Posts Tagged ‘lavender’

Seafood Fest & Colorful Food

August 2, 2009
A beautiful, and busy, day at Ballard Farmers Market on July 26th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A beautiful, and busy, day at Ballard Farmers Market on July 26th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunday, July 26th brought another spectacular, sunny day to the Ballard Farmers Market… and the Ballard Seafood Festival. So I thought it appropriate to capture this image of the throngs of Market faithful from a perch atop one of Wilson Fish’s coolers. Seafood Fest certainly filled the neighborhood and parking, and it clogged Ballard streets. It was fun, but it did make it challenging for some to visit the Market, so we will excuse you if you missed the Market on July 26th. Besides, it gave us an opportunity to introduce the Market to many new folks. And we look forward to seeing you back next time.

A gorgeous display by Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A gorgeous display by Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For those who braved the Seafood Fest crowds, you were rewarded by some of the most spectacularly colorful displays of food of the year. Just take a look at this display of bountiful deliciousness from Nash’s.

A rainbow of labels on cans of St. Jude tuna. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of labels on cans of St. Jude tuna. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Fishing Vessel St. Jude’s display of their canned tuna looks like a rainbow. St. Jude catches juvenile albacore as it swims south along the Washington coast, when it is still full of omega-fatty acids that protected it in cold North Pacific waters, and while it is still young and with little mercury, unlike its tropical adult elders. St. Jude comes to the Market every other week, so look for them next on August 9th.

Fresh, brilliant and fragrant lavender from Floating Leaves Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, brilliant and fragrant lavender from Floating Leaves Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Floating Leaves Lavender Farm returned to Ballard Farmers Market for the 2009 season. The fresh lavender harvest is now at its peak on the North Olympic Peninsula, around Sequim, the lavender capitol of North America. With the 2009 Lavender Festival last week behind them, lavender farms like Floating Leaves and Moosedreams are back at the Market in all their glory. Enjoy this special Northwest harvest while you can.

Growing Things cheddar cauliflower. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things cheddar cauliflower. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out this aptly named cheddar cauliflower from Growing Things. Growing Things grows several varieties of cauliflower, including graffiti, which is purple, and this lovely stuff, which is probably really good with, um, cheese. (Sorry. I just couldn’t help being cheesy here.)

This magnificent display comes to us courtesy of Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This magnificent display comes to us courtesy of Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I am coaching new vendors about how to improve their displays, the first place I send them is to Boistfort Valley Farm’s stall to study how they do it. This little snapshot of Boistfort’s display on the 26th accounts for maybe 15% of their total display, tops. It sings beauty, freshness, quality, variety, abundance and choice, just what we all are looking for at the Market.

Sunflowers from The Old Gardener. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers from The Old Gardener. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. They are just so large and in charge. Well, it is sunflower season, and many farms have them now, like these from The Old Gardener, mid-market, near Wilson Fish.

A colorful mix of berries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A colorful mix of berries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berries continue to brighten up the Market, like these mixed berry flats from Jessie’s Berries. For folks who want a potpourri of berries, this is definitely the way to go.

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Chinese spinach may in fact be the most beautiful vegetable on earth. Just look at this Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It’s incredible.

Lovely and edible garlic flowers from Red Barn. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lovely and edible garlic flowers from Red Barn. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish our little journey down colorful lane with these wonderful garlic flowers from Red Barn Farm. If you have never seen garlic in the field when it goes into bloom, this is what its flowers look like. Picture, if you will, chives when they flower, then picture them a lot bigger, and you can imagine garlic flowers. Or, you can just go to Red Barn and see them… and eat them, too.

Seafood Fest is gone for another year. It is safe for you to return to Downtown Ballard. We’ll see you next time at the Market.

July 12th: Lavender, Chicken, Berries, Tomatoes & (wait for it) Maybe Even CORN!!!

July 12, 2009
Lavender in full-bloom in Sequim. Photo copyright 2009 by Robin Moses. Used with permission.

Lavender in full-bloom in Sequim. Photo copyright 2009 by Robin Moses. Used with permission.

It is the height of lavender season on the Olympic Peninsula, and Moosedreams Lavender Farm is bringing that wonderful fragrant herbaceous shrub’s flowers in all types of products, and fresh, to the Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that the Olympic Peninsula is the lavender capitol of the U.S.? Yep. And if you are one who always must go to the Tulip Festival to see the spectacular displays of color, then check out the Sequim Lavender Festival next weekend. There, you get to see and smell the scene, and maybe even taste some of it.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm.

Growing Things has freshly harvested frozen chickens this week. 10 years ago, my family had one of these chickens for Thanksgiving dinner. After that, I have never purchased another chicken from a grocery store. I mean, who knows how long they’ve been there? Sure, “fresh” is convenient, but Growing Things chickens are frozen immediately, so when you thaw them to cook them, they are at their peak, not a week or two old. The difference is in the flavor.

A berry mix from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A berry mix from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t know if this photo of a mixed flat of berries from Jessie’s Berries speaks as many as a thousand words, but it does make clear the point that it is berry season.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s tomato season now, too. My favorite tomatoes are the incredible Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, these above from Local Roots. I eat these suckers like candy. They are sweet without much acidity, and they have a wonderful, kinda warm flavor.

Fresh chickpeas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh chickpeas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By now, you are used to the big bins of dried beans and peanuts at Alvarez Organic Farms. Of course, at some point, these dried legumes were fresh. And right now, their chickpeas (a.k.a., garbanzo beans) are fresh. But it is a very short season — maybe two weeks — so get them while you can. Just get there early.

Green and yellow wax beans from Magana. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green and yellow wax beans from Magana. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also bean season, like these yellow wax and green beans from Magana Farms. Oxbow has Dragon’s Tongue beans, and Stoney Plains has Harricot Verts, too. In fact, you will find beans all over the Market today.

Wilson Fish's Washington-coastal coho salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish's Washington-coastal coho salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The coho salmon season is now open on the Washington coast, and Wilson Fish has beautiful, whole and filleted fresh coho ready for your barby.

Gogeous Riland apricots from Pipitone Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gogeous Riland apricots from Pipitone Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pipitone Farms is back at Ballard every week now with fresh apricots and peaches. And Tiny’s even has nectarines and pluots already.

Fresh pluots are available now from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pluots are available now from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in addition to their beans and tomatoes that they are adding this week, Oxbow has a fresh crop of fennel, too.

Oxbow Farm fennel. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm fennel. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is so much more. Check the “What’s Fresh Now!” directory to see a fairly complete list of everything our farmers will be selling this week.