Valentines at the Market

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The most loving gifts are the most thoughtful gifts.

This Valentines Day, show that you care about supporting local to your loved one with one of these unique ideas:

 

Sweets for Sweetie

           Whether you want some sugar for your snookums, or just want to treat yo'self, Ballard Farmers Market has great options for a sweet treat! 

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Jewelry 

Hand crafted and unique, just like your love. Check out our local jewelry makers:

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Pamper your Partner

Relaxation is a wonderful gift to your significant other... and to yourself. Find various gifts to help set the mood for a stress free Valentines. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey for your Honey

Give your honey bee the gift of local honey. A sweet treat which does the body good! Talk to one of our farmers about why local honey is the best gift for your guy or gal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine and Dine Your Boo

A romantic dinner for two made by YOU! Locally source your food at the market for an amazing meal made with love. Check out any of the following vendors for ideas:

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Booze for Bae:

 

 

 

Main Course for your Main Squeeze:

  • Shongchoas Farm
  • Alm Hill Farm

 

 

Celeriac; A vegetable to root for

              Celeriac, which is commonly referred to as celery root, is the ugly duckling of vegetables. It’s rough looking exterior and knobby skin makes it uninviting for first timers to give it a shot. However, once you peel this winter root from its rough outer layer, you will find a nutty, sweet, and slight celery flavor that will pleasantly surprise you. Celeriac is a hearty addition to any winter meal and is a great non-starch substitute for potatoes. Low in calories, high in fiber, calcium and potassium, Celeriac is definitely a vegetable to root for.

 

 

Paleo Celery Root and Parsnip Mashed “Potatoes”  

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (Yield): 6 

Ingredients:

-2 lbs celeriac, peeled and diced

-1 lb parsnips, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup butter, divided

-2 garlic gloves, peeled and smashed

-1/2 cup chicken stock (or water)

-salt and pepper to taste

-1/2 tbsp onion powder

-chives (optional)

-1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

1. To peel celeriac, cut the gnarly end off and lay it cut-side down. Use the knife to cut down the sides, making sure to not cut too much off. Continue until all of the fibrous, brown exterior is removed. To remove the parsnips, use a peeler to remove thin exterior layer and then slide lengthwise into quarters. If the parsnip is too large, you will need to remove the core. Dice celeriac and parsnips into 1/2 inch cubes.

2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large pot over medium heat and add 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently so they don't burn. Add chicken stock (or water), place lid on pot and continue to cook for five minutes, or until each piece can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside and let it cool slightly. 

3. Place contents of the pot into a food processor with onion powder, nutmeg (if using) and remaining butter, and process until smooth.

4. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with chives

 

Ballard Gives Back

 

The farmers at Ballard Farmers Market generously donated over 8,000 pounds of produce to our good friends at the Ballard Food Bank this past year!

         Weekly, the Ballard Food Bank distributes food to over 1,200 individuals living in 98107, 98109, 98117, 98119, and 98199. The food bank, located just down the street from the Ballard Farmers Market, is set up like a grocery store where guests are able to grab a shopping cart and move through the various sections. Thanks to our market staffs gleaning efforts and to the generosity of our farmers, we were able to provide the Ballard Food Bank with over 8,000 pounds of locally grown produce to be incorporated in their pantry. This partnership demonstrates the belief that all should have access to good food. 

A Locavore's Guide to Thanksgiving

            There are so many reasons to celebrate gratitude this Thanksgiving, and a bountiful local harvest is just one of the many things to be thankful for. This year, create a farm to table meal for your loved ones and show your appreciation for good food, good farmers, and your community.  

Here's your Holiday Guide to a locavore Thanksgiving:

BEVERAGES 

SNACK PLATE FIXINS 

APPLES + PEARS

CRANBERRIES 

MASHERS

GRAVY FIXINS 

GREENS & FRESH HERBS 

From multiple vendors

WINTER SQUASH

 

STUFFING 

Meet the Farmer: Skagit River Ranch

 

 

Market founder Judy Kirkhuff shares her experience at Skagit River Ranch Farm. 

 

ADVENTURES AT SKAGIT RIVER RANCH FARM

By Judy Kirkhuff

 

             September 24th was a beautiful morning. On the road before 7 o’clock, I headed north on I-5 to be there by 9am.  Since they only do this once every 3 or 4 years, I intended to be there from the beginning of the farm tour. Warm welcomes greeted me from everyone as I arrived with time to park, change into my rubber boots, and check in.

           Located behind their little farm store was a large shed that could accommodate as many as 200 visitors.  There was an area set up for kid's activities and lot of long tables where folks could eat lunch and chat.  A display of 5 raffle prizes sat just inside the door on a table and someone selling tickets for $1 each.  Down the side of the room were four local crafts people’s tables.  A woman was there with her jarred produce and recipe books displayed.  She helped me find a Green Tomato Pickle recipe to take home.  There were also herbal lotions, and soap makers, and handmade items.  On the room’s other side, was a sound system with benches and chairs for the audience of presentations scheduled for later.  

