Posts Tagged ‘mustard greens’

Sunday, May 4th: Fresh Bucks Returns Today! Plus Westside Asparagus, Turnips, Frilly Mustards, Green Garlic, Tuna & Gifts Unique For Mom!

May 3, 2014

FreshBucks_Logo

Happy May, good people of Ballard! We survived the anarchist uprising for one more year… apparently because they couldn’t agree on what they were protesting about… and tomorrow, all of America, and one small state in Mexico, will celebrate an unlikely military victory 150 years ago by eating guacamole and drinking mas Dos Equis. Woohoo! But the beginning of May is actually significant for one much more important occurrence: the return of the Fresh Bucks program! That’s right! If you receive SNAP/EBT benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), and you use them to buy groceries at your Ballard Farmers Market, we will match your SNAP dollars, up to $10, with Fresh Bucks coupons good for fresh, local fruits, vegetables and fresh-cut herbs from our vendors, once per visit, every week, through December!

Would you like to help us expand Fresh Bucks? Please buy a ticket to our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to Support Fresh Bucks on May 13th, or simply make a donation now! Your generosity will help us create educational programming for kids about cooking with and eating farmers market produce, and to extend this great program into the winter months. And hey… the Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction makes a great Mother’s Day gift!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another reason to celebration the first Sunday in May is tuna! Yup, Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Stock up for the month with some of these gorgeous portioned frozen albacore tuna loins, some canned albacoresmoked or even jerkied! This is the finest, sashimi-grade albacore available!

Japanese Wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you don’t know how much I love radishes, you have not been paying attention the last several weeks. And you know what I love almost as much as radishes? These lovely, little Japanese wax turnips! They are sweet and spicy, great sliced like radishes and added to salads, or sautéed in some nice butter, and their greens are edible, too, meaning you get two veggies for the price of one! In fact, you can do a very quick sauté of the greens, and then top them with the sautéed turnips for a beautiful presentation of deliciousness. You’ll find them, as well as some of that famous purple-tipped asparagus and more, at Alm Hill Gardens today!

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

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

Last week, we talked about adorable little baby summer squash from Colinwood Farms. Today, let’s talk about squash blossoms. Fill these puppies with some from fresh cow, goat or sheep cheese (all available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!), and fry them up! Hey, now that sounds like a great way to celebrate Mexican military good fortune tomorrow, eh?

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the last couple of years, our buddy Jimmy at Phocas Farms only had enough of his prized saffron to supply just a handful of local chefs. But his 2013 harvest was a good one, and he has a limited number of packets of saffron for you and I right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Jim harvests these saffron threads on his farm in Port Angeles every October, when their crocuses bloom. It is meticulous, painstaking work from dawn to dusk during the harvest, as each thread must be harvested right when the bloom begins to open. It is no wonder this spice is so precious. And you will find no better saffron anywhere on earth!

Gold Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are the aptly named Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Frilly indeed! And they pack a tasty little spicy kick, too. One Leaf also has the first pea vines of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and the return of pink beauty radishes!

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's.

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s.

And the hits just keep on coming! (Yes, I am still giddy about spring!) This is spring garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm. Spring garlic is quite simply one of the most delicious things Al Gore ever invented, but it is only available for a short time each spring. Use it much like a spring onion in sautés, roasts, on the grill — heck, I like to cut it up with spring onions, asparagus and morel mushrooms, toss them with some nice olive oil, and roast them all together in a hot oven until just tender. It is so sweet and mild this time of year. Green garlic is a byproduct of garlic production. When farmers plant garlic in the late fall, they plant way more than they hope to harvest and cure come summer. That way, if some fails, they will still have plenty. In the spring, as the garlic begins to grow with gusto, they thin it out to allow the remaining plants’ bulbs to fill out comfortably. We get to enjoy the thinned plants as spring garlic. You can use the entire plant, from root hairs to the tips of the greens.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Planting your own vegetable garden this year? Well, the start of May also means it is time to get that going in ernest. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a terrific selection of certified organic vegetable starts to facilitate you in that endeavor. Stop by today and load up, and then eat from your own backyard farm this summer!

