Posts Tagged ‘raw & vegan foods’

Sunday, November 23rd: Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog posts (Tuesday & Thursday) for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And there is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

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Sunday, November 16th: Local Hazelnuts, Holiday Hams, Sweet Squash, Perfect Pears, Soul-Warming Teas & More!

November 15, 2014
Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hams for the holidays from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been c-c-c-c-c-o-l-d-d-d-d this past week, and that means we may be missing some crops today. But hey, it could be worse. We could live in Fargo, where you needed a jackhammer to harvest potatoes this week. Guess what else? There are just 11 days left until Thanksgiving! Have you gotten your turkey or ham yet? If not, better snap to it. You can still arrange for hams from Olsen Farms or Skagit River Ranch, and Growing Things Farm still has a few turkeys left, but you need to buy or reserve them today for delivery next Sunday!

(BTW, if you love being able to get meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, eggs and other animal products at your Ballard Farmers Market, please read our Tuesday blog post about ridiculously high proposed new health permit fees from King County that could drive some farms out of farmers markets and some markets in the county out of business. We need your help writing letters and attending meetings on behalf of your favorite farms and markets!)

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnuts at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, I am just nuts for nuts. Aren’t you? And lucky for us, Washington’s own Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards is returning today to your Ballard Farmers Markets after several years’ absence! Up in Whatcom County, they grown some of the finest hazelnuts you will ever taste anywhere. They are big, fresh and sweet. They have them raw, roasted, seasoned in a wide variety of flavors, and they even offer some absolutely fabulous hazelnut oil, great for finishing soups, salads and other dishes.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful carnival winter squash from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm also has lots of gorgeous winter squash and pumpkins right now. Choose from a couple of varieties of kabocha squashsweet dumpling squashred kuri squashJarradhale pumpkins, or these beautiful carnival squash.

Crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These are crispy pears from Collins Family Orchards. Honestly, I don’t remember seeing them in previous years. So I did what any farmers market blogger worth his salt would do… because I care about you. I got one, and I ate it. (It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!) These cute little pears are quite juicy and not overbearingly sweet. I quite enjoyed mine. I think you’ll enjoy these, too!

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This past Thursday may have marked the last day in the 2014 Puget Sound Keta salmon fishing season, so today may be your last day to enjoy fresh Keta salmon from Loki Fish. They actually catch this keta in the center of Puget Sound, straight out from Magnolia Bluff. And besides the versatile fillets Loki offers, they also take Keta roe (eggs) and cure them with salt to make ikura. This local delicacy is great for the holidays. I love it on some Tall Grass Bakery baguette with some truffled fromage from Mt. Townsend Creamery.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Ben Chandler.

Cold nights and approaching holidays call for tea. Why not try some local herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist this fall? They are blended with many ingredients grown on Vashon Island and other local farms, and they come in a terrific selection of delicious blends. Some will relax you. Some will wake you. Some with help cure what ails you. And some will even put you in the mood. Now, that’s a tea that will warm you up, people! And it makes a great stocking stuffer, too!

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

There are only two more Sundays for House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Foods at your Ballard Farmers Market. Adam is retiring his business and moving on to other adventures. So stop by now for all the kale chips you can carry to your car! And give the big lug a hug and a thank you, while you’re at it!

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Serrano chile peppers from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Peppers are pretty much done for this year. Pretty much, I say, save for the fact that Stoney Plains Organic Farm harvested a LOT of them before the cold set it, and today, they’ll have some left just for you at your Ballard Farmers Market! They should still have jalapenospoblanos and some of these lovely serrano peppers. These… and red sunchokes, too!

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

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

We finish our weekend installment this week with these pretty ornamental gourds from Boistfort Valley Farm. They are perfect for sprucing up your home for fall. Boistfort also has plenty of the edible gourds, too — winter squash and pumpkins, as well as garlichoneyrutabagasparsnips and lots of other fall localiciousness!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s midweek blog post for more information on what you’ll find today at you Ballard Farmers Market. And there is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, 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, April 21st: Happy Earth Day Tomorrow! Let’s See What Lessons We Can Learn From Our Vendors About Respecting Mother Earth!

