses of San Juan Island Sea Salt. This salt is amazing. I cooked the best chicken of my life using it this past week. See, this salt tastes of where we live. Like the terroir of wine and cheese, and the merroir of oysters, sea salt tastes of the place from which it comes, and that means it makes everything taste just a little more special. So give some a try today. And it comes in some lovely packages that make for great gifts!

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

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

While your are treating yourself, or stuffing the stocking of someone special, you can’t go wrong with any one of the many flavors of herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. They handcraft a tea for your every mood. Stop by and check them all out, give them a smell, and bring home some soul-warming deliciousness.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With all the bearded men around Ballard these days, one might think, “who needs a shaving kit?” Well, I do, for one. See, some of us still enjoy a clean shave. If the special guy in your life likes a clean, close shave and healthy skin, pick him up one of these wonderful shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy this holiday season. (Of course, you might pick one up for your bearded fellow, too, if it’s just plain time.)

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carbon steel pans are great for searing and caramelizing – and they make fantastic over-easy eggs! They are similar to cast iron, but forged rather than cast. This makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season.  They can take high temperatures, and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table – where they make a beautiful addition!” Sometimes, it is just easier to quote the vendor’s website, you know? Especially when it is as well-written as is the site for Blu Skillet Ironware. Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett make these gorgeous pans right here in Ballard.

When I got my first pan from them back in June, I wasn’t sure if it would pull me away from my beloved vintage Revere Ware stainless steel pans, but it has. I use it every day now. It browns and sears great. It cleans easily. And best of all, it is made right here in Ballard! Yup, one more thing you don’t need Corporate America to do for you anymore! Booyah!

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daily Bird Pottery makes lovely naked pottery, as in it is not glazed, that makes all your foods and beverages taste better. Seriously. See, there is a special chemical reaction that takes place between the clay and your food and drink that results in less bitterness and great flavor. They’ve got cups and shot glasses, tableware and ovenware, ornamentals, and even these cool, little personal stills, in case you know someone who would like to join the local craft distillery craze.

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

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

Gingerbread, anyone? This time each year, our friends at Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery start making various bready holiday treats, like this wonderful gingerbread. Enjoy it while you can, as it’ll only be around for a few short weeks!

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful beaded necklaces are handmade by Gypsy Beaded Creations right here in the Market on many days. Corrine has a bunch of new designs for this season, and with a great selection, you’ll be sure to find one that you, or someone you love, will adore.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What table would not benefit from one of these stunning turned wood creations from Vern Tater, Woodturner. Vern makes everything by hand, from salad bowls to bottle stoppers to salt & pepper mills, all using gorgeous pieces of local wood.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of no longer needing Big Corporate America, did you know that Patty Pan Grill has ditched Big Ag cooking oils in favor of using Camelina Gold cooking oil from Ole World Oils. Available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, this local cooking oil is high in anti-oxidents, is non-GMO, tastes incredible, can withstand very high heat — 475 degrees! — and is produced in Ritzville from camelina seed grown in Ritzville. Boom!

Berry cream confections from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry cream confections from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These delicious little sweets are berry cream confections from our own Jessie’s Berries. Perfect for gifts and holiday parties, they make them with their own berries! Stop by and try some today! You can thank me later. (Please note that Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with their local albacore tuna, will not be here today, but will instead be hear next Sunday, December 8th.)

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

On November 18th, Wallingford Farmers Market, our sister market, was honored by the King County Council. It was just the latest recognition for what is easily the most beautiful market in the area, located in Meridian Park at N. 50th Street and Meridian Avenue N. Earlier this year, it was declared Washington State Farmers Market of the Year by the Washington State Farmers Market Association. It is open from the end of May through the end of September on Wednesday evenings. We hope you’ll join us there next summer!

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, December 2nd: ‘Tis The Holiday Season At Your Ballard Farmers Market!

December 2, 2012
Fresh holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s December! Allow me to be the 187th person to wish you Happy Holidays! We’re past Thanksgiving already, and the college football season is over. Heck, Chanukah begins next Saturday night at sundown. We are deep in it, folks. Look, it’s been some crazy times over the last year in our community, our nation, our planet. Yet, we’re still here. How’s about we take a step back, do some reflecting, and make this time of year a little extra special this year. I don’t mean go to the mall and buy your sweetie that jewelry or perfume you saw on TV that 1,263,982 other people are going to buy for their sweeties this year. I mean, how friggin’ special a gift is that? Besides, you’ve been carrying on about how Bain Capital or the Obama Administration have been killing American jobs for the last 12 months, right? Well, why don’t you do something about it, while at the same time getting your loved ones something special this year — something unique — which will, of course, make them feel special, too. It’s easy. Just head on down to your Ballard Farmers Market and visit any of our vendors. Everything you’ll find is unique, special, and locally produced by them. That means you’ll be directly supporting good American jobs while getting something special. Pretty cool, huh? Why not start with one of these lovely holiday wreathes from our friends at Alm Hill Gardens. They are made carefully, by hand, from things growing on the farm up in Everson. Good luck getting the guys at the Big Box store to tell you what farm their wreathes and trees came from. Here, you’re getting them directly from the farmers!

