Posts Tagged ‘lavender’

Sunday, August 14th: Vote Now! Excellent Eggs, Mouthwatering Watermelons, Wild Elderberries, Tremendous Treviso & Washington’s Only Native(ish) Potato!

August 14, 2011

Look for these signs at the Ballard Farmers Market to vote for us from your Smart Phone, or download this photo by clicking on it to scan it at home..

Hey, we know you love your Ballard Farmers Market. I mean, more than 3,000 of you visit this blog every week. More than 2,000 of you follow us on Facebook. Another 1,600+ of you follow us on Twitter. And then there are the 10,000 or so of you who visit us at the Market every Sunday. And in your love of your Ballard Farmers Market, you’ve come to expect a lot of it — a lot which we strive tirelessly week in and out, year-round, to provide for you, asking little of you in return. Well, now we are asking you for something. Something simple. We are asking you to take 30 seconds or less to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Scan your smart phone across the image above, or just click the link. Help us win bragging rights and funds for improving the Market, as well as 500 No Farms, No Food canvas bags to give to you as a thank you. So far, about 500 of you have voted. We need about 5,000 to win. Do it as a thank you to the Market staff and vendors for all they do for you. Do it for Ballard. Do it for Seattle. Do it for Washington. But do it now, as voting closes on August 31st. And thank you.

Michaele Blakely of Growing Things showing off her prized eggs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By now, you have found Growing Things Farm in their new location at the top of the Market at 22nd Ave. Did you know that Michaele Blakely actually was the original manager of this farmers market, when it was still attached to the Fremont Sunday Market back in the late 1990s? Yep. And Michaele is one of those extraordinary farmers that does so much on a relatively small parcel of land, from row crops to poultry to beef and pork to jams to soap made from beef tallow and lard from her own animals to some of the best eggs on earth. And for those of you who have been getting to the Market too late to get some of those eggs in recent weeks, never fear. Michaele tells me her hens have caught up in egg production now, and she will have a lot more eggs today and in future weeks, so come and get ’em. But hey, there are still no guarantees for you slackers who show up late in the day!

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gotta love these yellow-fleshed yellow doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Chef Peter Levine of  Waterfront Seafood Grill did a cooking demonstration for us recently at your  mid-week Interbay Farmers Market on Thursdays in which he used all yellow foods, calling it a “yellow plate special.” The one thing we were missing that day were these. Don’t you miss this sweet, refreshing summer treat today!

Treviso radicchio from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the most spectacular looking vegetables, and one of my personal favorites, it treviso radicchio. This member of the chicory family of bitter greens is perfect sautéed with some salty, smoky porkiliciousness, or lathered up with some olive oil and grilled. Pick up some from Full Circle Farm today and give it a try!

Wild blue elderberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These tiny little berries are wild blue elderberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. These jewels pack perhaps more medicinal qualities in them than any other berry, and they make some awesome wine and jam. But their season is short. Put some up now for winter, and enjoy their healthful deliciousness during the cold, dark, wet months.

Fresh lavender from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s lavender season at Children’s Garden, folks. May we all rejoice in their fragrant beauty, and may all the bees have one humongous insect equivalent of a kegger amidst their blossoms. Heck, if you’ve got a blooming lavender plant near you, sit or lay near it, close your eyes, and just listen to all the buzzing of the bees as they party their little brains out.

Beets from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these brilliant beets from Colinwood Farms. You know, some people may find beets to be kind of pedestrian, but I find them both beautiful and luscious, and hey, bunch beets give you two dishes for the price of one — roots and greens. Don’t you dare toss out those greens! I mean, you do know that chard is essentially beet greens bred to focus on the greens and not the root, right? Well, with bunch beets, you get your beets and your chard!

Sungold tomatoes & blackberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the contrast in color between these sungold cherry tomatoes and blackberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Their blackberries are as good as any could hope to be. And I’ve been eating these sweet sungolds by the pint. Sungolds are one of the sweetest tomatoes. And since you are going to want to put some on salads, make sure you get a couple of pints, as you will eat one of them right out of the container!

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes, like these from Alvarez Organic Farms, are the closest thing we’ve got to a native potato here in Washington, the potato producing capitol of the United States. See, all potatoes originated in South America. And almost all potatoes now in North America are descendants of potatoes that first traveled to Europe before coming here. But there are a very few exceptions. The Ozette, along with three other fingerling potatoes, were brought up the West Coast by the Spanish in 1791 and planted near their ports from Northern California to Vancouver Island. The Ozette was brought to the area inhabited by the Makah Nation out near Neah Bay. But the Spanish couldn’t hack our Northwest weather, so in 1793, they buggered off back down the coast, leaving behind these potatoes. So, pick up a little bit of local, and potato, history today. Oh, they taste pretty good, too!

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When you look at this perfect tray of apricots from Martin Family Orchards, it will come as no surprise that they are called perfection apricots. Perfect looking. Perfect tasting. Nuff said.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!

Sunday, May 1st: May Day! May Day! (Don’t Panic. It Is May Day, After All! Time To Celebrate Spring!!!)

