Posts Tagged ‘pottery’

Sunday, November 30th: It’s Buy Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

November 29, 2014
Coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve survived the insanity of “Forego Being Thankful & Let’s Go Shopping Thursday,” “Black Friday,” and “Small Business Saturday.” Now, it’s time for “Buy Local Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!” Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with locally-made, unique gifts that will be treasured by that special someone on your list. Plus, we’ve got lots of great food and beverage perfect for your holiday festivities. And best of all, it all comes with the face of a real person — a neighbor — behind it, and you know that your hard-earned dollars are going right back into our local economy, instead of onto some distant corporate spreadsheet.

For instance, check out these naked clay coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery from Port Townsend. Naked clay has been used for centuries in culinary traditions from Mexico to India. The minerals in the clay help to mellow the bitterness in many foods and beverages, like coffee. If you’ve got a hardcore coffee aficionado on your list, they will love one of these!

Hand-knitted clothing from Suzanne de la Torre at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-knitted clothing from Suzanne de la Torre at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you looking for truly one-of-a-kind, stunning, hand-knit articles of clothing for you-know-who… or maybe for just you? Then stop by Suzanne de la Torre at your Ballard Farmers Market and take a gander at this year’s styles, made right here in Seattle. Suzy’s creations always brighten up the Market, and they will brighten up someone special’s holidays, too!

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I imagine you can find a party somewhere on your calendar that calls for a whole side of smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. The finest smoked king you’ll ever taste, it is moist and delicious, and it is caught off the Washington coast! Of course, no one will judge you harshly if you just bring the whole side home and eat it yourself.

Fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We’re finally past Thanksgiving, and now it is appropriate to deck the halls for the rest of the holiday season. A terrific start can be made with one (or six) of these fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington). They make these wreaths fresh each week using a wide variety of native pine, cedar, fir and spruce branches mixed with holly, pussy willow and whatever else they might find on the farm. They are wonderfully fragrant, and while most folks think they need to go up outdoors, I like bringing mine indoors, sprucing up my living room and making it smell great! Oh, they have fresh garlands, too!

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time again to play that annual game of, “What the heck should we get for dad this year?” I recommend one of these old school shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. The shaving soap is refreshing and soothing to one’s skin, and you don’t have to deal with wasteful shaving cream cans filled with questionable gas. Plus, you are investing in a local business, instead of Gillette. They also have a lineup of bar soaps that come in a nice variety of scents. And while many soap makers cater to women, this is soap designed with men in mind! (That said, Brown Butterfly also makes spa kits for mom.)

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t show up at your friends’ party empty handed. Bring some of this award-winning aged sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd on Whidbey Island. Their Island Brebis and Saratoga Passage cheeses are at their prime right now. Saratoga Passage is a deep, creamy cheese that will tantalize your tastebuds, and the slightly drier, sharper Island Brebis is the winner of a 2014 Good Food Award. Make sure you get enough for yourself, too!

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal's. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal's.

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal’s. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal’s.

And you’ll need plenty of dips and sauces this holiday season. Lucky for you, Uncle Eyal’s has returned this week with their wonderful Israeli-style dips and sauces, from this great baba ghanoush, to hummus made with local chickpeas, to garlic mint sauce that is to die for, and more!

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also returning this week: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). They are also well-suited for the holidays! Enjoy!

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.

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Sunday, December 1st: It’s Buy Direct From The Local Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

