Posts Tagged ‘peppers’

Returning Farms, Great Albacore, Devine Tonics and Wine

April 10, 2015

 Alvarez Organic Farms Returns

Organic Asparagus at Ballard Farmers Market

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

They’re Back!

The Alvarez Organic Farm crew will be at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday with their asparagus, dried peppers, red onions, beans, and shallots.

F/V St. Jude at

Ballard Farmers Market April 12

F/V St Jude's Amazing Albacore

F/V St Jude’s Amazing Albacore

Joe and Joyce Malley, the owners of Fishing Vessel St. Jude are dedicated to bringing you the right albacore. And right is

  • low in mercury,
  • high in omega 3 oils, and
  • caught in a sustainable manner.

They base their business on troll caught albacore and constantly test their catch to assure the product they bring to you is the healthiest and best ecological choice for the finest you can eat.

This albacore tuna, whether flash frozen, smoked, or canned has received the stamps of approval by Seafood Watch, Dolphin Safe and New Pacific Albacore.

Market Master’s Recipe- for a Simple Dinner

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Roasted Tuna, Asparagus & Morel

1 large bunch of asparagus,washed and trimmed

2 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced in bite-sized pieces

1 small red onion, sliced

1 can of F/V St. Jude albacore, seasoned or use Natural in Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil,   ¾ tsp Salt, and pepper to taste

Now for preparation:  Set Oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Use 2 if you need it.  In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until vegetables are coated with oil. Add EVOO if needed. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes stirring once until vegetables are slightly charred and tender.  NOTE:  If you want a dinner fit for a grand banquet, use one of the albacore filets or steaks that Joyce brings frozen from the F/V St. Jude latest catch, instead of their canned products .  It thaws in a very short time, slices into 1/2 inch pieces easily, and should not be cooked very long.  So wait until after you stir the veggies then add the slices to the pan & sear until just before they turn from pink to white.  Serve with soy sauce and wasabi on the table, or not, as you please.

Servings are less than 150 calories per serving and HUGE in taste.

A dessert designed by Linda Harkness, the Firefly Kitchen manager, would be absolutely perfect for the end of a lovely albacore, asparagus and morel dinner.  Carrot Bars with Carrot Cream Frosting.

 Now for the Wines

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery.  The only winery in the City of Seattle.

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery. The only winery in the City of Seattle.

A Pioneer in Washington’s Wine Industry

Paul Beveridge, and his wife, Lysle Wilhelmi, are the owners of Wilridge Winery. (Yes, that is his name). They also own their own vineyard on Naches Heights, near Yakima, where the vines are tended organically and biodynamically.

Paul and Lysle opened a European-style bistro in the early 1990’s, in a house on 34th Ave, in the Madrona district. The restaurant was on the 2nd floor and their winery was in the cellar. It was the city of Seattle’s 1st winery. After the restaurant was closed because of laws that were established to prohibit ‘bathtub’ gin being sold in a retail outlet, including restaurants, the couple decided to close the Bistro. Paul and Lysle were pioneers again by working to get that law changed, with help from the Washington Wine Institute.

Paul also contributed significant time and efforts that led to the legislation that allows wine and beer from Washington producers to be sold at farmers markets.

And, if that isn’t enough pioneering, they have also been among the first wineries, let along retailers, to offer their fine wines in refillable bottles.

Stop by to talk to their representative, and have a taste to decide what vintage or blend you want.  You will be proud to be supporting ethically and sustainably grown fine wines from Washington State

Firefly Kitchens

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Located in Ballard, Julie O’Brien is brewing up fermented produce, much of which is sourced directly from our local farms, and is available right here at the Ballard Farmers Market.

During this work, they develop a tonic they call Divine Brine. Bring your own jar and she’ll fill it up for you with some of this healthy probiotic tonic. This is not only a super-healthy food for your digestive system, it is a culinary treat for your whole body.

