Posts Tagged ‘paprika’

Sunday, December 12: Pork Bellies, Paprika, Lamb Skins, Smoked White King Salmon, All The Kale You Can Eat (for a price), Great Holiday Gifts & Miner’s Lettuce (really)!!!

December 11, 2010

A Mother's Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

See how good looking you can be when you eat nothing but the bounty found at your Ballard Farmers Market? Actually, Eiko (left), Nicole & George Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch are in large part responsible for keeping us all healthy and good looking around here with all of their pasture-finished, certified organic beef, pork, chicken, eggs, and for my money, the best sweet Italian sausage around these parts. Are you looking for a special holiday roast? Click through to their website (or ask them at the Market) to see how to call them to pre-order your whole beef tenderloins, prime rib roasts, boneless hams and pork bellies now, and they’ll deliver them to you at the Market on December 19th.

Spicy and delicious paprikas from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Welcome back, Some Like It Hott! Just in time to put some kick into your holidays. Charlie Bodony got his itch for all things paprika from his Transylvanian ancestors, and now he raises, dries, smokes and grinds his own paprikas, in the style of his elders, in Port Townsend. His paprikas range from mild to atomic, with a wide variety of flavors and colors. And don’t be intimidated by those small bottles. A little goes a long way. Oh, and ask if he’s got any of his homemade liquid smoke. He makes it from the condensation created when he alder smokes his chili peppers.

Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I suppose that, given how screwed up the growing seasons have been this year, we should not be surprised by the appearance of miner’s lettuce from Full Circle Farm in December, instead of February. Miner’s lettuce is native to these parts, and it got its name when miners foraged it for food back in the late 1800s. Still widely found growing wild all over Western Washington in the late winter and early spring, it is now also cultivated by many local farmers. It’s leaves have a spinachy toothsomeness to them, though the flavor is very mild, and it takes well to a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice with some pinenuts or sprinkled over a pizza or gratin raw after they’re done cooking.

Fun hair barrettes from Solstice Designs. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Solstice Designs has all manner of lovely items to pretty up  yourself, or that special someone, this holiday season. (Not that you need any prettying up, mind you.) You’ll find fun and inspired earrings, pendants, necklaces, and more, including these great barrettes that’ll have all your friends asking, “where did you get that?”

Gift sampler 3-packs of canned tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Tuna. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For the person who thinks they have everything, how about a gift 3-pack of canned tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude? They get three of St. Jude’s most popular versions of their canned tuna in a handy steel can, complete with colorful, decorative and informative label. And the tuna contained therein is, frankly, the best canned tuna they will find anywhere. Plus, it’s low mercury and high in omega fatty acids. Just don’t drain off the liquid. They don’t add water. That liquid is the delicious and nutritious fats from the tuna itself!

Sheep skins from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms has lotsa potatoes, beef, pork, lamb, bacon, sausage, ham, and right now, a limited number of sheep skins. These gorgeous sheep skins are soft, warm, and make for a cozy Hollywood moment with someone special in front of a crackling fireplace with a bottle of red wine from Sea Breeze or Lopez Island. And never fear, they are also washable, for when you ruin the moment by spilling that red wine on it. They’ve got about a dozen going for $120 each, and they go fast every year, so get yours early!

Dried fava beans from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains had a rockin’ year for fava beans, and lucky for us, they dried some of them. Talk about the ultimate year-round farm. Greens and beans all winter long! So enjoy this new addition to the dried bean lineup at your Ballard Farmers Market, and enjoy your fava beans all winter long.

Adam Lewis, from House Of The Sun raw & vegan foods, stands behind lots of Nash's kale. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

From the category of “a picture speaks a thousand words” comes this photo of Adam from House Of The Sun raw and vegan foods holding up their deliciously famous kale chips while he stands behind a huge pile of Nash’s kale that he will use to make more kale chips. It is one thing to be a local food processor who makes a great product. It is another to be one who makes that great product from local ingredients!

Red storage onions from Anselmo's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anselmo’s, your Ballard Farmers Market’s founding farmer, is always a great source for all things onions, shallots and garlic. Just take a gander at these beautiful red storage onions, for instance. Just think of the Christmas morning bagels and lox with a slice of one of these lovelies!

