Posts Tagged ‘ice cream’

Sunday, July 21st: Sunflowers, Organic Sweet Corn, Donut Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes, Boysenberries, Gluten-Free Bread & So Much More!

July 20, 2013
Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 is already an epic year for our farmers, and it is only mid-July. I hope you are taking full advantage of this historic year for local crops. Warm weather is not only causing crops to arrive earlier than ever, it is also resulting in record harvests and superb quality. And many crops are also hanging around later than usual, too. Take, for example, flowers from Pa Gardens. Right now, they have in season sweet peasgladiolasdahlias and sunflowers — all at the same time! It is kind of mind-boggling, but it also means they get to make some of the most extraordinary fresh flower bouquets, the likes of which we may never see again. So, please, I beseech you. Avail yourself of this unique summer!

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! Fresh, organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms! And this bi-color variety is super sweet right now. Of course, they also have like a gagillion kinds of summer squash now. They’ve even got pickling cukes now, too! (Scroll down for your pickling dill source.)

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms won this year’s race for the first donut peaches of the season. And I so love donut peaches. They are cool looking. They are compact. They have a small, easily removed stone. They are delicious. And this year, they are a week earlier than we have ever seen before.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow's Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow’s Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is famous for their carrots, be they of the orange or the purple variety. And Alice of Oxbow is such a fan of carrots that she’s given them a place of permanent honor on her shoulder! This seems like an excellent time for some carrot trivia. Did you know that orange is not the original color of carrots? Carrots actually come in a rainbow of colors, from white all the way to black, and orange is the newest. And they have a history so rich that an entire British website is dedicated to them. If you love carrots, or food in general, I encourage you to check out this site.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Soda Company makes fresh sodas using local ingredients from Washington farmers, and their flavors change with the seasons, so it is worth visiting them every week for a taste treat! This week, they’ve got Blackberry Cardamom, Lemon Lavender & Cucumber Mint, from the left. The latter is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, though I like them all. None are too sweet. Enjoy!

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jarvis Family Garlic Farm returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Located on the North Olympic Peninsula over in Clallam County, they grow a delicious variety of heirloom garlic. They range from hard necks to soft necks, mild to very hot, and long storage to use ’em now. And remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic!

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms are just waiting to adorn your burger, BLT or salad! Sure, I loves me some heirloom tomatoliciousness as much as the next guy, but sometimes I just need a nice slice of a hearty, humble, domesticated beefsteak mater on my sandwich. And please, by all means, do not let this of all seasons get by you without celebrating to exceptional volume, quality and earliness of local tomatoes!

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of a hot, dry summer, we’ve all been missing our weekly Whidbey Island Ice Cream fix for the last few weeks. But they are back up and running again, and thus they are back here today with lots of great flavors of ice cream bars ready for you to devour!

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 has seen the earliest arrival of apples at your Ballard Farmers Market since we started keeping track by a solid two weeks, and they are a full month earlier than normal. These organic Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are actually now the second wave of apples already this year, and from here on out, we will likely see a new variety of apple every week. Rumor has it that the Early Galas may be only a week or two out. Amazing.

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

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

Just take a gander at these gorgeous beets from Gaia’s Harmony Farm — chioggaDetroit and golden beets, from the left. They are sweet, earthy, and they come with greens that make for a second dish for no extra charge! Oh, Gaia’s famous organic strawberries have made a return this week, too!

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know you’ve heard me prattle on about the ginormous heads of lettuce from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. This week, I thought I’d give you some photographic evidence. Seriously. They are more than twice the size of Dana’s head!

Boysenberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boysenberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie’s Berries has just about every kind of berry legal in the state of Washington right now, I swear. These stunners are their boysenberries. I bet you just hurt your finger jamming it into your screen trying to reach for one, didn’t you? They’ve also got marionberries now, too. No, not the infamous former mayor of Washington, DC, but the blackberry cousin. Sheesh.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun raw & vegan foods has all sorts of deliciousness that everyone enjoys, and no one will ever miss the meat or the cooking. These newish Coconut Curry Kale Chips are packed with flavor, yet light, crunchy and full of goodness, and as one who is not a huge coconut fan, I found these to suit me just fine.