A winner of America’s Good Food Award for each of the past 4 years, stop by Firefly Kitchens to taste. They also encourage you to bring your own jar for a fill-up of their Devine Brine.

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

And try the recipe for Carrot Cake with Carrot Cream Icing (link is above).

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Sunday, November 16th: Local Hazelnuts, Holiday Hams, Sweet Squash, Perfect Pears, Soul-Warming Teas & More!

November 15, 2014
Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been c-c-c-c-c-o-l-d-d-d-d this past week, and that means we may be missing some crops today. But hey, it could be worse. We could live in Fargo, where you needed a jackhammer to harvest potatoes this week. Guess what else? There are just 11 days left until Thanksgiving! Have you gotten your turkey or ham yet? If not, better snap to it. You can still arrange for hams from Olsen Farms or Skagit River Ranch, and Growing Things Farm still has a few turkeys left, but you need to buy or reserve them today for delivery next Sunday!

(BTW, if you love being able to get meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, eggs and other animal products at your Ballard Farmers Market, please read our Tuesday blog post about ridiculously high proposed new health permit fees from King County that could drive some farms out of farmers markets and some markets in the county out of business. We need your help writing letters and attending meetings on behalf of your favorite farms and markets!)

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, I am just nuts for nuts. Aren’t you? And lucky for us, Washington’s own Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards is returning today to your Ballard Farmers Markets after several years’ absence! Up in Whatcom County, they grown some of the finest hazelnuts you will ever taste anywhere. They are big, fresh and sweet. They have them raw, roasted, seasoned in a wide variety of flavors, and they even offer some absolutely fabulous hazelnut oil, great for finishing soups, salads and other dishes.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm also has lots of gorgeous winter squash and pumpkins right now. Choose from a couple of varieties of kabocha squashsweet dumpling squashred kuri squashJarradhale pumpkins, or these beautiful carnival squash.

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

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

These are crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards. Honestly, I don’t remember seeing them in previous years. So I did what any farmers market blogger worth his salt would do… because I care about you. I got one, and I ate it. (It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!) These cute little pears are quite juicy and not overbearingly sweet. I quite enjoyed mine. I think you’ll enjoy these, too!

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This past Thursday may have marked the last day in the 2014 Puget Sound Keta salmon fishing season, so today may be your last day to enjoy fresh Keta salmon from Loki Fish. They actually catch this keta in the center of Puget Sound, straight out from Magnolia Bluff. And besides the versatile fillets Loki offers, they also take Keta roe (eggs) and cure them with salt to make ikura. This local delicacy is great for the holidays. I love it on some Tall Grass Bakery baguette with some truffled fromage from Mt. Townsend Creamery.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Cold nights and approaching holidays call for tea. Why not try some local herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist this fall? They are blended with many ingredients grown on Vashon Island and other local farms, and they come in a terrific selection of delicious blends. Some will relax you. Some will wake you. Some with help cure what ails you. And some will even put you in the mood. Now, that’s a tea that will warm you up, people! And it makes a great stocking stuffer, too!

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

There are only two more Sundays for House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods at your Ballard Farmers Market. Adam is retiring his business and moving on to other adventures. So stop by now for all the kale chips you can carry to your car! And give the big lug a hug and a thank you, while you’re at it!

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Peppers are pretty much done for this year. Pretty much, I say, save for the fact that Stoney Plains Organic Farm harvested a LOT of them before the cold set it, and today, they’ll have some left just for you at your Ballard Farmers Market! They should still have jalapenospoblanos and some of these lovely serrano peppers. These… and red sunchokes, too!

Decorative gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Decorative gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish our weekend installment this week with these pretty ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm. They are perfect for sprucing up your home for fall. Boistfort also has plenty of the edible gourds, too — winter squash and pumpkins, as well as garlichoneyrutabagasparsnips and lots of other fall localiciousness!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog post for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And 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.

Midweek Update for Wednesday, October 22nd: Sunchokes, A Recipe From Nash’s, Sweet Potato Chips, Keta Salmon Skeines & More!

