Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Sunday, June 1: Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Cherries, Glorious Sunshine & The Return Of Boistfort Valley Farm!

May 31, 2014
80-11 Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

80-11 Early Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Yes, those are Rainier cherries80-11 Early Rainier cherries, to be precise, from Lyall Farms. This variety ripens a good two weeks ahead of other Rainier cherries, and Lyall Farms gets another 7-10 days head start on other farms because of the location of their orchard in the warmest, sunniest micro-climate in the state. Add to that the fact that, after colder than average months of December, January, February, March & April, and lots of rain to start off May, May ended up with warmer than average temps and sunnier than normal skies! Go figure. But hey, who’s complaining? 75 and sunny, with Rainier cherries, on the first day of June in Seattle? That’s fine by me!

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

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

But wait! There’s more! Yes, these are sugar snap peas, I kid you not! I took this photo on Wednesday at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market, which just opened for the 2014 season. These peas are from our friends at Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, another of Washington’s warmest, sunniest micro-climates. And Alvarez has their first harvest of Detroit red beets this week, too, and green shallots!

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

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

We’ll have strawberries today from at least three different farms, and perhaps as many as six! These are organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. This is the earliest we have had strawberries in your Ballard Farmers Market in years!

Fresh spinach from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh spinach from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

After their brief annual mid-spring rest, the fields at Nash’s Organic Produce in Dungeness are roaring back to life again. This week, they have lots and lots of their amazing organic spinach for your dining pleasure, as well as freshly-milled buckwheat flour and more!

Hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now I’m just messing with, right? Nope! These really are tomatoes, grown in Washington, this year! They are hot house vine tomatoes from Magana Farms in Sunnyside, the aptly named town in the Yakima Valley that is also in one of those special micro-climates of which Washington has more than 200. Magana’s big hoop house greenhouse warms naturally using Ole Sol only. This is the same variety of tomato you see coming out of heated greenhouses just north of Bellingham in British Columbia much of the year, except they didn’t require fossil fuels to ripen, or a passport to get here, and you didn’t need a Big Box store, or a nameless, faceless corporate farm to bring them to you.

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

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

Hey kids! Boistfort Valley Farm returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market, again… the earliest in years! In fact, this may be the earliest they’ve ever come in! And you can bet they’ll have lots of this gorgeous lettuce, some colorful radishes, some honey and maybe some artichokes, and much, much more.

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

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

It is the first Sunday of the month, and you know what that means? Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here today, with the finest albacore tuna you will find anywhere.

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! Collard greens are back, baby! I loves me some organic collard greens from Oxbow Farm in Duvall, preferably with some lovely jowl bacon from Olsen Farms, and some green garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Yeah, baby! Oh, and guess what? Allen is back at Olsen Farms today, too. Could life get any better?

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

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

With all these farmers and crops returning to your Ballard Farmers Market, we’re running out of room for many of our beloved food artisans. You’ll find many of them at our sister markets in Wallingford and Madrona all summer, though. Today, however, is the last day at Ballard until fall for Four Sisters Gourmet Sauces. So stock up today for the next few months, while you can!

Soda Jerk Truckster. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Truckster. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And we finish off this week’s epistle with yet another first: the first ever vendor truck allowed inside your Ballard Farmers Market! That’s because the Soda Jerk Soda Truckster is only nine feet long, from bumper to bumper, soaking wet (as it was last week at this time), meaning it fits perfectly in a standard 10′ x 10′ vendor space. This adorable little fresh soda slinging, street-legal machine was made by Cushman in 1984, and it is the product, in part, of your generosity when you invested in Soda Jerk’s Kickstarter campaign last year. Pretty cool, eh?

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, May 25th: Stuff To Remember, Stuff To Grill, Localicious Stuff… and STRAWBERRIES & CHERRIES!

May 24, 2014
Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is Memorial Day Weekend, a time that is supposed to be set aside for reflection and remembrance, that we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. But Memorial Day didn’t always have a Weekend. It didn’t used to be on a Monday, so that folks could easily go camping, and stores could easily offer weekend-long sales. No, Memorial Day used to be held on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week, as proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, to recognize all those lost during the Civil War. It was not until the passage by Congress of the National Holiday Act of 1971 that Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May. But for me, growing up, I always thought that the big parade down Main Street in New Paltz, New York every May 30th was to celebrate my mom’s birthday. And ever since the holiday was moved to a Monday, I have struggled to remember when my mother’s birthday is. I write this to remind us all why we get Monday off this week, and to remind myself to call my mom on Friday!