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Hey kids! Mother’s Day is next Sunday! Don’t be the schlump who didn’t take care of your mom! You can start with a Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. Everything they make is all natural and gentle, and their soaps, lotions and creams come in a variety of exhilarating scents. Mom will be happy. And when mom’s happy, everyone is happy!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Mom’s love herbal tea, too! And Harbor Herbalist makes an almost dizzying variety of herbal teas, most of which are caffeine-free. They are formulated using different combinations of herbs that offer a broad spectrum of medicinal and flavor profiles. Why not pick up a bag or three this week for mom, and greet her next Sunday morning with a lovely cup of herbal tea, before you take her down to her favorite farmers market, right here in Ballard, of course!

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom’s also love candles, and these non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles will lift mom’s sprits without asphyxiating her on the candles fumes. See, you’ll be telling your mom you love her… twice!

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just a reminder that you will not be the only one next week who wakes up and thinks, “Hey, I oughta get some flowers for mom from one of the many great farms at my Ballard Farmers Market!” Plan on long lines, and don’t wait until the end of the day. These tips will lower your stress level, and will keep you in good standing with the woman who brought you into this world.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, nuflours gluten-free bakery has a new line of cupcakes! This little bites of gluten-free heaven will satisfy even the least sensitive to gluten person in your household. On the left, we have lemon-coconut cupcakes, and on the right, chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. I call dibs on that one in the second row on the right!

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, March 24th: Spring Has Sprung, Bringing Fiddleheads, Easter Hams, Plants For Your Garden & More!

March 23, 2013
Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter is in one week, and churches all over are handing out palm fronds today. Time to get you a ham! Olsen Farms has plenty of freshly smoked hams for your holiday feast at your Ballard Farmers Market today. But if a beef or lamb roast is more your speed, they’ve got those waiting for you, too. But do pick it up today, so you are ready to go next Sunday, eh? And it’s not too late to pick up some lamb or a nice brisket for Passover, too, though you’ll want to start it thawing as soon as you get home today. After all, Passover begins at sundown Monday.

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ladyfern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know I’ve been talking about signs of spring for weeks now, but this past Wednesday, spring actually finally arrived. If the 12 hours of daylight didn’t give it away, certainly the snow showers and wind storms should have. Ah, March in the Pacific Northwet. Well, as if to formally pronounce the arrival spring, Foraged & Found Edibles brings the first Ladyfern fiddleheads to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Woohoo! And if that weren’t enough, they’ve got wood sorrel and stinging nettles today, too!

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

April approacheth, the sun is out, and it is time to get back into the garden! And Cascadian Edible Landscapes has returned to help us in that endeavor. They’ve got a tremendous selection of vegetable starts and berry plants. Like these beautiful blueberry plants. Imagine stepping out your backdoor to enjoy blueberries from your very own blueberry bush for years to come. Sounds pretty nice, eh? Well, get ’em now, and get ’em in the ground, while it is still the rainy season. That way, they’ll get their roots established before things dry out this summer.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has sorrel of the domesticated variety this week. This is Red Vein sorrel, though they also have regular sorrel, too. This regenerative, herbaceous leafy green is just what the doctor ordered, perhaps literally, for spring. Stoney Plains also has plenty of garden plants, too, including strawberry plants. Get them in the ground now, and enjoy your own berries come June!

Tulips from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tulips from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you notice how full the Market was last week? We had five farms return last week, including all of our Hmong flower farms. And if that ain’t an harbinger of spring, I don’t know what is! Of course, this week, they were probably harvesting flowers in the snow in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. Stop by today, and grab some of these lovely tulips from Pa Garden. Fresh from the field, they are ready to burst open in brilliant color in a vase on your table!

Kale Raabs from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale Raabs from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The start of spring also signals the approaching end of kale season. Yeah, I know. Around here, it is always kale season. But the fact is, this time of year, kale wants to reproduce, just like any other healthy species. So, the kale plants in the field, as well as the collards, cabbages and many roots, start to bolt, sending out their flowers in pursuit of procreation. The result is raab. Yes, this time of year, we get to enjoy any number of different kinds of raabs as these plants reach the end of their lifecycle and get on with the job of producing the next. Raabs, those tender, flowery tops of these plants, are lovely simply sautéed with some garlic, and they can be great grilled, too. And Nash’s Organic Produce has a whole bunch of them right now!

