Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

Sunday, February 23rd: Spinach, Cabbage, Daffodils, Fermented Vegetables & Hot Cider! Winter Collides With Spring!

February 22, 2014
Bouquets with fresh daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bouquets with fresh daffodils from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, I don’t care what the forecast is for today. Those are daffodils. Local daffodils. From Children’s Garden. They are blooming right now, bringing with them the promise of a spring that is not far off. So let Ma Nature get a little more gloppy lowland snow out of her system today. Matters not to me. I’ll have a bundle of spring on my kitchen table! Will you?

Over-winterd Savoy cabbages from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-winterd Savoy cabbages from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, yeah, baby! Gotta love those over-wintered Savoy cabbages from Nash’s Organic Produce. Having survived not one, but two week-long hard freezes, they are sweet and nutrient dense, and what makes them strong makes us strong! How about some nice braised cabbage? Maybe sauté some. And how about doing a test-run of corned beef and cabbage in advance of St. Paddy’s Day? It’s just three weeks off, you know.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boom! Yup, that’s baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. They just started harvesting a new crop from their greenhouses last week. Talk about a hint of spring. But wait! There’s more! Yes, they also now have salad mix again. Indeed, Colinwood has become famous for its amazing winter salad mix, which is full of hearty greens and tender, spicy mustards. I live off of this stuff this time of year.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right). Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right). Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful bacon from Olsen Farms. That’s traditional pork belly bacon on the left, and pork jowl bacon on the right. Jowl bacon, you ask? Yes, it’s bacon made using the jowl of the pig, and it is amazing. It has a unique, delicious flavor, and it is well suited to many dishes. Hmm. Maybe I’ll sauté some Olsen bacon with some of that cabbage from Nash’s tonight, and finish it off with…

Britt's Curry Kraut. Photo courtesy Britt's Pickles.

Britt’s Curry Kraut. Photo courtesy Britt’s Pickles.

Curry Kraut from Britt’s Pickles. This naturally-fermented kraut is not only uncommon, it is uncommonly good. And it is even certified Kosher! I know what you’re thinking. If it’s Kosher, why am I going to add it to my cabbage and bacon. Look, just because it’s Kosher does not mean you are required to keep Kosher to eat it, but if your do keep Kosher, it’s nice to know you can get a great local product like this, eh? Britt’s joined us last week with their kimchis, krauts and pickles. Stop by and try some samples today!

Over-wintered carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The over-wintered carrots at Alm Hill Gardens are amazing right now. Mind you, after the last big freeze, they are a little funny looking. Some have even needed to be trimmed a bit. But remember, sugar is natures anti-freeze, and when it got really cold two weeks back, these bad boys got really, really sweet. They may not be beautiful, but they taste incredible.

Organic apple donut dippers and hot apple cider from Tiny's Organic Produce.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apple donut dippers and hot apple cider from Tiny’s Organic Produce.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic Produce is mixing it up a bit lately with their organic appliciousness. They have begun to offer hot apple cider and apple donut dippers at your Ballard Farmers Market. The dippers are battered, deep-fried wedges of their apples — a little winter decadence that will still keep the doctor away. And the hot cider comes traditional and spiced, and it will warm you up on this cold, late-winter’s day. Enjoy!

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.

Last, but certainly not least today, I present you with fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. They are catching rockfish, true cod and ling cod this time of year off the Washington Coast when the weather permits. Gotta love some blackened rockfish, eh? But remember, supplies are limited, and this stuff always sells out fast. The early bird get the, um, err, fish.

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, December 22nd: Happy Solstice, Good Yule & Merry Christmas! Find Unique, Meaning Gifts With A Story & Great Local Food For The Holidays Right Here!

December 21, 2013
Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday decoration made from potatoes at Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

‘Twas the day before the night before the night before Christmas, and all through Ballard, a festive spirit, delicious local foods and unique holiday gifts with a story and a face behind them could be found at your Ballard Farmers Market! (Thanks, Olsen Farms!)