May 1, 2011

Oxbow Farm's Luke Woodward proudly showing off his prized carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, I am certain it is spring! Oxbow Farm returns today. Welcome back Luke and the gang for another great year of deliciousness. Luke tells me they’ll have parsnips, russets, wild nettles, spinach, various raabs and a bunch of plants, including their famous tomato starts and a variety of brassicas.

Hey, as much as I talk about it being spring, and today it will really feel like it, the Pagan calendar considers May 1st to be the beginning of summer, and they mark it with the holiday of Beltane. So celebrate looking forward to a great harvest, and celebrate fertility! Set a bonfire! Color some eggs and hang them from trees! (Oh, by the way, those colored eggs eventually led to the Easter egg hunt, after early Christians stole the Pagans’ eggs and buried them.) Today is also the international day of workers, so thank yourself, and someone working for or near you, for keeping things moving, in spite of Congress, the banking industry, oil companies and the lot. Oh, and today a bunch of anarchists will likely march around the streets of Olympia and do a dance with local authorities.

Asparagus from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms also returns today for the 2011 market season with lots of Yakima Valley asparagus. Yup, it’s time to get your asparagus on, folks. In fact, not only Magana, but also Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Woohoo!!!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, this isn’t a file photo. These are squash blossoms photographed by yours truly just last Sunday. Colinwood Farm grows them in their greenhouse every spring, just to please us and confuse the heck out of us. But hey, stop questioning. Instead, grab some of these beauties, and then get some chevre or fromage from one of our various cheese makers and stuff these bad boys and fry ’em up! You can thank me later. Oh! They have adorable little baby squash ripe for the sauteing, too!

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

I’ve never understood why some people trim the belly fat off of their salmon. I mean, when are people gonna get it through their thick skulls that not all fat is bad? In fact, fat is a necessary part of our diets, and without it, our brains literally cease to function. That’s why fish is good brain food. And cold water fish is even better brain food. It’s got all those omega fatty acids that make our brains and our hearts so happy. And those salmon bellies so many of you are eschewing are full of them. Not to mention the fact that they are friggin’ delicious! Honestly, I was at this fish market in Florida — a place I already established two weeks ago with you as devoid of real farmers markets — and in addition to the great local seafood they had in their cases, they had wild Alaskan salmon… with the belly fat all trimmed away. In horror, I asked, “Why?!?” They said most people wanted it that way — more evidence that that state is just fundamentally twisted. So then I asked, “Do you at least save the bellies for yourself?” And they said, “Of course. That’s the best part of the fish!” Yes, a voice a reason in an unreasonable place. Blessed are the fishers and fishmongers! Well, salmon bellies are something many of us understand around here, and Loki Fish decided it was high time they canned some of them just for us. (I can only assume that Dylan and Pete simply had more salmon bellies than they could possible eat by themselves!) So come pick up a can of Loki’s smoked salmon bellies today. Okay, get three, and tell your family you got two, and then eat the third of them in your car in the driveway.

Easter eggs & French breakfast radishes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radishes are absolutely rocking right now. Just look at these lovely specimens of radiliciousness from Alm Hill Gardens! Slice them over some spicy salad mix, for which Alm Hill also has you covered, dip them in some butter and truffle salt, or just eat them straight. Yeah, baby!

Mothers' Day gift bags from Woodinville Lavender. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I had a chance to visit Woodinville Lavender Farm amongst the wineries and distilleries of Woodinville on Thursday afternoon. It is rather extraordinary what can be produced on just a 1-acre lavender farm. They are infusing their lavender into soaps, bath salts, candles, neck & eye pillows, mists, and all sorts of things. In fact, just in time for Mothers’ Day, they’ve put together a little gift bag that’ll make any mom giddy.

Green leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Lettuce entertain you.” Sorry. But every spring, the first lettuce of the year gets me singing that Queen song in my head. This green leaf lettuce is one of several varieties of the leafy wonderfulness offered up by Stoney Plains already this spring. Oh, happy day!

Whole emmer in husk from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 201o by Zachary D. Lyons.

Emmer is just simply a beautiful grain in so many ways. This is it still in the husk last fall from Bluebird Grain Farms. They then husk it to extract the whole grain, which they sell as is, or milled as flour or cracked emmer. Bluebird returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with all manner of emmer and other grain products.

Berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Mothers’ Day, it is just next Sunday. No time like the present to grab some wine or cider from Rochridge Orchards in preparation. Then drink it this week, and come back next week, with mom, and buy some more to share with her!

Peppermint & chocolate mint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t you just love fresh mint? Of course you do! And the Kentucky Derby is next Saturday, you know. You will need plenty of mint to make proper mint juleps or iced tea for the occasion. So stop by Children’s Garden today and pick some up!

Chocolate milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chocolate milk, oh, how I love thee. And thank you, Silver Springs Creamery, for blessing us this day with delicious chocolate milk made with your wonderful Jersey cow’s milk. Okay, everyone, I’ll race you to Silver Springs’ tent for the last bottle!

Three different strudels from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for those of you who simply are not yet sweet enough, stop by Little Prague European Bakery for some of their famous strudel, and sweeten yourself up a bit. Believe me, we will all be the better for it!

