Posts Tagged ‘holiday wreathes’

Sunday, December 11th: Our Holidaze Localpalooza Continues! Welcome One Leaf Farm & Cape Cleare Fishery! Gorgeous Glassware, Bodacious Bread, Hazel Nuts (see what I did there?) & Pie!

December 11, 2011

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is King County’s newest farm, launching this past spring on a small patch of fertile earth in Carnation, right across the Snoqualmie River from Full Circle Farm. And these kids have been hitting it out of the park from Jump Street. We had the pleasure of their presence all summer at our Interbay and Madrona farmers markets. And today, we welcome them to your Ballard Farmers Market. Today they have Brussels sprouts, collard greens, Viking purple potatoes, Japanese wax turnips, daikon radishes, arugula, some lovely cabbages and winter squash, this beautiful kale (above) and more! So please give them a big old Ballard welcome, won’t you? And remember, this year, your Ballard Farmers Market will not be open on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which both fall on Sunday. So start stocking up your pantry and fridge now!

Cape Cleare Fishery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cape Cleare Fishery returns today with their pedal-powered operation. Yes, these are the folks who ride their bikes from Port Townsend with trailers filled with all manner of fishliciousness. They’ve got flash frozen and smoked wild Alaskan salmon they caught this past summer, as well as usually a few other surprises, from canned tuna to frozen ling cod.

Pecan pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Deborah’s Homemade Pies are as good as any pies on the planet. Okay, maybe I’ve never said it quite that way before, but I’m saying it that way now. Her crusts are the stuff of the dreams of many a pastry chef, and she fills those crusts with all manner of awesomeness. Indeed, I told Deborah I would post a photo of one of her apple pies today, but I couldn’t find the photo. I am guessing I must have eaten it. Mind you, I’ve always thought my dad’s apple pies were unrivaled. Heck, in most cases, I won’t even bother trying another apple pie. They just all disappoint me. See, my dad grew up working apple orchards in Upstate New York and making pies with my grandmother. Well, Deborah’s apple pie can honestly go toe-to-toe with those of my dad, and I say this with the full confidence that my dad will never read this post, so please, don’t tell him. Of course, this pecan pie (above) is equally outrageous. And while I know you really want to slave away in the kitchen the entire holiday season, impressing family and friends with all the deliciousness you can crank out using the amazing ingredients you source at your Ballard Farmers Market, let’s face it. There’s gonna be that one party you go to, that one dinner you throw, that one office party for which you just say to yourself, “If I have to cook one more thing!” Well, Deborah’s got your back. And hey, if you just wanna be really lazy, use her pies for every occasion and lie that you made them!

Glass tumblers from Wileyware. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t know how Wileyware gets these glass tumblers and their other glassware to look so cool. I mean, just look at the brilliant colors in these glasses. There’s no special lighting, no trick photography, no more editing than the simple stuff I normally do for cabbage and lettuce photos. They really look like this. Now, I’ve asked them how they pull this off, and I’ve been told that they could tell me, but then they’d have to kill me. So I’ll just live in blissful ignorance, enjoying the pretty colors.

Holiday wreath from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We continue our hit parade of holiday wreathes this week with this beautiful entry from Children’s Garden. I just love how each farmer puts their own individual touch on their wreathes each year. Heck, it is one of the few times of year they get to really show off their artistic sides, you know? Children’s has some wonderful dried flower bouquets right now, too. So brighten up your home for the holidays, eh?

Holiday stölen from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is stollen. Says Wikipedia, “A stollen is a loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit, and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar. The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices. Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season.” Let’s just say, it’s a rare holiday treat, sweet, chewy and delicious, and Grateful Bread Baking has it now, by the loaf or the slice.

Pink lady apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I heart pink lady apples, and Collins Family Orchards has lots and lots of them this time of year. They are sweet and crunchy, and they will keep the doctor away, make teacher happy, and generally bring joy and happiness into the world. And why not? They’re pink ladies, after all.