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

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

Seems appropriate to be listening to Ella Fitzgerald cranking out some jazzed up holiday classics as I write this evening. It may have gotten dark at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, but the longest night of the year is now behind us. Still, it is time for the festival of lights, just about whatever your beliefs, and it will be dark for 17+ hours for the next few nights. You will need candles both for light and for fun. Why not make them non-toxic candles from Ascents Candles? After all, they last a long time, and they don’t pollute the air in your home while you burn them for hours with nary an open window. Plus, this just in: our dear friend, Julianna, of Ascents Candles, told us last Sunday that she is retiring from the Market as of this week! I don’t know about you, but I am trying to figure out why I should bother showing up next week without her, but I’ll find a way to soldier through. In the meantime, stock up on her candles today, and check her website for local retailers.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Festive holiday bottles of honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“It’s Christmas time pretty baby, and the snow is falling on the ground…” Yup, it’s Elvis time all up in here! And how’s about sweetening up someone special with some of this wonderful honey, from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch, in these lovely holiday bottles. They will fit perfectly into any stocking. Just make sure it is anchored well to the mantel!

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“May your days, may your days, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white…” It is time to get your stölen holiday sweet bread on at Grateful Bread Baking. This traditional Christmas bread filled with dried fruit and nuts and covered in sugar is as much fun to eat as it is to pronounce!

The "Pete" of Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The “Pete” of Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Santa, bring my baby back to me…” Or at least leave me a package of Pete’s Perfect Toffee in my stocking. “…a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a-hoob-a…”

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also bid adieu to Boistfort Valley Farm after today until next June, as they take their winter hiatus. So stock up on garlicrutabagasbeetscarrots and celery root today!
FreshBucks_Logo

If you have any Fresh Bucks coupons left, or if you receive Food Stamps benefits, this is a heads up that the Fresh Bucks Program expires on December 31st. Use your coupons now! And you can still get Fresh Bucks coupons this week and next when you use your SNAP/EBT card at your Ballard Farmers Market. Come to the Market Information Desk, and we’ll match the Food Stamps you use at the Market today dollar-for-dollar, up to $10. Fresh Bucks are good for fresh fruits and vegetables, so use them to stretch your holiday food dollars. Just remember to use them before the end of the month. (The program is intending to return next spring sometime, by the way.)

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“and the lion shall lay down by the lamb…” Thank you, Elvis. You just can’t deliver the holiday toonage like he did without truly believing in it. Brent Charnley, the winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, believes in making really great wines, and so, like Elvis, you can feel it in his products. Stop by for a sample taste today, and I have been assured that Brent will not start swinging his hips about like Sgt. Presley.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s heat up that kitchen and fill the whole house with the smell of sweet deliciousness! Stock up on these beautiful winter squashes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm, and you will inevitably do just that. And while you are waiting to cook them, they also make great holiday decorations! (You can thank me later.)

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hemp clothing from Textures. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Add a little color and some elegance to the life of that someone special by sliding a box full of hemp fabric fashions from Textures Clothing under the tree!

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots in the field at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“I love those j-i-n-g-l-e bells…” Yes, we’ve moved on to Frank Sinatra now. So get your bippity on. (I have no idea what that means.) I’ve spoken much of holiday sweets so far this week, but few things are as naturally sweet as these carrots from Oxbow Farm. Kissed by a healthy dose of freezing weather already here in Oxbow’s fields, they have sweetened up considerably. After all, sugar is nature’s own anti-freeze. But take notice: this is likely the last week for Oxbow at your Ballard Farmers Market until spring as well, too, so stock up!

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Julie from Four Sisters Chili Sauce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your holidays with some Vietnamese hot sauces from Four Sisters Chili Sauce! Made with peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms and recipes brought over on a boat and a prayer in the 1980s from Vietnam, this is some hot sauce that is not only packed with flavor, it is packed with an amazing story and love. Enjoy!

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I bet someone you love will be very happy to receive this stunning Aveen vintage necklace with labradorite from Wild Swan Designs. It is just one of their gorgeous collection of hand-crafted jewelry.

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

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

WHAT?!? Yes, that is spinach. It is winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce, and some of it made it through the freeze. But not very much. So get here early if you want some of it. Just remember the spirit of the holidays as you fight for that last bunch at 10:53 a.m.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brenda and the Mt Townsend Creamery display. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“The wind is blowing, and the snow is snowing, but I can weather the storm…” Dean Martin is in the house! And so is Mt. Townsend Creamery with their amazing artisan cheeses from Jefferson County. Your holidays will not be complete without some great local cheese.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tater Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“But baby, it’s cold outside…” One of these spectacular, hand-turned pens from Vern Tator Woodturner will warm things up. Just imagine, every time that someone special pulls this particular stocking stuffer out during a meeting or class, and everyone else in the room turns to look at it, they will be thinking of you. Boom!

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

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

Some more natural sweetness for you, perfect for the holidays, comes in the form of these lovely sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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.

