Posts Tagged ‘nectarplums’

Sunday, September 7th: Return of Booth Canyon & Camelina Gold, Westside Sweet Corn, Table Grapes, Fresh Peanuts, Nectarplums, A Guy Who Loves Making Soup & Nearing The End Of Washington’s 2014 King Salmon Season!

September 6, 2014
Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy cow! It is September already! The kiddies are back in school, the nights are getting longer and a little cooler. And the crops in your Ballard Farmers Market are beginning to trend toward fall. And yet today, Seattle will break the 80 degree mark for the 43rd time this year. Summer is not over! If it were, after all, you wouldn’t be able to get this amazing fresh, wild Washington king salmon from our buddies at Wilson Fish. That’s because the salmon fishing season on the Washington coast ends in mid-September. So enjoy it now, while it is still here. Cuz in a couple of weeks, it won’t be!

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchard returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2014 season. Says owner, Stina Booth, “This weekend, look for Gravenstein apples (the BEST pies in the world), Suncrest peaches (as close to a mango as you can get in Washington), Morretini pears (if champagne were a pear…..), and weird and wonderful Green Gage plums.”

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Westside sweet corn has finally arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market, and this year’s crop is amazing! While we’ve been enjoying the blessings of Eastern Washington’s hot weather and earlier corn crops for almost two months now, the corn fields in Western Washington have slowly been growing to maturity. You’ll find big, beautiful, sweet ears of corn from several Westside farms today, including this beautiful specimen from Stoney Plains Organic Farms in Tenino.

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the past few years, we’ve all gotten quite familiar with our pal, Eric, working behind the tables of Boistfort Valley Farm, slinging ginormous heads of organic lettuce, or hooking us up with amazing fresh herbs or artichokes or any manner of colorful beetsturnips and radishes. But time’s come for Eric to finally hunker down and finish off a college degree he’s be slow-walking for a while now, and that makes today his last day selling for Boistfort Valley at your Ballard Farmers Market. Stop by today, wish him well, and grab some deliciousness while you’re there!

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These sweet seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms make for great white raisins. Just pluck them off of the vine, give them a good rinse, and put them in your dehydrator until raisinesqueness ensues. That is, of course, as long as you don’t eat them all fresh, right off of the vine, first. On second thought. you’d better buy twice as many as you think you’ll need!

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Your local cooking oil returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market, after its summer hiatus. This is camelina oil, made from the seeds of the camelina plant, an old member of the mustard family. It is grown and pressed by Ole World Oils in Ritzville, Washington. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil (475 degrees!), and is high in natural vitamin E, making it shelf stable. It is also high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. It has a great, nutty flavor that makes it a good finishing and cooking oil. It is great for cooking white fish, chicken and pork, for roasting cauliflower, broccoli, roots and potatoes, for blistering padron peppers and more. It is competitively priced, and best of all, it is local!

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

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

It is fresh peanut season at your Ballard Farmers Market again! Yes, our good friends at Alvarez Organic Farms are harvesting peanuts right now from their fields in Mabton, Washington. Still don’t believe peanuts grow here? Then look at this photo I took of Don Hilario Alvarez on the farm two weeks ago! Those are two freshly-harvested peanut bushes in his hands, and behind him is acre after acre of peanuts. Peanuts are not nuts at all, but legumes, and you can see that in the pea-like leaves they have. Love boiled peanuts, or you want to roast your own? Now’s the time!

