Posts Tagged ‘knife sharpening’

Sunday, November 24th: Everything You Need For An All-Local Thanksgiving & Chanukah, From Sweet Potatoes To Brisket To Sharpened Knives!

November 23, 2013
Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille & Stoneburner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille & Stoneburner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s time for Chanukgiving, or Thanksnukah, or whatever you call it in the extremely rare instance when Chanukah and Thanksgiving happen simultaneously. But whatever you choose to call it, one thing is certain, it is time to eat local, and eat lots of it! Woohoo!!! Of course, your Ballard Farmers Market has you covered from every angle, with the possible exception of fresh turkeys. (Let’s face it. If you still haven’t arranged for your pasture-raised, local turkey, you have no one to blame but the turkey looking back at you in the mirror. But I digress.) We do have everything else you’ll need, and I do mean everything. We even have cooking oil, butter and salt! (That’s right, boys and girls. This week, we’ve added San Juan Island Sea Salt to our vendor lineup, with local salt!) And today, we’ve even got an Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at noon with Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille and Stoneburner to give you great ideas for holiday side dishes. Jason’s menus are built around what he can get from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market. Indeed, each Sunday, you can watch dolly after dolly of localiciousness being transferred from our vendors to his kitchens. So he knows a little bit about eating local. Come get a tip or two from him today. (Last week, for instance, Chef Dustin Ronspies from Art of the Table taught us that that a pinch of sugar enhances the savory flavors in savory dishes, and a pinch of salt enhances the sweet flavors in sweet dishes.)

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, let’s get down to seriously delicious business here. There are over 20 photos this week, so I am going to make my descriptions briefer than usual, but really, the photos speak for themselves. They say, “we are stocked to the gills with great, local ingredients to make your holiday table complete, and render a visit to a Big Box story unnecessary.” Like these local sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Oh, and Lyall has apples and onions, too!

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make your own cranberry sauce this year with fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Last Sunday, Chef Dustin made some in less than an hour, under a tent in the middle of Ballard Ave, with a strong, cold wind at his side, so you can do it at home. He cooked down the cranberries, then added some apple, a little sugar, some orange zest and orange juice, and a pinch of salt. Simple. Delicious.

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some winter squash from Growing Things Farm? Yeah, baby. Of course, I am also having one of their pasture-raised chickens for my holiday feast. Because no law requires me to have a turkey. (Something to think about, if you haven’t gotten a turkey yet, and you don’t need to feed an army.)

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need spuds, and few potatoes are better for making perfect mashed potatoes than these Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. They are bright white inside, and they have an amazing texture that takes well to mashing. Pick up butter from Golden Glen Creamery (see below) and some milk from Twin Oaks Creamery or Sea Breeze Farm to round out your mashers, or add some parsnip and celery root for something really spectacular.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beauties are Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz Farm from Chelan. And who doesn’t need a beautiful pear, anytime of year?

Korean red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Korean red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Garlic. You will need it for stuffing, for seasoning your bird, for adding to your greens, for lots of stuff. Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has you covered with this Korean red garlic, and several other varieties that vary in flavor and intensity.

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I, for one, enjoys me some oyster stuffing, and Hama Hama Oyster Company makes it easy with their freshly-shucked oysters in a variety of sizes. And if you are looking for great appetizers, try their pickled and smoked oysters, too!

Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you aren’t a lover of Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce, I can only assume you haven’t ever had them prepared properly. Try sautéing them with Alvarez shallots and Sea Breeze bacon. First, you brown the bacon whilst rendering out its fat, and you caramelize the shallots, and then you toss in the sprouts, cut in halves, or in quarters for the bigger ones, and cook them until they get bright green and just a bit tender. Then deglaze the pan with a nice white wine, cooking off the alcohol while the wine combines with the bacon and shallot bits in the pan, and then the sprouts absorb all that deliciousness as they get tender. Boom. You now love Brussels sprouts.

Black truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Black truffles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are wild black truffles from Washington, brought to you by Foraged & Found Edibles. Add some to your mashed potatoes, or toss them with some Pasteria Lucchese pappardelle and Golden Glen butter for a nice side dish! They also have yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms and hedgehog mushrooms, which are a great addition to stuffing!

