Posts Tagged ‘salmon’

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, November 9th: Spuds, Sprouts, Crans, Shrooms, Gourds, Souse & Kippers.

November 8, 2014
Cranberries on the bush at Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

Cranberries on the bush at Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo courtesy Bloom Creek.

Looking for fresh, local cranberries? You’ll find them from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Picked from these lovely cranberry bushes at the peak of ripeness, they will make for the best cranberry sauce ever this Thanksgiving, or great muffins and breads. And are you still looking for a Thanksgiving turkey direct from a local farm, and you worry they are all already spoken for? Fear not! Growing Things Farm still has some turkeys available for you. Stop by and visit them at the 22nd Ave end of the Market today and reserve yours!

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sno-Valley Mushrooms has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market just in time for all of your fall feasts. They grow their wonderful shiitakeoyster and lion’s mane mushrooms in a state-of-the-art facility in Duvall, right here in King County, and they bring them to you when they are perfect. So get  your mushroom on now!

Mountain Rose potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mountain Rose potatoes from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With all your hearty fall recipes and big holiday feasts, you need potatoes. All kinds of potatoes. Lucky for you, Olsen Farms grows all kinds of potatoes. In fact, they grow a couple dozen varieties of potatoes, from the perfect bakers to the perfect roasters. From the perfect fryers to the perfect mashers. From spuds that hold up in stews to spuds that break down for the perfect soups. Have a particular recipes you wish to make, and wondering what potato is the right choice for it? Just ask them!

Naturally-fermented pickles from Britt's Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Naturally-fermented pickles from Britt’s Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Britt’s Pickles has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with their naturally barrel-fermented pickles and kimchis. They offer a great selection of flavors, from hot to mild to curried and more! Grab a jar or three for your holiday parties, or to bring with you to someone else’s party.

Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata squash from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met Kirsop Farm yet? Kirsop is the newest farm to join the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market. The farm is located in Tumwater, and it was founded back in 1996. It is renowned for producing some of the finest certified organic veggies in Washington. Stop by for some of these yummy Sugar Pie pumpkins and delicata winter squash to warm up your kitchen, your belly and your soul!

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.

Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the organic Brussels sprouts now. And this should be an epic year for the Brussels. I can’t wait to get me some today and cook them with some Sea Breeze Farm bacon and One Leaf Farm shallots. Woohoo!

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And maybe we’re beyond fresh local king salmon season, but we can still enjoy smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish during the cold, dark, wet months. Add it to pasta dishes, salads, soups. Or just enjoy it on its own, or on a slice of Tall Grass Bakery baguette with some fromage blanc from Mt. Townsend Creamery. You will not find better smoked king salmon anywhere!

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.

Midweek Update for Wednesday, November 5th: Pickled Things, Cured Things, Fermented Things, Aged Things, Milled Things, Dried Things & Baked Things!

November 5, 2014
Pickled garlic and red onions from Purdy Organics at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled garlic and red onions from Purdy Organics at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the first midweek update of November, we give a tip of the hat to all things food artisan, value-added, or processed. What’s the difference? Nothing, really, except that when one says, “farmer value-added,” it means the farmer has processed their own ingredients into the artisan product. And food artisans are simply folks who take raw ingredients and craft (or process) them into something new. This time of year is great for such food, because we tend to enjoy them more now, because they extend the seasons of the ingredients they feature, and because many of those ingredients are done for the year already. And everything in this post features ingredients grown right here in Washington — something we require of our food artisans — and most include ingredients produced by farmers right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Like Purdy Organics and their shiny new labels to match their new organic certification. They source their pickle ingredients from local farms, including our own Alvarez Organic Farms.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Firefly Kitchens got their start just a few short years ago selling at your Ballard Farmers Market and our midweek markets. They immediately began winning awards for their naturally fermented kimchis and krauts, not just locally, but across the country. This is food that will cure what ails you, and taste great doing it! It is living food. Personally, I heart the caraway kraut on a nice bratwurst from Skagit River Ranch.

Cordials from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cordials from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finnriver Farm & Cidery may be best known for its hard ciders, but it also make these awesome fruit cordials, a deliciously sweet finish to any meal, and great for all those special occasions in your future. They are made with berries grown right on the farm, as well as tree fruit from their neighbors’ farms. Stop by for a sample this weekend!

Dried garbanzo beans from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried garbanzo beans from Alvarez Organic Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you buy your garbanzo beans in a can still? Do you think they don’t grow around here? Cuz they do. Lots of them! And Alvarez Organic Farms has them — this year’s harvest, dried, shelled, and ready for you to soak and make the best hummus ever, or to add to salads, soups and more. Cut out the middle man. Don’t worry about what those cans are lined with. Get closer to the source of all of your food. And enjoy even more localiciousness!

Corn meal from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Corn meal from Nash’s Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash”s Organic Produce may be most famous for its carrotsbeets and greens, but they also grow lots of grains, too. One of those grains is corn — milling corn. If you use corn meal at all, you absolutely must try Nash’s freshly-milled corn meal. You can actually taste the corn, in all its delicious sweetness! I use it for pan-frying oysters from Hama Hama Oysters or true cod from Wilson Fish myself. Nummers!

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

Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. FLyons.

Finally, how’s about some Gruyere cheese bread from Snohomish Bakery? Snohomish makes this bread using Shepherd’s Grain flour, produced right here in Washington by a bunch of farmers over in the Palouse. This stuff is seriously addictive, so consider yourself warned! And we’ll see you at your Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday!

