Posts Tagged ‘Local food’


April 24, 2015


The MeltMac

It features goat milk from Left Foot Farm, delicious goat and sheep milk cheeses, and locally farmed dried tomatoes and spinach.

Melt.  Now offering goat milk based macaroni & cheese dishes, inspired by mediterranean recipes.

Melt. Now offering goat milk based macaroni & cheese dishes, inspired by mediterranean recipes, for those who want to avoid lactose

The delicious sun-drenched flavors of the Mediterranean are the inspiration for this “no moo” MeltMac. Made with real Greek Kasseri, Mizithra, a ‘ewe’-phoric Gouda, Kalamata olives, dried tomatoes and spinach; one bite will transport you to the beaches of the Greek Islands. Kali Orexi!  If some of these ingredients are new to you, stop by to ask for a taste and explanation of all of those wonderful names.


Wild-harvested, and fresh as a Gift from Mother Nature can be. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons

Wild-harvested, and fresh as a Gift from Mother Nature can be. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oysters.


Better get these wild-caught prawns while they are here at Ballard Farmers Market.  We never know when or how long they’ll be available. A delicate and unique flavor treat, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious.

EASY RECIPE FOR SPOT PRAWNS DINNER: Start a 2-4 quart pan of heavily salted water to boil.

Wash and trim off tough ends of one bunch Asparagus,

Smash Garlic cloves (as many as you think you’ll like),

Coat a pretty large pan with a good dash of olive oil, add smashed garlic and gradually bring heat up to medium-high.

Wash prawns in fresh, cold water as the fry pan gets hot, pat-dry prawns.

When water is boiling fast, add Pasteria Lucchese’s Tagliatelli, (or any favorite pasta). Stir pasta as water starts to show bubbles again.

Add spears of asparagus or bok choy into the water as the pasta finishes.

This is when you need to watch all the cooking pots because it takes only a short time for everything to be cooked perfectly.

Add prawns into garlic saute pan, stir until they turn red, it will be just a few minutes.

Use tongs to remove veggies from pasta, drain pasta by pouring through a colander.  Plate pasta, pour spot prawns over pasta, including the garlic-oil, add asparagus.  Serve and get rave reviews.

NOTE:  When eating everybody should use their fingers and tongues. Lick the prawns for a great flavor burst, then peel the prawns, bite, eat pasta, eat vegetables, enjoy.


Cascade Bicycle Club has worked to develop a bike rack valet parking program for the community of Ballard Farmers Market.  It will be premiered this Sunday.  Come by the market and check it out.

Cascade Bicycle Club Valet Bike Rack in Gasworks Park

Cascade Bicycle Club Valet Bike Rack in Gasworks Park

We are so excited to be able to offer a safe place at the market for all our biking friends to stash their bikes while they shop at the market. Thanks go to Cascade Bicycle Club for thinking of Ballard Farmers Market as the place for this and for their generous donation of time and efforts to make it happen.  And we want to give a shout out to Second Ascent for providing the storage of the bike rack during the week. The support from this neighborhood is so awesome.


April 22, 2015

bfm flag sign


It’s Earth Day today.

This is an idea announced 45 years ago today, here in Seattle.  It’s one of our City’s gifts to the world.  Originally celebrated by delivering a black casket, symbolically containing the Earth, to the Mayor’s offices. Don’t we live in an amazing, special and beautiful place?


Sustainable Ballard is having a Street Party this afternoon, April 22nd, 4 pm until 8 pm at NW 46th Street & Leary Way NW.  There will be lots of ideas for improving our environment, music, great food and interesting people. You’ll also find out that it can be fun to work on improving our world.


Go to the Earth Day Network website and see ways you and your family can have an impact on what is going on. If we stand up for our community and use our dollars to speak of what we feel is important, we can make a difference.  This is, no doubt, something that you already know.

Read the April 15th Forbes article, “Earth Day 2015: …10 Funds Prove Investors Can Beat The Stockmarket by Going Green”, written by Tran Ho, an investment consultant.  Click on the Forbes name and find out how beneficial it can also be to be thoughtful and principled when you use your money.

The message on this 45th anniversary of Earth Day is don’t be shy to contact your politicians.  Be they working downtown, in Olympia or in the Other Washington. Tell them what you feel is important. And keep doing it. They don’t act like they can hear, or read, but perseverance is the key. Our efforts can contribute to a ripple effect that leads to policies that will protect this wonderful world.  I understand that snail mail is now taking too long to get to some of the politicians because of security checks.  So feel free, and be counted, by sending an email about what matters to you. If you need to get the email addresses, we’ll be glad to help you find that.  Finally, don’t forget to vote.



