Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem artichoke’

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, October 16th: Fall Flour, Sweet Potatoes, Seedless Grapes, Sunchokes, Ginormous Leeks, The Difference Between Celery & Celeriac, and One Final Farewell To Carrie!

October 16, 2011

Freshly milled flour from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yuppers, it’s fall, good citizens of the People’s Republic of Ballard. And we are breaking out the layers. Brrr. But hey, Bluebird Grain Farms is just wrapping up their fall grain harvest, and that means they’ve got all sorts of freshly-milled flour with which you can warm up your house as you bake all manner of deliciousness. They specialize in growing the finest emmer in the country, but they also grow some rye and wheat, too, and it is super fresh right now. And you can get it whole, cracked, and in cereal and mix blends. Tis the season! Enjoy!

Canadice einset table grapes from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These canadice einset table grapes from Jerzy Boyz are sweet, juicy and seedless. That makes them perfect for turning into raisins. So break out the dehydrator, and stock up on these beauties. Of course, you can eat them fresh, too. Just don’t dilly-dally, as they’ll only be available for a couple more weeks.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes are back at Lyall Farms. They are the only farm currently bringing local sweet potatoes into Seattle-area farmers markets. See, sweet potatoes like it hot, and Lyall Farms grows them in Sunnyside — about the hottest place in the state. These babies are deeply sweet. They are of the so-called “yam” school of sweet potatoes. Of course, they aren’t yams. Yams grow in Africa and Asian and are white, starchy things. The sweet orange and red tubers we call yams are sweet potatoes. Blah, blah, blah. Just get you some. You can thank me later!

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With our cool, fall weather and the plethora of root vegetables flooding your Ballard Farmers Market right now, it seems to me that it’s high time for a good, old-fashioned root roast. Some of those sweet potatoes, and some of these sunchokes (a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes) from Summer Run Farm, will make a great start on that. Sunchokes make for an awesome alternative to potatoes in many recipes, including home fries and soups, too. So enjoy this North American native, tuberous vegetable that is from the sunflower family this fall. Eat like a pilgrim!

Celery (left) and celery roots (a.k.a., celeriac, right) from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it’s time for a little visual aid. Above is a photo of celery (left) and celery root (a.k.a., celeriac, right) from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are closely related, but no, they are not the same plant. And you do cook with them differently. Now you know. That said, you will be hard-pressed to find finer examples of either anywhere else.

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Welcome a new farm to your Ballard Farmers Market — Choice Bulb Farms. Mind you, they are not new to farming, just new to our Market. They produce an extraordinary variety of flowering bulbs up in our own little Holland in Skagit County, the #2 bulb producing region in the world. And now is the perfect time to plunk some fresh bulbs into your garden, so that you can enjoy them all next year.

Bulk yellow carrots from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Woohoo! More sweet, delicious roots! It’s yellow carrots from Colinwood Farm. These are awesome. And did y0u know that Colinwood Farm is right smack in the middle of the city of Port Townsend? Yup. It sits on 12 acres of fertile bottomland, surrounded by several neighborhoods, just a stone’s throw from downtown.

Monster leeks from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

No, those are not miniature ears of sweet corn from Nash’s Organic Produce. To the contrary, they are full-sized and delish. It’s just that they are dwarfed by Nash’s humongous leeks. I have heard rumors that these leeks, if left unsupervised, will, in fact, destroy Tokyo! Make soup from just one of these bad boys, and you could feed an entire army.

Maple-walnut fudge with chocolate from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

Pete’s been in the kitchen experimenting again. The result is this new maple-walnut fudge with chocolate — the latest addition to the Pete’s Perfect Butter Toffee lineup. And hey, you eat all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables all the time from your Ballard Farmers Market, right? The meat, seafood and poultry you consume is all sustainably produced and healthy. And you’re eating your share of fermented vegetables from Firefly Kitchens. So treat yourself! You’ve earned it!

Padron peppers from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

If you count yourself a foodie, you know that padron peppers are all the rage right now, especially since the good folks at The Harvest Vine in Madison Valley introduced many of us to them fried and salted. Full Circle Farm grew some this year, and if you are lucky, you will get to see David today before he sells out of them, so you can enjoy the deliciousness at home your own self.

Carrie disappears behind a mountain of roots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo courtesy Clayton Burrows.

