Posts Tagged ‘wood sorrel’

Sunday, April 15th: Asparagus, Garden Starts, Wood Sorrel, Gluten-Free Flour & Rebranded Tea!

April 15, 2012

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gee, I wonder if folks will get excited to hear that two farms will have the first asparagus of 2012 today at your Ballard Farmers Market? Well, if the reaction to this news on our Facebook page earlier this week was any indication, I’d say yes! We had a record response to the announcement there. So here it is: both Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Clayton predicted that Alm Hill’s supply will last all of about 15 minutes this morning, but Alan says Lyall Farms will be harvesting quite a bit for today. (Read: it’ll last until noon.) Bottom line is the early bird gets the asparagus!

Sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By the way, is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in that this year’s tax filing deadline was postponed until April 17th, because April 16th is Emancipation Day? That said, I saw plenty of folks the last couple of days availing themselves of generous April sun to get out and do some weeding in their gardens. Well, with gardens prepped, it’s time to stock up on plants for said gardens. Like these sugar snap pea starts from Seattle Urban Farm Company, for instance. Peas are one plant you can safely stick in the ground right now, and they’ll be serving you up legumeliciousness come June!

Field peas and buckwheat flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the many things I love about Nash’s Organic Produce is how they have been diversifying their crops over the years. And in the process, they are actually helping Washington State University develop crop varieties that will thrive in Western Washington. Take these yellow and green field peas, and this buckwheat flour, for instance. The peas make for great soups, salads, and can even be ground into flour or mashed into hummus. And the buckwheat flour is gluten-free! See, buckwheat isn’t wheat at all. Heck, it isn’t even a grass, as most grains used in our society are. Instead, it is related to sorrel, knotweed and rhubarb, all crops that grow in abundance here. Perhaps the most ingenious thing about these crops of Nash’s is that they are actually cover crops, meant to be used in rotation with vegetable crops, as they help the soil replenish its nutrients. Gotta love that they can produce another cash crop, too! See, this is how we make small-scale farming profitable, right? (Oh, BTW, that chickweed they sell… yet another tasty cover crop!)

Wild wood sorrel from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thpthpthpeaking of thpthpthorrel, ’tis the season for wild wood sorrel, and Foraged & Found Edibles has it… or at least, they had it last week. See, unlike farmers, foragers cannot absolutely predict what they’ll be able to harvest from week-to-week, so I know I am taking a risk whenever I tell you Jeremy will have a particular foraged food in a given week. But hey, it didn’t get cold, or overly wet, this past week, so I’m feeling pretty confident it’ll be here. As well as fiddleheads. Enjoy!

Honey Crisp Apple Cider from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The sun last Sunday made for some fun market photography, did it not? I could not resist these glowing bottles of honey crisp apple cider from Rockridge Orchards. It was like they were lit from the inside. I mean, if all the light was coming from outside, the labels would be more discernible, would they not? But enough talk about art. Let’s talk drink! This is some mighty delicious cider of the non-alcoholic kind. (They’ve got plenty of the other kind, too, BTW.)

Stunning spring succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Not all the plants at your Ballard Farmers Market are for eating. Some just hang around and look good. And you know what? They don’t even feel demeaned by the experience. These succulents from Phocas Farms are in all their spring glory right now, just waiting to be added to your garden, your path, your rockery or wherever you need some beautiful, hearty, draught-tolerent plants to spruce up your surroundings. And now, while it is still the rainy season, is a great time to get them and plant them, so they’ll be well-established and ready to roll on through summer, thriving despite your neglect.

Misfits Bliss Tea, formerly known as Sip-T. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s post with a little presto-chango. You see, Sip-T has reinvented itself into Misfits Bliss, but they still are making amazing tea blends to warm up your day. Personally, I really like the new look, with the jam jars and old suitcases. Heck, the jars even come with their own baggage tags! Kinda give them an out-of-time feel, eh? And why not? I mean, don’t you ever find yourself sipping tea and imagining yourself in Victorian times in some PBS series or something? Perhaps that is why people drink tea when they want to slow down, as opposed to drinking coffee when they want to speed up!