As Ballard Farmers Market supporters, you commit positive actions (on many levels) to support local food producers. Earth Day is every day for you.  In a real way, you contribute to our state’s smaller-scale farm families in an enterprise that is more difficult than ever for anyone not doing large-scale agriculture.  Because of you, the Ballard Farmers Market, like the other farmers markets in our community, has become an economic engine for our State.  The people who prepare foods ready to eat at the market and those who grow and craft the wonderful items you take home, also buy their ingredients directly from the farms and local businesses.  Along with you, we are part of an elegant architecture of mutual community benefit, while eating the finest foods to be found anywhere.


With your support, for the last 3 years, we’ve been able to offer more of our neighbors the ability to use their SNAP (food stamp) benefits at the market.  Striving to bring the finest we have to all who want it. Every time you buy something from our small businesses, of whatever type, there is an economic phenomenon called the “Multiplier Effect”. This term originated from economics related to savings, but has recently been used by the USDA to describe the effects of direct marketing benefits for small farms and farmers markets’ communities. It deals with the fact that a dollar spent at a market, given to a farmer, is re-spent by that farmer with  72-89 cents going back again into the local economy, and this effect can often happen repeatedly.

Your actions contribute in real terms to the wonderful community we have.  Without you, we could not do it. We are proud and grateful that you spend your time and dollars with us.



Returning Farms, Great Albacore, Devine Tonics and Wine

April 10, 2015

 Alvarez Organic Farms Returns

Organic Asparagus at Ballard Farmers Market

Hilario Alvarez of Alvarez Organic Farms harvesting fresh peanuts on his Mabton farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

They’re Back!

The Alvarez Organic Farm crew will be at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday with their asparagus, dried peppers, red onions, beans, and shallots.

F/V St. Jude at

Ballard Farmers Market April 12

F/V St Jude's Amazing Albacore

F/V St Jude’s Amazing Albacore

Joe and Joyce Malley, the owners of Fishing Vessel St. Jude are dedicated to bringing you the right albacore. And right is

  • low in mercury,
  • high in omega 3 oils, and
  • caught in a sustainable manner.

They base their business on troll caught albacore and constantly test their catch to assure the product they bring to you is the healthiest and best ecological choice for the finest you can eat.

This albacore tuna, whether flash frozen, smoked, or canned has received the stamps of approval by Seafood Watch, Dolphin Safe and New Pacific Albacore.

Market Master’s Recipe- for a Simple Dinner

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Roasted Tuna, Asparagus & Morel

1 large bunch of asparagus,washed and trimmed

2 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced in bite-sized pieces

1 small red onion, sliced

1 can of F/V St. Jude albacore, seasoned or use Natural in Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil,   ¾ tsp Salt, and pepper to taste

Now for preparation:  Set Oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Use 2 if you need it.  In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until vegetables are coated with oil. Add EVOO if needed. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes stirring once until vegetables are slightly charred and tender.  NOTE:  If you want a dinner fit for a grand banquet, use one of the albacore filets or steaks that Joyce brings frozen from the F/V St. Jude latest catch, instead of their canned products .  It thaws in a very short time, slices into 1/2 inch pieces easily, and should not be cooked very long.  So wait until after you stir the veggies then add the slices to the pan & sear until just before they turn from pink to white.  Serve with soy sauce and wasabi on the table, or not, as you please.

Servings are less than 150 calories per serving and HUGE in taste.

A dessert designed by Linda Harkness, the Firefly Kitchen manager, would be absolutely perfect for the end of a lovely albacore, asparagus and morel dinner.  Carrot Bars with Carrot Cream Frosting.

 Now for the Wines

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery.  The only winery in the City of Seattle.

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery. The only winery in the City of Seattle.

A Pioneer in Washington’s Wine Industry

Paul Beveridge, and his wife, Lysle Wilhelmi, are the owners of Wilridge Winery. (Yes, that is his name). They also own their own vineyard on Naches Heights, near Yakima, where the vines are tended organically and biodynamically.

Paul and Lysle opened a European-style bistro in the early 1990’s, in a house on 34th Ave, in the Madrona district. The restaurant was on the 2nd floor and their winery was in the cellar. It was the city of Seattle’s 1st winery. After the restaurant was closed because of laws that were established to prohibit ‘bathtub’ gin being sold in a retail outlet, including restaurants, the couple decided to close the Bistro. Paul and Lysle were pioneers again by working to get that law changed, with help from the Washington Wine Institute.

Paul also contributed significant time and efforts that led to the legislation that allows wine and beer from Washington producers to be sold at farmers markets.

And, if that isn’t enough pioneering, they have also been among the first wineries, let along retailers, to offer their fine wines in refillable bottles.

Stop by to talk to their representative, and have a taste to decide what vintage or blend you want.  You will be proud to be supporting ethically and sustainably grown fine wines from Washington State

Firefly Kitchens

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Located in Ballard, Julie O’Brien is brewing up fermented produce, much of which is sourced directly from our local farms, and is available right here at the Ballard Farmers Market.

During this work, they develop a tonic they call Divine Brine. Bring your own jar and she’ll fill it up for you with some of this healthy probiotic tonic. This is not only a super-healthy food for your digestive system, it is a culinary treat for your whole body.

