Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Sunday, November 23rd: Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2014
Brussels sprouts from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

It’s here, folks! The first really big holiday of the holiday season: Thanksgiving! Or as we call it in my family, “Thanks For The Land Day!” Whatever you and yours call it, this coming Thursday is a day to take a break, take stock, and express our thanks for what we have, and especially for the bounty that reaches our tables. For Thanksgiving, the first American holiday, ultimately commemorates when mighty, advanced indigenous peoples welcomed undocumented foreigners with open arms and saved them from starvation at Plimouth, so that they might make better lives for themselves in a new world.

We in the farmers market community encourage you to Eat Local For Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, and we have pretty much everything you’ll need to do so right here. We then ask you to give thanks for the many local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans who bring you the best food on earth right here at your Ballard Farmers Market every Sunday, year round. This year, the best way you can do that is to make a public comment in opposition to unreasonably high permit fee increases on farmers markets and their vendors proposed for 2015 by Public Health – Seattle & King County. For a great discussion of the issues at hand, and what is at stake, check out this week’s Ballard News-Tribune article, and for more details on how to comment, please see this blog post from last week. And in return, we thank you!

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving is Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots. There are plenty of Brussels in your Ballard Farmers Market right now, including those beauties up above from Nash’s Organic Produce. And several farms will have shallots, including this from Alvarez Organic Farms. I caramelize my shallots while browning and rendering out my chunked up bacon in a hot skillet. When the bacon begins to get browned, and the shallots caramelized, I drop in the Brussels, cut in half, and sauté them in the bacon grease until they get bright green and just beginning to get tender. At that point, I deglaze the pan with some white wine. The wine combines with the tasty browned pits, or fond, on the bottom of your skillet, reincorporating them back into the Brussels with delicious results. The Brussels finish cooking in this yummy wine sauce and the wine cooks down. The result is that your Brussels sprouts hating kin will ask for seconds!

And speaking of cooking tips, celebrated James Beard Award winning local chef, Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants (including Ballard Ave’s Ballard Pizza Company, Chippy’s and Staple & Fancy) will preform an Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. today.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Bacon from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need some of this amazing bacon from Skagit River Ranch to complete your Brussels sprouts masterpiece this week, but get here early, as it’s sure to sell out. And speaking of things selling out, here are some shopping strategy tips for today’s Market:

  • Get here early, if you can.
  • Pack patience with you, as crowds will be big.
  • Maybe pack a cooler, too.
  • Purchase things like eggs, bacon, cranberries and other items likely to sell out early first.
  • If you don’t plan on watching any sporting matches today, you may prefer to shop after 1 p.m., when big games will thin out our crowds, though keep in mind that some prime items may be sold out by then.
  • If you do plan to watch either the Seahawks or Sounders games, do your shopping first, or during halftime, and watch the games on one of the many TV screens in bars and eateries up and down Ballard Avenue. It will likely be cool enough that, even without a cooler, your Market goodies will keep just fine in your trunk until after the big game!

Here is a list of where you may be able to watch the Sounders playoff game in the neighborhood at 2 p.m. today:

  • Bad Albert’s
  • Ballard Smoke Shop
  • Billy Beach Sushi & Bar
  • El Borracho (on Leary)
  • Kangaroo & Kiwi (on Market, soccer only)
  • Kickin’ Boot
  • Lock & Keel
  • Loft
  • Market Arms (on Market, soccer only)
  • Moshi Moshi
  • Patxi’s
  • The Gerald
  • The Noble Fir

Here is a list of where you will be able to watch the Seahawks, in addition to all of the places above:

  • Bastille (at the bar)
  • Bitterroot (in the bar)
  • Hattie’s Hat (at the bar)
  • Matador (at the bar)
  • Stoneburner (in the bar)

And that’s how you can have your game, and Eat Local For Thanksgiving, too!

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Siegerrebe wine nestled in siegerrebe grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you use a bottle of Siegerrebe from LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards) to deglaze your pan whilst cooking up those Brussels, but it would be a nice accompaniment to your meal. It, or any of the many other award-winning wines from LIV. And try out their new raspberry dessert wine, too!

Rutabagas from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rutabagas from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another favorite of mine this week is steamed rutabagas mashed with lots of good butter. You’ll find these lovely little bagas at Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington), right at the bottom of the Market. Nummers!