Seasoned croutons for stuffing from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasoned croutons for stuffing from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of stuffing, if you get here early enough, you might get some of these seasoned croutons from Grateful Bread Baking. They make for amazing stuffing. Just add some Sea Breeze stock, onions, garlic, celery, and whatever else suits your fancy, and bake. If you miss out on these croutons, you can easily make your own with one of their wonderful loaves of bread.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And here is that aforementioned farmstead butter from Golden Glen Creamery in Bow. You can get it salted and unsalted, or with any of a number of sweet and savory flavorings. And let’s face it. You will need lots of butter. Why not make it local, too?!

Yellow onions from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow onions from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, One Leaf Farm has lots of deliciousness right now, from parsnips to kale to cauliflower to winter squash, and even a little parsley root. But they also have these gorgeous onions, and you know you will need some onions this week!

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of wine, Lopez Island Vineyards has a great selection of award-winning whites and reds, with one perfect for you. Best of all, they will be sampling their wines today, so you can try it before you buy it, and find the ones you like best!

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

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

How about cooking up a nice mix of braising greens from Colinwood Farm? All you need to do is add oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and you are good to go! Talk about making life easier on Thursday.

D'Anjou pears from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

D’Anjou pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for Booth Canyon Orchard for 2013 at your Ballard Farmers Market. So grab yourself a box of these D’Anjou pears, store them in a nice, cool, dark place, and you can enjoy them for weeks to come.

George Vojkovich out standing in his field... with a bunch of cattle. Photo copyright 2007 by Zachary D. Lyons.

George Vojkovich out standing in his field… with a bunch of cattle. Photo copyright 2007 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for Chanukah, perhaps you’d like a nice beef brisket. Well, I don’t have a photo of Skagit River Ranch‘s brisket, but I guess, if you look real close, you can see the brisket on their cattle above, enjoying the good life on Skagit River Ranch’s lush pastures up in Sedro-Woolley. Oh, and that is Farmer George in the background, moooving the herd.

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.

Did I not say we even have cooking oil for you? This is camelina oil from Ole World Oils of Ritzville. Camelina is an ancient member of the mustard family, and its seeds make for great oil. It holds up to high heat, it is non-GMO, and it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids! So now, you can say your cooking oil is farm fresh, too.

Marie Makovicka of Little Prague European Bakery piping fresh cannoli. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Marie Makovicka of Little Prague European Bakery piping fresh cannoli. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Looking for something sweet to finish off your meal, or perhaps something to start your day? Stop by Little Prague European Bakery, say hi to Marie, and pick up some of her delicious pastries. Thinking you want them on Thursday morning to enjoy while you watch the parade, but think they won’t keep? Ask Marie about how to properly store them until them, and how to refresh them when you are ready to eat them. Then, the only worry you’ll have is keeping yourself from eating them all before Thursday morning. Hmm. On second thought, you’d better buy extras!

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.

These red sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm were introduced to the earliest European colonists by East Coast Indians. A member of the sunflower family, they are native to North America, and a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving, as we remember that those Indians welcomed and fed those colonists, in spite of what they ultimately represented. Sunchokes are great roasted,  you can make soup with them, you can mash them like potatoes, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is by steaming 1/4″ to 1/2″ chunks until just fork tender, then browning them in butter and seasoning them with salt and pepper, and perhaps a little thyme, like good home fries.

Pumpkin Pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin Pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ve got enough to do to prepare for the big feast this week. Why not leave the pie baking to Deborah’s Homemade Pies? She has these amazing pumpkin pies, as well as a great selection of appleberry and even pecan pies, and let’s face it… most of us cannot bake a pie like Deborah can, so why not cut ourselves a break and have better pie this year?

Cranberry-tangerine, lemon-lavender, and apple pie fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry-tangerine, lemon-lavender, and apple pie fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Sodas has new flavors for the season, like Cranberry-Tangerine (left) and Apple Pie (right). Why not pick up a growler or two for this week? And while you’re at it, if you loves you so fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas, consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign today. It ends Monday (tomorrow), and they just have a little ways left to go to meet their goal, so click over now and contribute to the cause of their Mobile Soda Truck.

