Posts Tagged ‘raspberries’

Sunday, June 15th: Happy Father’s Day, Dad! For You: Fava Beans, King Salmon, Raspberries, Sausages, Olive Fougasse, Local Beer & A New Shaving Kit!

June 14, 2014
My dad at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My dad enjoying chicken pie at the Bryant House in Weston, Vermont in 2006. Photo copyright 2006 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back in 2006, my dad and I took a little road trip around Vermont from my parents’s home base in the Adirondack Mountains. We visited cheese makers, farmers markets, old general stores, and all those kinds of things that make Vermont a special place, including the Bryant House Restaurant at the Vermont Country Store in Weston. Being the food geek that I am (shocking, I know), I had read that the Bryant House offered a menu built around classic New England dishes of old, like open-faced hot turkey sandwicheschicken pie and crackers and milk. I had read on RoadFood.com that:

“…crackers and milk on the menu: a bowl full of common crackers (the kind that used to fill the cracker barrel in general stores) and chunks of Vermont cheddar along with a cold glass of whole milk. Pour the milk into the bowl, crumble in some of the crackers and let them soak until they begin to soften. Then spoon it up. It’s cool, simple, and utterly old-fashioned!”

As I began to explain to my father how we were supposed to eat our crackers and milk when it arrived, sided with lovely chunks of Vermont cheddars, he had already begun to crumble up the silver dollar-sized crackers into the bowl and was already pouring the milk over them. I looked at him and asked, “have you eaten this before?” He said, “yes, we ate this all the time when I was a boy. Sometimes it is all that we had.”

I bring this up on this Father’s Day 2014 not only to honor my own father, but to encourage you to try to make the best of today, and any day with your dad, because you probably don’t know him as well as you think you do.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what any dad would love on Father’s Day? A nice piece of Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish on the grill, that’s what! Throw a few fava beans on with it (see below), get some good bread and berries, maybe a nice salad, and you are good to go!

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speckled Amish lettuce from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another of the gorgeous, and delicious, varieties of heirloom lettuce grown by One Leaf Farm. This is Speckled Amish lettuce. If you grew up on boring iceberg lettuce from Arizona, you might think all lettuce is boring. It is not. There are countless kinds of lettuces, suited to many different applications. They run the gamut from sweet to earthy, from delicate to sturdy, from huge to tiny… all just in the varieties One Leaf Farm offers. They make for great salads, lettuce wraps, sandwiches. Some are awesome grilled. Pick Rand’s brains about the different kinds they have from week to week, and experiment to find out which ones you like best!

Organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I remember picking raspberries right off the vine in our backyard as a kid. My dad, the farm boy, always had a garden. In fact, he still does in pots on his deck in Bellingham. But since I can’t get up there today to visit with him, I’ll call him, and then I will live vicariously by enjoying some of these amazing organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. These beauties are incredible!

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have I mentioned lately how much I not only love this time of year, but how much I am loving this year? So many crops are coming in early! Like these fava beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. The first harvest is so tender, your dad will love to eat them simply grilled with a nice finishing salt. Pick out the pods that are the softest, with a bit of a peach fuzz feel to them. Then rub them in some oil, fire up the grill and toss them on. You can eat the whole pod. When they’re tender, pull them off and hit them with the salt. Just remove the seam strings and eat the rest! (I must credit Rand from One Leaf Farm for this recipe.)

Apriums from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce has its first harvest of cherries and apriums this week your Ballard Farmers Market. The cherries are Bings and Rainiers, and the apriums are a hybrid of apricots and plums, genetically 70% apricot and 30% plum. They favor apricots in appearance and flavor, though they are sturdier, making them good for hikes and lunch boxes, and they are the first large stone fruit of the season.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make sure pa gets his greens today. Stop by Oxbow Farm for some collard greens, some dino kale or some of this beautiful rainbow chard. Because a dad full of deliciousness, vitamins and ruffage is a happy dad!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or… perhaps dad would like some nice sausages on the grill, like these from Sea Breeze Farm. They have something like 13, 527 kinds of sausages, or nine. Something like that. But whatever the number, you will find at least one that will make dad smile.

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A nice loaf of olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery will make dad grin today! Or any of their other breads and baked goodies. I love this bread so much, I can eat an entire loaf in a single sitting! Heck, hand dad some fougasse, a cold one, and a bowl of sugar snap peas, and direct him to the nearest lawn chair. Happy dad, indeed!

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

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

My folks are harvesting the first of their strawberries from their deck garden this weekend, and so is Jessie’s Berries! In fact, Jessie’s will be joining us here at your Ballard Farmers Market for the first time this season. It’s time to eat ourselves silly on some Fir Island sweetness!

