Posts Tagged ‘peas’

Sunday, October 31st: BOO!!! How About Some Market Treats!

October 31, 2010

Dante Rivera, owner of Dante's Inferno Dogs, slinging dogs at your Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I spent Saturday afternoon partying with Dante Rivera, his staff and his friends, family and fans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dante’s Inferno Dogs. In fact, Dante’s is the same age as your Ballard Farmers Market. We both were born in the summer of 2000 here on the mean streets of Ballard. One could say we grew up together. In fact, Ballard Farmers Market has nurtured, or incubated, a number of businesses over the years. Indeed, it is one of its roles. Today, let’s take a look at our five prepared food vendors, four of which developed their businesses by vending at Ballard Farmers Market to the point where they now have storefronts. And vending at Ballard Farmers Market seems to give our vendors a unique sense of community that they carry with them as they grow, as evidenced by Dante’s support of other Market vendors in his business, and the party he threw today. Thanks, Dante!

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

Patty Pan Grill is another one of our bedrock vendors. You may be one of the throngs of people who enjoy one of their veggie quesadillas every Sunday, but you may not realize that Devra gets most of those veggies directly from our many farmers each week. You should just see her load up on boxes of veggies at the end of the Market each Sunday. And if you can’t wait to get your weekly fix, you’ll be excited to learn that Patty Pan Grill just opened, last week, a new storefront at 23rd & Madison in the Central District, just a short distance from our sister Madrona Farmers Market. The menu there will change daily and will be seasonally based, using ingredients from our Market farmers and other local farms.

Veraci Pizza co-owner Marshall Jett being interviewed by Food Network Canada. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Veraci Pizza is another Market vendor that now has a storefront — theirs at 5th & Market here in Ballard. From Veraci’s humble beginnings with its pizza oven wagons in our market system, Veraci Pizza has expanded to operating multiple wagons throughout the Seattle area on any given day, as well as doing so in Portland and Spokane, too. So great has the legend of Veraci grown that Food Network Canada interviewed owner Marshall Jett at Ballard Farmers Market earlier this year for a series they are doing on great street food in North America, due to air in the next year.

Fresh, hot mini donuts from Market Mini Donuts. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Market Mini Donuts is our most recent addition. It is a sibling business to Ballard Farmers Market’s founding farm, Anselmo’s. These little suckers are nothing short of addictive, and since they’re small, you don’t have to feel as guilty about polishing off a dozen of them! They actually were slinging their donuts at Dante’s party yesterday afternoon. Their chocolate coated donuts, if you ever get a chance to try them, are outrageously good. I finally forced myself to stop eating them when, well, they ran out.

A typical wall of humanity cued up for Anita's Crepes. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may wonder why I don’t have a lovely, close up photo of Anita’s Crepes, our fifth prepared food vendor, that also now has a storefront of its own, on Leary Way across from Hales Brewery in Frelard. Well, the simple answer is that the line at Anita’s is always so long, it is hard for me to get close enough to get such a photo. You see that black canopy on the left in the photo above? That’s Anita’s. Now, you see that sea of humanity stacked up in cue for Anita’s Crepes — that wall of people? They wait patiently for a long time to get their crepes. I am not going to risk my life by trying to barge into that line, or get inside their booth and slow them down, lest that mob becomes unruly!

Whole grain emmer, rye and wheat from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, there’s lots of other deliciousness to be had amongst the many tables of your Ballard Farmers Market. Bluebird Grain Farms is here today, but then they’ll be gone for a couple of weeks, so stock up on grains and flours now. Today will likely be the last for corn, peas, tomatoes and many other sensitive summer crops, so grab them while you can. Mind you, it is the last day of October. In a normal weather year, these crops would have come and gone weeks ago! Autumn Martin returns with her Hot Cakes! today. Yunmers! These little cakes that you take home and pop in your oven that come out all molten chocolate are to die for! And you’ll find lots of great fall crops, from apples and pears to winter squash, sunchokes and Brussels sprouts.

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!

Sunday, June 13th: Sunshine, Strawberries, Chicken… & Some Sad News.