Andrew, Your Knife Sharpening Guy, sharpening knives at Wallingford Farmers Market this past summer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Andrew, Your Knife Sharpening Guy, sharpening knives at Wallingford Farmers Market this past summer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And last, but most assuredly not least, now is a great time to get your knives sharpened, so that dull carving knife doesn’t bounce off of your turkey on Thursday, resulting in either humiliation or serious injury, or both! Remember, sharp knives save fingers. Well, Andrew, Your Knife Sharpening Guy, will be here all day, sharpening your dullest slicing equipment, so bring your knives down, drop them off before you start shopping, and pick them up when you’re done! Or, if you’re in a rush, leave them with Andrew, and pick them up from him in Green Lake during the week, or arrange for delivery.

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, June 16th: Celebrate Father’s Day With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

June 15, 2013
New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Fathers’ Day, folks! I like to scratch around a bit on holidays to share a little bit of their background with you, and in so doing this time, I discovered that the woman credited with founding Fathers’ Day in 1910, Sonora Dodd, originally spelled it with the apostrophe after the ‘s’, and I am honoring her by spelling it that way, too. And did you know that Fathers’ Day was founding in Spokane? Yup. While its intent was to honor fathers much like mothers had been honored, it appears it lacked the same anti-war sentiment that Mother’s Day was founded upon. Interestingly, though the holiday was first observed in 1910, it was not until 1966 that President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring the holiday, and not until 1972 that President Nixon signed it into law as a permanent national holiday.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While not meant to be a purely commercial holiday, commercialism was used to promote it initially, though now it simply capitalizes on the holiday, and we will be no different in today’s blog post. To that end, let us let the guilt-inducing barrage of suggestions for honoring dad with goodies from your Ballard Farmers Market begin. After all, if you’re going to treat dad, why not do it with something meaningful, local and delicious, right? Like sausages from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. These gorgeous links are made for Stokesberry by Wallingford’s Link Lab using Stokesberry’s pork. From left to right, above, you see Shiitake & SageFremont Beer Bratwurst and Chipotle Tequila pork sausages. And because I care, I have tried them all, and I can report that they are all fantastic! Don’t worry that they are frozen. They will thaw quickly, so dad can grill them tonight… over fire… cuz that’s what dads do.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love oysters. In fact, dads love to grill oysters. It allows them to combine eating a foraged food with cooking it over fire, much like his caveman ancestors with whom he identifies so closely, when he can get away with it. And today is his day, so let him regress a little, eh? Of course, if he’s more the whip out a shucking knife type, that’ll work, too. So stop by Hama Hama Oyster Company for a bag of their finest.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and by the way, Hama Hama has a new product just in time for dad to use on those grilled oysters: chipotle bourbon butter. Once your oysters pop open on the grill, remove the top shell and spoon on a dollop of this stuff, let it melt all over your oyster, and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. Yeah, baby! And just to do a little bragging of our own here, this blog for your Ballard Farmers Market enjoyed its 500,000th all-time visitor Saturday! Woohoo!

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack's flocked by the plants of the world's four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s flocked by the plants of the world’s four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love hot sauce. Even if they don’t. They want to believe they can down a one-ounce shot of this Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company without even wincing. As if. This stuff contains four of the hottest chiles on earth, each represented in the photo above by a pepper plant from their farm that later this year will produce, from left to right, Ghost, Scorpion, 7 Pot and Scotch Bonnet chiles for next year’s sauce. So get dad a bottle. Encourage him to display his manhood. Keep a bottle of milk nearby. And try not to laugh too hard.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love strawberries, preferably atop a nice piece of shortcake, and covered in freshly whipped cream. And these certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm taste as good as they look. They actually grow these under row covers, which keeps the berries cleaner while also keeping the soil warmer, helping the berries flourish and sweeten up. And did you know that 2013 is a banner year for strawberries — one of the best in many years? They are bigger and sweeter. Enjoy!