Oh, and Wilson Fish has tweaked their smoked king salmon recipe ever-so-slightly, meaning that now, the best smoked king salmon around is even better! Get some… to nibble on while you’re at the parade tomorrow, of course.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This just in: Hayton Berry Farms returns today for the 2014 season with their first harvest of strawberries! Woohoo!!! Finally, a crop that came on early this year!

Mariah Doty from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's Organic Produce.

Mariah Doty from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s Organic Produce.

This is Mariah from Nash’s Organic Produce. She’s been selling for them at your Ballard Farmers Market for like a hundred years… or seven. One of those, anyway. Well, tomorrow is her last day. Stop by, bid her adieu, and grab some of their Spinach and some of their own freshly-milled Corn Meal, too!

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Russian kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has lots of lovely, tender spring greens coming on right now, from pac choi to broccolini raab, with a flavor akin to turnip greens, to this gorgeous red Russian kale that is great raw, or just barely wilted, maybe tossed with some sautéed green garlic. Mmm.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Lyall Farms will have the first cherries of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market! These early Burlat cherries are the first cherry to ripen, and Lyall’s orchards in Prosser are perfectly located to produce the first of these cherries each year!

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet salad mix from Growing Things Farm. It is a lovely, delicate mix of a variety of greens, all harvested very young. It makes for a wonderful, and simple, salad for any day of the week.

Sausage from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sausage from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some yummy sausages to grill up tomorrow? Skagit River Ranch has a great selection of them for you to enjoy, from bratwurst to hot dogs to hot Italian to a sweet Italian sausage link that will please any ex-pat New Yorker!

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

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

Mea culpa. I forgot to include Children’s Garden in last week’s tribute to the many Ballard Farmers Market vendors who contributed ingredients to our May 13th Fresh Bucks fundraiser. They provided their beautiful herbs, including cilantrochives and these gorgeous green onions, great for so many applications. Try grilling them, for instance!

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

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

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms is great grilled, too. Nuff said.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red radishes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm rejoined us earlier this month for the 2014 season. They’ve got lots of their great tomato plants right now, ready for your garden, as well as lovageoregano, these red radishes and much more!

Fresh sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Some fresh sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd is a nice compliment to some of those Hayton strawberries, incorporated into any number of recipes, or just on its own, as I like to enjoy it.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hand-forged blue steele pans from Blu Skillet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One more vendor from your Ballard Farmers Market that contributed to our Fresh Bucks fundraiser is Blu Skillet Ironware, which donated one of their beautiful forged iron pans to the live auction… a pan won by Farmer George of Skagit River Ranch! You know, I use one of their 10″ skillets as my go-to pan. It is amazing, gorgeous, competitively priced for the quality that you get, and it is made in Ballard!

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, July 7th: Boistfort Valley Farm Returns, Growing Things Farm Needs Your Help, Green Beans, Nectarines, Berries Galore & So Much More!

July 6, 2013
Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now it’s summer, cuz our good friends from Boistfort Valley Farm have finally returned to your Ballard Farmers Market! We now have our full compliment of row crop farms, and the Market is literally bursting at the seams with incredible local produce direct from the Washington farms that grew it, and much of it far ahead of when we would normally expect to see it. Read on in today’s epistle to see what I mean. Boistfort, for its part, today will be arriving with: artichokes, beets, broccoli, carrots, golden and red chard, cilantro, garlic flowers, green onionsapple mint, chives, oregano, curly and dino kale, green leaf, red oak & bibb romaine lettuce, shelling and snow peaspurple radishes, spinach and more!

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michaele Blakely from Growing Things Farm (center) with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) and Market Master Judy Kirkhuff at Ballard Farmers Market last summer. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm, which brings all manner of deliciousness every week to your Ballard Farmers Market, from eggs to jams to chickens to fresh veggies, is asking for your help to “Raise the House.” You see, Growing Things Farm is located in a flood plain in Duvall. Many farms are. Why? Because the flood plains that line our river valleys in Western Washington are extremely fertile – made so by the forest matter and minerals that flow down from the Cascade Mountain – and  are unattractive to developers, meaning they have land still available for farming in one of the most populated counties in the nation.