Gil holds ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gil holds ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is this week’s installment of This Photo Is Almost Disturbingly Cute. This is our own Gilbert holding three adorable, fluffy ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm during our visit there a few weeks ago. I suppose the cuteness factor may trouble some folks, but for those who enjoy duck, know that these little guys will enjoy a happy, healthy and loved life before they come to Market. That’s just the way the Stokesberry’s roll.

Dandelion greens from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dandelion greens from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of regenerative greens for a spring tonic, how’s about some of these tasty dandelion greens from Children’s Garden? These quite bitter greens may make you pucker a bit, but dress them with some anchovies, olive oil and some of that Twin Oaks goat feta, and maybe a drizzle of some balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got one delicious, nutritious salad. Or you can make soup, tea, or even juice them, and grilling them is not out of the question. Your liver will thank you!

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the ornamental side of your garden. And if you’re lazy, like me, these succulents from Phocas Farms are for you! Get them in the ground now, and let them get their roots well established while it’s still rainy, and they will reward you all summer long by being draught tolerant… and gorgeous! Just look at all these colors. Phocas Farms propagates more than 200 varieties of them. So get a whole bunch of them, and make for a colorful summer without all that watering.

Red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More scrumptious greens for spring — these being red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. These are great lightly wilted with olive oil and garlic, or raw in a nice, spicy salad, as they are very tender. Colinwood has lots of other greens now, too, as well as new carrots. Enjoy!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With Passover and Easter looming ahead this week, you need eggs! Lots of eggs!!! For your seder plate or your Easter egg hunt, for your famous deviled eggs to bring to the Easter gathering at Grandma’s house, or for that extraordinary brunch you’ll be cooking up next weekend. We’ve got an abundance of eggs in your Ballard Farmers Market right now, and these are the best eggs you’ve ever tasted. Seriously. The eggs above, for instance, are from Growing Things Farm, and the farm is renowned for their amazing eggs. They have hard shells and big, beautiful, richly yellow yolks, and they are laid by happy chickens that get to run around outdoors and hang out with roasters. I know. I’ve seen them. So, stock up!

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.

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, March 17th: Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day While Planning For Easter & Passover!

March 16, 2013
Shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day from your Ballard Farmers Market! It is said that everyone claims a bit of Irish blood every year at this time, but truth is that there are plenty of us mixed in amongst the Scandinavians and Amazon.comians here in Ballard. And while the streets may run green with beer of questionable origins in other communities today, we Ballardites are more likely to cozy up this evening to a fine microbrew or snifter of Irish whiskey. Whatever your poison, get your day going right at your Ballard Farmers Market, perhaps with some of these shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, or get your greens on at any number of farms in the Market, as we are surprisingly greens-rich for this early in the year!

Smoked ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked ham from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in a year in which seemingly every Sunday has been some sort of holiday, in two weeks comes Easter Sunday. Your Ballard Farmers Market will be open for you that day, but you might want to lay claim to one of these hams from Skagit River Ranch today, as they are sure to be sold out two weeks from today. Now, if you prefer lamb, they may still have some today, too, and if you are planning for Passover, which begins next Monday at sundown, perhaps you are in the market for a chicken or a nice brisket. Skagit River Ranch has that covered, too!

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You will need potatoes to go with your corned beef tonight, or your holiday meals in the coming weeks, and Olsen Farms has that covered and then some. For corned beef, I prefer these desiree potatoes, as they hold up well in the pot with the other ingredients, and they absorb the flavors nicely. However, with lamb, ham or chicken, you might have your own favorite. They’ve got many varieties, so you will be sure to find what you need. And Olsen, too, has lambbeef roasts and hams for Easter.

