Posts Tagged ‘radicchio’

Sunday, March 8th: Just A Few Of My Favorite Product Photos & My Farewell!

March 7, 2015
A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A heart-shaped tomato from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to combine my three passions into one gig over the last eight years. I managed to find a job in which I got to help develop our local food system while at the same time writing about it and photographing it. What a blessing! I have been working with farmers markets since 1991, and I have served on the board of Seattle Chefs Collaborative since 1999. I also served as executive director of Washington State Farmers Market Association from 1999-2005, and in 2006, I co-authored the Washington State Farmers Market Manual for Washington State University. I have loved all this work, and I am proud of all we’ve accomplish here, leading the nation in local food. So even though I am leaving my farmers market job after today, I will still be around.

For this last official regular blog post for your Ballard Farmers Market, I’d like to revisit with you some of my favorite photos from over the years. Like the one above, taken at Wallingford Farmers Market last summer. This naturally-occuring heart-shaped tomato was grown by Poulsbo’s Around The Table Farm. Yet one more reason to love vine-ripened, farm-fresh tomatoes over homogenous, boring tomatoes from the Big Box stores, if you really needed another reason.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While the previous photo was copied all over the intertubes, it is this photo that actually circled the globe. Yes, this is my single-most plagerized photo ever, and I say that with pride (and a little bit of annoyance — please don’t republish photos without permission or giving credit!). I took this photo of baby rainbow carrots that look like an exploding firework not long before Independence Day in 2012. These carrots were grown by Gaia’s Harmony Farm in Snohomish. I published this photo across all of our markets’ blogs and Facebook pages for the 4th that year, and it just spread across the interwebs from there. Imagine how far it would have travelled had a vision of the Virgin Mother be visible in it?

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve taken a lot of nice photos of Sea Breeze Farm’s meats over the years, but I’ve always liked this one of their sausages best. The sausages are all uniform in size and stacked perfectly, highlighted by the wooden butcher block below them. But what sets them off is that they are three such distinctly different colors. Kinda makes you want some right now, doesn’t it? And that is what makes this photo so special.

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

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

Rutabagas are one of my favorite vegetables. I must owe that to my Irish heritage. My family eats them every Thanksgiving. Indeed, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Then my Aunt Joyce taught me to add them to the corned beef pot on St. Paddy’s Day. (You need to add them 15-30 minutes before your potatoes, as they’re much denser.) They absorb all the flavors of the spices and meat. Nummers. I’ve also always found rutabagas to be quite beautiful, with their deep yellows and purples. And of all my lovely photos of rutabagas — indeed, of all the thousands of images I’ve taken of markets over the years — this one of rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm, spread out randomly in a wooden farm box, is one of my absolute favorites.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Framed cabbage from Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This wonderful photo of symmetrically-arranged cabbages in a wooden box was taken back in 2010. They are from one of the gorgeous displays that Big Dave used to erect for Full Circle Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. The image quality suffers a bit from my old camera’s inferior technology, but the image is still nice, don’t you think?

Chicories from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicories from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is known for growing lots of deliciously bitter members of the chicory family. They are quite beautiful, too, and in 2012, I managed to capture this image of escarole, treviso radicchio and Palla Rosa radicchio here at your Ballard Farmers Market. This image is now used on One Leaf’s own website, which pleases me every time I visit it.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another of the most stunning vegetables — one that magically grows in perfect fractals — is this romanesco, a member of the cauliflower family. And my favorite photo is of this romanesco from Full Circle Farm at Madrona Farmers Market back in 2011. This photos has served as the cover photo for Madrona’s Facebook page ever since.

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But for my money, the most beautiful vegetable of all is this Chinese spinach. With its purple and green leaves, it is just flat-out stunning. Only two farms bring it to your Ballard Farmers Market each summer: Mee Garden and Children’s Garden. This image is of some from Children’s Garden from 2011. And in fact, before I published this photo and waxed poetic about the virtues of this gorgeous leafy green, these two farms were hard-pressed to sell any of it. Now, they can’t harvest enough of it. And for that, I love you, good people of Ballard Farmers Market! You are willing to be adventurous in the name of eating local!

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Most people probably don’t even think about what broccoli looks like growing in the fieldThis is what it looks like! That’s the developing floret right there in the center surrounded by all those lovely, and edible, mind you, leaves. That’s why I’ve always loved this photo from Growing Washington in Everson — it surprises people. No, milk doesn’t just magically come in a carton, and yes, broccoli does have leaves!

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

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

Winter squash is also very photogenic. And this photo of delicata and carnival squash from Summer Run Farm taken just this past fall happens to be my favorite. The colors are simply explosive, aren’t they? No wonder so many restaurants will use their squash as decorations around the dining room for weeks before cooking them!

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower in every color from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that cauliflower comes in so many colors? Just it this photo you’ll see purple, yellow, green, white and green romanesco from Growing Things Farm. Seriously, aren’t farmers markets so much more fun in every way than a boring Big Box store, where you’ll only get white cauliflower, and it won’t be remotely as sweet as this stuff is?

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 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally… and this is the big finally… in honor of Ballard’s Scandinavian roots, and because this photos has actually been republished in national print magazines, let’s finish off my celebration of my favorite product photos, and my role as Blog Master, with these Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Their magnificent purple skin belies snow white flesh that makes them a perfect masher.