April 20, 2013
Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

Happy Earth Day! Most of us have a sense about your Ballard Farmers Market helping us tread a little lighter on our Mother Earth, but today, let’s take a look at many of the ways the Market’s vendors teach us about living more in harmony with our environment. Take oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, for instance. Oyster farming in our local waters requires clean water, and as such, this industry actually encourages us to keep Puget Sound cleaner. But did you know that our environmental sins from years ago, and seemingly unrelated to water pollution, are actually threatening our beloved bivalves today? You see, all that carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere from our coal power plants, our cars and our furnaces has to come down somewhere, and a lot of it is being absorbed into our oceans, where is settles to the bottom in an acidic soup. Now, the North Pacific currents are pushing all that acidic water right up into Puget Sound and Hood Canal, where it is beginning to dissolve oyster larvae and other shelled species before they can even get settled in the mud. It is called Ocean Acidification, and we all need to learn about it, change our habits — drive less, get more efficient cars, switch to electric heat pumps, etc. — and we need to Stop The Coal Trains from shipping more coal to China, where it will just make matters worse. If it isn’t good to burn here, we shouldn’t be giving it to them to burn there!

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Plant a garden with local, organic veggie starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Sure, we want you to visit us every Sunday all summer long for the best fresh, local produce anywhere, but if you are planning to plant your own garden, get your veggies starts here, too. That way, you’ll know how they were raised, and using what kind of seed. And the more food we can grow right here in Puget Sound, the less we have to import from other parts of the country and world!

Nash's cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden's soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s cover crop seed blend returns nutrients to your garden’s soil naturally, without the need for harsh chemical fertilzers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Skip the nitrogen chemicals in synthetic fertilizers, and enrich your soil naturally with nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Nash’s Organic Produce offers a nice cover crop seed mix that you can toss about your garden to help draw the nitrogen your veggies will need right out of the air and ground. Then, when you turn it into the soil before your planting, it will breakdown, leaving all those nutrients right there in your garden to feed all your plants!

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Beauty radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm will have these lovely Pink Beauty radishes today, as well as Tom Thumb & Little Gem lettuce, at your Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that One Leaf is only in its third year of operations? Yup. We are adding farms to King County — they are located in Carnation, for instance — and that means less need to import. During the WTO protests in Seattle back in 1999, visiting farmers from around the world taught me that the best thing we can do to help them in their countries is to buy local food here. That’s because when we buy imported produce, we are supporting a system of corporate agribusiness that takes over local farmland in other countries to grow large amounts of mono-cropped foods for the U.S. market. In the process, they force the local farmers, who are growing culturally relevant and organic foods for their local communities off of their land, resulting in lost crop diversity and food insecurity in regions of the world with very fertile farmland. So, Think Globally. Eat Locally!

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat wild foods! Before European settlers came to Puget Sound, local Indian tribes practiced a form of agriculture that would be almost invisible to us today. They managed the native, wild edible plant and animal species on a grand scale, so that come berry season, mushroom seasons or time for a clam bake, they knew right where to find dinner. In that spirit, folks like Foraged & Found Edibles today try to protect their harvesting grounds, as their livelihoods also depend on them. So enjoy some wild morel mushroomsstinging nettles or fern fiddleheads this week from your Ballard Farmers Market, and get back in touch with your wild side!

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Andrew Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Keep your knives and tools sharpened and healthy, so they last longer, all while supporting an ancient artisan trade that does not required electricity! Your Knife Sharpening Guy will put a fresh edge on your kitchen knives, garden sheers, shovels and even your reel lawnmowers, all with a zero carbon footprint. There is no need for you to buy new stuff. Your old stuff can be made new again!

Ikura from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ikura from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Support your local fishery! Washington does a very good job managing its commercial fisheries. So you know, when it’s caught in Washington waters, it is done so sustainably. Loki Fish catches Keta salmon, from which comes this Ikura, right here in Puget Sound. And this summer, they will also catch Pink Salmon here, too. Wilson Fish catches King Salmon along the Washington Coast. Your support of these local fishing vessels at your Ballard Farmers Market ensures their ability to keep catching the best fish around, and keep family traditions — and wages — alive, as well!