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

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

I also like to add rutabagas to my pot with my corned beef, like these from Nash’s Organic Produce. In Ireland, they call these “turnips” or “Swedes”, harkening back to their introduction to the Emerald Isle by the Vikings centuries ago before the Brits took over and ruled it with an iron fist for 700 years. Of course, I say this in the context of this day in which we celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of, well, Catholicism in Ireland who supposedly drove the “snakes” out of Ireland even before the Vikings showed up, though the only snakes in Ireland at the time were actually the Druids, who used the image of a snake in much of their symbolism. But I digress. I put my bagas in the pot up to an hour before its time to serve dinner. Because they are very dense, they cook slowly, but they beautifully absorb all to flavors and spices of your corned beef, and they become perfectly tender as they do.

GaiasGreensKailanKaleChardMustardsBeets

Gaosheng from Gaia’s Natural Goods holding (clockwise, from bottom left) kailan, a golden beet, kale, chard and mustard greens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, your Ballard Farmers Market is full of greens for St. Paddy’s Day. This is Gaosheng from Gaia’s Natural Goods, and she holds in her arms several kinds of greens her family is currently harvesting up in Snohomish. In the lower lefthand corner, those flowery, light-green greens are kailan, an Asian green popular in China and Southeast Asian. Then there is kalechard and mustard greens on the lower right, as well as a golden beet peaking out in front of her right shoulder. Greens are coming on earlier this year than the past few, and that is worthy of holiday celebrations in and of itself, if you ask me.

Kids play at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kids play at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just kidding. That’s what this kid is doing. Yup, this is one of the many adorable baby goats Gil and I got to meet last week on our visit to Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis. These kids have a good life, romping and roughhousing with each other in their playhouse. Meanwhile, their moms are producing wonderful goat milk which Twin Oaks is bottling, as well as making cheese and yogurt with it.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer, returns this week with her beautiful flower bouquets. Also returning this week are Mee Gardens, Pa Gardens and Ia’s Garden. What this means for you is that, if you return home this evening without a bouquet of beautiful, fresh flowers from one of the six farms selling them at your Ballard Farmers Market, you might as well get yourself acquainted with your couch, cuz that’s where you will be sleeping tonight!

Mixed radish starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mixed radish starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know it’s pretty darn near spring when the veggie starts show up at Stoney Plains Organic Farm. This is a flat of mixed radishes, ready for you to get your early spring garden going. After all, spring does start this coming week, right? And ain’t it about time? Of course, we now get to spend the next couple of weeks having to drive directly into the setting sun that is due west in the evening, but I think we’ll survive. Besides, odds are we won’t be able to see it anyway!

Sharon & Gary McCool from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sharon & Gary McCool from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosecrest Farm returns to your Ballard Farmers Market with lots of their lovely Swiss cheeses today, after a one-week hiatus. Gil and I also visited Rosecrest last week during our trip to Chehalis. This is a photo of Sharon & Gary McCool in front of their Cheese Haus, which is housed in a very old shop adjacent to their 99-year-old historic barn. Gary manages the cows while Sharon makes the cheese. And did you know that their cheese is made from certified organic milk? Yup. In fact, whatever doesn’t go into making cheese ends up going in cartons from Organic Valley, to whom they sell some of the milk they produce. And you might wonder how Swiss Cheese factors into our holiday theme today. Well, I’m glad you asked! You may be surprised to learn that much of “Swiss” cheese in American deli cases — you know, that squared block of cheese with the big holes in it that is probably banned in Switzerland — is made by Kerrygold in Ireland! That’s right! Americans by the millions are making reuben sandwiches with Irish “Swiss” cheese. Seriously, you gotta love that!

An "Irish" marion berry pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An “Irish” marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let us finish this week’s epistolic tribute to St. Patrick, the Irish, and holidaze to come, with a shamrock-adorned marion berry pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again — Deborah quite simply makes the best pies on earth. But let’s face it. There’s a lot more fun going on here than just her pieliciousness. There is the shamrock itself, and then there is that fact that we just celebrated Universal Pie Day on March 14th. And my personal favorite is getting to make silly references to troubled Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, D.C. But in the end, what is most entertaining about this pie is eating it. Enjoy!

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.

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, December 23rd: Happy & Merry, All! Everything You Need For A Special, Local Holiday Is Right Here!