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

Whether you call them hazelnuts or filberts does not matter. They are one of the great nuts, and they are one of the few nuts that grow in abundance around here. Wow, just talking about them has got my mouth watering, my sensory memories active and my brain puzzling out where I stored that nutcracker. Swing by Alm Hill Gardens today, and get you a bag of these beauties, and celebrate our local nut.

Wine from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holidaze require wine. Lots of wine. It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating with family and friends or trying to drown out an irritating child who’s whining that they didn’t get that thing that the TV has been telling them they must have, wine will make everything seem a little better. Especially when it is direct from the local winemaker, in a great selection of award-winning varieties. And that is exactly what you’ll find from Lopez Island Vineyards: great, local, award-winning wines.

Red sunchokes from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes, like these red sunchokes from Stoney Plains, are commonly referred to as Jerusalem artichokes. But the name “sunchoke” more accurately captures what they are — the edible tuberous root of a member of the sunflower family. Sunchokes are native to North America, and the earliest European settlers and explorers learned from local tribes of them as a valuable food source. They are plenty versatile. They make for great soups, purees, are wonderful roasted, work as a substitute of potatoes as home fries and many other applications, and so much more. If you are unfamiliar with them, why not give them a try this winter, and get down with your bad colonial pilgrim self! And just another reminder Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on Sundays this year, and that we’ll be spending those days celebrating with our loved ones. It rare, but we’ll be taking those two days off. So stock up now, and next week, for our two-week hiatus, and we’ll be back, of course, on January 8th!

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, December 4th: Wreathes, Hot Sauce, Warm Clothing, Rocksalmic Vinegar, Arkansas Black Apples, Tasty Fish Eggs & Dried Chiles! It Is The Holiday Season!!!

December 4, 2011

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

In the immortal words of Andy Williams, “It’s the holiday season, so whoop-dee-doo, and dickery-dock, and don’t forget to hang up a sock.” And don’t forget to hang up one of these spectabulous holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens, either. Not only beautiful and aromatic, they last forever. Heck, I’ve still got mine from last year hanging on my living room wall, ready to be replaced this week with a fresh one.

Apple Cider and Rocksalmic Vinegars from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Twice a year, Rockridge Orchards bottles some of its prized, long-aged Rocksalmic vinegar, and this is one of those times. This stuff is the closest thing we’ve got to local balsamic vinegar around here. It is a thick, sweet, smooth vinegar made from Rockridge’s Asian pears, and once you’ve tasted it, you won’t feel the need to bother stocking balsamic from the other side of the planet in your kitchen anymore, cuz you’ll have the good stuff from Enumclaw. But get it today, and early today at that. It will likely be sold out before the day is done. And hey, if that’s the case, you can still get you some sweet or hard cider, or some berry wine, right? They’ll bottle some more Rocksalmic for you around tax time.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A holiday treat of sorts are these crisp and tart Arkansas black apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. See, they show up every December, kinda like satsumas, just in time for the holidays, it seems. So enjoy these special, heirloom apples while you can. Hey, if you can’t go to Arkansas, at least Tiny’s can bring a little Arkansas to you, right?

Toasty fleece clothing from Pieter Muller Designs. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many folks know Pieter Muller of Pieter Muller Designs as “the fleece guy,” as he is renowned for his unique, original fleece creations, perfect for the Pacific Northwet, and so much more attractive than the mass-produced fleece available in, well, blue or black, and made in China, from the Big Box stores. I mean, just look at this stuff! It’s fabtastic! And he also makes an entire line of clothing from recycled fabrics, too. Talk about clothing with purpose.

Purple carrots from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

After a brief post-Thanksgiving hiatus, Oxbow Farm returns today, along with several others, so your Ballard Farmers Market will be flush with produce and other deliciousness today. Like these crunchy purple haze carrots, perfect for roasting. And remember, this year, your Ballard Farmers Market will not be open on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which both fall on Sunday. So start stocking up your pantry and fridge now!

