Posts Tagged ‘raab’

Everything in Ballard Farmers Market is Wonderful

March 28, 2015
BFM 2015 Bergen Place Park

Opening Day for Bergen Place – Ballard Farmers Market 2015

 Ballard Farmers Market grows into Bergen Place Park.    

We are glad to have a little more space to keep more of our fine foods and craft vendors longer through the summer as the farms begin to rush into the Ballard Farmers Market with their larger harvests.  You may have noticed over the years, the market experiences a gradual loss of some of our favorite food makers and handmade crafts as we have more and bigger farm presence.  A shout-out goes to the City Department of Parks and Recreation for approving our use permit of Bergen Place.  Now we can keep more of our fine vendors working in Ballard.  You’ll see a rotating variety of vendors over the coming months, like:  Veraci Pizza!  Their famous pizza oven cooking pizzas with many locally sourced toppings, was scheduled to move into Bergen Place at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday, but they brought the wrong size truck and can’t make it work.  I apologize to those readers who saw this False alarm last night and the earlier post this morning.  We will try to work it out for next week.

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loading pizza into the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.


Spring Greens from Stoney Plains Farm

and Foraged and Found 

Once upon a time, in the far distant past, mothers and crones and medicine women were the keepers of the villagers’ health.  It was from them that the secret of the Spring Tonic was imposed into the family diets and for treating illnesses in the community.  The medicine women had learned, what much later would be named by modern science as Micro-Nutrients and Vitamin C, were effective at helping people fight off the ravages of the winter weather and effects of less food for the people during the dark months.  They knew the secrets of recovery that were held within the bright green shoots emerging in the forests around them.


Fresh, tasty miner's lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, tasty miner’s lettuce from Stoney Plains Farm Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Miners Lettuce, saved many miners’  lives during the mid-1800s. Many men were taken in by the myths of “gold in them thar hills” that came out of the California Gold Rush.  These guys were gullible. They thought that within a few weeks, they could just walk around the mountains, picking up huge gold nuggets, and return home with their fortunes before their families missed them.  Consequently, many opted not to bring food supplies with them and, of course, many soon began to starve.  Luckily, the mountain ranges of the West Coast had a native plant, Claytonia profoliata, growing everywhere in the forests.  This beautiful and delicious green was packed with vitamins, most especially  “C”, and its common name, of Miners Lettuce is a testament to how many miners’ lives it was responsible for saving and how many of those silly men made it back from the wilds of the Northern California Sierras alive, if poorer.  Excellent in salads, as a beautiful garnish on any food, and used on sandwiches in place of lettuce.  The flavor is almost tart, but mild, and children love eating it fresh picked.
Both Nettles and Chickweed, endemic to fields and forest, paths and hedgerows, have also provided natural remedies for eons.  One is scary and the other is stepped on wherever you go.


Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization.  From Stoney Plains Farm

Chickweed, or Satin Flower as it was called in the early days of civilization. From Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed is delicate and if soaked in cold water for an hour or four, will leach many of their healthful nutrients into the water and provide a refreshing drink to those who may have to re-hydrate from congestion or a cough from a cold.  Then use the greens in a fresh salad, on sandwiches, or as a garnish, much like you would parsley or cilantro sprigs.


Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Nettles, with their prickly leaves, should be placed in a bowl of water, rinsed and drained. Best if you use a pair of tongs or a spoon so as not to touch them with your hands. Then throw them into a saute pan with mushrooms, onions and/or garlic, and eaten like any great vegetable.  Their sting disappears with the cooking, and may be responsible for a big part of the nutrition they provide.


Stop by to Welcome One Leaf Farm

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Alice. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our amazing weather has caused bumper crops that are popping out of the fields of our area farms like magic.  One Leaf Farm is one of those.  I got a call from Alice, formerly the beauty who was always seen behind the tables of Oxbow Farm in the past years.  Now she works with Rand Rasheed.

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Carnation

Rand Rasheed, Owner & Operator of One Leaf Farm from Snohomish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems these two powerhouse women farmers had more greens than the restaurants they normally supply could use this week.  So when they asked if they could bring One Leaf Farm greens this week, I jumped at the chance to bring them to Ballard Farmers Market.


Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And that’s not the only treat we have this Spring. The hens love the balmy weather too.  Just about all of our egg farmers are having great egg production right now.  And they are the best, freshest, and often hugest eggs you can find without having a coop in your back yard. Perfect for Easter egg hunts and deviled egg plates on the dinner table. Don’t worry, the market has all the eggs you could ever want this year. If you have an Egg dying project coming up, be assured that you can dye the brown ones too. Not surprisingly, the colors come out more vibrant and intense than when using white eggs.  I found a fun website a few years ago with ideas for brown egg decorating.  I thought it had creative ideas.  Check it out here:


Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

A consistent winner of prizes for Best-of-Category, Lopez Island Vineyards will be taking a hiatus from the Ballard Farmers Market in order to catch up with the many Spring chores that a vineyard has. Again, because of this amazing weather, the vines are requiring a lot of attention.  As so many of our farms, Brent Charnley and Maggie Nilan, are working the vineyards and running the winery almost entirely by themselves. You’re encouraged to come to market this Sunday, stock up on their very special wines and say goodbye.  If you have the time, volunteer to help out at LIV, and you could find yourself with an interesting job while you enjoy one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Be sure to pick up enough bottles to last until they return.  Luckily wine keeps in a cool pantry or basement excellently, actually getting better.  It’s a feeling of security to have a stock of great wines, ready for that special occasion when only the best local taste will meet the standard of what you want to sip.  Try taking home their most recent winner, Malbec, their lovely Gold Winning Madeline Angevine, it won a Platinum Award, and the Siegerrebe white wine, declared “top-quality” by Wine Press Northwest.


Find a one of a kind skirt to brighten up these warmer days.  Children’s sizes are also available.

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities

Marmalade Design You can find a unique and charming skirt for the Spring festivities


Sunday, April 8th: Easter Breads & Pastries, Flowers For Your Tables & Many Spring Greens!

April 8, 2012

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Passover and Easter, fine people of Ballard! I’m getting a late start with this week’s epistle, as I found myself absorbed, as I do every year at this time, by that Hollywood classic, The Ten Commandments, starring a cast of thousands, in which Charlton Heston frees the Hebrew slaves from bondage under the cruel rule of  Egyptian pharaoh Telly Savalas. You know, I pick up something new each year during ABC’s four-and-a-half hour presentation of this film. For instance, I had no idea that the Occupy Movement took its signature means of communicating through large crowds without an amplifier from Moses, who was the first to say, “Hear, O Israel, Repeat After Me…” But I regress. Something else that happens only once a year is that Grateful Bread Bakery makes hot cross buns and brings them to your Ballard Farmers Market. Luckily, I captured some in pixels (above) last year on Easter. I can almost smell them now. Mmm. Grab some for a true taste of the season.

Fresh flowers from Pa Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find plenty of fresh, local flowers throughout the Market today, like these from Pa Gardens. Grab a bouquet to brighten up your table for Easter supper, or to bring with you to grandma’s house. It is finally spring. Let it show with fresh daffodils and tulips!

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pick up a bottle of Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery’s award-winning wines to accompany your meal to celebrate ancient beliefs. After all, wine is one of the oldest forms of food preservation. Back in biblical times, they had no refrigerators or freezers to preserve fruit harvests year-round, but juice it and ferment it, and it kept for months and years! Few things truly make we humans feel like the really smart monkeys we are like wine.

Fresh chevre from Port Madison. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of ancient forms of food preservation, blessed are the cheese makers! And one such cheese maker returns after their winter hiatus today: Port Madison Farms. The kidding season has passed, and all the little baby goats are now bouncing around the farm over on Bainbridge Island, and their moms are now producing some amazing milk that Port Madison turns into some delicious goat cheese. Another example of ancient human ingenuity, and another great addition to your feast!

Miners lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s tawk spring greens, eh? After a very long, cold, dark winter — and aren’t they all — it pleases me no end to now be adding stuff back into the “vegetables” page under “What’s Fresh Now!” every week. Like this wonderful miners lettuce from Stoney Plains, for instance. It gets its name from the fact that miners used to live off the stuff. It grows wild all over the place here, but it is also cultivated. It is like watercress, crunchy yet tender, full of nutrients, with a slightly lemony flavor to it. And it makes for the most amazing spring salads, simply dressed with a few radishes, some pine nuts, some seasoning, olive oil and lemon juice.

Mixed kale raabs from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, as the days grow longer, all the over-winter crops want to bolt. Yup, it’s mating season for them, too, and the kales, chards, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and cabbages all just want to flower and spread their seed. But before they do, they have this wondering in-between period when their tender, budding tops, called raab, are just plain delicious and sweet as can be. Given the cold winter we’ve had, all the raabs, like this mixed kale raab from Colinwood Farms, are especially sweet. See, cold weather elicits a kind of defensive response in these leafy greens of sweetness — nature’s anti-freeze! Enjoy!

New lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes do not deceive you, and neither do I. This really is lettuce! That’s right. Children’s Garden wins the award this spring for being the first farm to bring lettuce to your Ballard Farmers Market. In this photo, you see butterhead and green leaf lettuce. I’ve been enjoying some of the butterhead lettuce with lettuce wraps this past week. So step away from that Arizona lettuce from the Big Box store and start eating it local again!

Cabbage raab from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, for today anyway, some more raab — red cabbage raab to be precise, from Nash’s Organic Produce. Besides the fact that I just love the light in this photo, you should know that this is perhaps the sweetest form of cabbage you can eat. It truly is a completely different way to enjoy it. In the immortal words of John Lennon, give raab a chance!

Hey, there is plenty of 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, May 1st: May Day! May Day! (Don’t Panic. It Is May Day, After All! Time To Celebrate Spring!!!)

May 1, 2011

Oxbow Farm's Luke Woodward proudly showing off his prized carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, I am certain it is spring! Oxbow Farm returns today. Welcome back Luke and the gang for another great year of deliciousness. Luke tells me they’ll have parsnips, russets, wild nettles, spinach, various raabs and a bunch of plants, including their famous tomato starts and a variety of brassicas.

Hey, as much as I talk about it being spring, and today it will really feel like it, the Pagan calendar considers May 1st to be the beginning of summer, and they mark it with the holiday of Beltane. So celebrate looking forward to a great harvest, and celebrate fertility! Set a bonfire! Color some eggs and hang them from trees! (Oh, by the way, those colored eggs eventually led to the Easter egg hunt, after early Christians stole the Pagans’ eggs and buried them.) Today is also the international day of workers, so thank yourself, and someone working for or near you, for keeping things moving, in spite of Congress, the banking industry, oil companies and the lot. Oh, and today a bunch of anarchists will likely march around the streets of Olympia and do a dance with local authorities.

Asparagus from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms also returns today for the 2011 market season with lots of Yakima Valley asparagus. Yup, it’s time to get your asparagus on, folks. In fact, not only Magana, but also Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Woohoo!!!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, this isn’t a file photo. These are squash blossoms photographed by yours truly just last Sunday. Colinwood Farm grows them in their greenhouse every spring, just to please us and confuse the heck out of us. But hey, stop questioning. Instead, grab some of these beauties, and then get some chevre or fromage from one of our various cheese makers and stuff these bad boys and fry ’em up! You can thank me later. Oh! They have adorable little baby squash ripe for the sauteing, too!

Canned smoked salmon bellies from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve never understood why some people trim the belly fat off of their salmon. I mean, when are people gonna get it through their thick skulls that not all fat is bad? In fact, fat is a necessary part of our diets, and without it, our brains literally cease to function. That’s why fish is good brain food. And cold water fish is even better brain food. It’s got all those omega fatty acids that make our brains and our hearts so happy. And those salmon bellies so many of you are eschewing are full of them. Not to mention the fact that they are friggin’ delicious! Honestly, I was at this fish market in Florida — a place I already established two weeks ago with you as devoid of real farmers markets — and in addition to the great local seafood they had in their cases, they had wild Alaskan salmon… with the belly fat all trimmed away. In horror, I asked, “Why?!?” They said most people wanted it that way — more evidence that that state is just fundamentally twisted. So then I asked, “Do you at least save the bellies for yourself?” And they said, “Of course. That’s the best part of the fish!” Yes, a voice a reason in an unreasonable place. Blessed are the fishers and fishmongers! Well, salmon bellies are something many of us understand around here, and Loki Fish decided it was high time they canned some of them just for us. (I can only assume that Dylan and Pete simply had more salmon bellies than they could possible eat by themselves!) So come pick up a can of Loki’s smoked salmon bellies today. Okay, get three, and tell your family you got two, and then eat the third of them in your car in the driveway.

Easter eggs & French breakfast radishes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radishes are absolutely rocking right now. Just look at these lovely specimens of radiliciousness from Alm Hill Gardens! Slice them over some spicy salad mix, for which Alm Hill also has you covered, dip them in some butter and truffle salt, or just eat them straight. Yeah, baby!