December 23, 2012
Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is it, good folk of the People’s Republic of Ballard! This is the last call before Christmas for local beauty and deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market. You have but five hours left today to load up on everything you need from wine to smoked salmon to festive breads to broccoli to jam, cheese, butter and milk! Everything from candles for your table to wreathes for your door, from a shaving kit for dad to a gold pendant for mom, from handcrafted clothing to handcrafted woodwork to handcrafted cups and bowls, and so much more! Make this the most special of most special times of year. Bring home everything you need for the holidays direct from the local folks that produced it, and celebrate with the highest quality, most beautiful, tastiest wonderfulness to be found anywhere, all while investing in local businesses, local production and local jobs. Talk about gifts that keep on giving!

You’ll need a centerpiece for your holiday dinner table, don’t forget. No, I’m not talking about flowers. I’m talking about roast beast. Like these gorgeous hams from Olsen Farms. They’ve also got some primo tenderloin roastsprime rib roasts and pork loin roasts, as well as every kind of potato you’d ever need to pair with it. Just remember, you can’t expect the Grinch to carve the beast for Cindy Lou Who if you’ve forgotten to bring the beast home in the first place!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met the newest farm at your Ballard Farmers Market yet? Sno-Valley Mushrooms is based in Duvall, and they grow lion’s maneblue oyster and these shiitake mushrooms. I enjoyed some this past week, and they are delish. We’ve been waiting for cultivated mushrooms for years, and they are finally here. So add some mushrooms to that holiday feast, baby!

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

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

Parsnips are a holiday must, and this stack of them from Nash’s Organic Produce is also just plain awesome. How’s about a parsnip, potato and celery root mash? Maybe some parsnip and celery root soup? Ooh, I know. Gather up a whole bunch of roots, from parsnips to sunchokes to rutabagas to carrots to turnips and more, toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a nice, hot oven until tender and caramelized.

Red mustard greens from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red mustard greens from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, there still remain some lovely greens at your Ballard Farmers Market. These gorgeous red mustard greens are from Children’s Garden. They make for a nice, spicy salad, and they’re great just lightly sautéed with a little garlic, just until their wilted. Yummers! And Children’s should have a few more holiday wreathes today, too.

Martini Stix and pickled peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martini Stix and pickled peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has added a few new items to its picklicious lineup, just in time for the holidaze! They’ve got Martini Stix (pickled carrot sticks with capers)pickled peppers and mixed pickles. Plus, they have a huge variety of other pickled things to add to your table, or your favorite cocktail, all made from fresh, local ingredients from many of the farms you know and love at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Nothing like sweet potatoes on the holiday menu, eh? And our own Lyall Farms is the only farm in Washington bringing sweet potatoes to farmers markets here in Seattle. So stock up, and roast them, mash them, candy them… do that voodoo that you do with them. You can thank me later!

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

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

Some lovely wild Yellowfoot chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles provide a lovely accent to a nice beef roast or some salmon. And ’tis the season for them right now. They are gorgeous, clean and delicious! Sauté them in a little butter, and you’re good to go.

Hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget some liquid love in the form of hard ciders and berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. You don’t want to be the one showing up empty handed to the party, do you? You do want your feast accented by the right beverage, don’t you? And never fear. Rockridge has the kiddie table covered, too, with great sweet ciders by the half gallon jug.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Prairie Spy apples from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether for crunching or cooking, Booth Canyon Orchards has an apple for you. They grow an amazing selection of heirloom apples, many of which are sought out far and wide by their longtime loyal customers. Like these Prairie Spy apples, or Macoun apples that’ll transport you back to an ancient orchard in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm will certainly help round out that feast. Can’t you just smell it roasting in the oven right now, filling your kitchen with its sweet aromas. Whether your goal is soup, pies, mashed, roasted or sautéed, Stoney Plains has an edible gourd with your name on it!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week until sometime next summer that you will find Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Make sure you stop by and load up on deliciousness like these stunning rutabagas, some greens, maybe even some kohlrabi or garlic, and thank them for another great year!

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.

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.