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Support Puget Sound Appellation wineries, like Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Most folks think all the wine grapes in Washington grow east of the Cascades, but the truth is that there is a robust grape-growing region right here in Puget Sound! Lopez produces three certified-organic estate wines from their island-grown grapes, including Madeleine AngevineSiegerrebe and Wave Crest White. These wines win many awards, and we are lucky to have them right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cleanse your body, rejuvenate your soul, and reuse your bottle! Communi-Tea Kombucha let’s you do all three! This fermented tea beverage will give you a boost of energy, cure what ails you, and when you are ready for your next bottle, they will even take your old bottle back, wash it, and reuse it! Unfamiliar with kombucha? Try one of these handle 250 ml. bottles. This is the finest, freshest kombucha you will find anywhere!

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunshine rings from Itali Lambertini. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reuse your gold… or someone else’s, at least. That’s what Port Townsend jeweler Itali Lambertini does. Gold mining around the world is very toxic and destructive, and many of us are familiar with the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, that threatens to destroy the largest wild salmon spawning grounds left on earth — home to more than half of the planet’s remaining wild salmon. And yet, there is plenty of gold already in circulation, mined decades and even centuries ago. So why go to some generic jewelry store in a mall to get a ring made of virgin gold that is the same as a thousand other rings, when you can get a unique ring, made with recycled gold, made by a local artist, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, it’s not just the thought that counts. The materials and craftsmanship count, too!

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm & Education Center is another King County farm, and besides bringing us amazing local veggies, like these pea vines, in season now, they also operate an educational program that teaches children and adults alike all about organic farming and its benefits, right in Duvall! Of course, supporting them also means you are keeping your dollars recirculating in our local economy, thus creating local, living-wage jobs, instead of exporting your dollars to another state or country. Your support of local jobs means that local farmers are able to support you right back, as they, too, support local businesses. You see, a rising tide floats all boats. We all succeed together… or the alternative.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale, zucchini & collard chips from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat lower on the food chain! House of the Sun produces delicious, nutritious raw and vegan foods, like these awesome kale chips! They get their ingredients from Market farmers. They have a smaller carbon footprint, because they aren’t heating things to cook them. Not cooking foods preserves many nutrients that can be destroyed by cooking them. And you can get your savory and sweet snack on without having to go to the Big Box store to buys some over-packaged “food” made who knows where with who knows what!

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat local honey! Local honey, like from our own Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, supports to protection of local bees, which do a lot of the heavy lifting around here, pollinating most of the crops we know and love here at your Ballard Farmers Market. But did you know that the bees themselves are in trouble? And if they are in trouble, we are in trouble. There’s a thing called Colony Collapse Disorder that has devastated honey bee populations far and wide. So remember, while supporting your local bee can help you will allergies and sweeten your tea, you should also learn more about CCD and what you can do to stop it.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkin bread from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eat gluten-free! More and more Americans are finding they have gluten sensitivity. But that is no longer a life-sentence of really crappy baked goods. Not at your Ballard Farmers Market, at least. That’s because we have d:floured gluten-free bakery, makers of all manner of sweet and savory gluten-free deliciousness that does not skimp on flavor in its pursuit of gluten-free goodies. Take this pumpkin bread, for instance. I beseech thee to find another pumpkin bread around that is better than this! Quite simply, whether or not you are avoiding gluten, you will love everything on d:floured’s tables.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Detox your home! Ascents Candles makes their candles with natural oils, not petroleum products, which means you are not filling your home with toxic fumes when you burn them. Plus, they are scented with various natural essential oils that will help set the mood, whatever mood you are aiming for. And if you’re eating dinner and want no scent at all from your candles, they’ve got them, too. Because after all, Earth Day ultimately starts at home!

One more way to celebrate Earth Day every Sunday is to 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.

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.