Hot sauces and a hot sauce holiday gift box from Zane & Zack's World Famous Honey. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking to spice up your life a little? Then stop by Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey to sample their award-winning hot sauces. Single bottles of hot sauce make for great stocking stuffers, or for the more adventurous ones on your gift list, pick up one of their holiday sampler boxes. And don’t forget to pick up a bottle or three for yourself. Support your local hot sauce this holiday season.

Colorful earrings from Christine Groutier. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Christine Groutier has been a mainstay for handcrafted jewelry for years at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just look at the way these sets of earrings pick up the light, eh? Their colors kinda just explode out of them. Why not brighten up the ears, and the eyes, of someone special by slipping a pair of these in their stocking.

Blueberry-Mango Salsa from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm drops in on us today with some of their blueberryliciousness. They’ve got gift baskets that include, among other things, their awesome blueberry mango salsa, made from their own certified organic blueberries.

Ikura from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Tasty fish eggs. This is ikura, or keta salmon roe, from Loki Fish. And tasty, they are. I like ’em with some fresh goat cheese on a crostini, or make some sushi with them. Heck, sprinkling them on your seafood-based pasta as a wonderful finishing touch. They are briny deliciousness that literally explode in your mouth with incredibleness.

Handmade soap from Karmela Botanica. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Karmela Botanica handcrafts lovely soaps. And I’m not just talking to look at, though they are easy on the eyes. But they are made will all sorts of gorgeous herbs and essential oils that will soothe your senses and your skin. Just resist the overwhelming temptation to eat them. And you will want to eat them. Especially the chocolate soap. Yeah, baby.

Dried red chile de arbol from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms hopes to stretch their season out through the end of the year, but keep in mind, the end of the year for your Ballard Farmers Market is December 18th, since we’ll be taking a holiday break both on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day this year. (Of course, we’ll be right back in January.) So start stocking up now. One thing you can stock up on are these awesome dried red chile de arbol. Grind ’em. Toss ’em whole into your soup or stew. They’ve got huge, spicy flavor. And Alvarez has several other peppers dried for you this December, from mild to wild, along with all their dried beans, onions and garlic — all great storage crops, so stock up now for the winter!

Colorful skirts from Marmalade Originals. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We may be in the midst of the coldest, darkest, wettest time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little color to your life, or to the life of someone special. How about one of these delightful skirts from Marmalade Originals? Talk about adding color to your day! So come to your Ballard Farmers Market, and meet your local fashion designer today. Yes, you will meet the actual creator of these gorgeous garments. Try doing that at the Big Box stores, where you’ll just be another amongst millions wearing the same made-in-China stuff. Get yourself something original, something local, something that creates local jobs, and something that comes with fresh air instead of a stuffy, crowded, dehumanizing mall. (Shutter.)

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, December 19th: Delicious Local Fixins For Great Holiday Meals, Unique Gifts Hand-Crafted By Local Artists & Morris Dancers! Where Else But Your Ballard Farmers Market?!?

December 19, 2010

Whole emmer/farro from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

(Note: Ballard Farmers Market will be open next Sunday, December 26th.)

I spent last week on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Okay, I hear you thinking, “lucky bastard,” but believe it or not, it was colder there on a few days than it was here, and just as stormy. With weather like that, if my parents didn’t live there, the place would hold no redeeming value for me at all. I bring this up to remind us all that we’re pretty friggin’ lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwet. Even when the weather is crappy, we’ve got plenty to keep us going. So I don’t wanna hear anymore whining about La Nina. Get on out to your Ballard Farmers Market today and get everything you need for a great holiday season direct from the local farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans and artists that help make this place the best place on earth to live, and visit all of our neighbors terrific shops, restaurants and watering holes. Invest in your local economy this holiday season instead of the Mall, and maybe by this time next year, we’ll all feel more comfortable. That said, Bluebird Grain Farms is here today with all of their magnificent organic heirloom grain products, from whole grain emmer/farro to cereal blends, flours, pilaf, mixes and more. Stock up today, as Bluebird likely won’t be back again for at least another month!