October 22, 2014
Poblano peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Poblano peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

In this epic year of peppers, even Westside farms like Stoney Plains Organic Farm are getting in on the action. In fact, apparently, they have a gargantuan harvest of these gorgeous poblano peppers in progress right now. So if you want to get your chile relleno on, this is the time to do it! Stop by and grab a big bag full this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic pink lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples are one of my favorite eating apples. They are super crisp, sweet, and have just the tiniest hint of tartness. They have become a standard here in the Northwest in recent years, helped by their openness to long storage while maintaining their quality. Enjoy some of the first organic Pink Lady apples of the season this week from ACMA Mission Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes from Summer Run Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are in the house! North America may not have any native potatoes (though we Northwesterners lay claim to the Ozette as our own), but we do have this tuber, a member of our beloved sunflower family. You can eat them much like potatoes, including making soups, mashes, root roasts and even home fries. And they have the added benefit of actually being good for blood sugar levels. Yes, the skins are edible, and they can be eaten raw. When cooking, it is good to cut them and then put them in a bowl of water with some lemon juice in it to keep them from turning color on  you before you drop them in the pot, steamer or baking dish. Enjoy a true American native crop this fall! These are from Summer Run Farm, the winners of the first farm to bring sunchokes to Market this season award.

Arugula from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arugula from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce has begun to harvest a bumper crop of arugula, and to that end, Devon has shared with us another great recipe, though I can’t help but ponder how this salad might be using some of their own delicious whole grains, or perhaps subbing some Glendale Shepherd fresh sheep cheese.

Quinoa, Beet and Arugula Salad

  • 1/2 lb. beets
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. arugula, chopped
  • 5 oz. goat cheese

Cook beets until tender, peel and slice. Bring water to boil, add quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, pepper together. Remove quinoa from heat, add 1/2 of salad dressing, cover refrigerate for ½  to 1 hour. Stir in onion, arugula, goat cheese, beets and remaining dressing, toss and serve.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon skeines (eggs) from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the annual Puget Sound Keta salmon season in full swing, Loki Fish has lots of fresh salmon skeines (salmon roe) available right now. Make your own ikura, or use them in any number of ways, from garnishes to salads and soups to sushi and more. Ask the fine folks at Loki for ideas this Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has begun to harvest its wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from their fields in Sunnyside. And that means not only the sweet potatoes themselves at your Ballard Farmers Market, but these awesome sweet potato chips. If you love sweet potatoes, get thee to Lyall Farms this weekend!

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we finish up this midweek epistle with these beautiful blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms. This Sunday will be Hayton’s last for the 2014 season at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a berry season for the record books, but it had to end sometime, right? So why not load up for one last hoorah of fresh berries for this year, before you begin pining away as you await the first berries again next May.

Sunday, October 19th: Fall Foods & Food Day 2014

October 18, 2014

food-day_2014

National Food Day 2014 is this coming Friday, October 24th. Inaugurated several years ago, it is designed, like Earth Day in April, to get us talking about food. After all, it is the one thing we all have in common — the one thing we all cannot live without. Just to confuse you, though, the UN has held International Food Day on October 16th since 1979, but given that neither you nor I ever heard much about this, it made sense to start anew. You’ll find lots of things to do, and more info, at the Food Day website, and read on to learn about some cool stuff happening in New York City that we could easily replicate here.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Starvation Alley Farms has begun the harvest of the 2014 crop of organic cranberries out on Long Beach Peninsula. They’ll have them flash-frozen for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. And check this out from Wholesome Wave in New York City:

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced on October 16th the expansion of a program that allows doctors at HHC’s Elmhurst and Bellevue Hospital Centers to write fruit and vegetable “prescriptions” to children who are overweight or obese to help improve access to healthy food and promote overall health and wellness in the community.  First adopted by HHC hospitals in the South Bronx and Harlem last summer, the Wholesome Wave Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program (FVRx) proved successful in its first year when the program at HHC Harlem Hospital Center and HHC Lincoln Medical Center helped 40 percent of the enrolled children lower their Body Mass Index (BMI) and more than half of the families reported having more food to eat at home.