A major flood in 2006 damaged the farmhouse at Growing Things Farm, rendering it uninhabitable until it can not only be repaired. See, the house cannot be torn down and rebuilt under current laws, but it can be raised above historic flood levels, and then repaired. King County has offered the farm a grant to raise the farmhouse, but not to repair the house itself. For that, the farm needs your help. The farm  launched a Kick Starter campaign to raise $20,000 to repair the house. With a little over a week left, they are two-thirds of the way to their goal. Please to go to their Kick Starter page and contribute to saving the farmhouse, and in so doing, saving the farm itself.

FreshBucks_LogoA program called Fresh Bucks has been created by a partnership between the City of Seattle and local farmers markets to double Food Stamps, now known as SNAP, at Seattle farmers markets. Beginning Sunday, July 14th, for every SNAP dollar spent at Ballard Farmers Market, SNAP benefits users can receive an additional dollar to spend on fruits & vegetables, up to 10 dollars. Get them, and more information, from at Market Information Desk at your Ballard Farmers Market. You can also get more information from the Washington State Farmers Market Association.

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

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

Jeremy reports that his Foraged & Found Edibles will have lots of lovely wild gray morel mushrooms today at your Ballard Farmers Market. It has been a great year for morels, and really, just about everything else, so be sure to take full advantage will you can!

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What the…? Nectarines?!? Yes! These are Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic Produce photographed on Friday at our sister Madrona Farmers Market. I kid you not! This year really is out of control in the most delicious of ways. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Tiny’s also has begun to harvest Flavorosa pluots, too. Seriously. Wow.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And green beans! Yes, green beans. These are from Lyall Farms, but we’ve also seen them already from Magana Farms, and they have yellow wax beans, too! We may even see some hericot verts from Alvarez Organic Farms today, as well. Oh, the humanity!

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this early rainbow of berries? Yes, our friends at Hayton Berry Farms are already harvesting blueberriesblackberriesraspberries and strawberries from their Skagit Delta fields, and it is only July 7th! Oh, I am liking this summer.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fava beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a great year for fava beans. What? You’ve never eaten them? You think they’re too much work? Well, let me tell you a little secret. If you get them when they’ve got small, young, tender pods, the best way to eat them is grilled. Seriously. Just remove the stem and the string on one side, wash, slather with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and on the grill they go. Once the pods get soft, pull them off, hit them with a little nice finishing salt, and serve. You eat the whole thing, pod and all. But this is finger food. There will be one more string in them to remove. Get messy. Have fun. Eat well! You’ll find a nice big pile of these fava beans today at Stoney Plains Organic Farm.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wait, what?!? Tomatoes? Westside tomatoes? We usually don’t see these much before August, in a good year. And yet here they are. These gorgeous sungold and cherry tomatoes are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. But One Leaf Farm will have some sungolds today, too, for the early birds, and we’ve already seen a few beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. If it were possible, I’d be speechless right now.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Majesty new potatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another crop we’ve been woe to see until weeks later in recent years: new potatoes. These beauties are new Purple Majesty potatoes from One Leaf Farm. They are so sweet at this time of year. We’ve also already seen them from Summer Run Farm and Colinwood. If you aren’t eating fresh, local deliciousness at every meal this summer, you are truly missing out!

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seriously. Stop already! Yes, these are Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. They are two weeks earlier than their earliest arrival for which I have photographic evidence. I just checked my files. These are those big, juicy, meaty apricots that will make a delicious mess of your favorite shirt. Enjoy!

Broccoli from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Broccoli from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer Run Farm is known for rocking the broccoli, and this year is no exception. And never fear warm nights on which you don’t want to warm up your kitchen, roasting or steaming broccoli. This stuff grills amazingly well! Summer Run has gorgeous, massive heads of lettuce, of course, too, and lots more!

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, you’re killing me! Peaches?!?  Yup! Peaches are coming in this year a week or two ahead of their historic earliest arrivals! These are Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. These slightly smaller early season peaches still pack a big, sweet, juicy punch you will miss come October.

