Posts Tagged ‘watermelons’

Sunday, July 28th: Juicy Melons, Heirloom Tomatoes, Ginormous Zucchini, Donut Peaches & Ladybugs!

July 27, 2013
A ladybug on a thistle flower from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A ladybug on a thistle flower from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When’s the last time you saw a ladybug crawling around on flowers at a Big Box store? Round about never, I’d imagine. But ladybugs are common here at your Ballard Farmers Market! This one is on some beautiful thistle flowers from The Old Farmer. And this year, you will find bouquets of flowers here like never before, because so many kinds of flowers are in bloom all at the same time!

Cantaloupe melons and Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe melons and Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has the first melons of the season today! They just started harvesting these cantaloupes and Yellow Doll watermelons this week. And yet again, their arrival is the earliest we’ve ever recorded. So dive in, folks! This summer is awesome, and who knows when we’ll get the next one like it.

Heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has been teasing us for the last couple of weeks with their first heirloom tomatoes of the season, and the early birds got them. Well, now, the teasing is over, and we all are in the tomatoes! This is the scene from their tables at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market this past Wednesday. Oh, yeah, baby!

Donut peaches from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donut peaches from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah. My favorites peaches. These are donut peaches – Saturn donut peaches, to be precise — from Tiny’s Organic Produce. I remember when I first encountered these back in 1999. They were just then beginning to be grown significantly by orchardists here in Washington, and as such, they began making their first appearances in local farmers markets. I came across them when I was visiting the Yakima Farmers Market for the first time — it opened that year. I stayed at a B&B just up Highway 12 in Naches, and that B&B was surrounded by orchards, one of which was full of these funny looking fruits. My hosts offered me one, and I fell instantly in love. They are sweet, juicy, have a tiny, easily removed stone, and are nice and small, so I found them easier to eat, and a lot less messy. And they are delicious. My hosts sent me home with an entire box of them! If you haven’t tried them yet, today’s a great day for them. They are excellent picnic food, and they are great for hikes, too!

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It continues to be a spectacular year for grilling, and that means you’ll need some of this beautiful wild Washington coastal king salmon from Wilson Fish for the barby. I recommend picking up some alderwood smoker chips, too, or better yet, cut some fresh alder branches off of your tree — get ones that are pinky to index finger in diameter and cut them 3-4″ long — and toss them on your hot coals before putting your fish on the grill. The alder smoke with make for absolutely amazing flavor in your salmon!

Slinging fish tacos at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Slinging fish tacos at Los Chilangos. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of fishliciousness, how’s about fish tacos from Los Chilangos right here at your Ballard Farmers Market? They use fresh rockfish from our own Wilson Fish, and cook it up to order for you. Sure, you can find fish tacos other places, but can those places tell you the name of the people who caught that fish, let alone be able to direct you just a few feet up the street to where they are standing selling their fish?

Summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Yet another crop arriving earlier than we’ve ever recorded. These are wild summer chanterelle mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. And when I took this photo last week, they also still had morel mushrooms. Yet again, the spring meets the fall in the middle of summer in this extraordinary year we call 2013!

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Okay, franco-snobs, I do realize that the name of these beans I just typed is redundant. It’s like saying “chevre fresh goat cheese.” But some people studied Spanish in grade school, so please… Anywho, these most delicate of green beans — they are very slim and cook quickly — are a true summer treat. I love to do a quick sauté of them with some pearl onions, or the little purple onions Stoney Plains has, and some nice bacon. (I used some of Olsen Farmsjowl bacon Friday night with them — yummers!)

Fresh chevre from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh chevre from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of the department of redundancy department, have you tried one of the several flavors of chevre (fresh goat cheese) fromTwin Oaks Creamery? They are wonderful, with a nice bit of sweetness and tang. Grab a loaf of bread from Tall Grass Bakery, tear off a hunk, slather some of this on it, and you are all set! And don’t forget to try out their fresh goat yogurt and goat and cow milk, too.