Various fish products from Cape Cleare Fishery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cape Cleare Fishery is back today. They are the folks who peddle their bicycles all the way from Port Townsend to Ballard each week… except last week. Apparently riding face-first into a driving rain along flooded roads didn’t sound too attractive to them last week. Go figure. But they’re back today. So pickup some frozen-at-sea Alaskan salmon, maybe a nice package of lox, or perhaps some smoked salmon to impress your guests with this holiday season.

A display of FDA documents and U.S. Marshall postings from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are interested in learning more about the FDA seizure of Estrella Family Creamery, and efforts to help the Estrella family during this difficult time for them, a group of supporters and friends have set up a blog here on WordPress. It contains discussions of the situation and info on how you can help. There has also been setup a “Save the Estrella Family Creamery” Facebook page.

Pepper strands from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today may be your last chance to get a pepper strand or wreath from Alvarez Organic Farms. These beautiful creations will liven up any home, and they make great gifts. And the best thing is, once they are dried, if you don’t want to leave them hanging, you can actually cook with the dried peppers. Of course, if you don’t want to break it up once it’s dried, why not pickup some dried peppers from Alvarez. They have several varieties of peppers dried this year. Stock up.

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things still has some lovely winter squash available this week, and of course, they also still have amazing pastured poultry, eggs, jams and soaps. Michaele makes an amazing variety of soaps, in fact, from spearmint — my favorite — to lemongrass to cinnamon. And she makes her soap from beef tallow and lard from her own animals, the old-world way.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Gluten-Free Bread from Platypus Breads. Photo courtesy Platypus Breads.

The bad news is, this is the last week for Platypus Breads at your Ballard Farmers Market. The good news is, Lindsay is here today with her amazing gluten-free breads for one last hoorah. Frankly, Platypus Breads is one of the most remarkable new vendors of 2010. Lindsay decided that people who must eat gluten-free products deserved to have just as good bread to eat as everyone else, and she set out to make it. And she succeeded. She proved that the terms moist, flavorful and gluten-free are not inherently mutually exclusive, if you just put some effort, thought and creativity into it. So thank you, Lindsay. You, and your bread, will be missed.

Shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish make it easy to add fresh, local oysters to any recipe. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shellfish. You need it. Lots of it. Especially during the holidaze. Think oyster stuffing or stew, baked oysters or oysters on the half-shell, sauteed mussels or clams, or even some geoduck ceviche. Whatever you decide to do with your shellfish, Taylor Shellfish has what you need. So visit Oyster Bill today for this week’s fix, and maybe put in a request for next week’s.

Holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens still has some of their beautiful holiday wreaths today. They handcraft these marvelous creations using foliage from their farm just for us. And they smell amazing! Oh, Alm Hill should have some saute mix, squash and other edibles today, too.

Parsnips from Nash's Organic. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All the Northwet loves a tasty root roast this time of year, and what root roast is complete without parsnips, like these from Nash’s. Actually, you can also make soups, purees and mashes with parsnips, too, combined with celeriac and maybe potatoes. Parsnips are so wonderfully sweet and delicious, and they cook pretty quickly, so beware and don’t overcook them. Though they look like carrots, they are not nearly as dense as carrots. Enjoy!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

On the other end of the root density spectrum, though equally loved by me, is the humble rutabaga, a.k.a., Swedes or Swedish turnips, like these from Boistfort Valley Farm, which will hopefully grace us one more time today with their presence. These giant-looking turnips are not really turnips at all. Their dense flesh has a deeply sweet, savory flavor that is great steamed and mashed with plenty of butter. Or toss them in the root roast, too. But remember, they will take the longest of any of your roots to cook, as they are the densest.

Family-sized cheesecake from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, I hope Sam & Sara of Pasteria Lucchese made some of their incredible cheesecakes this week. Have you tried one? Well, take it from this ex-pat New Yorker that they are the real deal, and you will want one, or three, on your holiday table. You can thank me later.

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. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.