Posts Tagged ‘mint’

Sunday, August 15th: Gluten-Free Bread, Ripe Melons, Heirloom Tomatoes & Fractalized Romanesco! Please Remember To Vote For Ballard!!!

August 15, 2010

Platypus Breads & House of the Sun, together in one booth at your Ballard Farmers Market on August 8, 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, it’s not one of my best photos, but it does illustrate a point: your Ballard Farmers Market incubates new small food artisan businesses. Over the years, we’ve helped launch Veraci Pizza, Tall Grass Bakery, Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Anita’s Crepes, and many a farm. What you see in this photo from last Sunday is two new businesses for 2010, Platypus Breads and House of the Sun, sharing a precious 10′ x 10′ space at the Market. See, this time of year, Ballard Farmers Market is stocked to the gills with farmers and their many crops. It is, after all, peak season. But as the season ebbs and flows, on occasion we have the odd space that opens up in a given week. Such was the case last week, and we were able to give two of our favorite new food artisan businesses a shot at the big leagues of farmers markets we all know and love as your Ballard Farmers Market. Indeed, our dear Market has become a Holy Grail of sorts to many would-be food artisans, but we just have so much space to squeeze vendors in, especially this time of year. Fortunately, we operate four other neighborhood farmers markets throughout the city, which affords us the opportunity to give a number of new farms and food artisans a chance to get their feet wet in the Seattle farmers market scene each year. In the process, we get to meet some extraordinary people with great ideas and vision that result in some amazing and unique food products, and Platypus Breads and House of the Sun are perfect examples. Platypus Breads fills the incredibly important and unbelievably vacant niche of gluten-free bread making, and it does so with gluten-free breads that are, well, actually really good! And House of the Sun has created a line of raw and vegan foods that not only fills a niche for folks on a raw-vegan diet, but is so damned good that grilled flesh eaters like me thoroughly enjoy them, too. And the best news of all is that they are both back at Ballard Farmers Market, again sharing a tent, today!!!

Gorgeous melons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey Lyall Farms. Nice melons! Melon season is just beginning to kick in, you know. I am told we will get hit by a tidal wave of melons as early as next week. Woohoo! And you know, I heard back from my buddy, Evan, from Rochester, NY this past week. You can see his newest, quite conciliatory comment attached to the bottom of last week’s post. The long and short of it is that, in the big picture, we’re really just one big farmers market family from coast-to-coast, working hard to support family farmers and feed our neighborhoods, while having a little fun sparring with each other over this silly America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest. Still, silly or not, we would still like to crush our competitors in New York and California who currently lead us in the polls like so many garden snails. Are you with me, people of Ballard? Do you want to show these folks who think Ballard is part of the city of Seattle that we are, indeed, the People’s Republic of Ballard, proud of our independent heritage, still bitter about having been absorbed by Seattle in 1907 as the result of an election during the fishing season, when half the men in Ballard were out at sea, and we know we have the best damned farmers market on the planet, let alone America, and we’re not gonna let anybody beat us in this election!!! Shake off that bitterness, people of Ballard. Learn to trust the process again. Vote with all you heart, soul and email addresses, and if each and every one of us takes the 30 seconds to vote and we still lose to Rochester, we will simply tip our hats and say, “We’ll get you next year!” But we must not go down without a fight! Vote now!!!

Baby squash with blossoms attached fro Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now this is a pretty picture, ain’t it? This is baby zucchini with the blossoms still attached from Colinwood Farms. Colinwood is an example of a farm that, until about a year and a half ago, was only really known well in Port Townsend and environs. Now, many of us couldn’t make it through the week without some of their vegetative deliciousness. This is the magic of your Ballard Farmers Market. Hey, have you become a fan of us on our Facebook page? We just finally figured out the great “Favorite Pages” feature on our page, and now we are adding all of our vendors’ Facebook pages to that list, so you can easily find them in that universe. And if you check out our Twitter page, you will see we have two lists you can follow on it: one for our vendors’ Twitter pages, and one for our neighbors’ businesses here on Ballard Avenue. Check it all out!