June 13, 2010

Ben Craft & Gretchen Hoyt, founders of Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Growing Washington.

“On Monday, May 24th, a severe house fire nearly destroyed the home of Ben Craft and Gretchen Hoyt, founders of Alm Hill Gardens and long-time leaders in the local food movement,” said Clayton Burrows of Growing Washington, which manages Alm Hill Gardens. “Both Ben and Gretchen are ok, but their house is in complete disarray. The fire itself damaged about half of the house, and the combination of smoke, soot, and water from the firefighters left the entire structure and all of the possessions within damaged or altered.

“Ben built the home by hand shortly after returning from Vietnam back in the early 1970’s. Its geodesic dome shape and hand-crafted woodworking made the home particularly beautiful and unique. It also makes the home uninsurable; it lacks the uniformity needed to fit into modern codification. While the possessions inside were partially covered by insurance, the home itself was not.”

Donations to help them rebuild their house are being collected at the Ballard Farmers Market Market Information tent, located at the Vernon Place end of the Market.

The return of bleu cheeses from Estrella Family Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I am somewhat flying by the seat of my pants today, since I left my notebook with all my notes on what farmers will have anew today down in Georgetown Saturday, while I was working at our new Georgetown Farmers Market. Whoops. Of course, normally this would not be an issue for me, because I would have photographic evidence of all the new crops. But, in some more sad news, my beloved 10-year-old Olympus digital camera passed away suddenly last Sunday during the Market.

As you know from this blog, this camera took remarkable photos, given it was one of the first digital SLR cameras built. While most phone cameras take higher density photos today, they simply do not have the lens that my Olympus was built with 10 years ago. So for all of you who have enjoyed my Market photos on this blog, please take a moment to say a quiet prayer of thanks, and perhaps lift a glass at some point in the spirit of my Irish ancestors, in loving memory of a great and loyal camera that served us all well for many more years than anyone could have ever expected. And all that said, please bear with me as I do my best without my notes and but a few new photos. And trust me, today you will find absolutely tons of great stuff at your Ballard Farmers Market, so just show up, okay?

Oh, and here, above, in one of my camera’s last photos, is evidence that Estrella Family Creamery is finally getting close to being completely back to normal: the return of bleu cheeses!

Chelan cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry season is now kicking into full swing. Just look at these gorgeous Chelan cherries from Lyall Farms. Lyall also has begun harvesting Titans, as well as a small number of Rainiers. Also with cherries this week are Collins Family Orchrads, ACMA Mission Orchards, and Bill’s Fruits, which returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market.

Flowers pea vines from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As Murphy would have it, Jessie from Colinwood Farm went out of his way to call me this week to tell me of all the cool new things they have to bring to Market this week, and of course, that info is all in that notebook (which fortunately has been found). So, let’s see what I can remember. First, I wanted to share with you this kinda cool photo of Colinwood’s pea vines from last week. I like it for the beautiful little purple flowers on it, and because it is, in fact, the final photo my camera ever took. I do recall that Jessie told me they would have the first new potatoes of the season today, as well as a very limited supply of sun gold and Washington cherry tomatoes, and a bunch more zucchini and squash blossoms.

Billy's Big Beef Tomatoes. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Billy’s has actually begun harvesting tomatoes from its greenhouses, like these Big Beef tomatoes — big, juicy, and great for slicing. Billy’s will have some other varieties today, too, but again, they will go very, very fast!

Mustard greens from Red Barn. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love mustard greens. They are both bold and delicate. Raw, they make for a salad that will kick you in the behind and open your sinuses. Lightly sauteed with just a touch of garlic, salt and pepper, they sweeten up and lose their edge, making a delicious side to pork or salmon. Stop by Red Barn today for some of Julie’s gorgeous mustard greens.

A beautiful pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things has a fresh crop of their magnificent pasture-raised chickens today. Honestly, if you are still buying chickens at the Big Box Store, you have no idea what you are missing. These birds from Growing Things are so good, they have become a Thanksgiving traditions in my family, replacing turkey. Come try a chicken that actually tastes like a chicken, and in the process, learn for the first time, or perhaps be reminded after a long absence, what chicken is supposed to taste like.