November 30, 2013
Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wreathe assembly at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know when it starts snowing on the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market that we have arrived in the holiday season. We all experienced the once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah this past week, and now we look ahead to Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Zappadan, Christmas, New Year’s, my buddy Jimmy’s birthday and anniversary, or whatever you might celebrate. It’s time to get festive all up in here, people. This year, let’s make it special. Let’s make it unique. Let’s make it beautiful and delicious. Let’s make it local. And let’s do it all right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh holiday wreath from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s get it started with one of these fresh, fragrant holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens. Made from a variety of fresh cuttings of gorgeous plants right on the farm, they will last for months, even indoors, and they smell amazing. I got to visit Clayton and the gang on Wednesday up in Everson, and I witnessed the farm crew assembling these beauties (see top photo). They come in various sizes, so whether you live in an apodment with a tiny door, or in a McMansion, they’ve got a wreathe that is perfect for you. They also have garlands and such for dressing up your mantle and your dining room table. And while you are in the festive spirit, keep in mind that if you open a new checking account at HomeStreet Bank on Crown Hill (at 15th & 83rd) between now and December 7th, they will donate $50 to the Ballard Farmers Market Fresh Bucks program, but you have to remember to tell them that’s where you want that $50 to go. And thanks in advance!

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.

It is getting darker and colder each day, as we march headlong into the Winter Solstice, and that means we all want to devour the nearest breads and cakes. That can be frustrating for folks who require a gluten-free diet. Lucky for you, though, nuflours gluten-free bakery makes some of the most incredible baked goods you’ll find anywhere — not just great gluten-free products, but stuff anyone would happily inhale. Just take a look at this bread. Have you ever seen gluten-free bread that looked that gorgeous? Stop by and try out their cookiescakessweet and savory breadspastries and more!

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Sheets of salt at San Juan Island Sea Salt. Photo courtesy San Juan Island Sea Salt.

Yes, it is getting chilly outside, but this is not ice. This is salt from our own Salish Sea. What you are looking at is sheets of sea salt that have formed atop the solar-powered evaporation ponds in the greenhouses of San Juan Island Sea Salt. This salt is amazing. I cooked the best chicken of my life using it this past week. See, this salt tastes of where we live. Like the terroir of wine and cheese, and the merroir of oysters, sea salt tastes of the place from which it comes, and that means it makes everything taste just a little more special. So give some a try today. And it comes in some lovely packages that make for great gifts!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

While your are treating yourself, or stuffing the stocking of someone special, you can’t go wrong with any one of the many flavors of herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. They handcraft a tea for your every mood. Stop by and check them all out, give them a smell, and bring home some soul-warming deliciousness.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With all the bearded men around Ballard these days, one might think, “who needs a shaving kit?” Well, I do, for one. See, some of us still enjoy a clean shave. If the special guy in your life likes a clean, close shave and healthy skin, pick him up one of these wonderful shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy this holiday season. (Of course, you might pick one up for your bearded fellow, too, if it’s just plain time.)

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carbon steel pans are great for searing and caramelizing – and they make fantastic over-easy eggs! They are similar to cast iron, but forged rather than cast. This makes the pans lighter and easier to handle, as well as less porous and quicker to season.  They can take high temperatures, and they can go from stove top, to oven, to table – where they make a beautiful addition!” Sometimes, it is just easier to quote the vendor’s website, you know? Especially when it is as well-written as is the site for Blu Skillet Ironware. Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett make these gorgeous pans right here in Ballard.

When I got my first pan from them back in June, I wasn’t sure if it would pull me away from my beloved vintage Revere Ware stainless steel pans, but it has. I use it every day now. It browns and sears great. It cleans easily. And best of all, it is made right here in Ballard! Yup, one more thing you don’t need Corporate America to do for you anymore! Booyah!

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A personal-sized still from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daily Bird Pottery makes lovely naked pottery, as in it is not glazed, that makes all your foods and beverages taste better. Seriously. See, there is a special chemical reaction that takes place between the clay and your food and drink that results in less bitterness and great flavor. They’ve got cups and shot glasses, tableware and ovenware, ornamentals, and even these cool, little personal stills, in case you know someone who would like to join the local craft distillery craze.

Gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gingerbread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gingerbread, anyone? This time each year, our friends at Ballard’s own Tall Grass Bakery start making various bready holiday treats, like this wonderful gingerbread. Enjoy it while you can, as it’ll only be around for a few short weeks!

