Posts Tagged ‘nettles’

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

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

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

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

IT’S SPRING TONIC TIME

Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

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

 MINERS LETTUCE

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

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

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

 CHICKWEED

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

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

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

STINGING NETTLES

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

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

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

AND THERE IS MORE !

Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

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

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

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

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

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

YES!  WE HAVE EGGS!

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

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

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here: http://roscommonacres.com/2012/04/how-to-decorate-brown-eggs-for-easter/

LOPEZ ISLAND WINERY’S LAST WEEK

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

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

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

NEED SOMETHING NEW FOR THE SPRING?

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

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

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

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

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Sunday, March 1st: Nettles, Chard, Dandelion Greens, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Albacore, More Flowers & Street Pizza!

February 28, 2015
Nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just another sunny weekend in “winter” in the People’s Republic of Ballard, eh? Wow! And the spring crops are starting to come on with a vengeance now. Like these first of the year wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Make yourself some tea or pesto, or whatever you like best, and enjoy a nice boast of healthful deliciousness! Oh, they’ve also got wild miner’s lettuce this week, too. High in vitamin C, it gets its name from being the wild green that helped keep many a miner alive when other greens, and any sources of vitamin C, were scarce at the end of winter. I love them simply dressed with a little oil and some lemon juice as a nice salad.

Chard from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chard from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, this is chard. No, this is not a file photo. I took this last Sunday, in fact. These gorgeous, tender, colorful leaves of chard are from the greenhouses of Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend. They also have the most amazing dino kale raab right now that tastes like broccoli, as well as spinachcollard greens and more!

Dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another sure sign of our early spring is these dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. An intensely bitter green, you can make tea and soup with them, but I love to toss them with anchovies and avocado and make for one amazing and nutrient dense salad! Stoney Plains also now has green onionschickweed and other early spring delights!

Daffodils from Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mee Garden has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market up on the 22nd Ave end. They have beautiful fresh-cut daffodils right now, as well as dried flowers and more!

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.

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it is local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today with cannedsmokedjerkied and frozen albacore that is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. It is sashimi grade, and it is the finest tuna you will ever taste!

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

For a very limited time, you will find this purple sprouting broccoli from Nash’s Organic Produce! It has a very short season, so get it while you can. They also have leekscollard greensNash’s red & green kale and red Russian kale, and even a few more carrots! They are also featuring dried Diana fava beans this weeks. “These tasty little nuggets are perfect in soups and stews, offering a hearty, meaty, delicious taste,” says Devon. “With 23% protein (the highest of any legume we grow on the farm), they’re sure to fill you up, too!”

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

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

We finish this week’s epistle with the news that Veraci Pizza has been told to “hit the bricks” from the private side lot next to the Ballard Inn they’ve called their Sunday home for many years. So hit the bricks they did. Currently, they are setting up in the Market itself, on the bricks up at 22nd Avenue. They will hang out there at least until we hit peak season for farmers.

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, February 24th: Swiss Cheese, Daffodils, Stinging Nettles & Spinach!

February 23, 2013
Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Have you met our newest newest farm, Rosecrest Farms from Chehalis? They are a cows milk dairy that specializes in making Swiss styles of cheeses, something truly unique to them in Washington state. And it is some delish cheese, too. This is not your sliced off of a big block and full of ginormous holes at the “deli” in the Big Box store kind of “Swiss” cheese. This is beautiful, rich cheese — the stuff the Swiss produce on steep hillsides, or Wisconsin. It is not the stuff that people who have never been to Philadelphia slap on a so-called “Philly Cheese Steak”, a crime punishable by a serious flogging in Philly, cuz fake Swiss cheese does not belong on a cheese steak. Just sayin’. But I digress. See, this stuff — indeed, the smoky peppercorn & chives swiss cheese pictured here — is cheese I find myself longing for once I’ve finished off the most recent chunk I brought home. And you will, too. So stop by and say ‘hi’ today, get you some cheeseliciousness from our newest farmstead cheese maker, finish it off while you watch the Oscars, and then spend the rest of the week wishing you had gotten more… until you do just that next Sunday.

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

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

As if stomping its feet and demanding that we acknowledge that it is, in fact, still winter, a nice, big, blustery storm blew through on Friday, and snow was being measured by the foot in the passes. And yet, as much as the talking heads on the one-eyed god tried to proclaim it “the strongest storm of the year,” it came and went, and now we seem back into our seemingly winterless winter once again. I’m not complaining, mind you. After umpteen years of watching crops come in a month late, we are actually seeing some signs of some crops coming in a bit early this year. And in that spirit, we celebrate the return of daffodils from Children’s Garden! A true harbinger of spring indeed, they will breathe some life back into your hibernating spirit.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And yet more proof that the days are getting longer, the temps higher, and that spring approaches, are these wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. The first of the season are in your Ballard Farmers Market today! Just fight the urge to stick your hand recklessly into the bag. They don’t call them stinging nettles for nothing.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The other new dairy farm here at your Ballard Farmers Market is, of course, Twin Oaks Creamery, which is actually a neighbor of Rosecrest Farms down in Chehalis. And they are now bringing bottles of pasteurized goat milk to your Ballard Farmers Market. But you know, I can’t help but notice a typo in their cute little goat sign above. I mean, isn’t there an “a” missing from it?