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I never understood why my dad was so crazy about rice pudding. Chocolate pudding I understood. But rice? I thought rice was for frying with shrimp at the Kingston Tea Garden. Alas, in my adult years, as my taste buds matured (yes, one part of me did), I began to develop a taste for rice pudding myself. Then I met Sam & Sara Lucchese of Pasteria Lucchese, and I tasted their vanilla rice pudding. Yes, this is the food of the gods, and now, I share yet one more thing with my dad: a madness for this stuff!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard is Beer Central here in Seattle, but did you know that your Ballard Farmers Market is host to the first ever brewery at a farmers market in Seattle? Yup. Propolis Brewing makes wonderful, bottle-aged, Belgian-style ales in Port Townsend from lots of local ingredients, and they offer them to you right here. Their flavors change with the season, like everything else around here. Stop by and pick some up for dad!

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

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

If you’re going to get dad a shaving kit for Father’s Day tomorrow, get him one of these from Brown Butterfly at your Ballard Farmers Market! It’ll keep Dad’s face smooth and soft, it treads lightly on the environment, and it will be a gift that comes with a face and a story behind it.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paella and casserole pans from BluSkillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for the dad who has everything, I bet he doesn’t have a hand-forged steel pan from Blu Skillet Ironware. If your dad cooks at all, he will adore one of these pans. I use my 10-inch skillet for about 70% of my cooking these days. It dispenses uniform heat, remains perfectly seasoned for gorgeous browning and no sticking, cleans up easily, costs no more than one of those highly-rated pans in those whoopdeedoo cooking magazines (and probably less), and it is made right here in Ballard!!! Now, that is a gift that means something.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And I finish off this week’s Father’s Day edition of most things Ballard Farmers Market with camelina oil from Ole World Oils, grown and pressed just over in Ritzville, Washington. This is our local oil, folks. Camelina is an ancient member of the mustard family, and it’s seeds have been pressed for cooking oil for centuries. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point (475 degrees) than grape seed oil, is loaded with Vitamin E, making it both shelf stable and nutritious, is high in omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, has a great flavor and a gorgeous viscosity, is good for high-heat cooking and as a finishing oil, and it is priced competitively with the average olive oil from far away. And I have found that it is the perfect seasoning oil for my Blu Skillet pan. I rub a little into my pan each time after cleaning it.

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 8th: Raspberries, Apriums, Snow Peas, Sheep Feta & More!

June 7, 2014
Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! The summer crops keep rolling in early! These are apriums from Collins Family Orchards. They are a hybrid of apricots and plums, genetically 70% apricot and 30% plum. They favor apricots in appearance and flavor, though they are sturdier, making them good for hikes and lunch boxes, and they are the first large stone fruit of the season. Ripe and ready now!

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Snow peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just last week, we were celebrating the first sugar snap peas of the season from Alvarez Organic Farms. This week, we cheer for snow peas! I sautéed a bunch of these Friday night with some of their green garlic and green sweet onions, and served it alongside a nice grilled King salmon fillet from Wilson Fish. Now, that’s living!

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And under the heading of, “could life get any better?” come the first raspberries of the year! Yes, Sidhu Farms wins the derby on them. And we checked… this is the earliest we’ve ever had raspberries at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Glendale Shepherd has its first sheep’s milk feta of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market. This is the feta they eat in Greece, where sheep reign and cows are less common. So enjoy a little old world flavor, not from the Greek Islands, but from Whidbey Island!

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

Cucumbers from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how crazy is this? Nash’s Organic Produce has cucumbers today! Yes, you heard me right! And they also have strawberries, spinach and, wait for it, even a little basil!

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Tieton cherries from Lyall Farms. A big, bold, full-flavored cherry, they are the cherry’s cherry. You want dark? You want to know you are actually eating a cherry? Heck, you want to keep your gout away?!? Eat a handful of these bad boys a day!

Dwarf sunflowers from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dwarf sunflowers from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm, from just over in Carnation, is known for their huge heads of lettuce. But they are also known for these adorable dwarf sunflowers. Why not pick up a few for your planter box? Oh, and Growing Things Farm is offering your fourth garden start free when you buy three plants today. So stop procrastinating, and get planting!

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus season is going to go away this year as quickly as it came on, what with our warmer and sunnier than normal weather. So don’t miss out on this wonderful organic asparagus from Alm Hill Gardens. Get it while you can!

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Zucchini from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this? Yes, this is zucchini! I took this photo last Sunday, in fact. Colinwood Farm manages to always be the first farm with summer squash every year. In fact, I had someone ask me recently, “Where’s that zucchini coming from in Patty’s Pan’s quesadillas?” Colinwood, that’s where!