Goat milk soap from Harmony's Way. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Is your skin sensitive to many soaps? Are you looking for something milder? How about goat milk soap from Harmony’s Way in Chimicum? They raise and milk their own goats to make this wonderful soap, and they offer it in a variety of shapes, sizes, scents and designs. And while maybe a lot of the girlier looking and smelling bars won’t appeal to us manly men, these new standard-sized rectangular bars (above) with rugged, manly aromas will suit us just fine, so we can still look tough, even while pampering our delicate skin.

Smoked whole sides of white king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you entertaining an uppity bunch this holiday season — you know, the kind that will only accept the best nibbles laid out in front of them? Then pickup a side of smoked white king salmon from Wilson Fish. White salmon is the oiliest, most moist of all salmon, and when smoked, it is beyond divine. Lay one of these suckers out with your holiday spread, then scoff at your friends’ tables when you go to their parties!

Milk, cream and butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the next few weeks preparing all sorts of delicious recipes that call for butter, cream and milk. Lucky for you, Golden Glen Creamery has you covered. Bottled in refillable glass bottles for superior flavor and a kindness to the environment, their milk and cream has few rivals, and their farmstead butter is the only farmstead butter made in Washington. But cream supplies are limited, so get there early!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.

Sunday, July 25th: Boistfort Valley Returns (Honest), Sweet Corn, Paprika, Bluebird, Vote!!!

July 25, 2010

July 18th was another busy summer day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that there is a national contest going on right now to select America’s Favorite Farmers Market? Yup. And you get to choose the winner by voting for your favorite, which you and I know is your Ballard Farmers Market. Okay, now, did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is solidly in 3rd place in that voting as of this moment? Since there are something like 7,000 farmers markets in the United States, that’s pretty good, but come on good people of Ballard, we know we should be in first place, right? And what chaps my hide most about our 3rd place position is that 2nd place belongs to Davis, California, and 1st place belongs to Rochester, New York. Are you kidding me? Davis, which gave us much of our corporate agribusiness, and Rochester, which gave us, um, Kodak and Pyrex?

You won't find canned salmon like this, right from the boat, at the Rochester Farmers Market! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is only one explanation I can find for this, and that is that not all of you reading this epistle right now have voted yet. On average, over 2,000 people read this every week. Rochester currently has just over 1,600 votes. So if every one reading this voted right now, Ballard Farmers Market would take the lead! And look, you can vote with cookies turned off. You don’t have to join anything. You don’t have to give any personal info beyond your name and email address. And you won’t get any spam as a result. Trust me. I hate that stuff, and I haven’t gotten any spam. So vote for Ballard now! Click the link, type “Ballard” into the market search field, click vote, fill in your name and email, and you’re done. 30 seconds tops. Let’s kick some serious New York and California butt, Ballard!

Valerie Rose of Boistfort Valley Farm holds up some of their beautiful Red Oakleaf and Salad Bowl lettuce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did I say that Boistfort Valley Farm was returning last week? Whoops. See, I was given bad info from my boss, and that’s the story I’m sticking with. Don’t worry. I already told her I was throwing her under the bus on this one. But now she assures me that Heidi has given her the official call, and Boistfort will, in fact, return today. For those of us who know and love them, that’s all we need to know. For those who are unfamiliar with Boistfort (and we know there are two or three of you still out there), you are in for a treat. Boistfort Valley not only grows produce of supreme quality and beauty, but they specialize in growing varieties of heirloom crops from Japan, Italy, and other great food nations. And they grow so many different crops that only Stoney Plains, which is a neighbor of theirs, can rival them.

Brooke Lucy from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of unrivaled, Bluebird Grain Farms grows certified organic grains in the Methow Valley of North Central Washington that is prized by chefs from coast to coast. They are most well known for their emmer (or farro, as it is also known), the ancient grain of the Fertile Crescent. Emmer is one of the oldest cultivated crops, and the oldest cultivated grain. It has been farmed for over 17,000 years, and kernels of it over 3,000 years old found in the tombs of the Pharaohs have actually been sprouted. It is very high in protein and relatively low in gluten, extremely versatile, and quite delicious.

Sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo!!! It’s sweet corn season! Oh, happy day! Just take a gander at this gorgeous stuff from Alvarez Organic Farms. They, along with Magana and Lyall, have sweet corn now. They are all in the heart of the Yakima River Valley, the Palm Springs of Washington, which means it is hot, hot, hot. Corn loves it there. And you love corn. Life is, indeed, good.