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

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

Absolutely unbelievable! This is the earliest, by at least two weeks, we have ever had radicchio make an appearance at our markets. Until this month, it was mostly the perennial crops like berries, tree fruit and such that was way, way ahead of schedule, but now the row crops are catching up! This Pall Rossa radicchio from Oxbow Farm makes for amazing bitter salads with a nice salty treatment, like feta or bleu cheese or anchovies, and it is also great grilled. Either way, finish it off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a nice touch of sweetness.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is known for producing a lot of delicious food, but they may be most well known for their raspberries. The farm was first and foremost a berry and flower producer before diversifying significantly over the last 15 years or so.  They have acres and acres of raspberries, some in the open air, and some under row tunnels, resulting in some of the tastiest berries you will even encounter. Sure, you can find cheaper berries at the Big Box stores, but what’s the point? I, for one, spend good money on good quality. Saving a few bucks to have something I don’t really enjoy just seems wasteful to me.

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

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

Now’s a great time of year for grilling up some steaks and chops, or slow cooking a nice roast on the barby. Olsen Farms has lots of great lambbeef and pork raised on natural pastureland way over in Aladdin, just northeast of Colville — so far into the northeast corner of Washington, I swear it is almost in Alberta. No farm travels farther within Washington to sell at farmers markets, and we are all the richer for their efforts.

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

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

I finish off this week’s installment with this magnificent image of blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. It may be hot and dry, but you can still plant a succulent garden. That is, if you get to it right now. See, Phocas Farms likely won’t be here after this week, as we are needing to make room for even more produce farms coming in next week. So get your succulents on today, while you can! (This just in: Phocas Farms will here through the end of July!)

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

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

Sunday, June 16th: Celebrate Father’s Day With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

June 15, 2013
New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New grandpa Gene Panida of Wilson Fish (right) with daughter Colleen, son-in-law Jackie and baby granddaughter Violet. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Fathers’ Day, folks! I like to scratch around a bit on holidays to share a little bit of their background with you, and in so doing this time, I discovered that the woman credited with founding Fathers’ Day in 1910, Sonora Dodd, originally spelled it with the apostrophe after the ‘s’, and I am honoring her by spelling it that way, too. And did you know that Fathers’ Day was founding in Spokane? Yup. While its intent was to honor fathers much like mothers had been honored, it appears it lacked the same anti-war sentiment that Mother’s Day was founded upon. Interestingly, though the holiday was first observed in 1910, it was not until 1966 that President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring the holiday, and not until 1972 that President Nixon signed it into law as a permanent national holiday.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm sausages by Link Lab. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While not meant to be a purely commercial holiday, commercialism was used to promote it initially, though now it simply capitalizes on the holiday, and we will be no different in today’s blog post. To that end, let us let the guilt-inducing barrage of suggestions for honoring dad with goodies from your Ballard Farmers Market begin. After all, if you’re going to treat dad, why not do it with something meaningful, local and delicious, right? Like sausages from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. These gorgeous links are made for Stokesberry by Wallingford’s Link Lab using Stokesberry’s pork. From left to right, above, you see Shiitake & SageFremont Beer Bratwurst and Chipotle Tequila pork sausages. And because I care, I have tried them all, and I can report that they are all fantastic! Don’t worry that they are frozen. They will thaw quickly, so dad can grill them tonight… over fire… cuz that’s what dads do.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Live oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love oysters. In fact, dads love to grill oysters. It allows them to combine eating a foraged food with cooking it over fire, much like his caveman ancestors with whom he identifies so closely, when he can get away with it. And today is his day, so let him regress a little, eh? Of course, if he’s more the whip out a shucking knife type, that’ll work, too. So stop by Hama Hama Oyster Company for a bag of their finest.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chipoltle Bourbon Butter from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, and by the way, Hama Hama has a new product just in time for dad to use on those grilled oysters: chipotle bourbon butter. Once your oysters pop open on the grill, remove the top shell and spoon on a dollop of this stuff, let it melt all over your oyster, and then pop the whole thing in your mouth. Yeah, baby! And just to do a little bragging of our own here, this blog for your Ballard Farmers Market enjoyed its 500,000th all-time visitor Saturday! Woohoo!

