Posts Tagged ‘turnips’

Sunday, November 23rd: Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, July 20th: Melons, More Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Nectarcots & More!

July 19, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Ballard Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last Thursday, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

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

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

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spartans blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including these SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Ballard Farmers Market. These are from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous pink turnips from Boistfort Valley Farm are a close cousin to some of the other Asian turnip varieties we see here at your Ballard Farmers Market, only these guys are just a bit more flamboyant. And they taste good, too!

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All beef hot dogs from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you have a hankering for a good all-beef hot dog, but you fear what’s in it, where it was made and how the animals used in it were treated? Well, be afraid no more! These uncured beef franks are from Skagit River Ranch. That means the cattle were grass-fed on lush pastures, treated well, raised organically, and processed with respect. It also means that they are delicious!

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

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

You may have heard me refer to Treviso radicchio as the second most beautiful vegetable on earth and wondered to yourself, “what is the most beautiful vegetable on earth, then?” This is! Meet Chinese spinach from Children’s Garden. It is only grown by two farms at your Ballard Farmers Market, both Hmong, and the last two summers have been kind of hostile to it, so we haven’t really seen much of it since 2011. It can be simply sautéed with some garlic. Or you can just invite your friends over to sit and look at it.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with lots of heirloom and exotic crops grown by adventurous farmers. But what Summer Run Farm specializes in is growing lovely organic produce standards — the stuff you could find at the Big Box store, but that would pale by comparison to Summer Run’s. Like this cauliflower. Sweet and crunchy, and wonderful roasted, made into soup, dipped in hummus or cocktail sauce, or however you enjoy it best.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slicing cucumbers from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bell peppers from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These bell peppers from Colinwood Farm are so fragrant that they seem to steal the show for your olfactory glands as you examine the farm’s tables. Pep up your salads, stuff some, or throw them on the barby. This is going to be a phenomenal year for peppers!

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

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, May 11th: Happy Mother’s Day! Say “I Love You, Mom!” With Localiciousness From Your Ballard Farmers Market!

May 10, 2014
KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, a.k.a., The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While most of us working at your Ballard Farmers Market think of our Market Master Judy Kirkhuff as our Market Mom, she thinks of KaYing from The Old Farmer that way. But heck, let’s just celebrate them both today, along with all the other moms in Ballard and beyond. It is interesting to note that Mothers Day has its origins in a holiday known as Mother’s Day For Peace that dates back to 1872, in response to mothers having to bury too many of their sons from endless wars. Frankly, I still like this idea. After all, can you imagine a better Mother’s Day gift than world peace?

Until that day, you can take care of your mom with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from KaYing, or one of our other flower farmers, today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Or better yet, you could give your mom, our Market moms, and a lot of moms of lesser means a huge gift by buying a ticket to the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks coming up this Tuesday at Hotel Ballard. We’ll be on the rooftop in glorious sunshine, eating deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market, prepared by Chef Jason Stoneburner, THE Stoneburner behind Stoneburner Restaurant. A limited number of paper tickets to this event will be available for sale at the Market Information Desk during today’s market!

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You could take your mom out to dinner today and fight the masses all doing the same. But on such a spectacular Mother’s Day Sunday as this, why don’t you make her dinner? Dinner from your Ballard Farmers Market, with fresh, Washington troll-caught king salmon from Wilson Fish, no less! Few things say, “I love you, mom,” quite like cooking her an amazing dinner. In fact, we’ll be eating some of this salmon Tuesday night at the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction!

Brilliant tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brilliant tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, fresh flowers are right up there, too. These beautiful blooms are from Ia’s Garden, glowing in spring sun much like today’s. We have seven flower farms at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but lines will be long. Come early, pack some patience, and maybe work in teams. You know, one of you gets in line for flowers while the rest of you get your groceries, and maybe a quesadilla, some tacos or salmon sliders.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Mom’s Day, how about some of these beautiful Japanese wax turnips from One Leaf Farm. Rand and Paul can attest that I have been like an annoying little kid for the last few weeks, endlessly asking them, “are there going to be turnips this week?” over and over, again and again, in a repetitive and redundant fashion. And today, they are finally here! I love slicing the roots up and tossing them in salads like radishes, but they are also lovely sautéed whole or halved in a little butter, and then served atop a lovely bed of their wilted greens, which you had better eat, too, as they are awesome. It’s like getting two veggies for the price of one!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this?!? These are Japanese cucumbers from Colinwood Farm, fresh out of their greenhouse over in Port Townsend, a.k.a., The Banana Belt! And not only cucumbers. They’ve got baby summer squash and squash blossomsspinach and carrots now, too, and a lot of other stuff!