Sunday, October 19th: Fall Foods & Food Day 2014

October 18, 2014

food-day_2014

National Food Day 2014 is this coming Friday, October 24th. Inaugurated several years ago, it is designed, like Earth Day in April, to get us talking about food. After all, it is the one thing we all have in common — the one thing we all cannot live without. Just to confuse you, though, the UN has held International Food Day on October 16th since 1979, but given that neither you nor I ever heard much about this, it made sense to start anew. You’ll find lots of things to do, and more info, at the Food Day website, and read on to learn about some cool stuff happening in New York City that we could easily replicate here.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Jessika Tantisook rounding up freshly harvested cranberries at Starvation Alley Farms. Copyright Giles Clement.

Starvation Alley Farms has begun the harvest of the 2014 crop of organic cranberries out on Long Beach Peninsula. They’ll have them flash-frozen for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. And check this out from Wholesome Wave in New York City:

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) announced on October 16th the expansion of a program that allows doctors at HHC’s Elmhurst and Bellevue Hospital Centers to write fruit and vegetable “prescriptions” to children who are overweight or obese to help improve access to healthy food and promote overall health and wellness in the community.  First adopted by HHC hospitals in the South Bronx and Harlem last summer, the Wholesome Wave Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program (FVRx) proved successful in its first year when the program at HHC Harlem Hospital Center and HHC Lincoln Medical Center helped 40 percent of the enrolled children lower their Body Mass Index (BMI) and more than half of the families reported having more food to eat at home.

“A prescription for healthy food at an affordable price can be even better than a prescription for medicine,” said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. “When doctors don’t just ask patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, but take concrete steps to make it easier for them and to demonstrate the benefits, patients listen. Obesity is a significant problem for children in New York City.  With HHC’s excellent primary care services and community collaborations like this one, we can help children learn at an early age that a healthy lifestyle and good food choices strongly affect their future health and wellbeing.”

… HHC selects pediatric patients for FVRx based on age and BMI eligibility. Over the course of four months, during farmers market season, patients receive a “prescription” to eat more fruit and vegetables. The prescription is designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for the entire family and is typically valued at $1 per day per household member ($28 per week for a family of four). This year, Wholesome Wave is piloting a $.50 incentive at two of the FVRx hospitals ($14 per week for a family of four). The prescription is exchanged on-site for Health Bucks, a city-wide Department of Health and Mental Hygiene program, which  can be used at all New York City farmers markets.

Gee, that sounds like something our local government and hospitals could do right here in Seattle in partnership with our farmers market Fresh Bucks Program.

Click image to download.

Click image to download.

And speaking of Fresh Bucks, the program has been extended through the end of December this year, so if you or someone you know receives SNAP benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), we will match the SNAP dollars you spend at your Ballard Farmers Market with Fresh Bucks, up to $10, each and every visit! Fresh Bucks can only be used for fresh fruits, vegetables and cut herbs, so use them to stock up on those items, and save your regular SNAP benefits to use for other food items, like eggs, grains, dried beans, honey, meat, pickles and such.

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

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

The commercial fishing season for Keta salmon on Puget Sound just opened, and that means Loki Fish should have the most local salmon you will ever find here at your Ballard Farmers Market today, as it is caught just a few miles from here in the heart of Puget Sound. Keta salmon used to be considered a trash fish, but in recent years, it has reemerged as a high-quality, affordable, local and wild salmon that also serves to maintain our local fishing economy. It is fresher, better tasting and generally less expensive than farm-raised salmon. It takes well to rubs, smokes and sauces. And unlike most farmed salmon, it is not on drugs and its color is natural. So enjoy some salmon tonight that actually hangs out in the same area code as you do!

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This fall has been great for wild lobster mushrooms harvested by Foraged & Found Edibles in the forests of Western Washington. They get their name from their bright red color, and they are a sturdy, earthy mushroom that holds up well when you cook them. They make a great topping for that Keta salmon!

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

As the waters of Hood Canal cool down with fall rains and shorter days, now is the best time of year to enjoy fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oysters. You’ll find a few varieties of live in-the-shell oysters today, ready for you to shuck and slurp, as well as jars of pre-shucked oysters, pickled and smoked oysters, and live clams!

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.

These Arkansas Black apples from Tiny’s Organic turn almost black when in storage. It is a firm, tart apple good for fresh eating, cooking, juicing and making hard cider, and it will keep for two to three months.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We talk a lot about cooking pumpkins here in the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market. There are so many varieties offered by our farmers, after all. But Halloween is less than two weeks away, so let’s talk about carving pumpkins today. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a nice selection of carving pumpkins for you and the kids to turn into all manner of spooky creations. Pick out the best one for you today, and remember to roast these seeds!

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Local granola from Marge Granola at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cool, dark, often damp fall mornings call for a hardy breakfast, and for that you’ll find great granola in a variety of flavors from Marge Granola. Tall Grass Bakery also makes a great granola, or you can grab some muesli from Daddy’s Muesli. Besides being fine with milk or yogurt, they’re nice just heating up a little hot water, too.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blackberries from Hayton Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry season is just about over, folks. We still are enjoying a few blackberries and blueberries from Hayton Berry Farms, but next week will be their last for 2014. So get your berry on one last time this year, and celebrate the epic berry season it was! (They go great with that granola and muesli, 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.