Posts Tagged ‘sorrel’

Sunday, March 24th: Spring Has Sprung, Bringing Fiddleheads, Easter Hams, Plants For Your Garden & More!

March 23, 2013
Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter is in one week, and churches all over are handing out palm fronds today. Time to get you a ham! Olsen Farms has plenty of freshly smoked hams for your holiday feast at your Ballard Farmers Market today. But if a beef or lamb roast is more your speed, they’ve got those waiting for you, too. But do pick it up today, so you are ready to go next Sunday, eh? And it’s not too late to pick up some lamb or a nice brisket for Passover, too, though you’ll want to start it thawing as soon as you get home today. After all, Passover begins at sundown Monday.

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ladyfern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know I’ve been talking about signs of spring for weeks now, but this past Wednesday, spring actually finally arrived. If the 12 hours of daylight didn’t give it away, certainly the snow showers and wind storms should have. Ah, March in the Pacific Northwet. Well, as if to formally pronounce the arrival spring, Foraged & Found Edibles brings the first Ladyfern fiddleheads to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Woohoo! And if that weren’t enough, they’ve got wood sorrel and stinging nettles today, too!

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

April approacheth, the sun is out, and it is time to get back into the garden! And Cascadian Edible Landscapes has returned to help us in that endeavor. They’ve got a tremendous selection of vegetable starts and berry plants. Like these beautiful blueberry plants. Imagine stepping out your backdoor to enjoy blueberries from your very own blueberry bush for years to come. Sounds pretty nice, eh? Well, get ’em now, and get ’em in the ground, while it is still the rainy season. That way, they’ll get their roots established before things dry out this summer.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has sorrel of the domesticated variety this week. This is Red Vein sorrel, though they also have regular sorrel, too. This regenerative, herbaceous leafy green is just what the doctor ordered, perhaps literally, for spring. Stoney Plains also has plenty of garden plants, too, including strawberry plants. Get them in the ground now, and enjoy your own berries come June!

Tulips from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tulips from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you notice how full the Market was last week? We had five farms return last week, including all of our Hmong flower farms. And if that ain’t an harbinger of spring, I don’t know what is! Of course, this week, they were probably harvesting flowers in the snow in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. Stop by today, and grab some of these lovely tulips from Pa Garden. Fresh from the field, they are ready to burst open in brilliant color in a vase on your table!

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

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

The start of spring also signals the approaching end of kale season. Yeah, I know. Around here, it is always kale season. But the fact is, this time of year, kale wants to reproduce, just like any other healthy species. So, the kale plants in the field, as well as the collards, cabbages and many roots, start to bolt, sending out their flowers in pursuit of procreation. The result is raab. Yes, this time of year, we get to enjoy any number of different kinds of raabs as these plants reach the end of their lifecycle and get on with the job of producing the next. Raabs, those tender, flowery tops of these plants, are lovely simply sautéed with some garlic, and they can be great grilled, too. And Nash’s Organic Produce has a whole bunch of them right now!

Gil holds ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gil holds ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is this week’s installment of This Photo Is Almost Disturbingly Cute. This is our own Gilbert holding three adorable, fluffy ducklings at Stokesberry Sustainable Farm during our visit there a few weeks ago. I suppose the cuteness factor may trouble some folks, but for those who enjoy duck, know that these little guys will enjoy a happy, healthy and loved life before they come to Market. That’s just the way the Stokesberry’s roll.

Dandelion greens from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dandelion greens from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of regenerative greens for a spring tonic, how’s about some of these tasty dandelion greens from Children’s Garden? These quite bitter greens may make you pucker a bit, but dress them with some anchovies, olive oil and some of that Twin Oaks goat feta, and maybe a drizzle of some balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got one delicious, nutritious salad. Or you can make soup, tea, or even juice them, and grilling them is not out of the question. Your liver will thank you!

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the ornamental side of your garden. And if you’re lazy, like me, these succulents from Phocas Farms are for you! Get them in the ground now, and let them get their roots well established while it’s still rainy, and they will reward you all summer long by being draught tolerant… and gorgeous! Just look at all these colors. Phocas Farms propagates more than 200 varieties of them. So get a whole bunch of them, and make for a colorful summer without all that watering.