Sangiovese from Kitzke Cellars. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sangiovese from Kitzke Cellars. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kitzke Cellars returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market… hopefully with some of this lovely sangiovese. And if we’re lucky, they’ll have some more of their recently bottled rosé, too. Cuz it has been some serious rosé weather this summer!

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! It is a fresh batch of whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle! Woohoo! And lucky for them… and us… pickling cucumber season started waaay early this summer, which means so too does pickle season. Grab a jar and get your pickle on today!

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

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

And finally, I promised you ginormous zucchini, and here they are! No, that is not an optical illusion. They are bigger than Chai’s head. You could hunt moose with them. Or make a lot of zucchini bread. Back in my days at Olympia Farmers Market, a lifetime ago, we called zucchini this big “Norwegian trout” for some reason, though I cannot now recall why. “Viking battle club” might make more sense.

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, August 7th: Happy National Farmers Market Weeks! Seattle Weekly Names Ballard Best Of Seattle 2011! Vote For Us Now In America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!

August 7, 2011

Ballard Farmers Market on a beautiful summer's day! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Can you imagine a Sunday without your Ballard Farmers Market? Neither can I. Ballard Farmers Market is our Sunday grocery store for all things local and delicious — indeed, the best local food in the nation. It is our town square, fun for the entire family, full of great entertainment and great people watching, and the foundation of one of the healthiest and happiest local neighborhoods in Seattle. And, according to the readers and editors of the Seattle Weekly, Ballard Farmers Market is the Best Farmers Market of 2011! Thank you, Ballard Farmers Market faithful & Seattle Weekly editors! Now, let’s show the entire nation who’s best. Please take 30 seconds to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Do it for Seattle. Do it for Ballard. Do it to thank and honor all the farmers, ranchers, fishers, food artisans, crafters, prepared food vendors, buskers and market staff that work tirelessly to make Ballard Farmers Market happen for you to enjoy every Sunday, year-round, come rain, sun, wind or snow. But above all, please do it now!

Broccoli in the field at Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is what broccoli looks like when it is still growing in the field. I bet a lot of all y’all had no idea, eh? I mean, you knew already that milk does not come from a carton, but from a cow, because Ballard Farmers Market shoppers are savvier than the average Big Box store shopper, but unless you’ve actually seen broccoli in the field, there really is no reason you’d ever picture it looking like this, right? Of course, looking at it this way, you can see how it is related to kale, right? Well, this magnificent specimen was captured during my recent visit to Alm Hill Gardens. One of my favorite parts of this job is that I get to visit many of the farms at the Market. Then I get to share what I’ve learned with you! Okay, have you voted for Ballard Farmers Market yet?

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

Is this not some of the most spectacular sunburst squash you have ever seen? Of course, everything Summer Run brings to Market always looks this perfect, so I suppose if you are a regular of theirs, this won’t amaze you so much, but hey, it still should. I mean, did you know that there are markets in Arkansas and Texas that are ahead of Ballard in the voting for the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest? Not because their markets are better than ours, but because their fans are, so far, better at voting for them. Nothing against Arkansas and Texas, but do you really think their markets could be better? We may have had a cold, wet, gray year, but they’re in a drought with 100+ temps for the last month. Nothing is growing there right now. 3,000 people will read this blog this week. If all of you vote for Ballard Farmers Market, we will be in first place. And if you don’t, we won’t. It’s as simple as that. Please, take the 30 seconds and vote now. Do it for us, if not for you. Thanks!

Fresh celery from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery is a staple of most American households. And yet few Market farmers grow it, as it is a squirrelly, and distinctly unsexy, crop. But Boistfort Valley Farm has some of the sexiest celery you will ever meet! Crisp, fresh, refreshing, nutritious and delicious. You know, it is National Farmers Market this week! Celebrate with celery!!! And while you are at it, celebrate by voting for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Why? Because the poor saps in the rest of the country don’t have access to this magnificent celery. Oh, and please tell your friends!