Mothers' Day gift bags from Woodinville Lavender. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I had a chance to visit Woodinville Lavender Farm amongst the wineries and distilleries of Woodinville on Thursday afternoon. It is rather extraordinary what can be produced on just a 1-acre lavender farm. They are infusing their lavender into soaps, bath salts, candles, neck & eye pillows, mists, and all sorts of things. In fact, just in time for Mothers’ Day, they’ve put together a little gift bag that’ll make any mom giddy.

Green leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Lettuce entertain you.” Sorry. But every spring, the first lettuce of the year gets me singing that Queen song in my head. This green leaf lettuce is one of several varieties of the leafy wonderfulness offered up by Stoney Plains already this spring. Oh, happy day!

Whole emmer in husk from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 201o by Zachary D. Lyons.

Emmer is just simply a beautiful grain in so many ways. This is it still in the husk last fall from Bluebird Grain Farms. They then husk it to extract the whole grain, which they sell as is, or milled as flour or cracked emmer. Bluebird returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with all manner of emmer and other grain products.

Berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Mothers’ Day, it is just next Sunday. No time like the present to grab some wine or cider from Rochridge Orchards in preparation. Then drink it this week, and come back next week, with mom, and buy some more to share with her!

Peppermint & chocolate mint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t you just love fresh mint? Of course you do! And the Kentucky Derby is next Saturday, you know. You will need plenty of mint to make proper mint juleps or iced tea for the occasion. So stop by Children’s Garden today and pick some up!

Chocolate milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chocolate milk, oh, how I love thee. And thank you, Silver Springs Creamery, for blessing us this day with delicious chocolate milk made with your wonderful Jersey cow’s milk. Okay, everyone, I’ll race you to Silver Springs’ tent for the last bottle!

Three different strudels from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for those of you who simply are not yet sweet enough, stop by Little Prague European Bakery for some of their famous strudel, and sweeten yourself up a bit. Believe me, we will all be the better for it!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, April 24th: Fresh Washington King Salmon, Gorgeous Greens, Perfect Plants, Bunny-Earred Bread, Lovely Lavender & Pie!

April 24, 2011

Fresh, wild, Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Charlton Heston Week! That week in which, every year, ABC airs The Ten Commandments, complete with miracles, brilliant Technicolor, and a cast of thousands. (There were some other holidays this week, too. Please refer to your childhood and/or religious persuasion to identify those.) Also, Happy Opening of 2011 Washington Coastal Salmon Fishing Season!!! Woohooooooo! Yup, it’s back! Fresh, local king salmon from Wilson Fish. If you have never experienced some of Wilson’s fresh king salmon, well, you’ve never really had fresh king salmon before — unless you caught it yourself. This fish is so fresh, so say it’s from the future! But get here early. It will sell out fast.

Kale raab from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a very short period each spring, it is raab season. Raab is the budding tops of overwintered crops of the brassica genus, like cabbage, kale and rutabaga, as they begin to flower before going to seed in spring. It is sweet, tender and delicious. Check out these spectacular kale raabs (above) from Full Circle Farm, and look for many other raabs on farm tables through your Ballard Farmers Market today.

Rhubarb plants from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did yesterday’s warm sunshine get you thinking of gardening? Did you spend the day cleaning up your garden beds? And did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is the best place in town to get plants for your garden? That’s right. Many of our farmers have great plant starts for your garden, like these rhubarb plants from Stoney Plains. Indeed, they have cabbage, sweet corn, even strawberry plants, as well as all manner of culinary herbs at Stoney Plains right now. So come get your garden on!

Bunny-eared baguette from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The bakers at Tall Grass Bakery got into the holiday spirit with this baguette twisted into bunny ears. Now, if they had formed one of their olive fougasse loaves into the face of Charlton Heston, I really would have been impressed!

Lavender plants from Woodinville Lavender Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This long, hard winter has been rough on a lot of normally hardy herb plants in many of our gardens — lavender in particular. Why not start from scratch with some beautiful, healthy and fragrant lavender plants from Woodinville Lavender Farm? Get them in the ground now, and they’ll develop strong roots and be ready to weather next winter after brightening up the yard all summer long!

Coconut cream pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you promise to bring dessert to Easter supper today? And did you forget to make something? Never fear. Deborah’s Homemade Pies are here! And let’s face it — why would you even bother trying to make a pie yourself, when you can get the best pies in town right here at your Ballard Farmers Market from Deborah! Seriously. I would not lie to you about something like pie. You can thank me later!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.