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

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

Boistfort Valley Farm specializes in heirloom varieties of both Italian and Asian crops. I know, it seems like an odd marriage, but it works for them… and for me! This colorful radicchio obviously falls in the Italian camp, along with artichokes and garlic right now.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I told you I had you covered for a source for pickling dill, didn’t I? This dill is from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), and I’ve been using it for years to do my pickling. The flowers are full of aromatic flavor to impart into your favorite vegetables. Yummers!

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pluots are not only fascinating because of their hybridized genetics — part plum and part apricot. They are also way cool because of all the rad colors they come in, inside and out. Like these Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. What they lack in a creative name they make up for in flavor and appearance!

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.

Do you require gluten-free products, or are you just convinced that they all taste like sawdust? Either way, you should be beating a path to d:floured gluten-free bakery, because they have built their business on the premise that everyone deserves really good bread and brownies. For instance, check out these two new sandwich bread loaves, above. They are moist, chewy, tasty and sliceable! On the left is their sesame loaf, which they intentionally developed to be a full-sized loaf of bread, perfect for a nice, big sandwich. On the right is whole grain, which while a stitch smaller, still makes for a fine PB&J. So now, you can have your gluten-free diet and your BLT, too!

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, March 6th: Let’s Tawk Dairy Products

March 6, 2011

Beautiful, fresh goat cheese, or chevre, from Port Madison Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Port Madison Farm returns to your Ballard Farmers Market with its goat cheese and yogurt today, after their winter hiatus. Now that it is kidding season on the farm, the girls at Port Madison are producing lots of milk again. Be sure to welcome them back today. (Well, not the goats themselves, but Steve should be here.)

Fresh Jersey cow milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dairy products, like this fresh Jersey cow milk from Silver Springs Creamery, are another of those items rarely seen around farmers markets ten years ago. In fact, in 2001, there were only seven licensed cheese makers in the entire state, and few independent dairies. Now, there are over 50 cheese makers and a growing number of milk bottlers, and their explosive growth has been fueled in large part by farmers markets. Other factors playing a role in the growth of cheese making and micro-dairies here include the demise of the Vitamilk Dairy Cooperative and the FDA approval of the use of bovine growth hormones in conventional milk production. As a result, many small dairies found themselves either without a means of getting their milk to market, or they were unwilling to have their milk mixed with adulterated milk from other sources. Many small, family dairies folded as a result, but some decided to make cheese. Some began bottling their own milk. And still others even made their own butter and yogurt, and farmers markets allowed them to reach a grateful public looking for pure, fresh, local food direct from family farmers.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Glen Creamery has shifted away from milk bottling to focus on butter making in recent months, and as a result, they are now a significant player in butter production in Washington, as well as the only farmstead butter producer in the state. Another dairy farmer — Eric Nelson — once sold his milk to Vitamilk. But when that coop closed, he partnered with Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market, supplying them with much of the milk for their cheese making operation. He knows the trials and tribulations of being a small family dairy operator, and now he is running for a spot on the King County Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Many people are unaware of this body, elected to oversee the wellbeing of rural lands within King County. If you want to learn more about it, and participate in the 2011 election, taking place online now through March 15th, check out their website now. This is the first major online election ever held in the U.S., and it takes a two-step process, so read about it now.