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Handmade beaded necklaces from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful beaded necklaces are handmade by Gypsy Beaded Creations right here in the Market on many days. Corrine has a bunch of new designs for this season, and with a great selection, you’ll be sure to find one that you, or someone you love, will adore.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful, hand-turned wooden tableware from Vern Tater. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What table would not benefit from one of these stunning turned wood creations from Vern Tater, Woodturner. Vern makes everything by hand, from salad bowls to bottle stoppers to salt & pepper mills, all using gorgeous pieces of local wood.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slinging veggie quesadillas at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of no longer needing Big Corporate America, did you know that Patty Pan Grill has ditched Big Ag cooking oils in favor of using Camelina Gold cooking oil from Ole World Oils. Available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, this local cooking oil is high in anti-oxidents, is non-GMO, tastes incredible, can withstand very high heat — 475 degrees! — and is produced in Ritzville from camelina seed grown in Ritzville. Boom!

Berry cream confections from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry cream confections from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These delicious little sweets are berry cream confections from our own Jessie’s Berries. Perfect for gifts and holiday parties, they make them with their own berries! Stop by and try some today! You can thank me later. (Please note that Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with their local albacore tuna, will not be here today, but will instead be hear next Sunday, December 8th.)

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

Judy & Gil receive recognition by the King County Council for Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Councilman Larry Phillips office.

On November 18th, Wallingford Farmers Market, our sister market, was honored by the King County Council. It was just the latest recognition for what is easily the most beautiful market in the area, located in Meridian Park at N. 50th Street and Meridian Avenue N. Earlier this year, it was declared Washington State Farmers Market of the Year by the Washington State Farmers Market Association. It is open from the end of May through the end of September on Wednesday evenings. We hope you’ll join us there next summer!

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, October 20th: Hat-Shaped Pasta, Trees of Brussels, Fancy French Pears, Bitter Italian Greens & Other Stuff Not From Europe!

October 19, 2013
Carrot-Spinach cappellacci from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrot-Spinach cappellacci from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This week’s installment of all things localicious at your Ballard Farmers Market has a decidedly European feel, but trust me, it’s all local! For instance, above, you see carrot-spinach cappellacci from Pasteria Lucchese. “Cappellacci” means “small hats” in Italian, and this lovely filled pasta looks like little hats, ergo, its name. They have this charmingly delicious pasta this week, as well as pumpkin cappellacci, chard ravioli, beef-porcini ravioli, smoked salmon ravioli, bolognese sauce and a bunch of their basic pastas.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio is named for the Italian city of Treviso. Grown by One Leaf Farm along the Snoqualmie River in Carnation, this most stunning of chicories is wonderfully bitter, with a hint of sweetness once cooked. It is terrific grilled simply with olive oil or sautéed with your favorite farmers market bacon. It loves a nice, strong finishing salt to help cut its bitterness, and if you like it a little sweeter, try drizzling some balsamic vinegar on it.

D'Anjou pears from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

D’Anjou pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These D’Anjou pears are Booth Canyon Orchard’s bread and butter, and they are excellent long keepers when stored well. They’ve got them by the box, all packed for storage for you to pull out later in the year and enjoy. Of course, right now, they also have a number of their heirloom varieties of pears, ripe and ready to eat now, like White Doyenne, Conference, Comice, Gourmet, and Magness.

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

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

Have you yet had your first kitchen-warming roasted winter squash of the fall? I did this past week, and oh, how satisfying it was. The wonderful sweetness. The beautiful texture. The heat of the oven. The simplest way to enjoy winter squash is to roast it in the oven. Just scoop out the seeds (and roast them separately!), give the squash a good rubdown with olive oil, place it in a nice baking dish and slide it into a 375-degree oven. Once it is nice and soft, you will enjoy how roasting it dry, versus with water in the pan or steaming it, intensifies its flavor and sweetness. This lovely collection of winter squash comes from Boistfort Valley Farm.

Fall flower bouquets from Mee Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall flower bouquets from Mee Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve still got plenty of gorgeous flower bouquets at your Ballard Farmers Market to brighten your home, or the day of someone special. Enjoy the colors of fall in autumn varieties of flowers, like these from Mee Garden, up at the 22nd Ave end of the Market.