Purple kohlrabi from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple kohlrabi from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some lovely, and colorful, purple kohlrabi from One Leaf Farm? Remember, you can eat the greens and the bulb on it. And One Leaf has doubled the number of varieties of heirloom lettuces they have on their tables this week!

Lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lettuce from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Short, and very sweet this week, given all the fruit and peas coming into season, we finish off this week’s epistle with a summer staple: lettuce. Our buddies at Children’s Garden have lots of it right now, as well as mintcilantrorosemaryparsley and many other fresh cut herbs. And don’t forget to grab one of their beautiful bouquets of flowers, 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 1st: Taste That Hard Cider Before You Buy It! Jerzy Boyz Returns! And It’s St. Jude Tuna Day!

August 31, 2013
Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’ve all been talking about it for years. We’ve been hearing about it in the news. We’ve worked for years with the State Legislature to get it to happen. We’ve worked for months with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement it. And today, it becomes a reality. Yes, starting today, you can actually sample hard cider and wine from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market before you buy it! Yup. All the campaigning and paper pushing is done, and now, it’s go time. So stop by Finnriver Farm & Cidery today for a sample of their amazing collection of hard ciders, and find the one that’s right for you. And just maybe, it’s all of them!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you find the sheer number of enticing choices of wines and ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider overwhelming, especially when you can’t taste them first to see which one you like best? Well, Eaglemount will also be sampling today at your Ballard Farmers Market. So maybe you’ve tried one and stuck with it. Try the others today, find a new fave and mix it up a bit!

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends from Jerzy Boyz return today for the fall season with their amazing, certified organic fruit. They grow many heirloom varieties of applespears, and other goodies on their farm that hugs the rim of the Columbia River Gorge just north of Chelan. Check out these aptly named Purple Goddess pears, for instance. That’s what I’m talking about!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s tuna day! That’s right. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here with their extraordinary local albacore tuna. They have it frozen, canned, smokedjerkied and more. This is the best tuna you will ever taste, and it is low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And if you get it in the can, don’t you dare pour off the liquid! See, they don’t add any cooking liquid, so what you find in the can is the natural juices from the tuna that is packed with flavor and goodness.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids. It’s Westside sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Since it doesn’t get as hot over on this side of the Cascade Mountains, Westside corn takes longer to mature. But what it lacks in speed it makes up for in flavor and sweetness. But it will go fast, so get here early!

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries are the latest variety of blueberries to come into season at Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. They are kind of the classic blueberry, sweet and a little tart. Toss them in your oatmeal. Make muffins. Add them to pancakes. Relish in their antioxidant qualities!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you fry it, roast it, smoke it, make it with dumplings, or stick a beer can up its bum and barbecue it, a pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm offers you one of the best chickens you’ve ever tasted. Maybe it’s the fresh air and exercise they get. Maybe its because they eat excellent food. Maybe it is just farmer Michaele Blakely’s magic touch. Whatever the case, I’ve been proud to serve these birds for my Thanksgiving dinner many times. So you can imagine the amazing fried chicken they’d make!

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These magnificent little creatures are Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms, and they are just one of about 18 varieties that they grow, 13 of which are gracing their tables right now. If you love eggplant like I love eggplant, check out Alvarez today. And to get your juices flowing , just take a gander at our Facebook photo album of their eggplant.

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

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

It may be September, but it is still berry season. These organic raspberries are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. 2013 has been one of the best berry-growing seasons in history, with better quality, sweeter berries and huge harvests. There is still plenty of time to get your berry on this season!

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez isn’t the only farm with a rainbow of peppers. This colorful collection of sweet and hot peppers are from Colinwood Farms, over in Port Townsend. 2013 is a historic year for peppers, too, and the more sun and heat we get, the better, and in some cases hotter, they are. So load up on peppers this year, too!

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

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

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm is as delicious as it is beautiful. It is a little spicy and a little bitter, and it makes for great salads, garnish for sandwiches or a nice, quick wilting for a tasty side dish. Enjoy!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is almost time for the saffron harvest, and that means it is almost time for our buddy, Jim, from Phocas Farms to disappear for a few months back over to Port Angeles. In fact, next week is his last until next year. So if you’ve been putting off getting that succulent garden going, or those saffron crocuses planted, now’s the time. Stock up today, and then use your day off tomorrow to get them in the ground!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, August 18th: Pears, Peaches, Peppers, Politicians & P-other Stuff!

August 17, 2013
Sen. Ed Murray and Councilperson Richard Conlin enjoying Soda Jerk Soda at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sen. Ed Murray and Councilperson Richard Conlin enjoying Soda Jerk Soda at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

State Senator Ed Murray and Seattle City Councilperson Richard Conlin joined us at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market recently to celebrate not only National Farmers Market Week, but also the fact that Wallingford Farmers Market is the reigning Washington Farmers Market of the Year, according to the Washington State Farmers Market Association. In addition to lovely proclamations, presentations, tours and speechifying, they also enjoyed some Lime Cilantro Jalapeño fresh soda from Soda Jerk Soda (above). Of course, being the marketing machine that we are, we couldn’t help but use this image to promote Soda Jerk. (You’re welcome, Corey!)