White eggplant from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, tender white eggplant from Magana. You know, our chef from Georgetown Liquor Company, a great vegetarian restaurant and bar in Georgetown, did a great cooking demo on Saturday at our Georgetown Farmers Market in which he made this awesome tomatillos salsa that he served over delicious slices of marinated, raw white eggplant. Check that market’s blog in the next week or so for a recipe!

Heirloom tomatoes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been a long wait, but tomato season is finally kicking into high gear, with many farms now having lots of them. This collection of heirloom tomatoes from Summer Run is gorgeous, isn’t it?

Fresh okra from Alvarez. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okra. I love her show. Actually, this is the underappreciated vegetable from Alvarez Organic Farms, okra, the staple of culinary traditions from the Southeastern U.S. to Northern Africa to Southern and Southeast Asia. The problem is, most of us northern white folks have never had it prepared properly. Me, I pickle it. But I love it deep fried and doused in Louisiana Hot Sauce, or in a Southern gumbo, which is in fact another name for okra, or in a Nigerian goat soup with fufu, or maybe tossed with shrimp paste and shrimp as Malay Satay Hut in Redmond. Trust me, when treated right, this stuff’s da bomb!

Shaving kit from Brown & Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the soap at Brown & Butterfly. Big bars that just feel right in your palm, made with a great variety of essential oils, both for their scent and their medicine. Well, now they are making shaving mug soap pucks, too. You might think, “What’s the difference? It’s just soap.” Oh, but it’s not. Shaving soap needs to have a special lather to it, and it needs to soothe the skin while it facilitates the razor. Try it out in your shaving mug with your camel hair brush, and it you don’t have those, they’ll set you up with the whole kit!

Cherry plums from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are cherry plums from Tiny’s. They’re plums that are about the size of cherries, not some whacky hybrid of cherries and plums, like you’d expect from those crazy cats at Tiny’s. But they have a fascinating sweetness and flavor. In fact, some of them actually taste a bit of fresh coconut. Go figure.

Apple mint from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the talking heads on the local TV news Saturday night said that one of things we can do to keep cool during our latest hot spell is to add mint to our water. I don’t know the chemistry and biology behind this, but hey, if they say it on the TV news, it must be true, right? And even if it’s not, who cares? It’s mint! What’s it going to do to you except make your water tasty and your breath minty fresh. You might want to give some of this apple mint from Boistfort Valley Farm a shot for this purpose.

Romanesco from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, the mighty Romanesco, great cauliflower of Italy, and, to the best of my knowledge, the only vegetable that grows in perfect fractal spirals. Check out those totally awesome fractals in this Romanesco from Alm Hill Gardens. Honestly, is this not one of the coolest looking vegetables you have ever seen?

Lemon cucumbers from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lemon cucumbers, like these from Oxbow Farm, are pretty cool, too. Don’t they kinda look like lemons? And they are plenty tasty, too. I’m thinking they’ll go well in a concoction for some bruschetta, don’t you know.

Monogrammed Desem whole wheat sour dough bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I took this photo of a big loaf of Tall Grass Bakery Desem sourdough, whole wheat bread last Thanksgiving. At the time, I actually figured the big “TG” must have been for Thanksgiving. Then I smartened up and realized it was the monogrammed initials of the bakery itself. Desem is a lovely bread, giving you the richness of whole wheat with that wonderful sourdough culture. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot today. You’ll thank me later!

And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. And thank you!

Sunday, May 30th: Happy Birthday Mom! (Oh, Strawberries, Cherries, Pork, Porcinis, Biscotti, Rye Flour, Honey Butter & A Bunch Of Other Stuff, Too.)