It’s time for one last, colorful, silly goodbye to Carrie Palk of Alm Hill Gardens, as she breaks our hearts and abandons us to return to her roots in Ohio. (Hey, ho, way to go…) In this photo, taken by Clayton Burrows last week, it’s as if Carrie is a setting sun behind a mountain of roots, and they are filled with all the colors of a spectacular sunset. Carrie, we’ll miss you, but it is good to know we’ve got a couch to crash on in Cincinnati.

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, January 23rd: Fresh Duck, Smoked Salmon, Chocolate Croissants, Sunchokes & More!

January 23, 2011

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

Okay, duck fans. Here’s the tip of the day, but you’re gonna have to get to your Ballard Farmers Market early to score on this one. Stokesberry Sustainable Farm has about 15 fresh whole ducks at the Market today. Yeah, baby. Been craving some roast quack? Well, here’s your chance. And they are organic ducks at that. Plus, they will take your plastic if you don’t quite have the cash with you, though remember, cash is better, since the Big Bad Bank takes a hefty cut of every credit or debit card transaction.

Fresh bunch carrots from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains is still pulling some carrots out of the ground, and this time of year, carrots are super sweet. Indeed, I had some last week, and they were fantabulous! (Hey, spellcheck actually accepted that as a word!) See, when it drops below freezing, plants actually produce more sugars as a means of protection, as sugar is a kind of antifreeze for them. That means that what survives freezing weather is always sweeter. Pretty sweet, huh?

Calvin Collins of Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been a while since our buddy, Calvin Collins, patriarch of Collins Family Orchards, has graced us with his presence at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, he’s been busy tending the orchards over in Selah. And they are amazing orchards. I got a personal tour of them from Calvin a while back. He has a dizzying number of fruit varieties growing on his land. And that fruit is awesome. Well, Selah is frozen and snow-covered this time of year, so Calvin has come a callin’ on Ballard. Here he is two weeks ago, standing proudly behind a big bin of his Pink Lady apples. Stop by and say ‘hi’ today, and grab some apples and pears while you are at it.

Cape Cleare bicycles attracting attention. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You have heard me talk about Cape Cleare Fishery and that they ride their bicycles to market with their fish every week, but have you actually seen those bikes? Well, now that they are stationed up at the end of the Market, by 22nd Avenue, it is easier for them to leave their bikes hitched to the fish trailers. And they are wicked cool bikes. Plus, they have this amazing little smoker built onto one of their trailers with which they cook up samples of their delicious, frozen-at-sea salmon. If you haven’t tried their salmon before, stop by for a taste, and check out their bikes. You’ll be hooked… if you’ll pardon the expression.

Chocolate croissants from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, sweet temptress! Chocolate croissants from Grateful Bread Bakery. You know, I lived off of these all summer at our other four markets. And now, Grateful Bread is right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yep. But I must forewarn you that these suckers are addictive.

Winter squash from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Winter squash. From Full Circle Farm. It’s sweet. It’s pretty. It’s delicious. It’s not a root, and that makes it pretty special right now. Not that there’s anything wrong with roots, mind you, but we cannot live on roots alone. (Okay, maybe we can, but work with me here.) The point is, there is still a decent supply of winter squash around, kids, so roast it, saute it, soup and stew it. Enjoy it now. You’ll miss it soon enough.

Sunchokes from Nash's. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I hope I haven’t offended all the roots now. Heck, I love roots, too, don’t get me wrong. In fact, have you ever tried sunchokes (a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes), like these from Nash’s? They are actually the tuberous root of a member of the sunflower family, and they are native to North America. They make amazing soups and dips, are great mixed into your root roasts, and you can use them like potatoes in many applications, like home fries, for instance. Just cut them up in 1/2″ to 1″ cubes and boil them until just fork tender. Then brown them in a hot pan with melted butter, browning one side fully, then tossing them about with salt, pepper and thyme until lightly golden on the other sides, and serve as a great side dish. They are a nutritional powerhouse that sustained the earliest European settlers to this continent, thanks to a generous education from its prior inhabitants. So, fear not these gnarled little mysterious jewels, and learn to embrace, and eat, them

Chili sauce with garlic from Four Sisters. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Four Sisters Chili Sauce is made from a recipe that four Vietnamese sisters brought over with them from Vietnam when they left as children 30 years ago. And now they are sharing it with us. Concerned about getting chili sauces in stores made from who knows what from who knows where? Then visit Four Sisters today at your Ballard Farmers Market for a taste of some of the local stuff.