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your rhubarb on, good people of Ballard! Yes, it is full-on rhubarb season, and our friends at Sidhu Farms have begun to harvest plenty of it from their fertile fields down in the Puyallup River Valley, the single most prolific rhubarb producing region in America! (“Alex, I’ll take Washington Agriculture Trivia for $800, please!”)

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

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

When I cook up spring king salmon from Wilson Fish, I love to serve it with some fresh organic asparagus, like this from Alm Hill Gardens, roasted in a 375 degree oven until just tender with some…

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edible. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. I like to slice them in rings about a half inch thick and then toss them in with the asparagus. Then, I like to add some…

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. I cut the white part into rounds about a quarter to a half inch long, and the green part into one to two inch pieces. Add a little green garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm, prepared the same as the onions, and toss it all with some olive oil, for a nuttier, more local flavor, some camelina oil from our own Ole World Oils, some good, course sea salt and some freshly ground pepper, and roast it for 10-15 minute at 375 degrees, until just tender. That, and king salmon. Oh, how I love spring. And you will amaze mom with this meal, despite how simple it is. Trust me, I know. My mom is amazed every time I make it for her!

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For Mother’s Day, why not give your mother a heart shaped kombucha mother from CommuniTea Kombucha? That way, she can make her own kombucha at home… and it’s just plain a really cool thing!

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While mom is relaxing in the sun in the backyard while you cook her dinner, bring her a plate of award-winning sheep’s milk cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Sheep cheese is not very common around these parts, and we are so lucky to have it here. And this stuff is delish! Of course, you’ll need a separate plate for these…

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.

Fresh oysters on the half shell that you picked up from Hama Hama Oyster Company today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Hama Hama is the oyster company so nice, they named it twice! And their Blue Pools are gorgeous right now. So get you some, get shucking, and make mom feel like a queen!

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day Cookies from Grateful Bread Baking. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab mom some artisan bread, a few bagels and some of these heart-shaped ‘mom’ cookies from Grateful Bread Baking, while you are at it.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravity! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget the wine! Like this gravity-defying Eaglemount Red Table Wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make mom a nice salad with some fresh red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Yes, head lettuce is back at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Mothers Day pies from Deborah's Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mothers Day pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And finish mom’s special dinner off with a Mother’s Day pie from Deborah’s Homemade Pies. Yes, I know… you’d think I would be telling you to make the pie yourself. But let’s be honest with each other. Deborah’s pies are so much better than anything you will make on the fly today. Mom will love you all the more for caring enough to admit when making pie has you licked, and just going ahead and getting one you know is going to be really, really good!

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 4th: Fresh Bucks Returns Today! Plus Westside Asparagus, Turnips, Frilly Mustards, Green Garlic, Tuna & Gifts Unique For Mom!

May 3, 2014

FreshBucks_Logo

Happy May, good people of Ballard! We survived the anarchist uprising for one more year… apparently because they couldn’t agree on what they were protesting about… and tomorrow, all of America, and one small state in Mexico, will celebrate an unlikely military victory 150 years ago by eating guacamole and drinking mas Dos Equis. Woohoo! But the beginning of May is actually significant for one much more important occurrence: the return of the Fresh Bucks program! That’s right! If you receive SNAP/EBT benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps), and you use them to buy groceries at your Ballard Farmers Market, we will match your SNAP dollars, up to $10, with Fresh Bucks coupons good for fresh, local fruits, vegetables and fresh-cut herbs from our vendors, once per visit, every week, through December!

Would you like to help us expand Fresh Bucks? Please buy a ticket to our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to Support Fresh Bucks on May 13th, or simply make a donation now! Your generosity will help us create educational programming for kids about cooking with and eating farmers market produce, and to extend this great program into the winter months. And hey… the Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction makes a great Mother’s Day gift!

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Albacore tuna loin portion from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another reason to celebration the first Sunday in May is tuna! Yup, Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Stock up for the month with some of these gorgeous portioned frozen albacore tuna loins, some canned albacoresmoked or even jerkied! This is the finest, sashimi-grade albacore available!