Red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More scrumptious greens for spring — these being red mustard greens from Colinwood Farms. These are great lightly wilted with olive oil and garlic, or raw in a nice, spicy salad, as they are very tender. Colinwood has lots of other greens now, too, as well as new carrots. Enjoy!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With Passover and Easter looming ahead this week, you need eggs! Lots of eggs!!! For your seder plate or your Easter egg hunt, for your famous deviled eggs to bring to the Easter gathering at Grandma’s house, or for that extraordinary brunch you’ll be cooking up next weekend. We’ve got an abundance of eggs in your Ballard Farmers Market right now, and these are the best eggs you’ve ever tasted. Seriously. The eggs above, for instance, are from Growing Things Farm, and the farm is renowned for their amazing eggs. They have hard shells and big, beautiful, richly yellow yolks, and they are laid by happy chickens that get to run around outdoors and hang out with roasters. I know. I’ve seen them. So, stock up!

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.

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, August 5th: Nothing Says National Farmers Market Week Like Ripe, Juicy Melons!

August 5, 2012

Organic cantaloupe melons from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Sunday, dear citizens of the People’s Republic of Ballard! It’s National Farmers Market Week, it’s the hottest day in two years, and it’s August! Let’s have some fun with silly stuff, gorgeous still, visiting stuff, uncommon stuff and just plain delicious stuff. And let’s get this party started with the perfect summer treat for a hot day like this: melons! Yes, melons have arrived this week in abundance at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check out these lovely organic cantaloupe melons from Alvarez Organic Farms. They’re juicy, sweet, and they’ll even rehydrate you on a hot day! What’s not to love?

BTW, thank you for voting your Ballard Farmers Market “Best Farmers Market” for the umpteenth year in a row in Seattle Weekly’s annual “Best Of…” poll. Oh, hey, and in honor of National Farmers Market, we’d like to ask you to take a moment to show your appreciation for your Ballard Farmers Market by voting for us in the 2012 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Click this. Then click “Ballard Farmers Market.” Answer a couple of questions, and you’re done!

Fava beans from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether or not Oxbow Farm actually brings any fava beans to Market today, you just gotta love this sign from last Sunday. And for those of you who don’t know the man behind the farm that is Oxbow, you might not get the full humor of this sign. You see, that man is Luke Woodward, and he grew these favas. Get it now? (Thanks, Siobhan, for that devastatingly charming wit of yours!)

Mountain magic tomatoes from Billy’s Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These little mountain magic tomatoes from Billy’s Gardens are richly flavored and nice and fleshy, making them an excellent cooking tomato. They will hold up just fine on the grill alongside of what have you. They have skins that don’t burst, and they hold their shape great, so you don’t just end up with a smoky blob of tomato mush. I gave them a test drive for you, and I can attest — these little guys rock. And I do loves me some grilled maters in the summertime.

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

I continue to maintain that Chinese spinach is the most beautiful vegetable on earth. And it is coming into season right now at Children’s Gardens. I only know two farms around here that bring this delicacy of Asian cooking to Market around here. And it is plenty easy to prepare, too. A little garlic and a quick sauté is all it needs, though you are welcome to gussy it up however you see fit!

All blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love the color of these particular all blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. And first, let us clarify… there are no truly blue fruits or vegetables. Those that are called blue really are just very dark shades of purple. But what I love about these beauties is that they don’t even bother to hide their purpleness. It kinda just jumps right out at you.

Red Vein Sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More cool looking food alert! Check out this red vein sorrel from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. At first glance, I’d say it is venturing to give Chinese spinach a run for its money, but really, I think it wins more in the coolness category than the straight up stunningly beautiful category. Either way, one thing you can’t say about your Ballard Farmers Market is that the tables of produce throughout it are boring or the same old same old, like at the Big Box stores.

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a peach that Homer Simpson can really wrap his mouth around! This is the coolest looking stone fruit — the donut peach from Collins Family Orchards. Donut peaches are great in so many ways. They are free-stone peaches, meaning the flesh comes cleanly off of the pit, or stone. The pit is tiny, meaning that pound-for-pound, you are getting more peach for your buck. And for flavor, they simply cannot be beaten. They are sweet, juicy and delicious, and I count them as my favorite peach.  Plus, because of their shape and size, they actually are the least messy peach to eat.

Emmer/farro pasta flour from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the flour from which Italians originally made pasta. Bluebird Grain Farms does a fine milling on their emmer farro pasta flour so that it is easier to work with for making pasta. Indeed, when you see emmer pastas at Pasteria Lucchese, they are making it with this flour. It is a whole grain flour with a rich, nutty flavor that makes for amazing pasta. Oh, and Bluebird is making its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today!

Gypsy peppers from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! Pepper season has begun! And these gypsy peppers from Lyall Farms are a staple of my summer grilling diet. They are mild, with only the slightest hint of heat, and they grill beautifully, becoming soft and smoky. On hot days like this, I look to eat everything off of the grill, and keeping some of these fellows around fits that bill perfectly.