Winter spinach from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So maybe this winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce isn’t gonna win any beauty contests, but it is delicious. And seriously, it’s spinach… in February! It may not be those delicate, tender leaves you get in May, but it is loaded with flavor, courtesy of having to weather cool, dark, wet winter days and nights, and it is loaded with the nutrients your bod is craving right now. So have at it, people. And don’t be so judgmental!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is still filled with plenty of apples, even if our supply of orchardists has suffered a bit of attrition lately. Tiny’s Organic Produce has a nice selection of certified-organic apples, like these Mt. Fuji apples. They’ve also got dried fruit and apple sauce, too, made from their own fruit. If you’ve seen entirely too much of your doctor this winter, you clearly have not been eating enough apples. It’s time to rectify that!

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let’s face it. Pickles is just good food. Grab a jar of one of Purdy Pickles’ many varieties of pickles to enjoy alongside your Swiss cheese during the Oscars tonight. Perhaps these Bread & Butter pickles will do the trick. You can thank me later.

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 11th: Spring Forward With Shamrock Cookies, Goat Milk, Stinging Nettles, Filler-Free Burgers & Garden Starts

March 11, 2012

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

The Ides of March approacheth, and that means Daylight Savings Time is here — that annoying, archaic leftover from the Industrial Revolution that was meant to save energy and make us more productive, but that really ends up scrambling all of our brains for a week or two every March, resulting in billions of dollars in lost productivity. (I love you, Ben Franklin, but was this really necessary?) Of course, it also means St. Paddy’s Day is upon us. Time for everyone to dress up in kelly green, pretend to be Irish, eat corned beef, drink green beer, and party in blissful ignorance that St. Patrick was the guy credited with crushing the last remaining Pagans of Ireland under the weight of the Roman Catholic Church way back in the 5th Century. (See, there were no snakes in Ireland. The snakes Patrick drove out actually refers to the Pagans.) But hey, like so many other holidays that I enjoy more for their tradition than their true origins, I do enjoy reveling in my own Irish roots with some corned beef made from Skagit River Ranch beef, some cabbage from Nash’s, some potatoes from Olsen Farms and some rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm… all washed down with a little Rockridge hooch. And why not finish it all off with some of these lovely shamrock cookies from Grateful Bread?

Fresh goat milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Up at Silver Springs Creamery in Lynden, just south of the Canadian Border, the goats have been kidding now for a few weeks, and that means that goat milkfresh chevre and goat yogurt are back, baby! No kidding! (Sorry.) So if you’ve been suffering woe these past two months without your goat dairy products, while the girls up in Whatcom County were taking their winter break, suffer no more!

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

Go ahead. Stick your hand into these leaves. I dare you! (Okay, not really. Cuz your hands will hurt for hours.) Yup, its wild stinging nettles season again, boys and girls, and Foraged & Found Edibles has ’em for you today. Make tea, pesto, sauté them, do that voodoo that you do with them. Just de-sting them, first!

Rhubarb plants from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is time to start thinking about gardening again, and Stoney Plains Organic Farm already has garden starts for you — stuff you can plant right now that’ll make you so happy in May! Like these lovely rhubarb plants. Mmm. Homemade rhubarb crumble, strawberry-rhubarb jam, rhubarb ice cream.

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

At your Ballard Farmers Market, we offer you access to grass-finished beef direct from the farmer, like this ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. You will never find any “pink slime” added to their meat. Live life free of “pink slime”. Eat real meat from local farms at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Someone asked over on our Facebook page what “grass-finished” means. Sometimes you will see the term “grass-fed” associated with beef. However, use of the term “grass-fed” does not guarantee that the cattle were never fed a grain diet. In fact, much “grass-fed” beef is “finished” on grain in order to increase marbling. However, feeding cattle grain also increases cholesterol, saturated fat and the acidity in their stomachs, which in turn increases the likelihood of the presence of dangerous forms of E-coli in their digestive tracts. “Grass-finished” beef is from cattle that eat a diet of grasses and other leafy forage their entire lives. Their meat is lower in cholesterol and saturated fats, higher in beneficial omega-fatty acids, and as their digestive tracts stay in their natural alkaline state, they are less able to pass along to most dangerous forms of E-coli that thrive in an acidic environment, which includes human stomachs. Eat Wild is a great source for more info on the benefits of raising beef on natural grasses.

Baby leeks from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just because they are so gosh-darned cute, let’s finish off this week with these baby leeks from Colinwood Farms. I mean, don’t you just want to give them a hug? Okay, maybe not, but they are delicious. And Colinwood has got all sorts of goodies coming out of their greenhouses right now. Stop by for a taste of the Banana Belt!

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.