Japanese Wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Japanese wax turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you don’t know how much I love radishes, you have not been paying attention the last several weeks. And you know what I love almost as much as radishes? These lovely, little Japanese wax turnips! They are sweet and spicy, great sliced like radishes and added to salads, or sautéed in some nice butter, and their greens are edible, too, meaning you get two veggies for the price of one! In fact, you can do a very quick sauté of the greens, and then top them with the sautéed turnips for a beautiful presentation of deliciousness. You’ll find them, as well as some of that famous purple-tipped asparagus and more, at Alm Hill Gardens today!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, we talked about adorable little baby summer squash from Colinwood Farms. Today, let’s talk about squash blossoms. Fill these puppies with some from fresh cow, goat or sheep cheese (all available right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!), and fry them up! Hey, now that sounds like a great way to celebrate Mexican military good fortune tomorrow, eh?

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the last couple of years, our buddy Jimmy at Phocas Farms only had enough of his prized saffron to supply just a handful of local chefs. But his 2013 harvest was a good one, and he has a limited number of packets of saffron for you and I right here at your Ballard Farmers Market! Jim harvests these saffron threads on his farm in Port Angeles every October, when their crocuses bloom. It is meticulous, painstaking work from dawn to dusk during the harvest, as each thread must be harvested right when the bloom begins to open. It is no wonder this spice is so precious. And you will find no better saffron anywhere on earth!

Gold Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are the aptly named Golden Frills mustard greens from One Leaf Farm. Frilly indeed! And they pack a tasty little spicy kick, too. One Leaf also has the first pea vines of the season today at your Ballard Farmers Market, and the return of pink beauty radishes!

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash's.

Spring garlic just harvested at Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo courtesy Nash’s.

And the hits just keep on coming! (Yes, I am still giddy about spring!) This is spring garlic from Nash’s Organic Farm. Spring garlic is quite simply one of the most delicious things Al Gore ever invented, but it is only available for a short time each spring. Use it much like a spring onion in sautés, roasts, on the grill — heck, I like to cut it up with spring onions, asparagus and morel mushrooms, toss them with some nice olive oil, and roast them all together in a hot oven until just tender. It is so sweet and mild this time of year. Green garlic is a byproduct of garlic production. When farmers plant garlic in the late fall, they plant way more than they hope to harvest and cure come summer. That way, if some fails, they will still have plenty. In the spring, as the garlic begins to grow with gusto, they thin it out to allow the remaining plants’ bulbs to fill out comfortably. We get to enjoy the thinned plants as spring garlic. You can use the entire plant, from root hairs to the tips of the greens.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic vegetable starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Planting your own vegetable garden this year? Well, the start of May also means it is time to get that going in ernest. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has a terrific selection of certified organic vegetable starts to facilitate you in that endeavor. Stop by today and load up, and then eat from your own backyard farm this summer!

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly. Photo courtesy Brown Butterfly.

Hey kids! Mother’s Day is next Sunday! Don’t be the schlump who didn’t take care of your mom! You can start with a Spa Day Gift Box from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. Everything they make is all natural and gentle, and their soaps, lotions and creams come in a variety of exhilarating scents. Mom will be happy. And when mom’s happy, everyone is happy!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

Mom’s love herbal tea, too! And Harbor Herbalist makes an almost dizzying variety of herbal teas, most of which are caffeine-free. They are formulated using different combinations of herbs that offer a broad spectrum of medicinal and flavor profiles. Why not pick up a bag or three this week for mom, and greet her next Sunday morning with a lovely cup of herbal tea, before you take her down to her favorite farmers market, right here in Ballard, of course!

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom’s also love candles, and these non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles will lift mom’s sprits without asphyxiating her on the candles fumes. See, you’ll be telling your mom you love her… twice!

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful flower bouquets from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just a reminder that you will not be the only one next week who wakes up and thinks, “Hey, I oughta get some flowers for mom from one of the many great farms at my Ballard Farmers Market!” Plan on long lines, and don’t wait until the end of the day. These tips will lower your stress level, and will keep you in good standing with the woman who brought you into this world.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free cupcakes from nuflours. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, nuflours gluten-free bakery has a new line of cupcakes! This little bites of gluten-free heaven will satisfy even the least sensitive to gluten person in your household. On the left, we have lemon-coconut cupcakes, and on the right, chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. I call dibs on that one in the second row on the right!

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.