May 30, 2010

More strawberries, these from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was a little kid, I always thought it was so cool that the Town of New Paltz, New York would have a parade in honor of my mother’s birthday every year. See, back then (I say, dating myself), Memorial Day was held on May 30th, not that last Monday in May. And May 30th is my mom’s birthday. So I figured that the annual Memorial Day parade was being held for my mom. Heck, everyone’s mom should get a parade, really. I mean, why the heck don’t we have parades on Mother’s Day? Hmm, maybe next year, we should! Anyway, happy birthday, mom! And it’s a good thing you didn’t come out to Seattle for it, because it is cold and grey. The good news, though, is that we finally have strawberries at Ballard Farmers Market. The ones above are from Stoney Plains. Tiny’s has some, too. So for those of you who have stayed in town this first big weekend of the, um, summer (?) season, fear not. You can enjoy strawberry shortcake with your barbecue. And guess what else you can enjoy?

Early Marlat cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherries! Oh, long, endless winter called spring of our discontent, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it may not, after all, be the headlamp of an oncoming train. Green things are wonderful, but brightly colored fruits and berries will warm our hearts, if not our neighborhoods. Thank you, ACMA Mission Orchards, for bringing to us these first cherries of 2010 — Early Marlats. Who cares if they are not those sexy Rainiers and Bings we’ll enjoy in July? These are still plenty sweet and enjoyable, and any hint of a summer to come, someday, somehow, is truly welcome at this point.

A delectable selection of pigrific pork products from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We will need delicious hunks of pig to throw on the barbie this weekend, if we intend to take full advantage of our long weekend, and Olsen Farms has that covered. Now, I know you are looking at this photo thinking, “well, the chops, ribs and sausage will be great on the grill, but bacon?” Oh, ye of such limited creativity. Have you ever heard of bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped prawns, or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped… um… bacon?!? I mean, it’s bacon, for the love of Mike! If you can’t figure out how to work it into the menu, there simply is no hope for you. (Oh, and by the way, Olsen has the tenderloins, too, but they can’t help you with the prawns. However, Taylor Shellfish can certainly help you with some bacon-wrapped oyster action. And we miss you, Bill. Get well, soon!)

Baby summer squash and squash blossoms from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yet another sure sign that July 5th is just around the corner is this beautiful, tender, young zucchini, complete with blossoms, from Colinwood Farms. Agriculture gods be praised! Those crazy kids over in Port Townsend have put their greenhouses to good use, and we are the beneficiaries. Amen!

Baby fennel from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful baby fennel is waiting for you today on the tables of Full Circle Farm. Roast a few of these lovelies, or maybe toss ’em on the grill for a few minutes. They are sweet, with a hint of anise, and they will simply make you smile.

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

Hey, asparagus would be great on the grill, too, and maybe some baby sweet onions, both of which you can get from Magana today. Actually, this all sounds great alongside some mighty king salmon from Wilson Fish, does it not?

Wild porcini, or king bolete, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These wild porcini mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles would be lovely cooked up in a little foil pouch on the grill, too, if you can get to the Market early enough to get them. Actually, they’d be awesome sauteed and tossed with one of Pasteria Lucchese’s fantastic pastas, too.

Biscotti di Prato from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pasteria Lucchese also just introduced these new Biscotti di Prato. Sam tells me that Sara worked her way through many different recipe variations before she got to this one. We thank her for her due diligence. The result is perfection… again. I am not sure how many of these the Market staff put away at the Madrona Farmers Market on Friday, and with the weather cold enough to justify plenty of hot coffee, we dipped away with them. These beauties are not jawbreakers. They are delicate, and they are delicious — a little something to cap off that holiday barbecue.

Fresh rye flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has come out with yet another flour produced from their gorgeous grains they grow in Dungeness: rye flour. Just think of all the deliciousness you can bake up with this stuff, eh? And ain’t it cool that you can get freshly milled flour right at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, that stuff in the bags at the Big Box grocery store… do you have any idea how old that is? See, whole grains will keep for years, but mill them into flour, and they only have about two months before they lose their nutritional value and begin to go rancid. Blech. So think about that the next time you are in the flour aisle at the Big Box store. Then think about the fact that the grain growers at Ballard Farmers Market a bringing you flour that was milled within two weeks of your purchase of it. Nuff said, eh?

New honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot, steaming bread made from local flour, fresh out of the oven, filling the whole house with its magnificent aroma. Last year, the thought of heating up the house about now seemed absurd, but this year, it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And just imagine that warm slice of fresh bread with some of this honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery slathered all over it. Oh, baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. So, when life gives you a cold Memorial Day weekend, make bread, I say!

Devra, owner of Patty Pan Grill, slinging fine veggies quesadillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Patty Pan Grill, one of Ballard Farmers Market’s oldest vendors, sources all of those veggies for their veggie quesadillas from the many farmers at Ballard Farmers Market? Yep, they sure do. So when you support Patty Pan Grill, you actually are supporting the whole Market. Kinda warms your heart, while it fills your belly.

Purslane from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s something I just love about spring… even this spring… purslane. Not a lot of folks grow this stuff, but Alm Hill Gardens does. It has a delicate flavor with slight tartness to it, and a nice crunch. I like eating it as a salad, myself, tossed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and some pine nuts. How do you like it?

Lovely little Cherokee lettuces from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has some of its wonderful heirloom lettuces for you already, like these beautiful little Cherokee lettuces. Think salads, sandwiches, even roasted. Lettuce. It’s what’s for dinner. (The Beef Board can… sorry… it’s a family show.)

Mint and dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dress up that salad, that cocktail, that piece of salmon or halibut, that whatever it is with some fresh mint or dill from Children’s Garden. They have a bunch of fresh herbs for you now, plus plenty of lettuce, greens, garlic, choys and, of course, flowers. Lots of spectacular flowers.

Napa cabbage from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, this would actually be pretty good on the grill, or for you non-carnivores, great tossed with some tofu, soy sauce and sesame oil. Isn’t this napa cabbage from Summer Run fabulous? Hmm. Maybe a fresh kimchi in lieu of cole slaw for the picnic, eh? Just pick up some cayenne powder from Pipitone Farms or some paprika from Some Like It Hott so your kimchi will have that proper kick.

A beautiful bouquet for my mom on her birthday, from The Old Farmer. (No, dad. You are not The Old Farmer. You are simply an old farmer.) Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this rather lengthy epistle this week with one more happy birthday wish to the bestest mom in the whole wide world… mine. Oh, you can argue this point with me all you want, but you will lose. And if all else fails, I have inherited her sharp elbows, so if you persist in arguing the point, I may have to jab you with one of them. Anywho, mom, since I cannot be with you by the lake in Northern New York today, these flowers from The Old Farmer are for you — virtually. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Oh, 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.

Sunday, May 23rd: Head Cheese, Strawberries, Sea Beans & Maybe A Duck.

May 23, 2010

Head cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I often rave about porkolicious, lambrific, beeftastic meat from Sea Breeze Farm, those crazy kids over on Vashon Island who drag their refer cases to Ballard every Sunday with all sorts of tasty animal parts in it. But these guys also rock the charcuterie, too. Each week, you will find any number of terrines, pates and other offal concoctions ready to slather on a nice slice of Tall Grass baguette with some mustard. Last week, Sea Breeze offered up this particularly lovely head cheese experiment from their kitchen. I ask you, why would anyone waste the perfectly good head of a pig when you can make some spectabulous dish like this out of it. In fact, while most Americans are turning their little puritanical noses up at the pig’s head, the guys working in the kitchen can’t wait to get their hands, and forks, on it. Oh, how much we entitled gringos with our steakhouse cuts of meat miss out on in this country.