Gluten-free loaf bread from Dolce Lou. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you must eat a gluten-free diet, you probably have been waiting for a decent gluten-free loaf of bread to cross your path. You know, a loaf of bread that looks and tastes like, um, bread? Chewy. Moist. A loaf that, when you squeeze it, it regains its shape. And a loaf with great flavor! Well, your wait is over. Dolce Lou has succeeded where so many others have failed! Check out their 90% whole grain sandwich bread (left) and their olive loaf! Woohoo! So start enjoying bread again!

Canned albacore tune from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today for their monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market, and Joyce tells me that they have a great new batch of honey-smoked albacore — “very delicious,” Joyce says. They also have some great sushi-grade loin cuts, as well as their famous canned albacore in many varieties.

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and 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.

Sunday, January 9th: Bagels, Short Ribs, Kombucha, Tulips & Some Righteous Triticale, Dude!

January 9, 2011

Fresh, chewy bagels from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! We got bagels!!! Woohoo!!!!! After Christmas, we lost two of our three bakeries, leaving us with just Tall Grass, which, mind you, ain’t a bad thing to be left with. But we figured we really need at least two bakeries. Enter: Grateful Bread Bakery from Wedgewood. We enjoyed these guys and their baked goodies all summer at our four seasonal markets, and we’re just tickled pink to be able to add them to our great roster of vendors here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Besides bagels, they also make great bread, cookies, croissants, and other goodies. And if we’re lucky, they’ll have some challah for those French toast emergencies. But what I suggest you do, first and foremost, is pickup some of their bagels, grab some truffled fromage from Mt. Townsend, and some salmon lox from Loki or Cape Cleare, and have yourself a proper Brooklyn-style Sunday brunch. Yeah, baby. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Rack of lamb, saddle of lamb and standing beef rib roasts from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And guess what else? Olsen Farms is having a sale on beef short ribs today — just $5 per pound! Oh, the slow cooked deliciousness! Okay, I know. Those ain’t short ribs in the photo above. Truth be told, I don’t have a photo of Olsen’s short ribs. Sue me! But hey, that is their beef, and some of their lamb, too. Bottom line: all their meat is wünderbar. So, if you are a slacker today and don’t get down here to your Ballard Farmers Market before they sell all of their beef short ribs for $5 per pound, just get something else. You can thank me later.

Kombucha from Communi-Tea. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And here’s some great news. Communi-Tea Kombucha finally worked out its little misunderstanding with the Treasury Department, and now they are a — get this — licensed brewery, and they’re back at your Ballard Farmers Market. Seems the fermentation process for kombucha is a little on the squirrelly side, and the good folks at our federal government spent most of this past summer cracking down on pretty much everyone in America who was making kombucha because during fermentation, the stuff creates alcohol. I am guessing that means they won’t be able to offer you samples of the stuff anymore at the Market, and they’ll probably card you, but you should get some anyway, because it is very, very good for you, and it is alive!

Fresh sorrel from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! Green stuff!!! Yes, you will still find some green things at your Market. In fact, the good folks at Full Circle Farm are working great wizardry and hocus pocus over there in Carnation this time of year, what with their greenhouses and hoops. So come get some sorrel. And maybe some miner’s lettuce. Cuz green things are as rare as sunshine this time of year… unless we’re talking about moss.

Vegetable quiche from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Real men eat vegetable quiche from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. I mean, dudes, it’s friggin’ pie, man. Really good pie. With eggs. Lots of eggs! Just remember to get one of her sweet pies for dessert, too. You’re welcome, and your manhood is intact.

Fresh cut tulips from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tulips in January! Thank you, Alm Hill, for putting a little floral color into our long, cold, gloomy winter. But you’re scratching your head, wondering, “how the heck are they getting tulips to bloom in January?” One word: greenhouses. So grab a dozen stems, why don’t you, and brighten up your day, or someone else’s.

Honey crisp apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, these sure are beautiful honey crisp apples, aren’t they? And tasty, too. I’ve been working on a bag of these babies from Jerzy Boyz this whole past week, ensuring I will keep the doctor away. Pickup your own bag o’apples today!

Whole grains from Nash's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finally, the promised righteous triticale, as well as some wheat berries and a bit of rye all grown by Nash’s over on the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve been eating the triticale rolled in a hand mill and cooked like oatmeal. It has a great nutty flavor to it, and I love how it smells when I am cooking it. It reminds me of Wheatena from when I was a kid. Of course, this stuff isn’t all processed like Wheatena — it’s the real deal. I like warming up some jambon in a skillet, and then tossing the two together. Yummers!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.