Posts Tagged ‘pickling dill’

Sunday, July 21st: Sunflowers, Organic Sweet Corn, Donut Peaches, Heirloom Tomatoes, Boysenberries, Gluten-Free Bread & So Much More!

July 20, 2013
Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 is already an epic year for our farmers, and it is only mid-July. I hope you are taking full advantage of this historic year for local crops. Warm weather is not only causing crops to arrive earlier than ever, it is also resulting in record harvests and superb quality. And many crops are also hanging around later than usual, too. Take, for example, flowers from Pa Gardens. Right now, they have in season sweet peasgladiolasdahlias and sunflowers — all at the same time! It is kind of mind-boggling, but it also means they get to make some of the most extraordinary fresh flower bouquets, the likes of which we may never see again. So, please, I beseech you. Avail yourself of this unique summer!

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! Fresh, organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms! And this bi-color variety is super sweet right now. Of course, they also have like a gagillion kinds of summer squash now. They’ve even got pickling cukes now, too! (Scroll down for your pickling dill source.)

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donut peaches from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms won this year’s race for the first donut peaches of the season. And I so love donut peaches. They are cool looking. They are compact. They have a small, easily removed stone. They are delicious. And this year, they are a week earlier than we have ever seen before.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow's Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm and Oxbow’s Alice sporting carrots. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is famous for their carrots, be they of the orange or the purple variety. And Alice of Oxbow is such a fan of carrots that she’s given them a place of permanent honor on her shoulder! This seems like an excellent time for some carrot trivia. Did you know that orange is not the original color of carrots? Carrots actually come in a rainbow of colors, from white all the way to black, and orange is the newest. And they have a history so rich that an entire British website is dedicated to them. If you love carrots, or food in general, I encourage you to check out this site.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Soda Company makes fresh sodas using local ingredients from Washington farmers, and their flavors change with the seasons, so it is worth visiting them every week for a taste treat! This week, they’ve got Blackberry Cardamom, Lemon Lavender & Cucumber Mint, from the left. The latter is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, though I like them all. None are too sweet. Enjoy!

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish hardneck garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jarvis Family Garlic Farm returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Located on the North Olympic Peninsula over in Clallam County, they grow a delicious variety of heirloom garlic. They range from hard necks to soft necks, mild to very hot, and long storage to use ’em now. And remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic!

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Colinwood Farms are just waiting to adorn your burger, BLT or salad! Sure, I loves me some heirloom tomatoliciousness as much as the next guy, but sometimes I just need a nice slice of a hearty, humble, domesticated beefsteak mater on my sandwich. And please, by all means, do not let this of all seasons get by you without celebrating to exceptional volume, quality and earliness of local tomatoes!

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of a hot, dry summer, we’ve all been missing our weekly Whidbey Island Ice Cream fix for the last few weeks. But they are back up and running again, and thus they are back here today with lots of great flavors of ice cream bars ready for you to devour!

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 has seen the earliest arrival of apples at your Ballard Farmers Market since we started keeping track by a solid two weeks, and they are a full month earlier than normal. These organic Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are actually now the second wave of apples already this year, and from here on out, we will likely see a new variety of apple every week. Rumor has it that the Early Galas may be only a week or two out. Amazing.

Beets from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just take a gander at these gorgeous beets from Gaia’s Harmony Farm — chioggaDetroit and golden beets, from the left. They are sweet, earthy, and they come with greens that make for a second dish for no extra charge! Oh, Gaia’s famous organic strawberries have made a return this week, too!

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know you’ve heard me prattle on about the ginormous heads of lettuce from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. This week, I thought I’d give you some photographic evidence. Seriously. They are more than twice the size of Dana’s head!

Boysenberries from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boysenberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie’s Berries has just about every kind of berry legal in the state of Washington right now, I swear. These stunners are their boysenberries. I bet you just hurt your finger jamming it into your screen trying to reach for one, didn’t you? They’ve also got marionberries now, too. No, not the infamous former mayor of Washington, DC, but the blackberry cousin. Sheesh.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Coconut Curry Kale Chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun raw & vegan foods has all sorts of deliciousness that everyone enjoys, and no one will ever miss the meat or the cooking. These newish Coconut Curry Kale Chips are packed with flavor, yet light, crunchy and full of goodness, and as one who is not a huge coconut fan, I found these to suit me just fine.