A grain rolling mill in action at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has been doing a little equipment testing at your Ballard Farmers Market lately — grain rolling mills. These gadgets, like the one above, will roll out whatever whole grain you’ve got into flat, round pieces, like the rolled oats you get as oatmeal, or at least that’s the plan. Stop by and see what you think, though honestly, the one that Sequim Prairie Star let me play with when I visited their farm, just down the road a piece from Nash’s, worked much better than either of the two Nash’s tested last week. So if you must have one, ask the folks at Sequim Prairie today what kind theirs is. Then grab some grain from Nash’s or Bluebird and have some fun with it.

Dozens of empty milk bottles behind Golden Glen's table. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the fact that Golden Glen Creamery packages its milk and cream in reusable glass bottles. Besides the obvious environmental benefit, packing milk in glass protects its flavor as well. See, plastic milk bottles impart a slight plastic flavor into your milk. So if you haven’t tried milk out of glass, give it a shot this week. Once you go glass, you’ll never go back to plastic.

This first strawberries of 2010, from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. Yep, there are strawberries in the Market! Tiny’s is growing them in East Wenatchee, and lucky for them, they didn’t all get frozen out recently. Well, lucky for us, too. I did some quality control work on your behalf in a steady downpour on Wednesday at the Wallingford Farmers Market, and I can assure you, these are some sweet, delicious berries. But there aren’t many of them, and no one else has them yet, so they will go fast. Get ’em first thing. The eggs can wait! Oh, and grab a pint of cream from Golden Glen to drizzle over them.

Duck eggs from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of eggs, have you ever tried duck eggs? They are just a little richer than chicken eggs — and a little bigger with a deeply yellow, almost orange yolk that stands up firmly in your skillet. I love duck eggs. And you can get yourself some of them from Quilceda Farm, along with some goat sausage, for one yummy breakfast.

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

And speaking of ducks, Stokesberry had these magnificent, whole, fresh ducks last week at your Ballard Farmers Market. And if we’re lucky, they will have a few more today. But if you miss out, they will have more in a month or so. Stop by and reserve one, and pick up some chicken while you’re there. Oh, and Stokesberry will be featured at Ray’s Boat House on Thursday, June 3rd, from 6-8 p.m., as part of Ray’s Year of Sustainable Stories dinner series. Check Ray’s or Stokesberry’s websites for more details.

Fresh mint from Mee Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s horse racing season, and you will be needing plenty of mint for your juleps. Lucky for you, Mee Gardens has it. This stuff is beautiful and fragrant, and waiting to be muddled. Enjoy!

Actually, I believe it is some of Children’s Garden’s mint that Tom uses in his mint-chocolate chip ice cream at Empire Ice Cream, and Theo chocolate. I know what you’re thinking. How come I don’t have a photo of some delicious choc-mint, as the Brits would call it? Simple. I ate it all. I mean, honestly, I hate mint-chocolate chip ice cream most of the time, because they all use mint oil. All, except Empire Ice Cream, that is. They use fresh mint leaves, and that makes all the difference in the world. But I am not gonna stand around taking pictures of it while it melts in front of me.

Sea beans from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sea bean season has begun. Sea beans grow, well, in the sea, ergo the name “sea bean.” These salty little rascals lend a wonderful flavor to many dishes, from salads to fish and meat, and more. Stop by Foraged & Found Edibles and pick some up, along with some preparation suggestions.

Clockwise, from left, is red king salmon, rockfish, marbled king salmon and halibut, from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

At Wilson Fish, they say that if their fish was any fresher, it would be from the future. In fact, most Sundays, the fish they are selling at Ballard Farmers Market was still swimming on Saturday. That means the freshest, truly local — as in from Washington — king salmon, halibut, rockfish, ling cod and true cod you are likely ever to taste, and because they handle it so carefully, it is always in beautiful condition. It also means these guys don’t sleep a lot from May through September, which may explain why they surround themselves with bad humor-covered fluorescent signs.