Arctic Snow nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Snow nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be the end of October, but we still have these Arctic Snow nectarines hanging around for you to devour. Sweet and juicy and ready for you to slobber all over your shirt, these lovelies are just one of the many organic tree fruits available today from Tiny’s Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Brussels sprouts trees from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brussels sprouts trees from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Money may not grow on trees, but Brussels sprouts do… well, sort of. We call them trees, but they are really big, hardy stalks. The important thing is that Brussels sprouts season is back, baby! Woohoo! I, for one, would be happy to eat them all year long, so I relish this time of year. But if you are one of those people with doubts about them, perhaps you’ve never had them prepared right. I like sautéing them with shallots and bacon, and then I finish them off by deglazing the pan with a nice white wine. The wine reincorporates the caramelized bits of bacon and shallot on the bottom of the pan into the sprouts and adds a nice sweetness as it tenderizes the sprouts. You can omit the bacon, if you must. Brussels sprouts also roast well in the oven, too! These trees are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington).

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider will be sampling their wines and ciders today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They have a wide selection of amazing wines and ciders, like these three big red wines, above. Try them out to find the flavors that you like best, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we welcome back another one of our food-related artisans, Daily Bird Pottery, from Port Townsend. They produce naked pottery, which means it is not glazed. That means that the chemical properties of the pottery are able to interact with foods and beverages, reducing bitterness and enhancing flavors. This is not new technology, as naked pottery has been used by societies around the world, from India to Mexico, for millennia. Indeed, there is nothing quite like sipping mescal from clay cups, or whatever your poison of choice, as once you get one of Daily Bird’s sipping cups, you can enjoy your whiskey or tea from it, 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, June 16th: Celebrate Father’s Day With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

June 15, 2013
New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Fathers’ Day, folks! I like to scratch around a bit on holidays to share a little bit of their background with you, and in so doing this time, I discovered that the woman credited with founding Fathers’ Day in 1910, Sonora Dodd, originally spelled it with the apostrophe after the ‘s’, and I am honoring her by spelling it that way, too. And did you know that Fathers’ Day was founding in Spokane? Yup. While its intent was to honor fathers much like mothers had been honored, it appears it lacked the same anti-war sentiment that Mother’s Day was founded upon. Interestingly, though the holiday was first observed in 1910, it was not until 1966 that President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring the holiday, and not until 1972 that President Nixon signed it into law as a permanent national holiday.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While not meant to be a purely commercial holiday, commercialism was used to promote it initially, though now it simply capitalizes on the holiday, and we will be no different in today’s blog post. To that end, let us let the guilt-inducing barrage of suggestions for honoring dad with goodies from your Ballard Farmers Market begin. After all, if you’re going to treat dad, why not do it with something meaningful, local and delicious, right? Like sausages from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. These gorgeous links are made for Stokesberry by Wallingford’s Link Lab using Stokesberry’s pork. From left to right, above, you see Shiitake & SageFremont Beer Bratwurst and Chipotle Tequila pork sausages. And because I care, I have tried them all, and I can report that they are all fantastic! Don’t worry that they are frozen. They will thaw quickly, so dad can grill them tonight… over fire… cuz that’s what dads do.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love oysters. In fact, dads love to grill oysters. It allows them to combine eating a foraged food with cooking it over fire, much like his caveman ancestors with whom he identifies so closely, when he can get away with it. And today is his day, so let him regress a little, eh? Of course, if he’s more the whip out a shucking knife type, that’ll work, too. So stop by Hama Hama Oyster Company for a bag of their finest.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and by the way, Hama Hama has a new product just in time for dad to use on those grilled oysters: chipotle bourbon butter. Once your oysters pop open on the grill, remove the top shell and spoon on a dollop of this stuff, let it melt all over your oyster, and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. Yeah, baby! And just to do a little bragging of our own here, this blog for your Ballard Farmers Market enjoyed its 500,000th all-time visitor Saturday! Woohoo!