A winner of America’s Good Food Award for each of the past 4 years, stop by Firefly Kitchens to taste. They also encourage you to bring your own jar for a fill-up of their Devine Brine.

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

And try the recipe for Carrot Cake with Carrot Cream Icing (link is above).

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

We are glad to have a little more space to keep more of our fine foods and craft vendors longer through the summer as the farms begin to rush into the Ballard Farmers Market with their larger harvests.  You may have noticed over the years, the market experiences a gradual loss of some of our favorite food makers and handmade crafts as we have more and bigger farm presence.  A shout-out goes to the City Department of Parks and Recreation for approving our use permit of Bergen Place.  Now we can keep more of our fine vendors working in Ballard.  You’ll see a rotating variety of vendors over the coming months, like:  Veraci Pizza!  Their famous pizza oven cooking pizzas with many locally sourced toppings, was scheduled to move into Bergen Place at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday, but they brought the wrong size truck and can’t make it work.  I apologize to those readers who saw this False alarm last night and the earlier post this morning.  We will try to work it out for next week.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza into the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.


Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

Once upon a time, in the far distant past, mothers and crones and medicine women were the keepers of the villagers’ health.  It was from them that the secret of the Spring Tonic was imposed into the family diets and for treating illnesses in the community.  The medicine women had learned, what much later would be named by modern science as Micro-Nutrients and Vitamin C, were effective at helping people fight off the ravages of the winter weather and effects of less food for the people during the dark months.  They knew the secrets of recovery that were held within the bright green shoots emerging in the forests around them.


Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, tasty miner’s lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Miners Lettuce, saved many miners’  lives during the mid-1800s. Many men were taken in by the myths of “gold in them thar hills” that came out of the California Gold Rush.  These guys were gullible. They thought that within a few weeks, they could just walk around the mountains, picking up huge gold nuggets, and return home with their fortunes before their families missed them.  Consequently, many opted not to bring food supplies with them and, of course, many soon began to starve.  Luckily, the mountain ranges of the West Coast had a native plant, Claytonia profoliata, growing everywhere in the forests.  This beautiful and delicious green was packed with vitamins, most especially  “C”, and its common name, of Miners Lettuce is a testament to how many miners’ lives it was responsible for saving and how many of those silly men made it back from the wilds of the Northern California Sierras alive, if poorer.  Excellent in salads, as a beautiful garnish on any food, and used on sandwiches in place of lettuce.  The flavor is almost tart, but mild, and children love eating it fresh picked.
Both Nettles and Chickweed, endemic to fields and forest, paths and hedgerows, have also provided natural remedies for eons.  One is scary and the other is stepped on wherever you go.


Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization.  From Stoney Plains Farm

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization. From Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed is delicate and if soaked in cold water for an hour or four, will leach many of their healthful nutrients into the water and provide a refreshing drink to those who may have to re-hydrate from congestion or a cough from a cold.  Then use the greens in a fresh salad, on sandwiches, or as a garnish, much like you would parsley or cilantro sprigs.


Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Nettles, with their prickly leaves, should be placed in a bowl of water, rinsed and drained. Best if you use a pair of tongs or a spoon so as not to touch them with your hands. Then throw them into a saute pan with mushrooms, onions and/or garlic, and eaten like any great vegetable.  Their sting disappears with the cooking, and may be responsible for a big part of the nutrition they provide.


Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our amazing weather has caused bumper crops that are popping out of the fields of our area farms like magic.  One Leaf Farm is one of those.  I got a call from Alice, formerly the beauty who was always seen behind the tables of Oxbow Farm in the past years.  Now she works with Rand Rasheed.

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Carnation

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Snohomish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems these two powerhouse women farmers had more greens than the restaurants they normally supply could use this week.  So when they asked if they could bring One Leaf Farm greens this week, I jumped at the chance to bring them to Ballard Farmers Market.


Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here:


Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

A consistent winner of prizes for Best-of-Category, Lopez Island Vineyards will be taking a hiatus from the Ballard Farmers Market in order to catch up with the many Spring chores that a vineyard has. Again, because of this amazing weather, the vines are requiring a lot of attention.  As so many of our farms, Brent Charnley and Maggie Nilan, are working the vineyards and running the winery almost entirely by themselves. You’re encouraged to come to market this Sunday, stock up on their very special wines and say goodbye.  If you have the time, volunteer to help out at LIV, and you could find yourself with an interesting job while you enjoy one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Be sure to pick up enough bottles to last until they return.  Luckily wine keeps in a cool pantry or basement excellently, actually getting better.  It’s a feeling of security to have a stock of great wines, ready for that special occasion when only the best local taste will meet the standard of what you want to sip.  Try taking home their most recent winner, Malbec, their lovely Gold Winning Madeline Angevine, it won a Platinum Award, and the Siegerrebe white wine, declared “top-quality” by Wine Press Northwest.


Find a one of a kind skirt to brighten up these warmer days.  Children’s sizes are also available.

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities