Ballard Farmers Market Grows By a Block

For 15 years of Sundays, Ballard Farmers Market has stretched along historic Ballard Avenue NW between Vernon Place and 22nd Avenue. Starting this month, Ballard Farmers Market just got a whole lot bigger, expanding into 22nd Avenue all the way to NW Market Street. The additional block means many more vendors -- both new and returning -- plus more room to stroll along both sides of Ballard Ave. We're delighted to bring back the ever-popular Veraci Pizza and its mobile brick oven, and to welcome newcoming crafters, farms and food artisans that make Washington so beautiful and delicious. We are so excited and can't wait for you to experience the next chapter of our story. Hours remain the same -- rain, shine, year-round -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday. See you then/there!

2nd Addition: March is National Soup Month: Now Use Fish for a Healthy and Sumptuous Basis for Great Chowders

When he's not clowning around at Wilson Fish, Tim Davidson is an international disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

SO WHY NOT TRY A CHOWDER FOR SUNDAY DINNER?

Any variety of smoked salmon you chose will make a fine main ingredient in a chowder that will become one of your favorites with this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com.  We recommend it for the simple ingredients and fabulous flavor. You can click this link to see what you think. It may inspire you to try it.  You might even want to send us a photo or video of you cooking, or eating the soup, or clowning around.  We think it would be fun to see how you do and what you think.

Now, let's talk Potatoes and Leeks.  Absolutely required, they can be found in abundance from most of our farmers.

First, Leeks:  Try Mee Garden, The Old Farmer, Colinwood Farm, Nash's Organic Farm, Pa Garden, Ia's Gardne, Growing Washington, Growing Things, and Stoney Plains.

OneLeafBabyLeeks

These shining and delicate flavored vegetables provide just the right touch.  But they always need to be washed thoroughly-they have a reputation for surprising people with globs of mud stuck between their layers of the top 2/3rds of the stalk.

HELPFUL TIP FOR CLEANING LEEKS:  Cut stalks into 2-3 inch pieces and remove the root end; place in a large bowl with cold water; and stir vigorously enough to see the beginnings of separation of the layers.  Allow to sit in the water long enough to begin to see the dirt come free from the layers, and give a good final rinse until you get the pieces clean.  Plan on using the bottom white portion up to the paler green pieces in your soup.  The greenest top parts can be placed in a bag & frozen to add terrific flavor to a clear vegetable broth made later, or you can compost them.

Now, the beloved Potato:  They too are available from your favorite farmer with little exception.  Pick the colors and textures you want.

AlmHillRussetPotatoes

KirsopPotatoes

The great news is Potatoes are so good for you.  Even without the skin, 1 medium potato will provide 70% of the Vitamin C you need in a day, 25% of the Potassium, 9% Iron and 8% Protein.  Add to that such nutrients as 30% of your daily need for Vitamin B-6, 18% of dietary fiber and 12% of Magnesium.  And I could go on, but out of courtesy to you, I'll stop here.

Finally, this recipe calls for heavy cream (BBC calls it double cream), but if you substitute yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese, or sheep yogurt from Glendale Shepherd, you won't regret it.

Sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We'd love to see your innovations and how you do.  We are always interested in your experience.

Until then Bon Appetite!

Reasons to Celebrate: March is National Soup Month and Ides of Spring is Upon Us

Soup is nutritious, delicious, and makes everyone feel better, no matter what the day is like.  We are proud to have Jerry Baxter bringing his handmade soups, always made from local and organic ingredients, every week. Got Soup? has what you need for this Spring weather. This week’s selections are Thai Peanut and Chicken, and four Vegan Soup Choices:  Hot & Sour Mushroom, Green Risotto, Vegetable Chili Verde, and Coconut Red Lentil Dal, and Broccoli & 3 Cheeses. A hint from our busy market master is to "Be sure you have one or more of these soups in your freezer for those times when everyone comes home hungry, tired and needing to eat right away."  These are real meals, made from local farm produce that are ready in no time at all.  And while the soup is heating, you can add a hearty side dish, such as Cornbread with Caramelized Apples and Onions with Thyme.  Find it on our website at sfmamarkets.com in the Recipes section.   This is an easy, elegant and yet quick answer to those moments you need a dinner fast.  They are also excellent for those times, like the Ides of March, when only comfort food will do.

Under the heading of, "We continue to bring everything of the highest quality that you could possibly need for your kitchen table from local producers" category, how about local Saffron? This herb adds a perfect and sumptuous flavor to feed your soul and body.  Ballard Farmers Market is proud to be the exclusive outlet for Jim Robinson, who grows this delicate herb at his farm in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains in Port Angeles, Phocas Farm. This is superb saffron that has become a favorite with many of the best chefs in Seattle. Why buy Iranian-grown saffron marketed as "Spanish" in the Big Box stores, when you can get better saffron locally?  Use it to flavor your chicken & rice soup and experience greatness.


Speaking of Chicken!

Are you feeling a bit windblown and dreary these recent damp Spring mornings?  Maybe a little grey, or mossy,  or perhaps even chilled? Ballard Farmers Market has the cure for that.  Chicken broth made lovingly out of these products from our impeccable farms.  Place the washed bird into a deep pot, add water, a chopped onion, garlic, a dash of salt, and dry herbs you love.  Bring to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it begins to fill your home with comforting aromas.  Turn off the heat, let sit until you can place the pan into your fridge.  Let it get cold.  Remove the meat from the bones and put back into your broth.  Add any great veggies you love, roots first, and simmer again. Coarsely chop greens and add to the pot about 10 minutes or less before you want to eat.  Serve with a garnish of your choice.  Try finely sliced Swiss Chard or spinach from Colinwood Farm, shredded cabbage, collards, or kale from Nash's,  Growing Washington, Stoney Plains Farm, or Kirsop Farm, and garnish with mint or cilantro from Children's Garden.  You get the idea, Ballard is seeing more of these leafy gems appearing every day.

If you need some chicken broth immediately, stop at the Stokesberry Sustainable Farm to pick up a nice cup of the warm and soothing broth that they make at the farm.  You'll be glad you did.

Check out all of the fine choices available from the local farms at Ballard Farmers Market.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

SeaBreeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market.  Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Skagit River Ranch. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm Copyright Zachary D, Lyons


Yes, these beautiful Fuji apples, and a great variety of other wonderful fruit, including dried fruit, can be found at Tiny's Organic Produce. These are perfect for an energy boost or as an added ingredient in cornbread.  Check out our recipe pages at sfmamarkets.com  Just in case you want to mix it up a little, you can also find a very easy and delicious recipe for Potato and Leek Soup while you explore the recipes. 

Your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for your home, from  all the freshest fruits and veggies, meats, seafood, poultry, cheese, to baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on.

Wednesday, March 11th: Oysters, Holiday Hams and Spring Flowers! Yeah, Spring is Coming!!!

Did you miss oysters at your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday? Welcome back Hama Hama Oyster Company after their little hiatus last week.  This family business has been farming oysters since 1922, and they provide some of the finest, sweetest oysters you will find anywhere. Plus, they pickle them and they smoke them. Yes, today is a happy day indeed. Oysters are back, baby!

 

It's time to order that ham for Easter Sunday. Can you believe that Easter will be here in only three weeks? Time does fly!  Stop by Skagit River Ranch, Olsen Farms, Sea Breeze Farm or Samish Bay Cheese to place your order.  They've got them on sale right now, and getting an order in to your favorite grower is the best way to assure you have one ready to go when April 4th comes around.  You know these are some of the best hams you can find anywhere, so don't miss your chance.

Now, it may be early but it sure looks like spring!  Alm Hill Garden tulips and all of our favorite Hmong farmers with their variety of spectacular flowers have returned to Ballard Farmers Market. Welcome them all back and pick out one of their fabulous bouquets to brighten your day, or the day of someone special.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market.   Plan on visiting the goodness this coming Sunday.

Sunday, March 1st: Nettles, Chard, Dandelion Greens, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Albacore, More Flowers & Street Pizza!

Nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Just another sunny weekend in "winter" in the People's Republic of Ballard, eh? Wow! And the spring crops are starting to come on with a vengeance now. Like these first of the year wild stinging nettles from Foraged & Found Edibles. Make yourself some tea or pesto, or whatever you like best, and enjoy a nice boast of healthful deliciousness! Oh, they've also got wild miner's lettuce this week, too. High in vitamin C, it gets its name from being the wild green that helped keep many a miner alive when other greens, and any sources of vitamin C, were scarce at the end of winter. I love them simply dressed with a little oil and some lemon juice as a nice salad.

Chard from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, this is chard. No, this is not a file photo. I took this last Sunday, in fact. These gorgeous, tender, colorful leaves of chard are from the greenhouses of Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend. They also have the most amazing dino kale raab right now that tastes like broccoli, as well as spinachcollard greens and more!

Dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another sure sign of our early spring is these dandelion greens from Stoney Plains Organic Farm in Tenino. An intensely bitter green, you can make tea and soup with them, but I love to toss them with anchovies and avocado and make for one amazing and nutrient dense salad! Stoney Plains also now has green onionschickweed and other early spring delights!

Daffodils from Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mee Garden has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market up on the 22nd Ave end. They have beautiful fresh-cut daffodils right now, as well as dried flowers and more!

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

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it is local albacore tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yes, Fishing Vessel St. Jude joins us today with cannedsmokedjerkied and frozen albacore that is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. It is sashimi grade, and it is the finest tuna you will ever taste!

Purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

For a very limited time, you will find this purple sprouting broccoli from Nash's Organic Produce! It has a very short season, so get it while you can. They also have leekscollard greensNash's red & green kale and red Russian kale, and even a few more carrots! They are also featuring dried Diana fava beans this weeks. "These tasty little nuggets are perfect in soups and stews, offering a hearty, meaty, delicious taste," says Devon. "With 23% protein (the highest of any legume we grow on the farm), they're sure to fill you up, too!"

Loading pizza in the mobile oven at Veraci Pizza at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish this week's epistle with the news that Veraci Pizza has been told to "hit the bricks" from the private side lot next to the Ballard Inn they've called their Sunday home for many years. So hit the bricks they did. Currently, they are setting up in the Market itself, on the bricks up at 22nd Avenue. They will hang out there at least until we hit peak season for farmers.

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, February 22nd: Sprouts, Greens & Springy Things!

Microgreens from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Spring continues its early advance this week, as we in Seattle enjoy the best weather in the country. (It was warmer here than it was in Fort Meyers, Florida the other day!) All the cherry trees in Seattle are in bloom, and all the shrubs are pushing out leaves. Heck, they are already talking about the pollen count on local weather reports! We will enjoy this in the form of deliciousness like these yummy microgreens from Kirsop Farm, great in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish for soups and many dishes and more.

Nash's Best Carrots from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And with the onslaught of our early spring, some of our winter crops are on the way out early, too. For instance, this is the last week for carrots from Nash's Organic Produce for a while. But they are just beginning to harvest their over-wintered leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, collard greens, red russian kale, and even possibly flat leaf parsley.

Braising mix from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter greens kinda took a hit in November and December freezes, but they've come roaring back. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has these great braising greens right now with lots of tender young leaves of collard greens and various kales. Nummers!

Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One fall crop is still going strong: Pink Lady apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Pink Lady's are a terrific eating apple -- crisp and sweet -- and they are an excellent keeper, which means they are great deep into the late winter and early spring!

Pork chops from Olsen Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For a year-round crop, how's about some delicious, pasture-raised pork from Olsen Farms. These pork rib chops are beautifully marbled, and they grill up wonderfully. Of course, they also have yummy spuds for you, too, in many varieties. Potatoes are almost a year-round crop, themselves.

Hazelnut oil and butter from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You already know that Lynden's Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards grows and sells amazing hazelnuts. But did you also know that they make hazelnut butter and hazelnut oil from those hazelnuts, too?

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spread some of that hazelnut butter on a slice of one of these incredible loaves of artisan breads from Ballard's own Tall Grass Bakery. The various earthy breads in the image above are all perfect vehicles for hazelnut butter... or oil: HominyOat & HoneyPain au Levain and Compagnon.

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, February 15th: Spring Has Sprung In Seattle... A Month Early!

Bok choy and baby bok choy from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. We hit 60 degrees again Saturday in Seattle. Crocus, daffodils and cherry trees are in bloom. Meanwhile, it is snowing again in Boston. In fact, Boston has a bigger snowpack than the Cascades. That might cause trouble for us in August, but for now, Boston can keep their Super Bowl trophy... and their blizzards! Because while they can't even find their cars under snowbanks, we have these fresh, gorgeous greens... what up!? Yes, Kirsop Farm has already begun to harvest a new crop of bok choy and baby bok choy on their farm in Tumwater. This time last year, we were just thawing out from a deep freeze, and fresh, tender greens like these would not be seen until April. Hey, we still love our Hawks, but we love us some fresh veggies and shirtsleeve weather in February, too!

Daffodils from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I did say daffodils! Children's Garden just started harvesting them over in Fall City. Brighten up your home on this beautiful long weekend with these harbingers of spring!

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

Last year, it was so cold in early February that Colinwood Farm's famous salad mix was pretty much all collards and kale. This year, it is loaded with arugula, spinach, mizuna, mustards and more, as well as collards and kale. It is spicy and crisp and incredible!

Nash's red kale from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that the good folks at Nash's Organic Produce have been developing their own varieties of crops that will thrive on the North Olympic Peninsula? One such crop is this wonderful Nash's red kale. Again, this time last year, we didn't even have kale around. Yikes! But it is young, tender and delicious right now. Woohoo!

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And even though these shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms are grown indoors, they still are rocking right now. Plus, imagine tossing some of these in with some of that baby bok choy from Kirsop. That's what I'm talking about!

New jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Soda Jerk Fresh Sodas.

Finally, how about some fresh jams and jellies from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda? Yes, now you can spread the same quality of deliciousness on your toast that you've been enjoying by the glassful for the last couple of years!

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, February 8th: Spinach, Sheep Yogurt & Things That Say (or taste like), "I Love You!"

First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Just as we all crawl back out from in front of the nearest big screen TV to have to face the world for another eight months without Seahawks football (for which we, here at your Sunday Ballard Farmers Market, thank the NFL, cuz it gets kinda lonely here on game day), I must remind you that it is time to make plans for that special someone in your life who is already wondering what your are going to do for them this year. No pressure! Yes, Valentine's Day is coming up this week. Why not get a jumpstart on the gratuitous, if not greeting card company induced, love fest this year with a bouquet of fresh tulips from Alm Hill Gardens? And if you get buds that are still pretty tight, they'll be in full bloom come that magical day.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, I love root vegetables and kale just as much as the next guy, but it is nice to know that Colinwood Farm in Port Townsend is looking out for our culinary sanity by offering us something else out of their greenhouses this time of year. Like this beautiful spinach. No, this is not a stock photo taken in the summertime. This is an honest-to-goodness February image. Enjoy!

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pink Lady apples from Collins Family Orchards not only help keep the doctor away all winter long, but they also are just plain delicious! Still plenty crisp, they are one of my favorite eating apples.

First of the new year sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The ewes up on Whidbey Island are making milk again, and that means more fresh sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd! I love this stuff. It is part of my morning routine year-round. And I love how the flavor changes with the seasons. You can actually taste the changes in the forage the sheep eat.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Having trouble getting a reservation for Valentine's Day? Why bother? Make dinner at home! We've got the spinach salad and flowers covered above. Grab some fresh artisan pasta made with market-fresh ingredients from Pasteria Lucchese for your main course. They have a wonderful selection of pastas from which to choose, they can give you tips on how to prepare it, and they even have a great lineup of sauces, too!

Gift box of dairy-free truffles from Soulever Chocolates at Ballard Farmers Market. Courtesy Soulever Chocolate.

How about a nice box of dairy-free chocolates for that special someone, even if that special someone is you! Made by Soulever Chocolates in West Seattle, they are made using many local, and always the best, ingredients!

Raw pet foods from Porter's Pride at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't forget the love for Fido or Mittens! Stop by Porter's Pride and check out their raw diet pet foods for cats and dogs. Made with human-grade, locally-raised meats and other ingredients, this is food you can feel good about feeding your four-legged loved ones. And they will slobber and shed all over you with affection in return!

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.

Friday, February 6th: Patty Pan Grill Makes Own Tortillas with Nash's Flour!

The Patty Pan Grill crew, proud parents of new tortillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Patty Pan Grill has been pioneering eating local at farmers markets since 1997, which in modern farmers market terms is just about forever. Back then, there were only two neighborhood farmers markets in Seattle. Now, there are 15! They were the first to use lots of market-sourced ingredients and the first to become a worker-owned cooperative business. And now, with your help, they have become the first to make their own fresh tortillas using local flour!

Fresh, homemade tortillas from Patty Pan Grill at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Made from hard red wheat flour grown and milled by Nash's Organic Produce in Dungeness, Patty Pan's tortillas are made from only four ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, olive oil and salt. It doesn't get much simpler, or much more local, than that! And why did Patty Pan do this? Because for years they have looked for a local tortilla factory that would make tortillas for them from local flour, but none of them would budge. So they did it themselves... with a little help from their customers -- that's you! --  who successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to help make it happen. That helped Patty Pan invest in the commercial kitchen equipment necessary to produce their own tortillas on a scale that can keep up with their farmers market sales. So stop by Patty Pan Grill this Sunday at your Ballard Farmer Market, and taste their latest pioneering innovation!

Super Bowl Sunday, February 1st: We're Open! Go Hawks!

The 12th Sheep from Glendale Shepherd at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Few things have ever closed your Ballard Farmers Market. Well, only two things, actually: Christmas Day and New Year's Day. So open we will be this most epic of Super Bowl Sundays. That means you can visit your favorite vendors today to pick up your weekly groceries and a few last minute goodies for your Big Game party before kickoff at 3:30 p.m. For instance, the 12th Sheep from Glendale Shepherd brings with it the first sheep's milk yogurt of 2015. Woohoo! (And can I get a "Go Hawks!" whilst sounding like a sheep, good people of Ballard? Let it out, loud and proud!)

#12 Super Bowl Cheese Plate from Samish Bay Cheese. Photo courtesy Samish Bay Cheese.

Samish Bay Cheese is offering a special Super Bowl Cheese Plate for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market: #12 Fresh Cheese Plate, $12: (Choose two of the cheeses listed below), or Double Your Pleasure 
Family Size Fresh Cheese Plate, $24
(Larger portions than the #12 plate: 
Choose three of the following, while supplies last): Ladysmith, Aged Ladysmith, Chive Ladysmith, Arugula Ladysmith, Queso Jalapeño, Queso Diablo, or Queso Seco.

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Some of the biggest 12s amongst our Seahawks crazy vendors are the folks from Wilson Fish. There is no place they'd rather be on Sunday than watching the Hawks play... well, except right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, where they hook you up with fish while listening to the game on the radio. Why not honor their commitment and sacrifice by serving your Big Game party guests one of their sides of smoked King salmon!

Eaglemount Red Wine defies gravityat Ballard Farmers Market! Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Some local wine and cider from Eaglemount Wine & Cider will certainly endear you to your hosts when you show up to their house to watch Seattle pummel New England today.

Sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

How's about some yummy sweet potato chips from Lyall Farms? What a delicious, healthy and local way to par-tay today, wouldn't you say?

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal's. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal's.

Uncle Eyal's has stocked up on all of their great dips and sauces today at your Ballard Farmers Market. So grab some mint sauce, some hummus or some baba ghanoush for an awesome game day spread!

Olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakeryat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Some of this olive fougasse or fougasse loaf from Ballard's own Tall Grass Bakery will go quite nicely with any of those spreads, though I could eat one on my own all by itself! (So you'd better get three.)

Spicy fermented pickles from Britt's Pickles. Photo courtesy Britt's.

Some naturally-barrel fermented pickles from Britt's Pickles are also great additions to your party spread. And you can't rock sausage much harder than with their various krauts.

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farmat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And if you need those sausages still, Sea Breeze Farm will have a healthy supply of their farm-fresh links today in a wonderful variety of flavors.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

For the kids, an alternative to booze and a mixer for cocktails, grab a growler or three of fresh soda from Soda Jerk Soda.

The 12th Brownie from Nuflours Gluten-Free Bakeryat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for gluten-free goodies? Stop by Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery for these gluten-free 12th brownies!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farmsat Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And last, but by no means least, we welcome back Phocas Farms to your Ballard Farmers Market for 2015. Jimmy returns with a great variety of succulents at a perfect time of year to get them in the ground, so they will thrive all summer. And if we're lucky, he may also have a few packets of local saffron, too!

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, January 25th: Local Meat, Winter Greens, Super Sweet Carrots & Coastal Fish!

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Hey, kids! It's a Sunday with football! (Well, there's the Pro Bowl, but seriously...) What are we going to do with ourselves? We could start be stocking up on fresh, nutritious localiciousness at our very own Ballard Farmers Market! It may be January, but there is still plenty of farm-fresh goodness just waiting for you right here! Like these certified organic, grass-finished beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Cook it low and slow, filling your kitchen with warmth and aromas, then devour its big, beefy flavor, and remember what real beef, raised humanely and naturally, really tastes like. Pick some up this week, and cook it up for your Super Bowl party next weekend.

Winter braising mix from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) has plenty of this gorgeous, colorful and hearty winter braising mix available now, freshly harvested from their fields in Everson. This mix includes collard greens, various kales and cabbage, and I've been enjoying it all week, sautéed with some Jarvis Family Garlic Farm garlic.

Super sweet carrots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't let the fact that these bulk organic carrots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm are all different shapes and sizes, with the ends trimmed off, discourage you. They are incredible sweet and satisfyingly crunchy, and they will make your body and soul happy in the dead of winter.

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish still offers fresh fish most Sundays at your Ballard Farmers Market all winter long. Of course, it all depends on the previous week's weather if, how much and what kind of fish they will have. Two Sundays ago, they had a great supply of this rockfish in their coolers. Last week, it was true cod (what the FDA now insists is "Pacific cod." Whatever.). Regardless of the species of the week, do get here early, as Wilson always sells out of fresh fish early. Then again, you can always bring home some of their amazing smoked king salmon, if push comes to shove.

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

Spicy salad mix from Colinwood Farm keeps me going all winter long. Grown in their Port Townsend green houses, it is made up of kales, chards, mustards, arugula, and other freshly harvested greens that will keep you true to that hardest of New Year's resolutions.

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

Yeah, yeah. You're cutting back on the carbs as put of your new diet. But I am quite certain that if you read the fine print, the rules of your diet clearly make room for you to enjoy one of these awesome loaves of Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery.

Lavender-infused honey from Brookfield Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met our new (well, sort of new) honey producer? Brookfield Farm produces and sells wonderful wildflower honey from its own hives, and it also sells honey from other local producers. They offer various natural and flavor-infused honeys that will pep up your tea, toast or biscuit!

Seahawks quiche from Deborah's Homemade Pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally this week, real 12s eat quiche -- fiesta quiche from Deborah's Homemade Pies to be exact. Is it ironic that her quiche last week came in Packers green and gold? Not if you picture a group of Seahawks fans devouring it!

Go Hawks!

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.

Fresh Bucks Program Now Year-Round!