Hayton Farms is back at the Market with their famous strawberries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In what is turning out to be a very red-themed kinda day for fruit in this post, Hayton Berry Farms is back at your Ballard Farmers Market with their famous strawberries. And with a burst of sunshine and a little warmth over the past couple of days, their berries are suddenly plentiful and ready for action. Others with strawberries today include Collins, Sidhu, Tiny’s and Stoney Plains.

Sugar snap peas from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of the last photos from my dear old Olympus, these sugar snap peas from Children’s Garden are emblematic of what is rapidly becoming this season’s onslaught of all things peas — from sugar snap to snow to English shelling peas, which you will find today from Alvarez. Lots of peas throughout the Market today. But their season is short, so enjoy them while you can.

Okay, I am feeling a bit like a fish out of water here, so I am going to call it a day now. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please 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 search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. Thanks. And I will see you at the Market today, sans camera. Sigh.

Whips & Scapes, Fire Trucks, Van Gogh Flowers & Sushi Bars

June 7, 2009

One of Seattle's newest fire trucks, at only six weeks of age, sprouts Ballard Farmers Market flags on May 31st. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of Seattle's newest fire trucks, at only six weeks of age, sprouts Ballard Farmers Market flags on May 31st. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With yet another lovely Sunday, it seems everyone was out enjoying the Ballard Farmers Market on May 31st. If you were not amongst them, you missed Seattle’s newest fire truck, strutting its stuff. While its crew was sampling its way through the Market, this truck looked rather festive against a backdrop of the Market’s colorful flags. Kinda makes you wish fire trucks had big, colorful flags sticking out of them all the time, doesn’t it?

Check out these gorgeous leek tops at Nash's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out these gorgeous leek tops at Nash's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, sure, I could have posted a photo of curly garlic scapes (a.k.a., rattlesnake tails), or even onion whips, but when it comes to this seasons most unusual onion family plant buds at the market, leek tops have to take the cake. They are a tasty lot, these whips and scapes, but their season is short, so get them while you can.

Collins Family Orchard is the second farm this season with strawberries at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collins Family Orchard is the second farm this season with strawberries at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All it took was a little heat, and bam! Here came the strawberries. Tiny’s and Collins had them from Eastern Washington this week, but by next week, lots of folks will have them… and peas, too.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas are always the first peas of the season. These beauties, from Alvarez, can be eaten like candy right out of the bag, sautéed, tossed in a salad, or thrown in with some pasta.

A tray-full of Japanese deliciousness for Sunday brunch at Moshi Moshi. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A tray-full of Japanese deliciousness for Sunday brunch at Moshi Moshi. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those folks who has been staring forlornly into the windows of Moshi Moshi during the Market on Sundays, reading the menu and wishing they were open? Well, now they are. May 31st marked the date Moshi Moshi began serving some fine Japanese brunch on Ballard Avenue. And Sutter Home & Hearth was open again, too. I think they actually feel bad about not being open on Memorial Day weekend, when you were looking for charcoal for your barbecue.

The Tallboys at the Market on May 31st. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Tallboys at the Market on May 31st. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Market was aglow with the music and dancing of The Tallboys this week. Indeed, they captured such a large crowd that those “no parking” signs in the background might have come in handy.

Stoney Plains' purple kate. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains' purple kate. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s see. There’s green kale, and red Russian kale. There’s curly leaf kale, and there’s dino kale. And then there’s purple kale at Stoney Plains. You know, one of the many, many things I love about the Market is when a farmer boastfully shows me their latest “cool” crop they have harvested, and purple kale definitely falls into that category, along with those leek tops, of course. And speaking of kale, did you know that Nash’s has its own variety of kale? Nash’s red kale. And they will even sell you the seeds for it, so you can grow it yourself.

Magnificent Alm Hill sunflowers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magnificent Alm Hill sunflowers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if you missed the Market on May 31st, you missed these spectacular sunflowers at Alm Hill Gardens. Just look at these lovelies. Is it any wonder Van Gogh was captivated by them? They just reach out an grab you, don’t they? Like everything else at the Market. Which begs the question, where the heck were you last week?