Sweet briny deliciousness, Batman! Make your holiday party or dinner just that much more perfect with some fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, the oyster farm so nice, they named it twice! Get your oysters live and in the shell, shucked, pickled or smoked.

Holiday pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And pie! Get your holiday pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies today, but get them early, as they will sell out fast. Pumpkin, pecan, apple and more, better than your mom ever made, but if she asks, tell her, “it’s almost as good as you used to make, mom.”

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious desserts from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or get your Italian desserts on at Pasteria Lucchese. Grab some rice pudding or a cheesecake, or get some cookie dough and bake them at home.

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.

Do you have someone special in your world who never leaves the kitchen? Then you need to get them some of this magnificent forged iron cookware from BluSkillet Ironware, made right here in Ballard. They have a nice selection of skillets, one of which has become my go-to pan in my kitchen. But they also have these new paella and casserole pans. They hold their heat well, go from stove top to oven, are durable, and they clean up very easily.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm is wonderful stuff. It has a big flavor that will fill you with garlicky goodness. But whether you like your garlic mild or wild, they have an heirloom variety of garlic you will love. After all, there is no such thing as too much garlic.

Honey crisp apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey crisp apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this holiday week epistle of the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market with perhaps the most popular stocking stuffer of them all: fruit! Why not make that fruit local. ACMA Mission Orchards has a dizzying variety of certified organic apples available today, so you can get a different kind of apple for each stocking hanging from your mantel.

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, March 3rd: Goat Yogurt, Winter Broccoli, Tasty Tamales, Pretty Pussy Willow & Sexy Spinach!

March 2, 2013
Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we featured hearty winter spinach from Nash’s. This week, we feature tender spring spinach, from the greenhouses of Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. Jessie assured me that this beautiful, young spinach was due in this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, just waiting for you to turn into amazing salads, to toss into pasta dishes, to stuff into pastries, or to quickly wilt and put alongside your protein of choice. Yep, it’s time again to get your Popeye on and nutrient up with delicious, fresh spinach!

Fromage blanc & smoked salmon spread from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fromage blanc & smoked salmon spread from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. I enjoyed some of this amazing smoked salmon & fromage blanc spread from Twin Oaks Creamery this past week on a bagel or two, and it made my New York ex-pat heart swell! Why don’t you pick some up this week, along with some bagels from Grateful Bread Bakery, and you’ll be good to go for dinner tonight, breakfast Monday, or perhaps just a nice, post-Market snack. Heck, bring a spoon with you, and eat it here, while you walk around! Oh, and you know, that Colinwood spinach would absolutely rock dressed with some of Twin Oaks’ goat feta crumbled over it. But here’s the really big news: Twin Oaks has goat yogurt this week! Woohoo!

Broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More exciting news! Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) has some of their amazing over-wintered purple broccoli today, too! Yes, we have indeed turned the corner toward spring. It is March now, and we have months of constantly changing, local deliciousness ahead of us. Over-wintered broccoli, for instance, is especially wonderful. It is sweet and densely nutritious, having weathered the coldest months of the year. Treat yourself. You can thank me later.

Fresh-cut pussy willow from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh-cut pussy willow from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I probably have the largest pussy willow tree on earth in my backyard. It is 30-40 feet tall, with a canopy that is a good 40-50 feet across, and every winter, I get to enjoy looking out my back window at it in spectacular bloom, as it is right now. But perhaps you are not so fortunate to have your own pussy willow in your yard — and hey, they ain’t easy to deal with either. Lucky for you, though, Children’s Garden has freshly-cut pussy willow blooms for you to take home and enjoy right now. And they dry beautifully, allowing you to enjoy them for months to come!

Daikon radish greens from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daikon radish greens from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for something a little different? How’s about some daikon radish greens from Nash’s Organic Produce? They take to a nice sauté, or you can salad them, too. Nash’s has all manner of goodness for you now, from the tail end of Brussels sprouts season to arugula raab, to turnipsrutabagas and sunchokes. They are stocked to the gills with winter yummies!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means we enjoy our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with all things local albacore tuna, from frozen loins to canned tuna to smoked. This is adolescent albacore they intercept as it swims south out of its North Pacific spawning grounds toward tropical waters to spend adulthood. As a result, it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in mercury and other heavy metals, and it is, quite simply, the finest tuna you have ever tasted! Stock up today, cuz they won’t be back for five more weeks!