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack's flocked by the plants of the world's four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s flocked by the plants of the world’s four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love hot sauce. Even if they don’t. They want to believe they can down a one-ounce shot of this Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company without even wincing. As if. This stuff contains four of the hottest chiles on earth, each represented in the photo above by a pepper plant from their farm that later this year will produce, from left to right, Ghost, Scorpion, 7 Pot and Scotch Bonnet chiles for next year’s sauce. So get dad a bottle. Encourage him to display his manhood. Keep a bottle of milk nearby. And try not to laugh too hard.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love strawberries, preferably atop a nice piece of shortcake, and covered in freshly whipped cream. And these certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm taste as good as they look. They actually grow these under row covers, which keeps the berries cleaner while also keeping the soil warmer, helping the berries flourish and sweeten up. And did you know that 2013 is a banner year for strawberries — one of the best in many years? They are bigger and sweeter. Enjoy!

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a cool gift for dad: a single serving colander from Daily Bird Pottery. I swear, these guys are like Revere Ware in the 1950s. Back then, they made a kitchen gadget for any and every conceivable kitchen need. Well, check this one out. You fill it up with a serving of berries — these are from Jessie’s Berries — and then you just hold it under the kitchen faucet, or the nearest drinking fountain, and rinse the berries off. The water runs right out the bottom, along with any dirt that was on the berries. How cool is that! What will they think of next?

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. I mean, you don’t even need to rinse these off. Just pop them open and eat the peas. Talk about the perfect veggie for dad to eat while he’s grilling dead animal parts on the Weber in the backyard, or at the park or beach. They’re sweet, crunchy and self-contained, and their packaging is easily compostable — simplicity at its best.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love messy fruit that they can devour whole, and that is likely to ruin their shirt. In this case, organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Apriums were developed in the 1980s as an hybrid of apricots and plums. They are about 75% apricot and 25% plum, and as such, they are much more like apricots, not just in appearance, but it flavor and seasonality. If dad has been missing your sloppy, juicy, wipe-your-chin-with-your-sleevy local, tree-ripened stone fruitliciousness, it is time to him to rejoice!

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like bright, colorful things that burn a bit. Like these Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Native to Northern China, these stunning roots have a nice bite to them this time of year, and for my money, they are the king of radishes available around here. I am known to our farmers for asking when these jewels will arrive each spring. (Okay, I’m known for a few other things, too.) If you’ve never tried these, you should give them a test drive today. You can thank me later.

The "Pete" of Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The “Pete” of Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like other dads who remind them it is okay to be goofy and to eat sweets. For that, we have Pete Brogi, and his Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got toffeefudge and some other goodies for dad, in a variety of flavors. And he’s always got a sense of humor, even when he’s cranky. Stop by for a sample or three, and then load dad up with a little sugar. After all, it’s Fathers’ Day. He can go back on his diet tomorrow!

Daddy's Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love things that are named after them, like Daddy’s Muesli. Made in Port Townsend from a wonderful collection of ingredients, this old-world cereal recipe will make dad’s breakfast more fun, and, truth be told, it will keep him regular, too!

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love cole slaw with their picnics, and you can’t have the slaw without some of this lovely green cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They just started harvesting this new crop of cabbage this past week. Bring a head home, break out the old RonCo food slicer, and get your slaw on!

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, dads love sharp stuff. And from a safety standpoint, sharper is better, so if dad is accident prone, sharpen his knives for Fathers’ Day. See, besides the fact that when you do cut yourself with a very sharp knife, the wound is cleaner, easier to repair, and will heal better… dull knives are much more likely to cause injury, because they will slip, slide and bounce off things that a sharp knife will cut cleanly through. And when they slip, slide and bounce, they tend to end up in dad’s hand. Ouch! So bring dad’s knives, as well as his tools, to Your Knife Sharpening Guy and get a fresh edge put on them all — for dad’s safety!

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.