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosa Hale peaches are those big, juicy, sweet peaches that dreams are made of. They come on midway through peach season, along with many cousins of similar name. These are the peaches for which Washington is famous. But they are only around for a few short weeks. Try them today atMartin Family Orchards at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is goat yogurt in the incubator at Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis. See, in order for yogurt to become, well, yogurt, it needs to be inoculated first. It starts out as goat milk. Then, after quick pasteurization, they add those beneficial and delicious bacteria that are so good for us. They need to take root in the milk, though, to make it yogurt, and that requires a higher temp than a refrigerator for a little while. The result is wonderful goat yogurt that will keep your immune system and digestive tract happy.

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Growing Things Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is cauliflower season at Growing Things Farm, and for them, that means a rainbow of cauliflower, from white to green to yellow to purple, and that wonderful, fractalized variety known as romanesco. Steam it, then top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Sauté it with bacon, cayenne pepper flakes and some bread crumbs. Toss it with pasta, or into a salad. Dip it raw into cocktail sauce or hummus. Roast it in the oven with olive oil. Make cheesy cauliflower soup with it. Heck, throw it on the grill. You are only limited by your own imagination!

Purple Sensation pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Sensation pears from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also pear season already, a full week earlier than we’ve ever seen them here before! Wow. This beauties are called Purple Sensation pears, and they are from the certified organic orchards of ACMA Mission Orchards. ACMA also has the early Gale Gala apples today, and a dizzying variety of stone fruit, including peachesnectarinespluots, plums and Italian prunes. In fact, no other orchard has the variety of tree fruit that ACMA does now at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Jim holds a gigantic sweet onion from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jim holds a gigantic sweet onion from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Jim. Jim was shopping at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday, and he really wanted a sweet onion. What he found was a sweet onion that was the size of his head from our buddies at Nash’s Organic Farm. Seriously. There is no photographic trickery going on here. And the fact is, most of their sweet onions are this big. Must be all the clean living and the rich organic soil over there in Clallam County or something.

Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms grows over 200 different kinds of chile peppers, from the most mild bell peppers to the infamously hot ghost chile. And they are all coming into season right now. August and September is peak pepper season, and at the absolute peak, the pepper fields of the Alvarez family are awash in almost every color in the rainbow, much like the tulip fields of Skagit Valley in April. So enjoy a veritable tsunami of these tasty nightshades while you can, as they will go away again soon.

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

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

One of my favorite vegetables, and really, one of the most stunningly beautiful, is this treviso radicchio from Oxbow Farm. Unlike many radicchios, treviso grows tall instead of round. A member of the chicory family, it is naturally bitter, but grill it or sauté it with a nice slighty sweet, smoky bacon, and it sweetens up a bit. It likes salt and a good dose of olive oil (on the grill) or the rendered fat from the bacon, but not much else. It likes to stand alone, and it kinda clashes with garlic. Of course, if you like it a little sweeter, try drizzling a little balsamic vinegar on it when you serve it.

Berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of gorgeous, just look at this array of fresh berries from Hayton Berry Farms. We’ve got blackberriesblueberriesraspberries and the elusive golden raspberries. Sounds like the golden ones will be available in a somewhat greater quantity this year, but supplies will still be limited, so get here early!

Jubilee tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jubilee tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s time for the One Leaf Farm tomato of the week! And by my count, they are now up to harvesting 10 different kinds of maters. (See them all in our Facebook photo album.) These are Jubilee tomatoes. There seems to be debate amongst the seed companies on the Intertubes about the origins of this tomato, but it has been around since at least the early 1940s, and maybe as long ago as the 1890s. A golden to orange tomato, they are lower in acid, and thus a possible alternative for folks who have issues with high-acid tomatoes.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off with some fresh Washington rockfish from Wilson Fish. Rockfish is that fish that is misnamed “red snapper” by many folks, and it wasn’t until the feds cracked down of labeling practices of fish over the last decade that we finally realized we’d been eating rockfish this whole time. (Then again, most so-called “grouper” on menus still is, in fact, another species.) Rockfish kinda looks like a champion boxer that had to go the distance in order to win — not the prettiest of fish. But it is delicious. I love it coated with a nice blackening rub or jerk seasoning and pan-fried. Yummers. Of course, if you are reading this at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, you may be out of luck. This stuff tends to sell out very fast at your Ballard Farmers Market, so get here early!

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.