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a cool gift for dad: a single serving colander from Daily Bird Pottery. I swear, these guys are like Revere Ware in the 1950s. Back then, they made a kitchen gadget for any and every conceivable kitchen need. Well, check this one out. You fill it up with a serving of berries — these are from Jessie’s Berries — and then you just hold it under the kitchen faucet, or the nearest drinking fountain, and rinse the berries off. The water runs right out the bottom, along with any dirt that was on the berries. How cool is that! What will they think of next?

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. I mean, you don’t even need to rinse these off. Just pop them open and eat the peas. Talk about the perfect veggie for dad to eat while he’s grilling dead animal parts on the Weber in the backyard, or at the park or beach. They’re sweet, crunchy and self-contained, and their packaging is easily compostable — simplicity at its best.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love messy fruit that they can devour whole, and that is likely to ruin their shirt. In this case, organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Apriums were developed in the 1980s as an hybrid of apricots and plums. They are about 75% apricot and 25% plum, and as such, they are much more like apricots, not just in appearance, but it flavor and seasonality. If dad has been missing your sloppy, juicy, wipe-your-chin-with-your-sleevy local, tree-ripened stone fruitliciousness, it is time to him to rejoice!

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like bright, colorful things that burn a bit. Like these Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Native to Northern China, these stunning roots have a nice bite to them this time of year, and for my money, they are the king of radishes available around here. I am known to our farmers for asking when these jewels will arrive each spring. (Okay, I’m known for a few other things, too.) If you’ve never tried these, you should give them a test drive today. You can thank me later.

The "Pete" of Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The “Pete” of Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like other dads who remind them it is okay to be goofy and to eat sweets. For that, we have Pete Brogi, and his Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got toffeefudge and some other goodies for dad, in a variety of flavors. And he’s always got a sense of humor, even when he’s cranky. Stop by for a sample or three, and then load dad up with a little sugar. After all, it’s Fathers’ Day. He can go back on his diet tomorrow!

Daddy's Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love things that are named after them, like Daddy’s Muesli. Made in Port Townsend from a wonderful collection of ingredients, this old-world cereal recipe will make dad’s breakfast more fun, and, truth be told, it will keep him regular, too!

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love cole slaw with their picnics, and you can’t have the slaw without some of this lovely green cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They just started harvesting this new crop of cabbage this past week. Bring a head home, break out the old RonCo food slicer, and get your slaw on!

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, dads love sharp stuff. And from a safety standpoint, sharper is better, so if dad is accident prone, sharpen his knives for Fathers’ Day. See, besides the fact that when you do cut yourself with a very sharp knife, the wound is cleaner, easier to repair, and will heal better… dull knives are much more likely to cause injury, because they will slip, slide and bounce off things that a sharp knife will cut cleanly through. And when they slip, slide and bounce, they tend to end up in dad’s hand. Ouch! So bring dad’s knives, as well as his tools, to Your Knife Sharpening Guy and get a fresh edge put on them all — for dad’s safety!

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, April 21st: Happy Earth Day Tomorrow! Let’s See What Lessons We Can Learn From Our Vendors About Respecting Mother Earth!

April 20, 2013
Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Happy Earth Day! Most of us have a sense about your Ballard Farmers Market helping us tread a little lighter on our Mother Earth, but today, let’s take a look at many of the ways the Market’s vendors teach us about living more in harmony with our environment. Take oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, for instance. Oyster farming in our local waters requires clean water, and as such, this industry actually encourages us to keep Puget Sound cleaner. But did you know that our environmental sins from years ago, and seemingly unrelated to water pollution, are actually threatening our beloved bivalves today? You see, all that carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere from our coal power plants, our cars and our furnaces has to come down somewhere, and a lot of it is being absorbed into our oceans, where is settles to the bottom in an acidic soup. Now, the North Pacific currents are pushing all that acidic water right up into Puget Sound and Hood Canal, where it is beginning to dissolve oyster larvae and other shelled species before they can even get settled in the mud. It is called Ocean Acidification, and we all need to learn about it, change our habits — drive less, get more efficient cars, switch to electric heat pumps, etc. — and we need to Stop The Coal Trains from shipping more coal to China, where it will just make matters worse. If it isn’t good to burn here, we shouldn’t be giving it to them to burn there!