Yogurt and feta cheese from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese, out of Bow, is one of those earlier cheese makers in Washington, as well as one of the first grass-fed beef producers. They started making their certified-organic cheese in 1999. They also make yogurt and feta, pictured above. And they produce pork now, too.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We even enjoy ice cream at our farmers markets these days. There was a time when some county health departments told markets that the only ice cream they’d allow in was pre-packaged stuff from Nestle. Blech! Well, our local ice cream makers have gotten savvy, and now folks like Whidbey Island Ice Cream offer locally-made ice cream bars. Have you ever wondered why they have to go through the process of carefully removing two layers of wrapping from those bars when you buy them? It’s to keep the Man at the health department happy. It’s what’s inside those two wrappers that keeps the rest of us happy! (And who sez I ain’t never teachin’ you nothing here?)

Bottled raw milk from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for bottled raw cows milk? Check out Sea Breeze Farm. But get there early, as they often sell out. And while you’re there, ask George why he likes his raw?

Anthony Estrella shows off some Jalapeno Buttery cheese from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raw-milk cheese in the United States is under increasing attack by federal regulators seemingly bent on eliminating it from existence with tighter regulations and draconian enforcement against family creameries across the country. Cheese is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, forms of food preservation there is, and people have been safely eating it for many thousands of years. 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.

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.

Sunday, August 8th: Rochester Fights Back… Rather Weakly. Also, Smoky Sun Photos & Gluten-Free Bread!

August 8, 2010

A busy Ballard Farmers Market basks in golden smoky sunlight on August 1, 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As you all know, I’ve been beseeching you all to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in the 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest for the last several weeks. Voting is open through August 31st, so you need to get on this. Currently, Ballard continues to rank near the top, behind markets Rochester, NY and Davis, CA. And all three of our markets are putting on a full-court press to pile on votes as quickly as possible. That means we still need each and every one of you to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market. Since no other market in Washington is anywhere close to being in the running here, you can shed any silly Seattle guilt you might have about choosing one market over another here as your favorite. Look, we all know Seattle has the best market system in the country. We also know Ballard is the best of the best. So vote not just for Ballard, but for Seattle… for Washington! This is about showing our pride in the best gosh-darned local food system in the America. And if you are not yet convinced to take the 30 seconds to vote, check out what we received from Rochester, NY on Friday…

A spooky golden hued sunlight bathes Boistfort Valley cabbage. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apparently the folks in Rochester are concerned about us out here in Seattle, and they are reading the Ballard Farmers Market blog. Really. In fact, one Evan Lowenstein of Rochester, New York, was kind enough to share this bit of enlightened commentary on my recent partisan rants in the America’s Favorite Farmers Market campaign. Evan wrote:

Hey dude, here’s a little friendly response to your posts mentioning Rochester. I’m from Rochester, and it’s not fair or informed to suggest that all we’ve offered the world is “Kodak and Pyrex.” Rochester’s nicknames have been both “The Flour City” and “The Flower City” because of its significant agricultural and horticultural heritage. We don’t like being hinged completely to Kodak in the minds of the uninformed, because there’s so very much more to Rochester; and Pyrex was invented in Corning, about 100 miles from here, not in Rochester. What’s more, you associate us with one of the two “biggest states”, one of the Goliaths that David Washington needs to beat for all to be right in the world. The truth is that the Seattle region is about three times more populous than Greater Rochester. So who’s really the big bully here?

George Page of Sea Breeze Farm all lit up in gold. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Thanks for clarifying that for us, Evan. Pyrex is from Corning. Rochester, Corning, Utica. Whatever. Ah, but the culinary masterpiece, the Garbage Plate is from Rochester! (This may be one reason why Rochester’s population is less than Seattle’s.) I am sure the city’s founders with all their flour and flowers are very proud. And what strikes me first about our dear Evan is that he must be the only person in Upstate New York who lacks a sense of humor.  I mean, sheesh! Has this guy ever heard of a spirited razzing by the opposition? Heck, has he ever seen the Mariners (or any other baseball team, for that matter) play in Yankees Stadium? Here in polite Seattle, we banned “Yankees Suck!” t-shirts in Safeco Field, but in New York, it seems the ushers must be handing out projectiles for Yankees fans to hurl onto the field at visiting teams’ outfielders. Look, I grew up in Upstate New York myself. And it sounds to me like Evan would be more at home out here, writing the Uptight Seattleite column in the Weekly. So come on, people, are we really gonna sit on our butts and let Rochester beat us in this contest? Hell, no! Vote now!