Several varieties of local paprika from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some Like It Hott! returns for a brief stint with its amazing paprikas. Charlie grows his special peppers in a little greenhouse in Port Townsend, just around the corner from Colinwood Farms. He then dries, smokes and grinds his peppers to make an awesome variety of paprikas, from mild to face-melting. And they are not just about heat. Indeed, they are really about flavor. Charlie’s folks came from Transylvania, where they know a thing or two about paprika. So stop by and stock up today, while you can, or you might just have to wait until fall.

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. Just type “Ballard” in the market search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And thank you!

Sunday, March 21st: Happy Equinox! It Is Officially Spring Now.

March 21, 2010

Herb starts from Prana Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With the passage of the vernal equinox, there can be no more debate. It really is spring. So get out there and plant something! Fortunately, a number of farms at your Ballard Farmers Market have stuff for you to put in your garden(s). For instance, even if you depend on the Market for your fresh veggies, fresh herbs are something you will love having right in your yard for whenever you might need them, and they are really easy to maintain, too. Check out these lovely herb starts from Prana Farms, just waiting for you to give them a good home.

Raspberry canes from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cane berries, like raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, etc., are another fairly low-maintenance crop you can grow in your yard that will come back, with a vengeance, year-after-year. Cascadian Edible Landscapes, new at Ballard Farmers Market, has a variety of cane berries from which you can choose.

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you have a patch of dirt that needs a little nutrient rebuilding, so that you can turn it into a nice vegetable garden down the road. Sow it with Nash’s cover crop seed. It’s nitrogen-fixing plants will give your soil a boost, and then you turn it all back into the ground so it composts even more nutrients back into the soil.

A vast selection of succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now is a good time to get your drought-tolerant ornamental gardens going. To that end, Phocas Farms offers literally hundreds of different types of beautiful succulents from which to choose. Plug them into that plain rock wall of yours. Your neighbors will thank you!

Various cuts of goat meat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With Passover and Easter fast approaching, you’re probably looking for an appropriately large piece of meat for that big holiday gathering. For Easter, you’ll find hams and turkeys from Skagit River Ranch, and these tasty goat roasts from Quilceda Farm. For Passover, pickup a brisket or some lamb from Olsen Farms. Olsen is also running a special on lamb loin and sirloin chops this week.

Fiddlehead ferns from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s fiddlehead fern season. Pick some up for an early spring treat from Foraged & Found Edibles.

Yogurt and feta cheese from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you want to take a Greek route with some that aforementioned lamb. Samish Bay Cheese offers fresh feta cheese, as well as regular and Greek-style yogurts. Just think of the possibilities!

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude is back this week with their vast array of delicious, local albacore tuna products. From frozen tuna loins to smoked tuna to a great selection of canned tunas (above), this stuff is low in mercury and high in omega fatty acids, and it will be the best tuna you’ve ever tasted.

Meredith Clark of the Poem Store being interviewed by KOMO-TV. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meredith Clark operates the Poem Store regularly at your Ballard Farmers Market, where she crafts fresh poetry on demand to feed your soul, while all our farmers are feeding your body. What she is doing is so unique that KOMO-TV featured her on their 5 & 6 p.m. newscasts last Sunday.

Alexandra Kruse interviews Kyra Hedman while Kruse and Jenny Rodenhouse film her. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Indeed, Ballard Farmers Market seems to attract all sorts of creative spirits these days, such as amateur filmmakers Alexandra Kruse (above left) and Jenny Rodenhouse (foreground). They and a group of friends were carrying out a challenge to create zombie-themed short films for a backyard movie party later this year. They interviewed many Market shoppers last Sunday, asking the question, “What would you do if you were the last human being alive on earth, and everyone else had become zombies?” Hopefully, they will load their film onto YouTube so we can share it with you.

New cinnamon rolls from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know and love their crusty, artisan breads. But have you tried Tall Grass Bakery’s new cinnamon rolls? Treat yourself to one or three today.

Spicy and delicious paprikas from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We can all use a little extra spice in our lives, and trust me, a little of this spice goes a long way. Some Like It Hott! is growing a great variety of peppers in its greenhouses in Port Townsend, then carefully smoking and drying them, then grinding and blending them into great paprika. They have many different flavors and heat levels. Why buy paprika with thousands of frequent flier miles when you can get great local paprika right at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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

Finally, don’t forget to pick up dessert at Hot Cakes. Of course, these gorgeously luscious Josephines might not make it home, but that is why you will be getting several molten chocolate hot cakes to pop in your oven for later. And don’t forget the caramel sauce!