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Plant a garden with local, organic veggie starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Sure, we want you to visit us every Sunday all summer long for the best fresh, local produce anywhere, but if you are planning to plant your own garden, get your veggies starts here, too. That way, you’ll know how they were raised, and using what kind of seed. And the more food we can grow right here in Puget Sound, the less we have to import from other parts of the country and world!

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden’s soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skip the nitrogen chemicals in synthetic fertilizers, and enrich your soil naturally with nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Nash’s Organic Produce offers a nice cover crop seed mix that you can toss about your garden to help draw the nitrogen your veggies will need right out of the air and ground. Then, when you turn it into the soil before your planting, it will breakdown, leaving all those nutrients right there in your garden to feed all your plants!

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm will have these lovely Pink Beauty radishes today, as well as Tom Thumb & Little Gem lettuce, at your Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that One Leaf is only in its third year of operations? Yup. We are adding farms to King County — they are located in Carnation, for instance — and that means less need to import. During the WTO protests in Seattle back in 1999, visiting farmers from around the world taught me that the best thing we can do to help them in their countries is to buy local food here. That’s because when we buy imported produce, we are supporting a system of corporate agribusiness that takes over local farmland in other countries to grow large amounts of mono-cropped foods for the U.S. market. In the process, they force the local farmers, who are growing culturally relevant and organic foods for their local communities off of their land, resulting in lost crop diversity and food insecurity in regions of the world with very fertile farmland. So, Think Globally. Eat Locally!

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat wild foods! Before European settlers came to Puget Sound, local Indian tribes practiced a form of agriculture that would be almost invisible to us today. They managed the native, wild edible plant and animal species on a grand scale, so that come berry season, mushroom seasons or time for a clam bake, they knew right where to find dinner. In that spirit, folks like Foraged & Found Edibles today try to protect their harvesting grounds, as their livelihoods also depend on them. So enjoy some wild morel mushroomsstinging nettles or fern fiddleheads this week from your Ballard Farmers Market, and get back in touch with your wild side!

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keep your knives and tools sharpened and healthy, so they last longer, all while supporting an ancient artisan trade that does not required electricity! Your Knife Sharpening Guy will put a fresh edge on your kitchen knives, garden sheers, shovels and even your reel lawnmowers, all with a zero carbon footprint. There is no need for you to buy new stuff. Your old stuff can be made new again!

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

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

Support your local fishery! Washington does a very good job managing its commercial fisheries. So you know, when it’s caught in Washington waters, it is done so sustainably. Loki Fish catches Keta salmon, from which comes this Ikura, right here in Puget Sound. And this summer, they will also catch Pink Salmon here, too. Wilson Fish catches King Salmon along the Washington Coast. Your support of these local fishing vessels at your Ballard Farmers Market ensures their ability to keep catching the best fish around, and keep family traditions — and wages — alive, as well!

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Support Puget Sound Appellation wineries, like Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Most folks think all the wine grapes in Washington grow east of the Cascades, but the truth is that there is a robust grape-growing region right here in Puget Sound! Lopez produces three certified-organic estate wines from their island-grown grapes, including Madeleine AngevineSiegerrebe and Wave Crest White. These wines win many awards, and we are lucky to have them right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cleanse your body, rejuvenate your soul, and reuse your bottle! Communi-Tea Kombucha let’s you do all three! This fermented tea beverage will give you a boost of energy, cure what ails you, and when you are ready for your next bottle, they will even take your old bottle back, wash it, and reuse it! Unfamiliar with kombucha? Try one of these handle 250 ml. bottles. This is the finest, freshest kombucha you will find anywhere!

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reuse your gold… or someone else’s, at least. That’s what Port Townsend jeweler Itali Lambertini does. Gold mining around the world is very toxic and destructive, and many of us are familiar with the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, that threatens to destroy the largest wild salmon spawning grounds left on earth — home to more than half of the planet’s remaining wild salmon. And yet, there is plenty of gold already in circulation, mined decades and even centuries ago. So why go to some generic jewelry store in a mall to get a ring made of virgin gold that is the same as a thousand other rings, when you can get a unique ring, made with recycled gold, made by a local artist, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, it’s not just the thought that counts. The materials and craftsmanship count, too!