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, baby. Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm! These lovely little shelling beans are white when dried, but are green when fresh. And when fresh, their flavor and texture are quite different. I love fresh shelling beans in general. They make for great salads, sides, additions to pastas, spreads… but I especially love them in succotash. Just shuck and boil the fresh beans for 15-20 minutes in well-salted water, until just slightly fork tender. Then toss them into a pan with some rendered bacon or some smoked salmon, add corn freshly cut off the cob, some chopped parsley, some green onion, a bit of crushed garlic and some salt and pepper and give it all a good toss until just warmed through. Don’t overcook it. And enjoy! Remember, too, that you can buy, shuck and freeze fresh shelling beans now, and enjoy them all winter.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The last of the season’s funny-named hybrid stone fruit has arrived: nectarplums. Yes, you guessed it. They are a cross betwixt nectarines and plums. They are large, juicy, sweet and delicious, and they’re pretty cool looking, too, eh? Grab some today from Collins Family Orchards.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous bacon is from Olsen Farms. On the left is traditional pork belly bacon, and on the right is pork jowl bacon. And while both are great, the jowl bacon has its own unique, somewhat sweeter, flavor to it that I love for adding to vegetable dishes and pastas.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As the days are getting shorter and (a little) cooler, now’s a great time to enjoy some fabulous late-summer greens. This stunning chard from Alm Hill Gardens is wonderful simply sautéed with a little garlic until just wilted, or added to grain salads or soup.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Why is this guy smiling? Truth is, Got Soup‘s Jerry Baxter always seems to be smiling. Maybe it is the amazing soups he makes for us, in an extraordinary variety of flavors. Maybe it is the great, local ingredients he uses to make his soups, like these from Alvarez Organic Farms, Martin Family Orchards, Nash’s Organic Produce, Olsen Farms, and so many other great local farms, seen at his kitchen recently. Maybe it is because he has figured out how to spend his days either making soup or hanging out at farmers markets, and getting paid for it. Whatever the case, his soups will definitely make you smile, too!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means we enjoy a visit today from Fishing Vessel St. Jude! They have the finest local albacore tuna you will find anywhere. It is available in sashimi-grade frozen loinsdriedsmoked, and canned. In fact, the canned tuna is great to send home with your visiting relatives! Just make sure they understand not to drain off the liquid inside the can. That is the tuna’s natural juices, not added water, and as such, it is full of flavor!

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards are big, beautiful, sweet and juicy. They are the quintessential peach — the peach’s peach. They are the legendary peach for which Washington is famous. When you look up “peach” in the dictionary, you’ll see these guys. They are a freestone peach, making them easy for canning or making cobblers. And they are in season now!

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

It is fine pasta weather again, since you can count on your house cooling off overnight, in spite of daytime still being warm. These kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese will certainly hit the spot for a lovely blast of flavor and quick prep time on a busy weekday evening.

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, September 22nd: Chile Peppers, Concord Squash, Cheddar Cauliflower, Red Kuri Squash & More!

September 21, 2013
Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well, how ’bout them… well… insert any name of a local sports team except the Mariners, am I right? (Okay, gratuitous pandering to Seattle’s rabid sports fans. Check.) Above is a variety of goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. They are a medium hot chile with a wonderful, bright flavor. Well, it is full-on pepper season at Alvarez. They grow over 200 varieties, and this is a prolific year for peppers, like for so many other crops. This time of year, the pepper fields are so colorful at Alvarez, they are kind of reminiscent of the tulip fields in Skagit Valley in April. You can get a pretty good idea of their many varieties of peppers by checking out our Facebook photo album of them!

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! It’s Concord grapes from our friends at Lyall Farms! Concord grapes make the best juice, and even better grape jelly. They have a deep, bold, natural sweetness to them, and you can even let them ferment with their own natural yeasts (that’s the ashy stuff on the outside of the grapes) into a nice wine.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love this image of garlic framed by cherry tomatoes at Alm Hill Gardens. It just underscores how our farmers do not just work the soil and grow delicious things, but they are artists, too. And we get to enjoy the delicious rewards of their labors and creativity!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The summer of 2013 has been one for the record books. Warm, humid, prolific crop production with epic harvests, lots of thunder storms… and it is this last item that brought with it a dark, destructive side the likes of which we rarely see around here in summer. Sure, there were the lightening-caused fires. But the real trouble came with the deluges of rain, and worse yet, the hail. Not so much on this side of the mountains, but on the other side, along the eastern slopes of the Central and North Cascades. And some of the worst  damage was caused in northern Chelan and eastern Okanogan Counties, like up in the Methow Valley, where Booth Canyon Orchard is located. Between late spring freezes and late summer hail, they lost almost all of their various heirloom apple crops. That is why, when they returned to your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday, they came only with pears, and mind you, these are the pears that made it through the hail storms. So, if you loves you some Booth Canyon fruit, focus on their pears right now, like these Clara Frijs pears, above, and celebrate them. Cuz this year, they are among the chosen few, and the chosen few are invariably the most delicious. Enjoy them, and support Booth Canyon, too!