Salad amaranth from Nash's bathed in golden sun. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let us examine some of Evan’s “facts”. He says that Big Bully Seattle should not pick on itsy, bitsy little Rochester. Oh, boo-hoo. But let’s look at the numbers. Seattle has three times the population that Rochester does. However, Seattle has four times the number of farmers markets that Rochester has. Ballard Farmers Market is only 1 of 17 markets in Seattle proper, while there are only four in Rochester. And the Rochester Public Market (which allows reselling of food products and the sale of general merchandise, according to their website, and offers a garage sale and flea market on Sundays), is open four days a week, to Ballard’s one day. Hmm. Gee, Evan. Them numbers would seem to favor you guys, not us. And that is to say nothing about the fact that the Rochester Public Market is owned and operated by the City of Rochester. Gosh, it sure would be nice to have those deep pockets backing us here in Ballard. And Rochester has a permanent structure for its market. We have to set up in the street. On further reflection, perhaps it is Evan that is uninformed. (Oh, snap!) But now that you are better informed, please, vote for Ballard!

Treviso radicchio in gold from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Evan also wrote

I also noticed that you are encouraging folks to vote using every email address that they have. That’s not exactly fair now, is it? I know that those promoting the contest here in Rochester are asking voters to play it fair, one vote per person… that we want to win this thing fair and square. It’s disheartening to know that our competition isn’t doing the same thing.

Oh, lighten up, Evan. Have you ever heard of exaggeration? I believe I also encouraged people to get their cats, dogs and parole officers to vote. It’s called humor. That said, does anyone believe that the kind, honest, hypersensitive people of Rochester, New York are carefully spreading the word to everyone to cast one vote per person, and that they want to win this thing fair and square? Sure, maybe they think that, but they’re not saying it. Heck, the very act of saying it imparts to people that they can vote more than once anyway. I mean, really, Evan, who are you kidding? But I must at least thank Evan for helping me illustrate why it is so important for you to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market now. (And Evan, before you have an aneurysm, please take a chill pill and accept the reality that by writing to us, you only served to present yourself on a silver platter. I do hope you didn’t ask your friends and family to check out our blog. Consider it a life lesson.)

Billy's peaches spectacular in the golden sunlight. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, enough beating up on poor Evan. Have you been enjoying all the photos above that are tinged with the golden hue of last Sunday’s wildfire smoke filtered sunlight? Yeah, that weird looking sky we had last Sunday was courtesy of the wildfires in British Columbia. It made for the most spectacular light for photography. I didn’t screw with the coloring on these photos at all. That’s natural light. I think the one up top of George Page from Sea Breeze Farm is the most striking. Pretty cool, huh?

Gluten-free breads from Platypus Breads. Photo courtesy Platypus Breads.

Hey, please welcome Platypus Breads to your Ballard Farmers Market. Lindsay bakes some of the most incredible gluten-free breads I have ever encountered. They are moist and flavorful — two words one generally does not associate with gluten-free bread. If you have been looking for really good gluten-free bread, stop by and check out Platypus. You will find Lindsay sharing a tent with House of the Sun, which joined us once before, back on Seafood Fest weekend. House of the Sun specializes in raw and vegan foods, and the stuff they make is outstanding. So today, you can meet two upstart local food artisans who are creating incredible products that address the dietary needs of many of us in Ballard. But we are not sure how often we will be able to squeeze these folks in, so do check them out today, and grab a business card from them, so you can followup with them in the future.