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm will help sweeten up your holiday feast. They have many different varieties from which to choose, in many flavors, textures, colors, shapes and sizes. Ask for cooking tips. Roast your seeds. And remember, you can eat the skins on many squash varieties!

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese turnips from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking to add a little taste of spring to your fall feast? How about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm? They come complete with greens, meaning you get two dishes for the price of one! Or, better yet, cook them together! Cut the turnips in half, sauté them in butter or olive oil until tender and a bit browned. Then add the greens and some crushed garlic and toss together until the greens wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Lasoda potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the spuds! Olsen Farms has a couple dozen varieties of potatoes from which to choose, with one perfect for your needs. Some or white, others golden, and others red or blue. Some are waxy and others starchy. Some are better suited to baking, while others like roasting, and still others steaming or frying. Ask questions. Read tags. Have fun with your potatoes.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips from Oxbow Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One thing you can do with your potatoes is mash them with some celery root and parsnips from Oxbow Farm. Talk about an elegant mash! You’ll want equal amounts of all three. I also like to cut up my parsnips into small chunks and roast them in a hot oven with some sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms cut into similar-sized pieces. When they’re tender, they’re done… in about 15-20 minutes. Toss them once, midday.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With all the meat, potatoes, sugary things, roots and such, you’ll want some roughage. Lucky for us, in spite of the recent cold weather, Colinwood Farm’s greenhouses are still cranking out some righteous spicy salad mix just for you! Slice up some of those turnips like radishes and add them to it.

Farmbox Greens' vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Greens’ vertical farm in West Seattle. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and add some superfood to your salad, too! This week, we welcome Farmbox Greens to your Ballard Farmers Market with these Seattle-grown microgreens. In their seedling form, they are little nutrient bombs, and they are packed with flavor, too. Garnish your soups, mashes, meats and more with them.

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.

Apples are good for all sorts of dishes, from salads to sauces to pies, during the holidays. I chose this particular photo of Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic because I recently returned from a trip to Arkansas, and I am here to testify that this apple is, in fact, the apple of Arkansas!

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cirrus cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery is what they, and I, call a “Northwest camembert.” It is the perfect cheese for any occasion, great on a nice slice of local bread and topped with some ikura from Loki Fish. You’ll need some for your holiday festivities!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And here is a perfect local bread for that pairing: kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is all chewy and salty and delicious, and it keeps fairly well, so fear not picking it up today for later in the week. And if you are simply a worrier by nature, then pop it in the freezer today, then pop it in the oven around 300 degrees on Thursday for about 20-30 minutes. It’ll be like it just came out of the bakery’s oven!

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

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

Loki Fish will have just a little bit more fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon today in fillet form before the Puget Sound season closes for 2014. They had one more brief opening on Thursday night, so this is super fresh. If you’re just not a turkey eater, or you are looking for something distinctly different for your other meals this week, here you go! But it will sell out early. However, they will have plenty of that aforementioned ikura, freshly cured and ready to pep up that cheese and bread, or your soup or salad.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Why spend the entire day in  your kitchen on Thursday? Give yourself a bit of a break and get one of these amazing pumpkin pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, or apple or pecan. Not only will it lower your stress level, it will likely be better than anything anyone you know can bake! And if you are attending a feast at someone else’s house, and you’re supposed to bring dessert… here you go! Just grab a pinch of AP flour out of the cupboard before you leave home and dust yourself a bit. Everyone will believe you baked it yourself.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Dragon hummus from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we’d like to give one last shout out to Adam and House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods. Adam is retiring his company as of today’s Market, and he is moving to Portland. Stop by, wish him well, and grab yourself one last container of his awesome Green Dragon hummus for old times’ sake. Thanks, Adam! We’ll miss you!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog posts (Tuesday & Thursday) 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.

Sunday, November 9th: Spuds, Sprouts, Crans, Shrooms, Gourds, Souse & Kippers.

November 8, 2014
Cranberries on the bush at Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

Cranberries on the bush at Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

Looking for fresh, local cranberries? You’ll find them from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Picked from these lovely cranberry bushes at the peak of ripeness, they will make for the best cranberry sauce ever this Thanksgiving, or great muffins and breads. And are you still looking for a Thanksgiving turkey direct from a local farm, and you worry they are all already spoken for? Fear not! Growing Things Farm still has some turkeys available for you. Stop by and visit them at the 22nd Ave end of the Market today and reserve yours!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sno-Valley Mushrooms has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market just in time for all of your fall feasts. They grow their wonderful shiitakeoyster and lion’s mane mushrooms in a state-of-the-art facility in Duvall, right here in King County, and they bring them to you when they are perfect. So get  your mushroom on now!