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

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

Nash’s Organic Produce is famous for its carrots. So it’s no wonder they call them “Nash’s Best”. Sure, they produce lots of delicious veggies over in Dungeness. But these carrots are a thing to behold. They are so sweet. And right now, they are available in their iconic five pound bags right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another installment from the Collins Family Orchards book of funky, hybridized stone fruit. These beauties are nectarplums. Yup, they are a cross betwixt plum and nectarine, and they are amazing! But they have a short-lived season, so enjoy them while you can!

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curiously, in this prolific summer of 2013, another of the few crops that underperformed is the cauliflower family. So Oxbow Farm having this colorful cheddar cauliflower and this geometrically pleasing romanesco right now is something worth celebrating!

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! Winter squash from One Leaf Farm! These lovelies are kabocha (left) and red kuri winter squash. They both have such gorgeous textures and deeply sweet flavors, and when you roast them, you can even eat their skins. Oh, and be sure to toss the seeds in some olive oil, sprinkle them with a little salt, and roast them in a pie tin in the oven for a wonderful little salty, crunchy snack. Yup. Fall does begin tomorrow, alrighty!

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for blueberries from Sidhu Farms, and likely from all of our farms, as with the return of the rains and cooler weather, the berries are beginning to turn to mush on the bush. So again, enjoy them while you can, for one last time. Stock up and freeze a bunch to enjoy all winter!

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has a fresh supply of these gorgeous pickled jalapeño peppers that they got from Alvarez Organic Farms. These are the perfect compliment to so many thing, or just on their own. Enjoy!

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, September 16th: Nectarplums, Purple Carrots, Banana Cantaloupes, Asian Pears, Greek Yogurt, Earl Grey Tea Jelly & Other Deliciousness!

September 15, 2012

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

Now, them’s some carrots, eh? Purple Haze carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm, in fact. Stunning, aren’t they? And admit it. You either just hurt your fingers or smeared your nose all over your screen trying to get at these, didn’t you? These beauties are plenty satisfying raw, but they really shine cooked. They get a big, deep, wonderful carrot flavor to them — more earthy, less sweet, and just plain delicious. Plus, they look really cool, too! Stop by Boistfort Valley Farm today to see all the stunning produce they’ve got for you this week at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Bolsa Chica lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce is still rocking your Ballard Farmers Market, and Oxbow Farm has some amazing heirloom varieties of lettuce to please every palate and fit every application. This lovely oak leaf variety of lettuce is called Bolsa Chica lettuce. It is bold and beautiful, with its deep green color and its spiky leaves, and it packs a big flavor and tons of nutrients. This ain’t no Big Box store iceberg lettuce, my friends!

Nactarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s another one of those stone fruits from Collins Family Orchards that has two names, because it is a hybrid of two different fruits. These are nectarplums — part nectarine, part plum. All delicious. This is one of those new stone fruits that consistently blows away anyone who tries it. Of course, that means you should probably get to Collins early, before they sell out!

Winter squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash has arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market! Find kabochabutternutdelicataspaghetti and carnival winter squash now from Alvarez Organic Farms. I realize that winter squash might seem premature on your menu, but remember, if you let the stems dry fully, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place with stems intact, they will last for months.

Banana cantaloupe from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This weird looking creature is a banana cantaloupe melon from Lyall Farms. It is large, long, and quite fragrant, and it is bright orange inside, just like any cantaloupe. Stop by Lyall Farms today and give one of these a good sniff. Then bring it home, cut it open, and dribble its juice down the front of your chin and shirt as you devour it!

All Blue potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Potatoes also keep well, so stock up on them, too! These all blue potatoes from Olsen Farms are exactly what they sound like — all blue, through and through. They are great roasted in a hot oven, steamed and mashed with good butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or even chipped and fried. Yes, blue potato chips! In fact, pick up some red-fleshed and white fleshed potatoes from Olsen, and make red, white and blue potato chips!