Jack the Bat Dog. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We know you love your pooch. We do, too. Indeed, while other markets make you leave your canine family members at home, we welcome them. However, we do ask that your keep your dog on a short leash, and always keep them under your control. Your Ballard Farmers Market is a busy place with lots of people young and old, lots of other dogs, and lots of food. It is your responsibility to look after your dog, for your dog’s safety and happiness, and for the safety and happiness of everyone else. And please, if your dog is getting stressed out by the Market, please take your dog away from the Market. It will be happier for it, and you won’t run the risk of something undesirable happening. Thank you.

Flavor supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce are sweet and juicy, and quite beautiful, too, don’t you think? Okay, it’s remedial “what the heck is a pluot” time. See, pluots are a hybridized cross between plums and apricots, favoring the plum genetically. They are sorta 70/30 plum-to-apricot. But essentially, they express the best quality of both fruits. Lesson over. Let’s just eat some!

Spud nuts from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, spud nuts from Growing Things Farm. Quite patriotic, don’t you think? These little guys cook up quick and sweet, dropped into a chowder, tossed in a sauté pan or in a foil pouch with butter on the grill. The largest of these baby potatoes in the photo above are maybe the diameter of a quarter.

Cherry tomatoes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomato deliciousness from Oxbow Farm! Throw ’em in salads. Poach them in olive oil. Make a quick pasta sauce with them. Or, if you’re like me, just devour them like candy right out of the container, probably before you even get them home. Hmm. Better get two or three containers, then, eh?

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

Salsa. As fun to dance and to eat as it is to say. And now that it is tomatillos season at Alvarez Organic Farms, we can enjoy big bowls of green salsa to our hearts’ content. I am just picturing sitting on my back deck on a warm summer evening with a cold beverage, a bag of tortilla chips, and a bowl of freshly made tomatillos salsa. Yes, we earned this wonderful bit of summer that is finally upon us. Soak it up. Who knows how long it will take for it to come around again once it’s gone.

White flesh nectarines from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These white flesh nectarines from ACMA Mission Orchards are among the sweetest of all stone fruits. Seriously. Eat them off right off the pit, grill them, dehydrate them, put them in salads. But enjoy them, by all means!

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

Our cool weather means some of the sweetest crops in years, across the board, and nowhere is this more evident than in this year’s belated carrot crop. Full Circle Farm has carrots of every shade, and seemingly every flavor, too, as each variety does have its own distinct flavor. I know carrots seem rather common, but hey, how many things do you enjoy more than a sweet, crunchy, fresh carrot?

Sugar baby watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seems like it is high time for a watermelon seed spitting contest, am I right people? And a good place to start is with one, or three, of these sugar baby watermelons from Lyall Farms. Just imagine your face covered in watermelon juice. And your shirt. Oh, life is good!

Red oakleaf lettuce from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the bright green center peeking out of this spectacular head of red oakleaf lettuce from Colinwood Farms. And this lettuce is more than just a pretty face. It’ll add crisp, refreshing deliciousness to your salads and sandwiches, and whatever else you might use it with.

Vans cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Vans cherries are without a doubt my favorite cherry. They are a late-season cherry with a deep, dark color and flavor. I might venture to say they offer the quintessential cherry flavor, in fact. Collins Family Orchards has some of them now, though not many, so do get there early if you want to enjoy a true summer treat you will not find at the Big Box stores, where they have only ever heard of bings and rainiers.

Flower cilantro from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flowering cilantro, a.k.a., coriander, is in season briefly now at Stoney Plains. Did you know that coriander and cilantro are the same thing? Yep. The leafy greens are dramatically different in flavor from the seeds, of course. And for a yet third experience with this wonderful plant, enjoy the flowering version, too. It is related to dill and fennel, which you likely already know as plants that can be used in many different ways, from root to seed to flowers to leaves.

Baby globe artichokes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m thinking I should get me some of these baby globe artichokes from Nash’s Organic Produce, slice them in half and trim them, then grill them along a nice steak, eh? But hey, you can do with them what you will! Whatever you do with them, please don’t forget to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. I mean, do you think those folks in Arkansas and Texas have a market anything like ours? Heck, no. Vote!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!