Mountain Rose potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mountain Rose potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With all your hearty fall recipes and big holiday feasts, you need potatoes. All kinds of potatoes. Lucky for you, Olsen Farms grows all kinds of potatoes. In fact, they grow a couple dozen varieties of potatoes, from the perfect bakers to the perfect roasters. From the perfect fryers to the perfect mashers. From spuds that hold up in stews to spuds that break down for the perfect soups. Have a particular recipes you wish to make, and wondering what potato is the right choice for it? Just ask them!

Naturally-fermented pickles from Britt's Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Naturally-fermented pickles from Britt’s Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Britt’s Pickles has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with their naturally barrel-fermented pickles and kimchis. They offer a great selection of flavors, from hot to mild to curried and more! Grab a jar or three for your holiday parties, or to bring with you to someone else’s party.

Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met Kirsop Farm yet? Kirsop is the newest farm to join the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market. The farm is located in Tumwater, and it was founded back in 1996. It is renowned for producing some of the finest certified organic veggies in Washington. Stop by for some of these yummy Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata winter squash to warm up your kitchen, your belly and your soul!

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

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

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the organic Brussels sprouts now. And this should be an epic year for the Brussels. I can’t wait to get me some today and cook them with some Sea Breeze Farm bacon and One Leaf Farm shallots. Woohoo!

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And maybe we’re beyond fresh local king salmon season, but we can still enjoy smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish during the cold, dark, wet months. Add it to pasta dishes, salads, soups. Or just enjoy it on its own, or on a slice of Tall Grass Bakery baguette with some fromage blanc from Mt. Townsend Creamery. You will not find better smoked king salmon anywhere!

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.

For Sunday, October 26th: Order Holiday Turkeys & Hams, Last Call For Kiwis, Fresh Cranberries & Shiso!

October 24, 2014
Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, this is notturkey. It is a chicken from Growing Things Farm. It is the chicken my family eats for Thanksgiving every year. But if your family must have a beautiful, pasture-raised turkey from right here in King County, Growing Things has you covered there, too. Stop by their stall this week and reserve yours for Thanksgiving, but you need to do it this week! They are selling fast, there is a limited number of them, and most other farms with turkeys are already sold out of them. (And don’t forget to scroll down below this post to see our mid-week post for more delicious info!)

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill is a worker-owned cooperative that is the original farmers market prepared food stand. They have always been community oriented, and they’ve even offered a 50% discount to anyone identifying themselves as unemployed, on the honor system, since the early days of the Great Recession, over five years ago. They already source a huge percentage of their ingredients from our market farmers, but they want to increase that percentage, and to that end, they are trying to raise capital to get equipment to make their own tortillas using Nash’s Organic Produce flour. And that’s where you come in. Patty Pan is asking the community they’ve served for so many years to contribute to their Kickstarter Campaign. Please click over, get informed, then generously support this great project!

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Last call for hardy kiwis from Green Water Farm! Get thee down to your Ballard Farmers Market for these little jewels of the Northwet. They are super sweet and the best kiwis you’ll ever taste. No fuzzy skin to deal with. And they’re easy to eat… a lot of them! About the size of a small grape, the ones with the redder skins are the sweetest. But they are only here for a few short weeks each fall, and this week is their last.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As one fall berry season ends, another is in full swing! These are fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm in Olympia. Bloom Creek is harvesting hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cranberries right now, and they should be available fresh through Thanksgiving. Make your own cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, cranberry muffins and bread, and more! Beats the heck out of that stuff that comes in cans at the Big Box stores.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Not in the mood for turkey this Thanksgiving? More of a ham family? Skagit River Ranch is taking orders now for their spectacular smoked holiday hams, which they will deliver to you here at your Ballard Farmers Market on the Sunday before T-day. These hams are awesome. If you’ve never had one, you owe it to yourself to get one this year, if not for Thanksgiving, at least for the December holiday season. But they will sell out fast, so order yours today! (Skagit is already sold out of turkeys.)