  If you currently receive SNAP benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps) on your state-issued EBT card, you can use those benefits at your Ballard Farmers Market. Simply take your EBT card to the Market Information Desk and tell the helpful staff there that you would like to get Market Tokens with your SNAP benefits, and how many dollars’ worth of your benefits you would like to use, hand them your card, and they will swipe it for you and then give you your tokens to spend on eligible groceries at the farmers market.

LOGO ppm Coupon EBT GoSwipeShop

 

As an added bonus, we will match your SNAP dollars with Fresh Bucks coupons, up to $10 per farmers market visit. That’s every visit you make to the Market, year-round! That's right! As of January 1, 2015, Fresh Bucks are now available at Seattle farmers markets year-round! (Note: Fresh Bucks coupons may be used for fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local farmers only.)

Customer extending their Food Stamp benefits with Fresh Bucks at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a great way to extend your SNAP benefits while supplementing your diet with fresh, high-quality, delicious, nutritious fruits and vegetables, many of which you will never even see at conventional grocery stores, all while extending your SNAP EBT benefits. Eat better year-round. Buy extra at peak season, and freeze, dry and can it for use in the winter. Attend cooking demonstrations to learn how to use unfamiliar crops, or familiar crops in new ways. All while supporting local farmers!

Sunday, January 11th: Tulips, Honey, Hazelnuts, Microgreens,

First-of-the-year fresh tulips from Alm HIll Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. It's January 11th, and that means it's tulip season at your Ballard Farmers Market, of course! Yes, Alm Hill Gardens has harvested the first fresh tulips of the year from their greenhouses up in Everson, just south of the Canadian border. It may not feel like spring outside, but you can bring some spring into your home with some of these beauties!

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

Nash's Organic Produce is featuring both carrots and Brussels sprouts this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, and to that end, Patty has sent us this great recipe to enjoy them both together!

Glazed Carrot/Brussels Sprouts Sauté

  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. cleaned Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

Blanch carrots in salted water for about 4 minutes. Remove and cool. Blanch sprouts for about 5 minutes. Drain and hold separately. Refrigerate if making ahead.

Bring stock, butter, brown sugar, vinegar and salt to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is reduced to about half. Add carrots and shake pan to coat them. Cook for about 6 minutes. Add the sprouts and pepper and cook 4 minutes more, stirring or shaking until all is coated thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Washington honey from Brookfield Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Please welcome back one of our old friends, Brookfield Farms, returning after a hiatus of several years. Brookfield offers local honey from their own hives, as well as the hives of some friends. They also offer lovely wool products, too!

Got Soup?'s Jerry Baxter stirring a steaming caldron of soupliciounsess. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Earlier this past week, I pulled a quart of Manhattan clam chowder from Got Soup? out of my freezer. It was the best of its ilk I have ever tasted. With a deep, rich flavor, thick with nice chunks of veggies and clams, it was nothing like the thin, watery versions I'm used to, and amen to that! Perfect on a bleak, foggy January day. Here is what Got Soup? is featuring this week at your Ballard Farmers Market:
Orange & Cumin Sweet Potato-Vegan: Vegetable stock (water, onion, carrot, celery, tomato, parsley) sweet potato, onion, celery, oranges, cumin, cilantro, jalapeno.
Cassoulet: Chicken stock (chicken, onion, carrot, celery, tomato, parsley) onion, white beans, carrot, celery, tomatoes, pork shoulder, garlic sausage, garlic, white wine, bay leaves, parsley, thyme.
Northwest Chowder: Fish/clam stock, onion, potatoes, celery, leeks, red pepper, salmon, clams, milk, butter, GF flour, parsley, chervil, chive, thyme, peppercorns.
Thai Style Pumpkin & Coconut-Vegan: Vegetable stock (onion, celery, carrot, tomato, parsley) Pumpkin, coconut milk (water, coconut extract) onions, cilantro, ginger, red curry, tamarind, coriander.
Corn and Mushroom-Vegan: Vegetable stock (onion, carrot, celery, tomato, parsley) corn, onion, mushroom, red pepper, coconut milk, spinach, cilantro, thai chilis, tamarind.