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, February 14th: Flowers, Jewelry, Oysters & Spice

February 14, 2010

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

If you are wondering why I’m leading with flowers today, you definitely need to get down to Ballard Farmers Market to buy some right now, or else plan to spend the next couple of weeks on the couch. Dude. Look at the calendar. It’s Chinese New Year. (Oh, yeah. It’s also Valentine’s Day.) If you are looking for some spectacular colors to warm the heart of that special someone, you need not buy overpriced flowers flown in from South Africa or South America. You can pick up some of these magnificent Whatcom County tulips from Alm Hill Gardens right here at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Black pussy willows from Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a little something different, how about these wonderful black pussy willows from Harmony Farm. The pussy willow season is just about over. (Heck, it’s been over in my backyard for two weeks!) But treat these right, and they’ll dry beautifully and spruce up your home for months.

Spectacular wooden earrings from Forestlife Creations. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dean Robertson knows how to coax the inner beauty out of any piece of wood, and the results are these lovely earrings he calls Forestlife Creations. He makes various kinds of brilliant wooden jewelry that will wow that your valentine. Remember, at Ballard Farmers Market, you can feed your eyes and soul as well as tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body. Support your local farmer and your local artist, and give a unique gift while you’re at it.

Kumumoto oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether or not oysters are an aphrodisiac, they certainly will perk up your night. Stop by Taylor Shellfish early today for some of these Kumumoto oysters, before Oyster Bill sells out of them, lest, again, your couch becomes your bed.

Several varieties of local paprika from Some Like It Hott! Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your night with local paprika, too, from Some Like It Hott! Charles Bodony, who grows, dries and smokes chilis to make his paprika in Port Townsend, tells me that he now has the 2009 vintage (yes, his paprika has vintages) alder smoked paprika that weighs in at a whopping seven stars of heat. Stop by to sample some, then bring some home to pep up just about anything.

Five flavors of soup from Got Soup? Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New this week at your Ballard Farmers Market is Got Soup? Jerry Baxter makes fresh, delicious soups in a variety of flavors from local ingredients every week. Pick up a frozen quart, and bring it home for a simple, yummy, full-body warming meal. This week, look for Crab Bisque, Orange & Cumin Scented Sweet Potato, Cassoulet, and Smoked-Tomato Bisque. You’ll always find vegetarian and vegan options, too. Also new this week is Booth Canyon Orchards from the Methow Valley with D’Anjou pears.

Red cipollini onions from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Port Townsend’s Colinwood Farms returned to your Ballard Farmers Market last week with spicy salad mix, braising greens, lots of beautiful spuds, and these gorgeous, and powerful, red cipollini onions.

Truffles, caramel sauces and molten chocolate cakes from Hot Cakes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Autumn Martin returned with her Hot Cakes last week, too. Grab a Josephine for a lovely snack while you shop, and pickup some truffles, caramel sauce or some molten chocolate cake to pop in your oven for later. Autumn, who used to be the chocolatier at Fremont’s Theo Chocolates, uses local flours, and chocolate, of course, and even local butter.

Pork rib roasts from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps you are just looking for a nice piece of meat for Valentine’s Day. How about one of these pork rib roasts from Sea Breeze Farm? The one of the left is even already Frenched for you.  And if you are really lucky, you might still be able to get a reservation for Valentine’s Day dinner by Chef Meredith Molli at La Boucherie, Sea Breeze Farm’s own restaurant, on Vashon Island. The menu looks amazing!

Some of the bowls up for grabs at "Empty Bowls," a fundraiser for Ballard Food Bank and the Seattle Animal Shelter. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for Ballard Food Bank and the Seattle Animal Shelter. The idea is that you donate $10 for a soup and bread dinner, and you get to keep the bowl your meal comes in. The bowls are made and donated by dozens of local artists and just plain folks. And there are some particularly spectacular bowls from top local artists that will be sold in a silent auction. You can see just a sampling of the bowls up for grabs in the photo above. The event itself takes place at the Ballard Community Center on Saturday, February 27th.

A group from Seattle Flickr Meetups photographing the Ballard Farmers Market on February 7th. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market is always photogenic, as evidenced by a visit from the Seattle Flickr Meetups group last Sunday. Some of these folks have cameras older than mine… that use film! Actually, I think there was a camera there that was older than me.

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.