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm & Education Center is another King County farm, and besides bringing us amazing local veggies, like these pea vines, in season now, they also operate an educational program that teaches children and adults alike all about organic farming and its benefits, right in Duvall! Of course, supporting them also means you are keeping your dollars recirculating in our local economy, thus creating local, living-wage jobs, instead of exporting your dollars to another state or country. Your support of local jobs means that local farmers are able to support you right back, as they, too, support local businesses. You see, a rising tide floats all boats. We all succeed together… or the alternative.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat lower on the food chain! House of the Sun produces delicious, nutritious raw and vegan foods, like these awesome kale chips! They get their ingredients from Market farmers. They have a smaller carbon footprint, because they aren’t heating things to cook them. Not cooking foods preserves many nutrients that can be destroyed by cooking them. And you can get your savory and sweet snack on without having to go to the Big Box store to buys some over-packaged “food” made who knows where with who knows what!

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat local honey! Local honey, like from our own Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, supports to protection of local bees, which do a lot of the heavy lifting around here, pollinating most of the crops we know and love here at your Ballard Farmers Market. But did you know that the bees themselves are in trouble? And if they are in trouble, we are in trouble. There’s a thing called Colony Collapse Disorder that has devastated honey bee populations far and wide. So remember, while supporting your local bee can help you will allergies and sweeten your tea, you should also learn more about CCD and what you can do to stop it.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat gluten-free! More and more Americans are finding they have gluten sensitivity. But that is no longer a life-sentence of really crappy baked goods. Not at your Ballard Farmers Market, at least. That’s because we have d:floured gluten-free bakery, makers of all manner of sweet and savory gluten-free deliciousness that does not skimp on flavor in its pursuit of gluten-free goodies. Take this pumpkin bread, for instance. I beseech thee to find another pumpkin bread around that is better than this! Quite simply, whether or not you are avoiding gluten, you will love everything on d:floured’s tables.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Detox your home! Ascents Candles makes their candles with natural oils, not petroleum products, which means you are not filling your home with toxic fumes when you burn them. Plus, they are scented with various natural essential oils that will help set the mood, whatever mood you are aiming for. And if you’re eating dinner and want no scent at all from your candles, they’ve got them, too. Because after all, Earth Day ultimately starts at home!

One more way to celebrate Earth Day every Sunday is to 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.

Sunday, November 18th: Everything You Need For A Local Food Thanksgiving & Chef Dustin Ronspies, Too!

November 18, 2012

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table during his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving is in four days, good people of Ballard, and today’s the day you need to stock up on all things local and delicious to make for the best holiday feast ever! Seems kind of early this year, right? Well, it is officially celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November, and this year, that’s the 22nd. Yuppers, it’s Eat Local For Thanksgiving time again, and to help you in this endeavor, our good buddy and culinary artist extraordinaire, Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table with be doing his annual cooking demonstration today at noon at your Ballard Farmers Market. Dustin, who builds his menu every week around what is fresh and in season at the Market, will show us some fun, delicious and simple holiday side dishes made with ingredients from our Market farmers!

Brilliant kales and chards from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everyone has their own holiday menu traditions and favorites, and you’ll find most of what you desire right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, direct from the farm and so fresh, in fact, that even though you are buying it today, it will still be fresher on Thursday than if you bought it from a Big Box grocer on Wednesday, and you won’t have to fight with anyone in the parking lot or wait in the checkout line for an hour, either! Just check out how stunningly beautiful these chards and kales from Boistfort Valley Farm are, for instance. If hearty braising greens are on your menu, you can’t go wrong with these.

Winter squash from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash is on the menu for many, and just take a gander at all the gorgeous varieties Alm Hill Gardens has for you right now. Kabochabutternutspaghettiacorn, and even pie pumpkins! They’ve also got broccolileeks and more!