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.

Sunday, April 24th: Fresh Washington King Salmon, Gorgeous Greens, Perfect Plants, Bunny-Earred Bread, Lovely Lavender & Pie!

April 24, 2011

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Charlton Heston Week! That week in which, every year, ABC airs The Ten Commandments, complete with miracles, brilliant Technicolor, and a cast of thousands. (There were some other holidays this week, too. Please refer to your childhood and/or religious persuasion to identify those.) Also, Happy Opening of 2011 Washington Coastal Salmon Fishing Season!!! Woohooooooo! Yup, it’s back! Fresh, local king salmon from Wilson Fish. If you have never experienced some of Wilson’s fresh king salmon, well, you’ve never really had fresh king salmon before — unless you caught it yourself. This fish is so fresh, so say it’s from the future! But get here early. It will sell out fast.

Kale raab from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a very short period each spring, it is raab season. Raab is the budding tops of overwintered crops of the brassica genus, like cabbage, kale and rutabaga, as they begin to flower before going to seed in spring. It is sweet, tender and delicious. Check out these spectacular kale raabs (above) from Full Circle Farm, and look for many other raabs on farm tables through your Ballard Farmers Market today.

Rhubarb plants from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did yesterday’s warm sunshine get you thinking of gardening? Did you spend the day cleaning up your garden beds? And did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is the best place in town to get plants for your garden? That’s right. Many of our farmers have great plant starts for your garden, like these rhubarb plants from Stoney Plains. Indeed, they have cabbage, sweet corn, even strawberry plants, as well as all manner of culinary herbs at Stoney Plains right now. So come get your garden on!

Bunny-eared baguette from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The bakers at Tall Grass Bakery got into the holiday spirit with this baguette twisted into bunny ears. Now, if they had formed one of their olive fougasse loaves into the face of Charlton Heston, I really would have been impressed!

Lavender plants from Woodinville Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This long, hard winter has been rough on a lot of normally hardy herb plants in many of our gardens — lavender in particular. Why not start from scratch with some beautiful, healthy and fragrant lavender plants from Woodinville Lavender Farm? Get them in the ground now, and they’ll develop strong roots and be ready to weather next winter after brightening up the yard all summer long!

Coconut cream pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you promise to bring dessert to Easter supper today? And did you forget to make something? Never fear. Deborah’s Homemade Pies are here! And let’s face it — why would you even bother trying to make a pie yourself, when you can get the best pies in town right here at your Ballard Farmers Market from Deborah! Seriously. I would not lie to you about something like pie. You can thank me later!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, May 2nd: Fresh, Troll-Caught Washington Coastal SALMON! Woo-hoo!!!

May 1, 2010

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s b-a-c-k!!! Yep, Fresh, wild, troll-caught, Washington coastal (not to be confused with “postal”) king salmon is back at Wilson Fish. The season opened yesterday, May 1st, and Steve Wilson went and caught some right off the bat, in spite of the cranky weather on the coast. In fact, the boys at Wilson Fish will have fresh king salmon, halibut, true cod and rockfish today, but not a lot, and it will go fast. Some forget that second cup of coffee this a.m. You’d better be in line when the market opens!

Spring pea shoots from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, that salmon would be lovely with a nice side of sauteed pea shoots, eh? A little garlic, a little olive oil. Heaven. Colinwood Farms has a limited supply of pea shoots, so once you fight your way to your piece of salmon, run recklessly (well, not really) to Colinwood for your pea shoots.

Lemon grass starts from Billy's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Billy’s Organic Produce is back, though it will be a while before they have fresh tomatoes. In the meantime, they have lots of plants, including something you might not expect — lemon grass. It is plenty hard to find fresh lemon grass in stores, so why not just grow your own, eh?

Cayenne powder from Pipitone Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love the fact that more and more dried local herbs and spices are becoming available from our market farmers, don’t you? And the farm that has truly blazed this trail is Pipitone Farms from Cashmere. Here is one of their latest additions: cayenne powder. You use it. Why not get it from a local farmer?

Culinary herb rub from Moosedreams Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I had the pleasure of visiting Moosedreams Lavender Farm recently. Not only do they grow lavender on their tiny farm in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, in Port Angeles, but they produce all manner of products from it, from soap to pet products to bath salts to culinary herb rub, above. I love this stuff on steak. An half hour before you throw your steak on the grill, pull it out of the fridge, slather it with olive oil, and coat it with this rub. Then let it sit and warm up while you built your fire in your Weber. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Chicken pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Deborah’s Homemade Pies returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Deborah was off running a marathon — Boston, I think — but she’s back, and amen for that. Gotta get me one of them chicken pies and a slice of chocolate decadence.

Salted caramel brownie from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t know if these new brownies from Pasteria Lucchese will cure what ails you, but they certainly will cause you to care less about it. These salted caramel brownies are intensely delicious without being overpowering, and yet, like all of the amazing dessert creations Pasteria Lucchese has produced, a little goes a long way, meaning you can enjoy it in multiple sittings, unless if what ails you is a complete lack of willpower, in which case get two of these, as the first won’t even survive the trip home.

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.