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack's flocked by the plants of the world's four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s flocked by the plants of the world’s four hottest peppers. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love hot sauce. Even if they don’t. They want to believe they can down a one-ounce shot of this Three Brothers Sauce from Zane & Zack’s World Famous Honey Company without even wincing. As if. This stuff contains four of the hottest chiles on earth, each represented in the photo above by a pepper plant from their farm that later this year will produce, from left to right, Ghost, Scorpion, 7 Pot and Scotch Bonnet chiles for next year’s sauce. So get dad a bottle. Encourage him to display his manhood. Keep a bottle of milk nearby. And try not to laugh too hard.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love strawberries, preferably atop a nice piece of shortcake, and covered in freshly whipped cream. And these certified organic strawberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm taste as good as they look. They actually grow these under row covers, which keeps the berries cleaner while also keeping the soil warmer, helping the berries flourish and sweeten up. And did you know that 2013 is a banner year for strawberries — one of the best in many years? They are bigger and sweeter. Enjoy!

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Single serving colanders from Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, here’s a cool gift for dad: a single serving colander from Daily Bird Pottery. I swear, these guys are like Revere Ware in the 1950s. Back then, they made a kitchen gadget for any and every conceivable kitchen need. Well, check this one out. You fill it up with a serving of berries — these are from Jessie’s Berries — and then you just hold it under the kitchen faucet, or the nearest drinking fountain, and rinse the berries off. The water runs right out the bottom, along with any dirt that was on the berries. How cool is that! What will they think of next?

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. I mean, you don’t even need to rinse these off. Just pop them open and eat the peas. Talk about the perfect veggie for dad to eat while he’s grilling dead animal parts on the Weber in the backyard, or at the park or beach. They’re sweet, crunchy and self-contained, and their packaging is easily compostable — simplicity at its best.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love messy fruit that they can devour whole, and that is likely to ruin their shirt. In this case, organic apriums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Apriums were developed in the 1980s as an hybrid of apricots and plums. They are about 75% apricot and 25% plum, and as such, they are much more like apricots, not just in appearance, but it flavor and seasonality. If dad has been missing your sloppy, juicy, wipe-your-chin-with-your-sleevy local, tree-ripened stone fruitliciousness, it is time to him to rejoice!

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads like bright, colorful things that burn a bit. Like these Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Native to Northern China, these stunning roots have a nice bite to them this time of year, and for my money, they are the king of radishes available around here. I am known to our farmers for asking when these jewels will arrive each spring. (Okay, I’m known for a few other things, too.) If you’ve never tried these, you should give them a test drive today. You can thank me later.

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.

Dads like other dads who remind them it is okay to be goofy and to eat sweets. For that, we have Pete Brogi, and his Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s got toffeefudge and some other goodies for dad, in a variety of flavors. And he’s always got a sense of humor, even when he’s cranky. Stop by for a sample or three, and then load dad up with a little sugar. After all, it’s Fathers’ Day. He can go back on his diet tomorrow!

Daddy's Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daddy’s Muesli. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love things that are named after them, like Daddy’s Muesli. Made in Port Townsend from a wonderful collection of ingredients, this old-world cereal recipe will make dad’s breakfast more fun, and, truth be told, it will keep him regular, too!

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dads love cole slaw with their picnics, and you can’t have the slaw without some of this lovely green cabbage from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. They just started harvesting this new crop of cabbage this past week. Bring a head home, break out the old RonCo food slicer, and get your slaw on!

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Knives lined up for sharpening at Your Knife Sharpening Guy. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, dads love sharp stuff. And from a safety standpoint, sharper is better, so if dad is accident prone, sharpen his knives for Fathers’ Day. See, besides the fact that when you do cut yourself with a very sharp knife, the wound is cleaner, easier to repair, and will heal better… dull knives are much more likely to cause injury, because they will slip, slide and bounce off things that a sharp knife will cut cleanly through. And when they slip, slide and bounce, they tend to end up in dad’s hand. Ouch! So bring dad’s knives, as well as his tools, to Your Knife Sharpening Guy and get a fresh edge put on them all — for dad’s safety!

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.