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There’s still time to enjoy some of these honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Harvested this past fall at the peak of flavor, they’ve kept them stored all winter in what the apple industry calls, “controlled atmosphere.” There’s a lot of science involved, but basically, they suck all the air out of the storage room, replace it with an inert gas, and lower the temperature, so the apples stay super fresh for months, allowing us to keep the doctor away all winter long!

Brokale from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brokale from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brokale is a cross between broccoli and kale, favoring broccoli in flavor. Only one farm — Gaia’s Natural Goods — brings it to your Ballard Farmers Market, and generally, only this time of year, as it likes cool, damp weather. It is nutrient-dense, delicious and easy to work with. I just give it a quick sauté with garlic and olive oil. Or use it as you would normally broccoli.

Roasted root vegetable with queso fresco tamales from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

Roasted root vegetable with queso fresco tamales from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

Patty Pan Grill introduces its newest “tamale of the month” this first Market of March. This month, they feature a roasted root vegetable with queso fresco tamale that features Nash’s veggies, and cheese from Samish Bay Cheese. Stop by for a hot one at the Market, or grab some to take home for later!

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, February 24th: Swiss Cheese, Daffodils, Stinging Nettles & Spinach!

February 23, 2013
Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoky peppercorn & chives Swiss cheese from Rosecrest Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Have you met our newest newest farm, Rosecrest Farms from Chehalis? They are a cows milk dairy that specializes in making Swiss styles of cheeses, something truly unique to them in Washington state. And it is some delish cheese, too. This is not your sliced off of a big block and full of ginormous holes at the “deli” in the Big Box store kind of “Swiss” cheese. This is beautiful, rich cheese — the stuff the Swiss produce on steep hillsides, or Wisconsin. It is not the stuff that people who have never been to Philadelphia slap on a so-called “Philly Cheese Steak”, a crime punishable by a serious flogging in Philly, cuz fake Swiss cheese does not belong on a cheese steak. Just sayin’. But I digress. See, this stuff — indeed, the smoky peppercorn & chives swiss cheese pictured here — is cheese I find myself longing for once I’ve finished off the most recent chunk I brought home. And you will, too. So stop by and say ‘hi’ today, get you some cheeseliciousness from our newest farmstead cheese maker, finish it off while you watch the Oscars, and then spend the rest of the week wishing you had gotten more… until you do just that next Sunday.

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

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

As if stomping its feet and demanding that we acknowledge that it is, in fact, still winter, a nice, big, blustery storm blew through on Friday, and snow was being measured by the foot in the passes. And yet, as much as the talking heads on the one-eyed god tried to proclaim it “the strongest storm of the year,” it came and went, and now we seem back into our seemingly winterless winter once again. I’m not complaining, mind you. After umpteen years of watching crops come in a month late, we are actually seeing some signs of some crops coming in a bit early this year. And in that spirit, we celebrate the return of daffodils from Children’s Garden! A true harbinger of spring indeed, they will breathe some life back into your hibernating spirit.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And yet more proof that the days are getting longer, the temps higher, and that spring approaches, are these wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. The first of the season are in your Ballard Farmers Market today! Just fight the urge to stick your hand recklessly into the bag. They don’t call them stinging nettles for nothing.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat milk from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The other new dairy farm here at your Ballard Farmers Market is, of course, Twin Oaks Creamery, which is actually a neighbor of Rosecrest Farms down in Chehalis. And they are now bringing bottles of pasteurized goat milk to your Ballard Farmers Market. But you know, I can’t help but notice a typo in their cute little goat sign above. I mean, isn’t there an “a” missing from it?

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

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

So maybe this winter spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce isn’t gonna win any beauty contests, but it is delicious. And seriously, it’s spinach… in February! It may not be those delicate, tender leaves you get in May, but it is loaded with flavor, courtesy of having to weather cool, dark, wet winter days and nights, and it is loaded with the nutrients your bod is craving right now. So have at it, people. And don’t be so judgmental!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is still filled with plenty of apples, even if our supply of orchardists has suffered a bit of attrition lately. Tiny’s Organic Produce has a nice selection of certified-organic apples, like these Mt. Fuji apples. They’ve also got dried fruit and apple sauce, too, made from their own fruit. If you’ve seen entirely too much of your doctor this winter, you clearly have not been eating enough apples. It’s time to rectify that!

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let’s face it. Pickles is just good food. Grab a jar of one of Purdy Pickles’ many varieties of pickles to enjoy alongside your Swiss cheese during the Oscars tonight. Perhaps these Bread & Butter pickles will do the trick. You can thank me later.

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.