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, January 2nd: Happy New Year! 2011 – Can You Believe It?!?

January 2, 2011

Calf's head and organs from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether this image intrigues you or disturbs you, there is no questioning that it is real — authentic. This is our food, direct from the farmers who raised it, in its raw, natural, unadulterated state. This calf’s head and assorted organs in the refer case of Sea Breeze Farm is considered waste by most Americans, but for the people of the rest of the world who cannot imagine wasting perfectly good food, and to a goodly number of foodies and immigrants here in Ballard, these are delicacies. And let’s face it: can you really argue the validity of the argument some make that you should be able to look an animal in the eyes before you eat it? Hey, I like a nice hunk of flesh on my plate as much as the next guy, but in this country, we have so sanitized everything about our food that we no longer even recognize it… unless, that is, you shop at a farmers market.

Parsnips from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A big thank you to those of you who shook off your holiday hangover and braved the sideways rain and violent winds last Sunday to shop at your Ballard Farmers Market. The vendors and management of your Market appreciate all of you for your hearty loyalty, especially those of you who assisted us in holding down canopies and rounding up flying merchandise. Today is forecast to be much nicer — sunny and calm winds, though a stitch on the chilly side, so layer up. Oh, and hey, all of the vendors who took a long holiday weekend last week are back today, like Colinwood Farms with some lovely parsnips. The holidaze are over, and the grind returns tomorrow. Enter the new year with good, local, safe and nutritious food!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese is here today with their award-winning cheeses. You know, they were the most award winning Washington cheese maker at the 2010 American Cheese Society competition held in Seattle this past August. And they also have yogurt, beef and pork, too!

Sunchokes, a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes, from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains returns after its holiday hiatus to continue to mesmerize us with how much they seem to be able to harvest this time of year, in spite of the weather. Of course, they wisely balance out the greens they grow in greenhouses and hoop houses with a nice selection of dried beans, spuds, roots and these lovely red sunchokes.

Sauerkraut & Rötkruat from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you gotten your sauerkraut on lately? We’re talking living food here, people, loaded with all kinds of goodness your body craves. Firefly Kitchens makes their Classic Sauerkraut & Rudy Red Sauerkraut from local cabbage — I think that’s Nash’s in those jars right now — and trust me, this is some of the best darned kraut you’ve ever tasted! And it’ll dress up you dogs and brats very well, too.

Smoked salmon & salmon lox from Cape Cleare Fishery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hopefully, the good folks from Cape Cleare won’t freeze to death on their way to Market today. But really, if anyone is gonna be a hearty soul, it’s going to be a fisherman, right? So look for them and their bicycle trailers stocked with magnificent, frozen-at-sea salmon and smoked salmon. In fact, I had some of their salmon for lunch at TASTE Restaurant before seeing the Picasso exhibit at SAM on Friday. Seriously, that’s some good eatin’!

Apples & pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This winter, I have been practicing the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And Collins Family Orchards has been doing an admirable job of keeping me well supplied with apples for the task. They’ve got Fujis, Pink Ladies, Braeburns and a few others right now, along with Asian pears and some other goodies.

Wild hedgehog mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve gotta say, I just love checking out Foraged & Found Edibles each week to see what wild mushrooms and other foraged foods have been offered them by Mother Nature for our dining pleasure. Take these wild hedgehog mushrooms, for instance. I love these just sauteed with some butter, but you can use them lots of ways. They’ve got yellowfoot chanterelles and black truffles currently, too.

Dried herbs and spices from Pipitone Farms in Cashmere, Washington. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pipitone Farms was one of the first farms around these parts to do a really effective job of season extension through value-added products. “Huh?”, you ask? What I mean is, they take what they grow in the summer, and they dried it, jam it, pickle it, and so on, so they can continue to sell it in the winter, even when their farm in Cashmere is blanketed by snow. I love using their dried herbs and cayenne peppers, above, for all manner of cooking I do. This stuff is way fresher than the stuff at the Big Box Stores, and it’s organic, local and delicious. Oh, and did you know that many dried herbs and spices are irradiated these days? Well, these aren’t!

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.