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s potato eating season, folks, and our friends from Olsen Farms have a ginormous selection of potato varieties from which to choose in every shape, size and color, and suited to any number of cooking applications. Some are waxy and others more starchy. Some hold up well in soups, stews and boiled dishes, while others just want to be mashed or roasted. These are the beautiful, Ballard-appropriate, Viking purple potatoes. Inside their stunning purple skin is a gorgeous white flesh that is wonderful steamed and then mashed with a really good butter.

Shiso from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiso from Children’s Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish off with this herbaceous shiso from Children’s Garden. This leafy green is favored by many Asian cooks for the way its intense herbal flavor sets off against raw fish, chicken and other dishes. You probably had it at a sushi bar without knowing what it was. It won’t be around much longer, as temps continue to drop, so enjoy it now, as well as the many other lovely herbs at Children’s.

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, October 12th: Hawaiian Apples, Ozette Potatoes, Wildflower Honey, Heirloom Pears & More!

October 11, 2014
Hawaiian apples from Tiny's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hawaiian apples from Tiny’s Organic at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hundreds of varieties of apples grown here in Washington. But for some reason, I always get a kick out of when these Hawaiian apples from Tiny’s Organic arrive each fall. I mean, it’s fall! Not exactly Hawaiian weather around here. All those old English and New York varieties make more sense to me. But hey, if we’ve learned anything in this state, it is: if it grows, someone will grow it. So give them a try. They are crisp, firm and sweet… a good eating apple! (And don’t forget to check our Wednesday post for even more info about today’s Market.)

Celery and celeriac (celery root) from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery and celeriac (celery root) from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery root and celery from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are different beasts, though they are closely related and similarly flavored. Celery root, also known as celeriac, is not actually just the root of common celery. It is actually bred specifically for its root. See, while celery is rather fibrous and crunchy raw, and holds up in cooking, celery root will get nice and soft, making it great for soups, purees, mashes and broths. And you’ll need plenty of both for your favorite fall recipes.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Ozette potato is the closest thing to a native potato that we have here in Washington. See, potatoes originated in South America, and all but a handful travelled to Europe before being brought to North America by European settlers. But a few varieties travelled up the West Coast with the Spanish in the 1790s, during their brief attempt at colonization here, long before Lewis and Clark ever arrived. The Spanish established one outpost at Neah Bay amidst the Makah Nation in 1791, and it only took two Northwest winters for them to give up and sail back down to California in 1793. They left this potato behind. So eat a bit of Washington history. These Ozettes from Alvarez Organic Farms are great steamed and mashed with a good butter, but I like to toss them with some camelina oil from Ole World Oils, and hit them with a nice, course sea salt and maybe some thyme, and then roast them in a 425 degree oven until they are nice and crunchy on the outside. Nummers.

Fireweed honey with a hint of blackberry from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fireweed honey with a hint of blackberry from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Tom tells me that really, this honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch is mostly fireweed honey, with just a hint of blackberry, despite the label. (See, honey bees do not simply follow orders and only pollinate one flower species at a time.) So, if you like a nice, big local wildflower honey, stop by for some of this stuff today!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard in the Methow Valley. Danish in origins, they date back to the 1850s, and they are an excellent dessert pear. They will keep for up to a month, are not messy eaters, have a great texture, and they are delicious!

Rainbow chard from Nash's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Nash’s Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the rainbow chard right now, and few things are as comforting on a crisp fall night than some wilted chard tossed with garlic. And just look at how gorgeous it is right now! Seriously, this epic year for weather and produce has, in the case of rainbow chard, manifested itself in the most spectacular leaf color I’ve ever seen on chard.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet  potatoes from Lyall Farms return today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Now, it’s really fall, am I right? I kinda like roasting them in a hot oven with parsnips. Yeah, baby.

English shelling peas from Growing Things Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Growing Things Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another pleasant anomaly in this spectacular year that is 2014 is the reemergence of peas this fall. We saw Boistfort Valley Farm return with snow peas recently, and now Growing Things Farm has a new crop of English shelling peas. And sure, the pods may not be the prettiest. But the peas they hold inside are some of the best shelling peas I have ever tasted!

Winter squash from Summer Run at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this installment with a lovely collection of winter squash and pie pumpkins from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. Did you know that you can eat the skins of many winter squashes? Delicata, for instance, has edible skin when oven roasted, or when you pan roast thin slices of it. No need to cut the skin off or scoop it out. And don’t forget to roast those seeds!

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.