Thank you for joining me week in and week out for all these years, as I have brought you the news of the day as to what’s fresh now at your Ballard Farmers Market, with a sprinkling of snark and commentary. If at times my tone has seemed revolutionary, that is because the revolution starts here, on your fork. Know that I won’t be too far away, and that you’ll likely still see me around the Market on Sundays. Hopefully, I’ll contribute the odd guest post in the future. And now that I have the time, I’ll be whipping my personal blogs into shape with tales of food and adventure from near and far. You can find my blogs via mayoroffoodtown.com, though give me a couple of weeks to spit-polish them a bit, as they’re a bit tarnished from years of neglect. (If you have need for a skilled writer, photographer or event organizer, contact me through that site.) And I won’t turn down hugs today, either. (Unless you’re sick. Just got over norovirus, and that stuff is just plain nasty.)

xoxo Zach

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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, September 15th: Booth Canyon Orchard Returns, Sweet Potatoes, New Soda Flavors, Honeycomb, Cider Tasting & More!

September 14, 2013
Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchard returns today for the 2013 fall season to your Ballard Farmers Market with their amazing array of heirloom tree fruit grown organically in the Methow Valley. You will find many old-school varieties of apples and pears, and even a few prunes. These Gravenstein apples should be in season right now, in fact!

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

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

In fact, while this may be the endless summer of 2013, fall crops are beginning to roll in. These are sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms, and they just started harvesting them this past week. Besides the fact that sweet potatoes are delicious, these beauties are special because no other local farmer is growing them and bringing them to our farmers markets. They store well, in a cool, dark place, so stock up now for later in the fall and winter.

White king salmon sides from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

White king salmon sides from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The salmon fishing season off of the Washington Coast will come to a close this coming week, and that means we won’t be seeing beautiful white and marbled king salmon from the Hoh River and Fraser River fisheries much longer fresh at Wilson Fish. These particular king salmon are unique to these rivers, the result of a natural genetic mutation that affects the way their bodies process the krill in their diets that provide the natural red and pink pigments for which salmon are famous. They tend to be higher in beneficial omega-fatty acids, too, which also makes them more delicious. Avail yourself of the opportunity to enjoy this most royal of local fish while you can!FreshBucks_Logo

If you receive SNAP/EBT benefits (food stamps), take advantage of our Fresh Bucks program. We will double the first $10 you use in SNAP benefits once per visit — every visit — to your Ballard Farmers Market. Use this program to help stock your pantry for the cold, dark, wet months! And if you have WIC or Senior Farmers Market Checks, use them, too. Both Fresh Bucks and Farmers Market Checks are good through the end of October, so use them now, while you can!

New seasonal fresh soda flavors from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New seasonal fresh soda flavors from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Sodas just introduced three new flavors of fresh sodas for you to enjoy, like blueberry basil, featuring berries from Sidhu Farms, and ginger peach, featuring peaches from Bill’s Fruits. Grab a growler to enjoy during the Big Game!

Cauliflower from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The weather is finally becoming conducive to firing up the oven and roasting up a nice serving of cauliflower from Nash’s Organic Produce. I love it roasted in a hot (425) oven, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. It comes out nice and sweet, with lovely browning. Add a little cumin to give it a nice, aromatic kick.

Honeycomb from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honeycomb from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Tis the season for fresh honeycomb from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Mmm. And if you look really closely, you’ll see that the jar second from the left actually has honey of two different colors in it! One side of the comb is filled with honey from one field, and the other from another field. Pretty cool, huh?

Snow Leopard melons from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snow Leopard melons from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Snow Leopard melons from Tiny’s Organic Produce are not just another pretty face, err, I mean melon. When ripe, they have a sweetness of the cantaloupe style, and they are in the class of melons know as “ice box melons” because they are small and fit in the fridge easily, and they are perfect for one person to devour on their own.

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

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

Eaglemount Wine & Cider will offer a tasting of their fine hard ciders and wines today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They have a large selection of cider and wine varieties, so stop by and try a few to find the one that you enjoy the best, then stock up for the Big Game!

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

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

One Leaf Farm has begun to harvest the first of its fall crop of radicchio. This is chioggia radicchio, and it has a wonderful, bitter flavor, and when sautéd, it is easily complimented with smoky, salty bacon, some balsamic vinegar, or some nice anchovies and a little grated pecorino in a salad. You might ask, “isn’t chioggia a beet?” Actually, it is a city in the Italian provence on Venice. And they know a thing or two about deliciousness. Now, don’t you feel smarter?

Pink Pearl apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Pearl apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Pearl apples from Jerzy Boyz are just one of the many heirloom tree fruits they grow. With their bright pink flesh, these apples are classically used for apple sauce — you know, that old-fashioned apple sauce that is naturally pink in the jar without the use of food coloring! Of course, they make for just good eating, too. Stop by and check out all the varieties of fruit they have that you will find on no other tables in the Market!

Yellow Curry Vegetables from House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Curry Vegetables from House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Cuisine has returned to you Ballard Farmers Market after a brief hiatus. With great offerings like these Yellow Curry Vegetables, kale chipscarrot crackers and more, they can help you outfit your Seahawks tailgate party with great raw and vegan foods made from ingredients sourced from right here at the Market, cuz nothing says, “are you ready for some football” like raw and vegan food!

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, 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.