Whole fresh sockeye from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love how gorgeous these fresh, whole sockeye salmon from Loki Fish look. They just sparkle, don’t they? Dylan Knutsen tells me that when they catch fish in Alaska, they quickly clean and bleed them, then they pack them in ice right away and send them on a temperature controlled barge down to Seattle. He says it’s much better than flying the fish down, as it is kept better. That’s not how all fish is handled, but it is how Loki does it.

Empire Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has always been hard for me to get a decent photo of actual Empire ice cream. It is always on dry ice at the Market, and at home it just doesn’t last long enough. So I decided I would just take a photo of my Empire Ice Cream shirt instead. My purpose here is to call your attention to some absolutely superb ice cream. Tom makes his ice cream using local ingredients, from the cream and milk he gets from South King County to the sugar he sources from Idaho to the chocolate from Fremont to the many flavorings he mixes in from his fellow Ballard Farmers Market vendors. You’ll find no stabilizers, no additives, no extra crap in Tom’s ice cream. What you will find is the only mint-chocolate chip ice cream I have ever tasted that I like, because he uses fresh mint leaves instead of mint oil. Stop by for a taste, a cup, heck, a pint or three today!

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

Jonboy Caramels is back at your Ballard Farmers Market for another brief appearance today, and they bring with them their newest caramel flavor: Absinthe & Black Salt. Oh, this stuff is goooood. You must come try some.

A drawing of river otters for me by Lilly Crosby. Art copyright 2010 by Lilly Crosby. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, I must give a shout out to Lilly Crosby, a young artist extraordinaire who spent the day with Alm Hill Gardens two weeks ago knocking out brilliant drawings like this one (above) for me of river otters at play… in about two minutes, I might add. It was amazing to watch. Lilly even asked me when I asked for otters if I wanted river otters or sea otters. It blew me away, and then she created this playful work of art at the snap of a finger. Lilly did all this for a greater good, too. She was taking donations for her drawings to support Hope For Horses and PAWS. Of course, you can still contribute to these worthy causes of Lilly’s just by clicking through to their websites. Or, the next time you see Lilly with her pens at the Alm Hill tables, toss her a few bucks and take home a work of art!

Lilly Crosby drawing my river otters at the Alm Hill stand on July 25, 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. And thank you!

Sunday, May 23rd: Head Cheese, Strawberries, Sea Beans & Maybe A Duck.

May 23, 2010

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I often rave about porkolicious, lambrific, beeftastic meat from Sea Breeze Farm, those crazy kids over on Vashon Island who drag their refer cases to Ballard every Sunday with all sorts of tasty animal parts in it. But these guys also rock the charcuterie, too. Each week, you will find any number of terrines, pates and other offal concoctions ready to slather on a nice slice of Tall Grass baguette with some mustard. Last week, Sea Breeze offered up this particularly lovely head cheese experiment from their kitchen. I ask you, why would anyone waste the perfectly good head of a pig when you can make some spectabulous dish like this out of it. In fact, while most Americans are turning their little puritanical noses up at the pig’s head, the guys working in the kitchen can’t wait to get their hands, and forks, on it. Oh, how much we entitled gringos with our steakhouse cuts of meat miss out on in this country.

A grain rolling mill in action at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has been doing a little equipment testing at your Ballard Farmers Market lately — grain rolling mills. These gadgets, like the one above, will roll out whatever whole grain you’ve got into flat, round pieces, like the rolled oats you get as oatmeal, or at least that’s the plan. Stop by and see what you think, though honestly, the one that Sequim Prairie Star let me play with when I visited their farm, just down the road a piece from Nash’s, worked much better than either of the two Nash’s tested last week. So if you must have one, ask the folks at Sequim Prairie today what kind theirs is. Then grab some grain from Nash’s or Bluebird and have some fun with it.