Radicchio from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radicchio from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm specializes in heirloom varieties of both Italian and Asian crops. I know, it seems like an odd marriage, but it works for them… and for me! This colorful radicchio obviously falls in the Italian camp, along with artichokes and garlic right now.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling dill from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I told you I had you covered for a source for pickling dill, didn’t I? This dill is from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), and I’ve been using it for years to do my pickling. The flowers are full of aromatic flavor to impart into your favorite vegetables. Yummers!

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pluots are not only fascinating because of their hybridized genetics — part plum and part apricot. They are also way cool because of all the rad colors they come in, inside and out. Like these Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. What they lack in a creative name they make up for in flavor and appearance!

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sesame loaf (left) and whole grain sandwich bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you require gluten-free products, or are you just convinced that they all taste like sawdust? Either way, you should be beating a path to d:floured gluten-free bakery, because they have built their business on the premise that everyone deserves really good bread and brownies. For instance, check out these two new sandwich bread loaves, above. They are moist, chewy, tasty and sliceable! On the left is their sesame loaf, which they intentionally developed to be a full-sized loaf of bread, perfect for a nice, big sandwich. On the right is whole grain, which while a stitch smaller, still makes for a fine PB&J. So now, you can have your gluten-free diet and your BLT, 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.

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, August 21st: Welcomes, Farewells, Requests, The New, The Spectacular, Sweetness, Rarity & The Absurd!

August 21, 2011

Honey from Tahuya River Apiaries. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tahuya River Apiaries, how we have missed your wildflower honey these many weeks. See, it turns out that honey is seasonal, too. I mean, duh. But who ever thinks about it? Honey is shelf stable, so it seems it is always around. Heck, it is one of the most shelf stable foods there is, because it is naturally anti-bacterial. There’s just one catch: honey still needs to be made by bees. And this year, with our cold, wet weather, that has not been easy, particularly for bees making wildflower honey. See, first off, bees need the air temperature to be warm enough for them to function, and with temps well below normal this year, the bees got a late start. Add to that our record snow pack in the mountains, which resulted in very late melt, and thus very late wildflowers. And since Tahuya’s bees do their work collecting pollen from wildflowers high up in the Olympic Mountains, they are way behind in honey production this year. And that meant Tahuya ran out of honey to sell at your Ballard Farmers Market for the first time in years. But finally, they have honey again, and they make their triumphant return today. Been missing your wildflower honey? Well, it’s back!

Lotsa pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve also missed Deborah’s Homemade Pies for a couple of weeks. I don’t know if she was running for her life, of just for fun, but it seems every year around now she disappears to somewhere to run. See, Deborah is a marathon runner. She also makes the best flippin’ pies west of the Pecos. So get you one today, now that she’s back!

Download and print these signs to vote for Ballard Farmers Market.

Just 10 days left for you to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. To vote, just click here now. Plus, you can click the image above to easily download a printer-friendly poster you can post just about anywhere, so everyone you know can just scan it with their smart phones to vote! Bring it to your office this week. Post in on your street. Put it up in the window of your shop. Help us win!

Salmon candy from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish has brought back it’s salmon candy for the first time this year. Salmon candy is the smoked bellies of the salmon. The bellies are often trimmed off when the fish are filleted, but they are the fattiest part of the fish, and they are considered a delicacy amongst natives and fishers alike, who eat them smoked like candy, ergo the name.

Alice from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farewell, sweet Alice of Oxbow Farm. Alice just headed off to Michigan for graduate school. She’s been a fixture here at your Ballard Farmers Market now for several years, first working for Full Circle Farm, and then Oxbow for the last two years. Alice, we’ll miss you. Come back and visit, and don’t forget to write!

Cherry tomatoes and okra from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you’ve seen me around the Market taking photos for this blog, then you know that the vendors let me move stuff around to enhance the images I get. After all, it is in their interest, as I am promoting them. And they trust me to be careful while handling their delicate produce. But let’s face it: the farmers often arrange their displays so perfectly that any manipulation by me would only detract from it. Case in point, this unadulterated display of cherry tomatoes and okra on the tables of Alvarez Organic Farms at our Wallingford Farmers Market this past Wednesday. Hey, if the first bite is with the eye, then a spectacular display goes a long way towards getting folks to buy one’s food, right?

Frenched rack of pork from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also stunning is this Frenched rack of pork from Sea Breeze Farm. When you look at the meat they bring every week, and heck, once you’ve tasted it, the “meat” at the Big Box store simply cannot satisfy you anymore, regardless the price.