Thompson seedless grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wanna make raisins? Then you’ll want some of these seedless Thompson grapes from Magana Farms. They are perfectly sweet. And this is an amazing year for grapes. Bring them home, separate them from their vine, give them a good wash, and then load them into your dehydrator. In no time, you’ll have your own homemade raisins! Yeah, baby!

Red onions from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These cured red onions from Nature’s Last Stand are great on sandwiches, sautéed, pickled, what have you, and they will store for months in a cool, dry, dark place. Nature’s also has the first yellow storage onions of the season now, too, plus lots and lots of great spuds and greens.

Asian pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How’s about some Asian pears, while we’re at it? This lovely harbinger of fall has a flavor unto itself — oh, so much more that just a pear. It contains a symphony of tasting notes, like any fine wine, and it comes with a texture that’ll make your teeth sing and bring a tear to your eye. Heck, I’m a bit verklempt just writing about it. Find them at ACMA Mission Orchards today!

Cherry tomatoes from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomato season rolls on. With our late-starting warm, dry summer, they are hitting their peak right now! Doesn’t a salad with lots of these cherry tomatoes from Summer Run Farm sound lovely right about now? Or how about poaching them in some olive oil and then adding them to a lovely succotash or pasta dish. Seriously. They’re vine-ripened tomatoes. How can you got wrong?

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know Samish Bay Cheese for their unique and delicious cheeses and their meat, but did you know that they make yogurt and Greek yogurt, too, from Jersey milk? Yup! Here it is right here. (I wouldn’t kid about something like that.) Now, with the departure of Silver Springs Creamery for an indefinite period of time, this is very good information for yogurt lovers to know!

Baby squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, we featured winter squash above, but it really is still summer, both on the calendar and the weather report! So why not continue to enjoy these gorgeous, sweet and delicious summer squash from Growing Things Farm? Make some ratatouille, pickle it, grill it, roast it, make bread with it, do that voodoo that you do with it. But enjoy it while it is fresh, sweet and local, cuz you know that the stuff from the Big Box store does not compare.

Gluten-free dinner rolls from Dolce Lou. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These savory gluten-free dinner rolls from Dolce Lou will please any palate, whether or not your diet requires you to avoid gluten. Of course, if your diet does, these rolls will make you extra happy! They are moist, chewy and full of flavor — words not often associated with gluten-free bread products. Then again, everything Dolce Lou produces is special!

Earl Grey Tea jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let us finish off this week’s epistle as you should be finishing off every piece of toast — with jams and jellies from Deluxe Foods! Their products are made from heirloom recipes handed down over many generations going back to old Europe, and they use the finest local ingredients fresh from the farmers at the Market. Check out this Earl Grey Tea jelly, for instance. Talk about a morning time-saver! Just make toast, and then add a schmear of this, and BAM, you’ve got tea and toast in a single bite! You can thank me later.

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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, September 25th: Bragging Rights, Salmon Reprieve, Colorful Cauliflower, Fruit Phonics, Delicious Displays & A Word About Your Dog!

September 24, 2011

Judy & Gil are proud of yet another pair of "Best Of" awards from Seattle Weekly. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Judy Kirkhuff, the Market Master of your Ballard Farmers Market, and her son Gil, proudly gloat over our pair of “Best Of Seattle 2011” awards from Seattle Weekly. And why not? We won both the Editors’ Choice and the Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Farmers Market. Woohoo! And thank you, editors and readers for this honor. It means a lot to us. And we love you, too!

Fresh, brilliant red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, look! More fresh king salmon from Wilson Fish. Gene and the boys managed to score an opening in Oregon waters, courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and we are the beneficiaries. Yippee! A reprieve! Enjoy ‘em while you can, because this, too, shall pass.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I swear, these orchards are like a bunch of mad scientist hybridists, creating new kinds of stone fruit every year. There are apriums, which are 70% apricot and 30% plum genetically. Then there are pluots, which are 70% plum and 30% apricot. Then came nectarcots — part nectarine, part apricot. And now we have, from Collins Family Orchardsnectarplums, a cross between nectarines and plums. Personally, I am still holding out for nectareachs! When they finally cross a peach and a nectarine, then I will be truly impressed. Oh, and it is not true that cherry tomatoes are a cross between cherries and tomatoes, BTW.