Hey, there is plenty of 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, April 18th: Oxbow, Ayala & Red Barn Farms Returns!

April 17, 2010

Oxbow Farm's Luke Woodward proudly showing off his prized carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm is just one of the several farms returning to your Ballard Farmers Market today for the 2010 season. Given the sassy tone of his recent emails, it sounds like Luke is chomping at the bit to be back at the Market today. Luke says he will have purple sprouting broccoli, some baby carrots, cauliflower rapini, tomato plants, and some other things they manage to liberate from the farm.

Ramon Ayala examines blossoms and young fruit on one of his cherry trees in Sunnyside. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ayala Farms is back at Ballard Farmers Market today with asparagus. Ramon Ayala has 120 acres of asparagus near Sunnyside, Washington, as well as fruit trees, like the cherry tree he is tending above, and he grows a wide variety of vegetables and melons, too.

Julie from Red Barn Farm examining some of her vegetable starts. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back with gorgeous vegetable starts today is Red Barn Farm from Enumclaw. Red Barn is located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier on damp, fertile volcanic soil that produces spectacular food for our tables. In fact, I do believe the finest rutabagas I have ever eaten came from Red Barn.

A smoked ham hock and some lovely cheese from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every week brings new deliciousness from Sea Breeze Farm. From fresh meat and poultry to charcuterie to milk, wine, eggs and cheese, Sea Breeze does it old school out of their refer cases. I like just checking out their cases every Sunday to see what surprises they hold, and then building a meal around them.

Ravishing radishes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring means some much rebirth and goodness at the Market, but perhaps above all else, spring means radishes, like these from Full Circle Farm. Radishes are beautiful, colorful, spicy, sweet, round, cylindrical, and just plain delicious. And unlike other root crops, they don’t like the cold, making them a true arbiter of spring, and as good a reason as any to soldier through any winter.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A holdover from fall, these sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms won’t be around for much longer. Lyall Farms was the first farm ever to bring Washington sweet potatoes to Ballard Farmers Market this past fall. And they are wonderful. I had some for dinner last night. Deeply sweet, they roast up beautifully in the oven, or you can cube and steam them , then mash them with canned chipotles in adobo sauce and a touch maple syrup for a peppy side to a steak.

Goat milk soap from Harmonys Way Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Harmonys Way Farm, on the Olympic Peninsula, makes goat milk soap from the milk of its own goats. Goat milk soap is very mild — perfect for people who have skin sensitive to stronger soaps. It is creamy and delicate. If you have been looking for a mild soap, treat yourself to some goat milk soap from Harmonys Way today.

Red cabbage starts from Sunseed Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunseed Farm returned to Ballard Farmers Market recently with a fantastic selection of vegetable, herb and flower starts for your garden. Just imagine these red cabbage starts coming to maturity this summer, making a great cole slaw for that summer picnic. Take a look at all they have to offer today, and plant your own little Victory Garden.

Wild wood sorrel from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our local forests continue to offer up more and more spring delicacies, like this wood sorrel. Find it, and other wild foods, from Foraged & Found Edibles.

Molasses ginger caramels from Jonboy Caramels. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some sweets for the sweet? How about some Jonboy Caramels. They make them from local cream and butter, and they rock. Stop by for a sample. And since my dentist told me I had to choose between my cap and J0nboy’s caramels, I ask you to enjoy as many of these lovelies as you can, so that I might still enjoy them, if only vicariously through you.

German, Italian and andouille sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms has beef brisket on sale this week for $7/pound, and lamb loin chops for $19/pound. Oh, and they have a whole lot of sausages just waiting for you to enjoy, too. They even have some seed potatoes, if you want to grow some of your own. Got Soup? has the following soup offerings this week: Broccoli Cheese; Cioppino; Corn & Shiitake; and Orange & Cumin Sweet Potato.

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.