Dozens of empty milk bottles behind Golden Glen's table. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the fact that Golden Glen Creamery packages its milk and cream in reusable glass bottles. Besides the obvious environmental benefit, packing milk in glass protects its flavor as well. See, plastic milk bottles impart a slight plastic flavor into your milk. So if you haven’t tried milk out of glass, give it a shot this week. Once you go glass, you’ll never go back to plastic.

This first strawberries of 2010, from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. Yep, there are strawberries in the Market! Tiny’s is growing them in East Wenatchee, and lucky for them, they didn’t all get frozen out recently. Well, lucky for us, too. I did some quality control work on your behalf in a steady downpour on Wednesday at the Wallingford Farmers Market, and I can assure you, these are some sweet, delicious berries. But there aren’t many of them, and no one else has them yet, so they will go fast. Get ’em first thing. The eggs can wait! Oh, and grab a pint of cream from Golden Glen to drizzle over them.

Duck eggs from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of eggs, have you ever tried duck eggs? They are just a little richer than chicken eggs — and a little bigger with a deeply yellow, almost orange yolk that stands up firmly in your skillet. I love duck eggs. And you can get yourself some of them from Quilceda Farm, along with some goat sausage, for one yummy breakfast.

Fresh ducks from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of ducks, Stokesberry had these magnificent, whole, fresh ducks last week at your Ballard Farmers Market. And if we’re lucky, they will have a few more today. But if you miss out, they will have more in a month or so. Stop by and reserve one, and pick up some chicken while you’re there. Oh, and Stokesberry will be featured at Ray’s Boat House on Thursday, June 3rd, from 6-8 p.m., as part of Ray’s Year of Sustainable Stories dinner series. Check Ray’s or Stokesberry’s websites for more details.

Fresh mint from Mee Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s horse racing season, and you will be needing plenty of mint for your juleps. Lucky for you, Mee Gardens has it. This stuff is beautiful and fragrant, and waiting to be muddled. Enjoy!

Actually, I believe it is some of Children’s Garden’s mint that Tom uses in his mint-chocolate chip ice cream at Empire Ice Cream, and Theo chocolate. I know what you’re thinking. How come I don’t have a photo of some delicious choc-mint, as the Brits would call it? Simple. I ate it all. I mean, honestly, I hate mint-chocolate chip ice cream most of the time, because they all use mint oil. All, except Empire Ice Cream, that is. They use fresh mint leaves, and that makes all the difference in the world. But I am not gonna stand around taking pictures of it while it melts in front of me.

Sea beans from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea bean season has begun. Sea beans grow, well, in the sea, ergo the name “sea bean.” These salty little rascals lend a wonderful flavor to many dishes, from salads to fish and meat, and more. Stop by Foraged & Found Edibles and pick some up, along with some preparation suggestions.

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

At Wilson Fish, they say that if their fish was any fresher, it would be from the future. In fact, most Sundays, the fish they are selling at Ballard Farmers Market was still swimming on Saturday. That means the freshest, truly local — as in from Washington — king salmon, halibut, rockfish, ling cod and true cod you are likely ever to taste, and because they handle it so carefully, it is always in beautiful condition. It also means these guys don’t sleep a lot from May through September, which may explain why they surround themselves with bad humor-covered fluorescent signs.

Original and chocolate Josephines from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin’s Josephines at Hot Cakes are about as rich and decadent as any hedonist could hope for. Loaded with plenty of eggs and butter and Bluebird Grain Farms flour, these little cakes are amazing, but they’re not diet food. And amen to that! Now, Hot Cakes offers a chocolate version of its Josephine to accompany its original. These things are to die for, as long as they don’t kill you. But if you need the number for my cardiologist, just inquire at the Market Info Desk.

Beautiful bok choy from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I thought I’d better finish off with some ruffage. Some gosh-darned delicious ruffage, that is. And gorgeous, too. Just check out this bok choy from Colinwood Farms. I had some of this alongside an incredible piece of Wilson’s king salmon last week, and boy-howdy, was that good. A little garlic, a little oyster sauce. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.