Carnival & golden nugget winter squash from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall began on Friday, though the weather didn’t really reflect it until today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Perfect timing to heat of the kitchen with this beautiful winter squash from Stoney Plains. Roast it. Soup it. Stuff it. Fry it. Love it!

This spectacular display of roots by Big Dave at Full Circle Farm I call, "Display 101." Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If we gave awards for spectacular displays, this display of carrots and radishes by Big Dave from Full Circle Farm would without question be in the running. I mean, don’t you just want to reach into the photo and grab one of those carrots to munch on? Our local farmers grow some of the finest produce to be found anywhere, but they say the first taste is with the eyes, and thus it is often the brilliant artistry of each farm’s Market staff that ultimately catches your attention. It also makes we photographers very happy!

Nash's Kia Armstrong and Wynn Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I feel like I should entitle this photo, “Union Break for Farmers.” If only! But if a picture tells a thousand words, this one illustrates the family that is your Ballard Farmers Market community, and behind that, it speaks to a deeper level of community that farmers markets give to farmers. After all, farming has the highest suicide rate of any profession, because so many farmers suffer the economic woes of their work in isolation in rural countrysides. But at farmers markets, not only do farmers enjoy access to the full retail value of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, but they also get to enjoy the appreciation of grateful public week after week, and they get to interact on a regular basis with their fellow farmers. I mean, Kia Armstrong of Nash’s Organic Produce comes to Ballard from Sequim, and Wynne Weinreb of Jerzy Boyz Farm comes to Ballard from Chelan. The two have Puget Sound, a huge city and the Cascade Mountains between them. But they get to see each other at Ballard every week! Pretty cool, huh?

Fresh grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, another sure sign of fall is grapes from Magana Farms from over in Sunnyside. You know, it used to be that people identified fall with apples in this state, but now, grapes are just as strong an association. We are, after all, the #2 wine producing state in the nation. Wanna practice making your own wine? Or maybe some jelly? Now’s the time! But maybe not raisins. These bad boys have seeds in them.

Galactic purple cauliflower from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is absotively possilutely blowing the doors off their cauliflower right now. Just take a gander at these fabulous heads of galactic purple cauliflower they’ve got this week, and their white cauliflower is pretty awesome today, too! This is the best year for it in a very long time, so have at it people!

Focaccia rolls from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These focaccia rolls from Grateful Bread Baking are a perfect quick snack on the go. They’re chewy, cheesy and vegetably, and they’re loaded with yummy, local goodness. Of course, they also have plenty of artisan breadsbagelscookiesmuffins and pastries, as well as some great challah for your Sabbath dinner or some screaming French toast!

Peanuts on the vines from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, peanuts do grow in Washington. And these are raw peanuts – green peanuts still on the vine, in fact. Alvarez Organic Farms is in the midst of its annual peanut harvest right now, and that means we get to enjoy fresh, local peanuts to roast, boil, stir-fry and more at home!

The perfect basket of tomatoes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another display fit for a postcard! This is truly the perfect basket of tomatoes, is it not? Summer Run Farm gets the props for this one. And you know, many of us never get to see farm tables that look like this, as this is what they tend to look like at the start of the Market, right before we hungry masses descend upon them and mess them up!

Baby artichokes from Boistfort Valley Farm lack the choke! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The good folks at Boistfort Valley Farm are almost a bit apologetic about calling these beauties “baby artichokes“. See, they harvest these young pups before they develop the “choke” in the name artichoke — you know, that hairy inside with the spikes? These are the lovely, tender, chokeless artichokes. Maybe we should just call them “arti“.

Jack the Bat Dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally today, a note about your best friend. We welcome your pooch at your Ballard Farmers Market, but only in a bag, or on a short leash, and under your control at all times. See, dogs take their lead from their human, and unfortunately, while most dogs are very good at following instructions, many humans are not. If you like bringing your dog with you to Market, we need you to keep your dog short-leashed. That means that another person should not be able to walk between you and your dog at any time. Yes, we know you have the most well-behaved dog on earth. Everyone does, apparently. Just ask them. But if that was true, we wouldn’t have to be giving you this reminder right now. Please follow this simple rule, or leave your pup at home. And thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Hey, there is plenty of 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.