Big dog, little dog at Ballard Farmers Market on August 14, 2011. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Big dog, little dog! Your eyes do not deceive you. That is one enormous dog next to one tiny one. In fact, I think the little guy’s name is “Tiny.” I love how gentle the big lug was with the little one. I mean, he could eat and swallow the little dog in one bite. And yet, somehow, most dogs, when they encounter each other, seem to respect each other as equals. They don’t see huge disparities in size or appearance. They just see a fellow canine whose butt they need to sniff. You know, we humans could a lot from dogs.

Bok choy from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems we always have baby bok choy at your Ballard Farmers Market, but we rarely have bok choy. And yes, there is a difference! This is bok choy. It is a completely different plant from baby bok choy. Note the big, white ribs and the dark-green leaves. It is not just the grownup version of the baby stuff. Well, Nash’s Organic Produce has true bok choy now, so enjoy it while you can. It is wonderful stuff.

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

These white nectarines from Collins Family Orchards are amongst the sweetest of all stone fruits. Their white flesh is very high in natural sugars that make them like candy. If you want to try a truly sweet, juicy fruit, these are not to be missed.

Pickling dill from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this week’s installment with a necessity, if you plan on making any kind of dill pickles this summer: pickling dill. This pickling dill from Stoney Plains is what I rely on every year, along with their pickling cucumbers, to make my famous pickles. Now, if you are new to pickling, and you are wondering, “can’t I just use any dill and cucumbers?” Well, no, not really. See, the flowers on this dill are what pack the most intense dill flavor, and the skins on pickling cucumbers are more porous, allowing them to more easily soak up all the delicious herbs, spices, salt and vinegar you pack them with. Now, I could just give you my entire pickling recipe, but then, I’d have to kill you.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!

Sunday, September 27th: Wild Things, Uncommon Things & Fall Things

September 26, 2009
King Bolete, a.k.a. porcini, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

King Bolete, a.k.a. porcini, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the many wild treats of fall is the King Bolete, or porcini, mushroom, brought to us by the fine folks at Foraged & Found Edibles. They have all kinds of wild-harvested deliciousness now, from chanterelles to lobster mushrooms to wild huckberries to chicken of the woods mushrooms.

Chanterelle mushrooms from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chanterelle mushrooms from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm also has chanterelle mushrooms now, in addition to an extraordinary selection of produce that includes fresh-cut herbs, gorgeous onions and Ozette potatoes.

Iceberg lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Iceberg lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of “uncommon things” is this iceberg lettuce from Stoney Plains. Now, maybe you don’t think iceberg lettuce is all that uncommon, but it certainly is uncommon at local farmers markets. If you want the guilty pleasure some fresh, crisp, cool iceberg lettuce that doesn’t come with all those frequent flyer miles or chemicals, give this stuff a try. Oh, and Stoney Plains has fresh garbanzo beans and edamame now, too, but only for a short time.

Pickling, or flowering, dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickling, or flowering, dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Given how many people were asking me, “where did you get that?” in recent weeks, I’d say pickling dill comes under the heading of the uncommon at the moment. I have seen it from two farms of late: Children’s Garden (pictured above) and Oxbow.

Everbearing strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everbearing strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many folks think that strawberries are only available in the spring, which makes their presence at the Market now uncommon to them. Everbearing strawberries produce fruit right up to the first frost, and these berries from Hayton Berry Farms are delicious. You’ll also find them at Sidhu, and possibly Jessie’s.

Bok choy from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bok choy from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bok choy uncommon, you ask? Yep. While you will find many farms with baby bok choy, very few in the Market have this true bok choy, above, which comes from Nash’s Organic Produce.

Decorative gourds from G&J's Farm in Lynden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Decorative gourds from G&J's Farm in Lynden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gourds are a decorative, non-edible cousin to winter squash with a very hard outer shell that will last for months, especially if you give them a good shellacking. But most of our Market farms focus on its edible cousin, making these lovely gourds from G&J’s Farm uncommon.

Parsnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips, like these from Full Circle Farm, are a true sign of fall. They are sweet and earthy, and they lend a brilliant flavor contrast to a root roast and pair well with celery root (celeriac) and potatoes in soups and mashes.

Shallots from Pipitone. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots from Pipitone. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots are another great fall crop. They add a special oniony sweetness and pungency to so many dishes. These shallots, from Pipitone, are the kind that grow in clusters, which some argue are the best kind.

Tanner Woods is one of the members of our Ballard Farmers Market staff. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tanner Woods is one of the members of our Ballard Farmers Market staff. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish of this week’s post with something wild and uncommon: Market staff member Tanner Woods. All of the members of your Ballard Farmers Market crew are a bit wild and certainly quite uncommon, though in general, we try not to fall.

For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner, and we’ll see you today at the Market.