“A prescription for healthy food at an affordable price can be even better than a prescription for medicine,” said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. “When doctors don’t just ask patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, but take concrete steps to make it easier for them and to demonstrate the benefits, patients listen. Obesity is a significant problem for children in New York City.  With HHC’s excellent primary care services and community collaborations like this one, we can help children learn at an early age that a healthy lifestyle and good food choices strongly affect their future health and wellbeing.”

… HHC selects pediatric patients for FVRx based on age and BMI eligibility. Over the course of four months, during farmers market season, patients receive a “prescription” to eat more fruit and vegetables. The prescription is designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for the entire family and is typically valued at $1 per day per household member ($28 per week for a family of four). This year, Wholesome Wave is piloting a $.50 incentive at two of the FVRx hospitals ($14 per week for a family of four). The prescription is exchanged on-site for Health Bucks, a city-wide Department of Health and Mental Hygiene program, which  can be used at all New York City farmers markets.

Gee, that sounds like something our local government and hospitals could do right here in Seattle in partnership with our farmers market Fresh Bucks Program.

Click image to download.

Click image to download.

And speaking of Fresh Bucks, the program has been extended through the end of December this year, so if you or someone you know receives SNAP benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), we will match the SNAP dollars you spend at your Ballard Farmers Market with Fresh Bucks, up to $10, each and every visit! Fresh Bucks can only be used for fresh fruits, vegetables and cut herbs, so use them to stock up on those items, and save your regular SNAP benefits to use for other food items, like eggs, grains, dried beans, honey, meat, pickles and such.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The commercial fishing season for Keta salmon on Puget Sound just opened, and that means Loki Fish should have the most local salmon you will ever find here at your Ballard Farmers Market today, as it is caught just a few miles from here in the heart of Puget Sound. Keta salmon used to be considered a trash fish, but in recent years, it has reemerged as a high-quality, affordable, local and wild salmon that also serves to maintain our local fishing economy. It is fresher, better tasting and generally less expensive than farm-raised salmon. It takes well to rubs, smokes and sauces. And unlike most farmed salmon, it is not on drugs and its color is natural. So enjoy some salmon tonight that actually hangs out in the same area code as you do!

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This fall has been great for wild lobster mushrooms harvested by Foraged & Found Edibles in the forests of Western Washington. They get their name from their bright red color, and they are a sturdy, earthy mushroom that holds up well when you cook them. They make a great topping for that Keta salmon!

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

As the waters of Hood Canal cool down with fall rains and shorter days, now is the best time of year to enjoy fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oysters. You’ll find a few varieties of live in-the-shell oysters today, ready for you to shuck and slurp, as well as jars of pre-shucked oysters, pickled and smoked oysters, and live clams!

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic turn almost black when in storage. It is a firm, tart apple good for fresh eating, cooking, juicing and making hard cider, and it will keep for two to three months.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We talk a lot about cooking pumpkins here in the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market. There are so many varieties offered by our farmers, after all. But Halloween is less than two weeks away, so let’s talk about carving pumpkins today. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a nice selection of carving pumpkins for you and the kids to turn into all manner of spooky creations. Pick out the best one for you today, and remember to roast these seeds!

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cool, dark, often damp fall mornings call for a hardy breakfast, and for that you’ll find great granola in a variety of flavors from Marge Granola. Tall Grass Bakery also makes a great granola, or you can grab some muesli from Daddy’s Muesli. Besides being fine with milk or yogurt, they’re nice just heating up a little hot water, too.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry season is just about over, folks. We still are enjoying a few blackberries and blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms, but next week will be their last for 2014. So get your berry on one last time this year, and celebrate the epic berry season it was! (They go great with that granola and muesli, too.)

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.