         About 10 am about 60-70 of us gathered around George who guided our tour of the Ranch.  All of us loved seeing the baby goats and chicks.  We passed through their family garden as we headed toward the cattle pasture.  Continuing on we saw the 3-4 months old pigs’.  They delighted everyone when they all came up to watch us, while we watched them.  George pointed out that our rainy Northwest climate meant our soil have an overabundance of certain elements, some not good, and a depletion of other nutrients.  For this reason, he regularly tests the beef to evaluate the status of their diet, and if he spots a deficiency, he adds other plants into the pasture that will provide the nutrients that the animals need.  Such efforts are a humane way to conduct animal husbandry.  

         We found the cattle pasture located along the beautiful Skagit River and the animals were grazing about 3 city-blocks away from where we stood.  We also spotted a large hen house with chickens scratching around the field nearby the cattle.  It was a perfect day with sun shine and a bucolic scene to enjoy.  Suddenly George gave a huge yell. He sounded a lot like Tarzan in the jungle.  The herd obviously recognized it because all of them lifted their heads and looked our way.  Maybe because we numbered so many people, the animals seemed to stand a while and consider what to do.  After a minute they began to meander slowly toward us.  In no hurry, some of them stopped to nibble the grasses along the way and we were given the chance to admire the river and foothills around us.

          As the herd came closer, George told us his was the first ranch in the nation to get a USDA grant for a “mobile processing unit” that is located on his property.  It’s this reason, the animals are never stressed by the only bad day in their lives: their last.  The normal procedure is to load them into a truck, travel many miles, then be herded into pens, often standing for hours with other animals they don’t know, finally they’re prodded into a noisy building that smells of blood.  This upsets the animals, and the mobile unit eliminated the flood of stress hormones into their bodies from the ordeal.  The result is a huge improvement in the quality and taste of their meat.  Some readers may have already experienced that for yourselves.  The best part of this tour, for me, happened as the cattle came closer, some of them called out with low and long “moos” that seemed to say, “We’re coming, George”.   After they arrived, we enjoyed the serene animals staring at us as we stared back and took photos.  We heard the dinner bell and headed back for lunch.

            Nicole Vojkovich organized an informational seminar that began during lunch.  The first speaker was Head Chef at the Microsoft campus, Elijah Coe.  He spoke of his project to keep the menus at Microsoft seasonal and local.  After lunch, Dana Mead, an Herbalist, presented how to forage and save herbs and medicinal plants for home use.  Then we heard Janice Strand, a Nutritionist, who discussed the importance of a diet rich in pro-biotics and amino acids.  These build the favorable bacteria in the gut that provides health benefits that health professionals are only beginning to discover.  They now understand that such diets improve our body’s absorption of vital nutrients, boosting the immune and central nervous systems.  The last presenter, Dr. Gary Moskovich, gave an entertaining speech about the basic things that are important for a healthy life.  Finally raffle prizes were awarded with a lot of humor.  After a day full of information, nice people, and a comforting farm atmosphere, we all felt wonderful as we said our goodbyes and thanks were everywhere as we headed home.

 

Time for Washington Grown Cranberries

Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm now grows two types of crans -- Stevens (left) and Willapa Red (right). Photo credit: Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm.

Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm now grows two types of crans -- Stevens (left) and Willapa Red (right). Photo credit: Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm.

Felix and crew from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm are back at Ballard Farmers Market with this year's harvest of Washington-grown cranberries. Hailing from bogs in Olympia, Washington, Bloom Creek now grows two varieties of this festive fruit. Bloom Creek harvests from two bogs -- their original Stevens bog and their new Willapa Red bog, which produces a smaller and darker berry with more tannin-like flavors, similar to that of a wild cranberry.  Bloom Creek will be at Ballard for just a few weeks, so stock up before Thanksgiving and store in the freezer to use throughout the holiday season -- they freeze really well. 

We hope you'll think of crans beyond the holiday table, as they're loaded with health benefits. Here are just a few, for starters: 

  • The deep crimson pigmentation that make cranberries so beautiful (also known as anthocyanins) is also the source of disease-fighting antioxidants
  • Cranberries are high in fiber --  1 cup of cranberries contains more than 4 grams of fiber, or about 18 percent of the daily recommended value.  which helps promotes healthy digestion (which may come in hand for the Thanksgiving feast).
  • Crans are a great way to get your Vitamin C and its myriad anti-viral, antibacterial punch -- from teeth and gums support to fighting off the common cold. One cup of whole fruit contains about 18 percent of the daily recommended value.

Here's our favorite way to make cranberry sauce, from the SFMA recipe vault. 

Love cranberries, but not sure about the cooking part? Starvation Alley makes 100% Pure Cranberry Juice from organic cranberries as well as cranberry sauce.