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

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

Nothing says the holidays like luscious holiday breads, right? Their smell, their appearance and their flavor accent the season like few other things. Sometimes, I think we’ve gotten so absorbed in our technology that we forget the power of our senses and our experiences. I look at this gorgeous loaf of gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery, though, and I can just smell it… and my mind fills with memories and fond associations. That December it snowed so much. A party with friends, candles, a pot of warm glüg, and festive music on a cold, wet, blustery night. Ah. Work can wait until January.

Knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Like I was saying before, what you will find at your Ballard Farmers Market is produced by the people selling it. Like these beautiful knitted scarves from Gypsy Beaded Creations. In fact, you’ll likely find Corrine knitting her next work of wearable art right at the Market. You won’t get much more unique a gift than this, and it’ll come with an actual, local face behind it — someone you know you supported with your holiday gift-giving dollars. And your loved ones will look fabulous and stay warm and cozy, too!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was editing photos for this week’s post, it pleased me to find this one. It is so colorful, isn’t it? Like a brilliant string of festive lights or old-fashioned glass ornaments. And yet, what it is is (I think I just had a Bill Clinton flashback) canned local albacore tuna in many flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Yup, it is time for their monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. And you’ll want plenty of their tunaliciousness around for the holidays. Not just the canned stuff, but frozen sashimi grade tuna loinstuna loxsmoked tuna and more! Mmm. I just had some for dinner. And remember, canned tuna makes a great stocking stuffer!

Goat milk soap from Harmony's Way. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk soap from Harmony’s Way. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have sensitive skin? Does someone you love? Goat milk soap is incredible gentle on your skin — luxurious, I dare say. It is creamy and mild, and just plain lovely. Lucky us, we actually have a local goat dairy making us these beautiful bars of goat milk soap from the milk of their own goats right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Harmony’s Way hails from over in Chimacum, on the Olympic Peninsula, just south of Port Townsend. They make their soaps in a variety of scents, shapes and sizes, and you can even get it plain, if you like. If yours is a family that already puts nice soaps in each others stockings, why not get some made locally, direct not only from the soap maker, but from the soap farmer!

Piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, some folks even put apples in each others stockings. Funny that. But hey, don’t you associate apples with the holidays? You bake them, sauce them, make pies and crisps with them. And why not? They are our dominant local fruit this time of year. Still, when it comes to festive, you really can’t ask for an apple that just sounds more like a party waiting to happen than these piñata apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Just don’t go hanging them from a low-hanging branch and swinging a big stick at them blindfolded. Instead of a shower of candy, you’re gonna get covered with little, moist bits of apple pulp.

Ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm.Decorative faceplates for your electrical outlets and switches from Dimensional  Colors. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm do not make good stocking stuffers, regardless of the fact that they will fit nicely into most stockings. Still, they do make for a lovely, decorative addition to your holiday decking of the halls. Just don’t try to eat them. Unlike their winter squash cousins, this gourds ain’t for eating, and you’ll probably break your knife or cut off a finger trying to cut them open anyway. Instead, surround some candles with them on your dinner table, add them to your mantle, or arrange them with some other fun decorations on an end or coffee table.

Seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s a great stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life, and if you are shopping at your Ballard Farmers Market, you are bound to have a foodie or three in your life. These are seasoned salts from Rockridge Orchards. They’ve got them seasoned with all different sorts of things, from herbs and spices to local applewood smoke. Of course, we won’t tell anyone if you realize that the foodie in your life is actually you, and you just buy them for yourself. Heck, take them home, wrap them up and put them in your own stocking, and then watch how confused it will make the rest of the family!

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus Wood from Coal-Free Washington created a photo essay at your Ballard Farmers Market last week of vendors against huge coal trains coming through Ballard and local farmlands carrying coal from Montana and Wyoming to coastal ports for shipping to China. You can see his photo essay, and learn more about the issue, on their Facebook page.

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.

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.