Original and chocolate Josephines from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin’s Josephines at Hot Cakes are about as rich and decadent as any hedonist could hope for. Loaded with plenty of eggs and butter and Bluebird Grain Farms flour, these little cakes are amazing, but they’re not diet food. And amen to that! Now, Hot Cakes offers a chocolate version of its Josephine to accompany its original. These things are to die for, as long as they don’t kill you. But if you need the number for my cardiologist, just inquire at the Market Info Desk.

Beautiful bok choy from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I thought I’d better finish off with some ruffage. Some gosh-darned delicious ruffage, that is. And gorgeous, too. Just check out this bok choy from Colinwood Farms. I had some of this alongside an incredible piece of Wilson’s king salmon last week, and boy-howdy, was that good. A little garlic, a little oyster sauce. Oh, yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby.

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.

Sunday, March 28th: A Holiday Ham, A Market Family Addition, Rhubarb (so much for the rhythm of this title) & A Small Amount Of (wait for it) Asparagus!

March 28, 2010

A holiday ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to pickup a lovely ham for Passover, err, I mean Easter, coming up this week. This beauty is from Skagit River Ranch. Honestly, their hams are among the best I’ve ever had. Seriously. Also seriously, Olsen Farms has plenty of briskets still for Passover, which starts sundown tomorrow. And for Easter, they have lamb saddle roasts and rack of lamb today for $18/pound and standing rib roasts for $14/pound.

By the way, Skagit River Ranch will be featured during a special dinner at Ray’s Boathouse on Thursday, April 1st as part of Ray’s farmers market and sustainability dinner series. Make your reservations now!

Laurel Batho, new daughter of Julianna Batho. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market added a new member to its family on March 10, 2010 at 9:54 a.m., when Julianna Batho of Ascents Candles gave birth at home to daughter Laurel, who joined us at a healthy 8.5 pounds. Julianna may be back selling her candles as early as today, so do stop by and congratulate her, and say hi to baby Laurel.

Fresh mint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was just two years ago that Seattle Chefs Collaborative held a “Seasonal Ingredients” Meet & Greet on March 31st, for which there were mostly just roots and some braising greens available for the menu. Wow, is this year different! Yes, that is fresh mint you see above, and yes, this is a recent photo. Children’s Garden already has mint for you at Ballard Farmers Market, so why not muddle a julep or three for, um, well, spring. Yeah, that sounds like a good enough excuse.

Rhubarb from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And rhubarb. Yes, it is also now in season. Doesn’t a little rhubarb crisp sound pretty good right about now? Stop by Stoney Plains to pick some up today, but do it early, lest it sell out. And remember, you can get the flour for your crisp from Nash’s, and the butter and whipping cream from Golden Glen Creamery.

Wheat-free Oat Bread from Pacific Coast Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pacific Coast Bakery took a little break from your Ballard Farmers Market during the dead of winter this year to upgrade its bakery. They’re back now with an expanded line, including this Wheat-Free Oat Bread. Yes, this stuff is made with oat flour, so if you are avoiding wheat, and missing bread, pick up a loaf of this stuff today.

Sunflower sprouts from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These sunflower sprouts from Alm Hill Gardens have a deliciously nutty sunflower seed flavor (okay, maybe that should be “seedy” instead of “nutty”, but who wants to eat some seedy, right?), and they are one of the most nutrient dense foods around. Oh, and rumor has it that Alm Hill may have a little of the year’s first asparagus today, but get there early if you want some.

Canned albacore tuna from Cape Cleare. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Line caught & handled with care” is what it says on the labels for Cape Cleare Fishery’s cans of albacore tuna. And besides the fact that their tuna is delicious, the labels on their cans are beautiful works of art.

Chives, green garlic and red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And talk about the happy days of spring, how about this shot. Chives, green garlic and red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Oh, happy days indeed!

Smoked salmon wings from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is a true delicacy — smoked salmon wings from Wilson Fish. These are the fins that are trimmed from the fish when it is being filleted, and because the fins are near the fattest part of the belly, they are incredible rich with fish oils. In other words, these suckers are like buddah.

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.