Brussels sprouts from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One item I cannot live without on my holiday table is Brussels sprouts. Indeed, I have found many who use this holiday as a great means to education the jaded masses as to the wonders of these little cabbages that grow on stalks. Well, Nash’s Organic Produce has a lot of Brussels sprouts right now, but if memory serves me, that didn’t keep them from running out early last year. So get here early! Just be kind to your neighbors. We don’t want to have to deploy the tear gas and rubber bullets at their stand again this year.

Porcini mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The king of mushrooms, the mighty porcini mushroom returned to the tables of Foraged & Found Edibles last week, and hopefully, they will have plenty of them again this week, too. Nature can be fickle, but it has been a relatively unharsh week, mushroom wise. Of course, they should have plenty of chanterelles, too, great for adding to stuffing!

Seasoned croutons for stuffing from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of stuffing, Grateful Bread Bakery should have more of their seasoned croutons for stuffing available for said purpose today, if their is any justice in the universe. Mind you, these tend to sell out very quickly, so again, get here plenty early! And grab some loaves for Thursday while you’re at it. Bread freezes very well, so just toss it in the freezer when you get home today, and then, half an hour before dinner Thursday, take it out, run it under warm water just to moisten, and slide it in the oven on low-ish heat while your turkey is resting and your stuffing is heating through. It’ll be warm and fresh like it was just made, and all your guests will worship you! (Heck, I’ve got an entire religion named after me from doing this.)

Quince jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need jams, jellies and chutneys from Deluxe Foods to accent various stages of your holiday meal. Their Spiced Plum Jam will round out that cheese plate perfectly to keep your guests out of your way in the kitchen whilst you finish up dinner. Apple Chutney and Quince Jelly are both perfect accompaniments to your turkey, and their Gingered Rhubarb is lovely with apple pie or over vanilla ice cream… or both!

Dried chili peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last call for dried chili peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms, as well as garliconionsdried beans and more. It has already gotten quite cold over in the Yakima Valley, and they are simply running out of deliciousness for us this season. The good news is, everything they have currently will keep for months, so stock up on all that you will need now, and enjoy it all winter long!

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are planning on adding oysters to your stuffing, you had better get down here very early. That’s because even though Hama Hama Oyster Company has been bringing more and more jars of shucked oysters each Sunday, they are still selling out long before the Market ends. So, no dillydallying, folks. Oysters wait for no one!

Pumpkin Pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, there is no shame in admitting you suck at making pies. I know I do. But you promised to bring dessert to your friends’ holiday feast, didn’t you? Well, fear not. Deborah’s Homemade Pies has you covered. From these lovely pumpkin pies, to apple, berry and pecan pies, Deborah has a pie to fit every palate, and best of all, her pies are — and I feel no hesitation saying this — the best pies on earth! Seriously. Her crusts are nothing short of divine, and she uses local ingredients right down to the flour from Washington’s own Shepherd’s Grain. (Okay, the pecans ain’t local, but would you rather she not make pecan pie?) But lest you have failed to get the point thus far, her pies will sell out quickly, regardless of the fact that she’s bringing many more than usual. Don’t be the poor sap who arrives at 2:30 p.m. expecting to find exactly what you desire. Those of us who are not snickering will be rolling our eyes at you. You’ve been warned!

Beautiful late fall bouquets from Mee Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about some lovely local flowers for your dinner table. Our many flower farmers still have plenty of stunning bouquets waiting for you, like this gorgeous arrangements from Mee Garden. Again, they are so fresh, they’ll still look great come Thursday! Enjoy!

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off with one more holiday necessity you might not otherwise think of until it’s too late, and your carving knife bounces off of your turkey. Meet Andrew Huesca, a.k.a., Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Andrew sharpens knives by hand, right at the Market, and he’ll be here today, all day, doing just that. So bring down your frustrating old knifes that are so dull, they could barely hope to bruise you, let alone actually cut you, drop them off with Andrew when you first get to the Market, and with any luck (meaning that not too many people beat you there, and you’re not too fast a shopper), your knives will be sharpened and ready to slice through the most stubborn of roast beasts with ease come Thursday!

Finally, another reminder to please 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.