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

Get a big boost of nutrient dense deliciousness in the new year with microgreens from Farmbox Greens. Grown in their vertical farm in West Seattle, Farmbox offers a variety of microgreens, from radish to arugula to broccoli and more! And because microgreens are the tiniest of baby vegetable plants, they are packed with nutrients to help them grow and mature. Juice them. Use them as a garnish for salads, soups, sandwiches and proteins. Eat them right out of the container. Nummers.

Preserves from V Smiley Preserves at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you met our newest maker of preserves and spreads? V Smiley Preserves takes wonderful local ingredients and honey, adds a few exotic flavors and a lot of love, and you get amazing toast! Stop by for a taste today!

Fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We expected the return of Growing Things Farm, with their amazing pasture-raised chicken and eggs, last week. And then it rained over Saturday night. It rained, and it rained, and by the time they arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market last Sunday morning, they got word that both the Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers were rising fast. See, the farm is located between the two rivers, right where they meet each other, and that spells trouble when we get a warm, heavy rain in the mountains in January. The result was one of the largest floods in the history of the Snoqualmie Valley. The good news is, Growing Things Farm raised its farmhouse last year (with your help, I might add), and they built and critter and equipment pad, so all the animals -- chickens, goats, humans, etc. -- and tractors managed to stay high and dry. And now, they've got an extra week's worth of eggs to sell! But they always go fast. Get here early.

The Loki Special breakfast hash from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish is mixing it up a bit at their grill, adding breakfast and chowder to their lineup of salmon sliders. Pictured above, The Loki Special is a potato hash that features a fried Skagit River Ranch egg, smoked Loki coho salmon, Skagit bacon, and Market veggies. It'll cure what ails you!

Natural hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don't forget these amazing local DuChilly hazelnuts from Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards. Indeed, this particular variety of hazelnut, native to Washington, it on its way to extinction. There is a virus killing the trees. And that actually explains why you'll see "Product of Canada" on some of the bags. See, while Holmquist is replanting their Lynden orchards with a European variety of hazelnut that is not vulnerable to this virus, they are needing to supplement their harvest, which is now down over 90% from its peak, with DuChilly hazelnuts from a handful of orchards just over the border in British Columbia. These orchards are within 30 miles of Holmquist, south of the Frasier River, and they are also infected and in decline. Holmquist is helping those orchardists out by taking their entire harvest as Holmquist waits for its new trees to mature. So enjoy our native hazelnuts while you can. They are the best in the world, and we will miss them when they are finally gone.

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, January 4th: Honor Your Eat Healthy Resolution At Your Ballard Farmers Market!

Organic Carrots from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Okay, who here resolved to eat healthier in 2015? Come on. Get those hands up high in the air. Wait, keep them up. I'm still counting! Wow, that's a lot. And I am assuming the rest of you, if you are reading this post, already think you eat healthy enough, or you don't believe in making New Year's resolutions. Whatever the case, your Ballard Farmers Market is here to serve you! We've got plenty of fresh, locally-grown, and offered to you direct from the farm, nutritious produce, even this time of year. Like these gorgeous carrots from Kirsop Farm, our newest year-round farm at your Ballard Farmers Market.

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

Starting off the new year with some roughage will make your body happy, and will please your palate in the process. Stop by Colinwood Farm for some of their lovely braising mix for said purpose!

Rutabagas from Nash's Organic Produce at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash's Organic Produce is rocking the rutabagas right now. One of my favorite roots, I love them simply steamed and mashed with good Irish butter. But Patty sent along another great way to enjoy them, and here's the recipe:

Golden Rutabaga Sunset

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

  • 1 large rutabaga, coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium yam, about coarsely shredded
  • 1 medium onion, sliced vertically into half moons
  • 1 large leaf kale, rib discarded, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Pinch cayenne, salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onions for garnish
  • 1 sprig fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil) for garnish

Combine the rutabaga, yam, onion, and kale in a large, deep skillet. Add the water and cook, stirring over high heat for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to cook the vegetables and prevent burning. Add the raisins and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the green onions and herbs. Recipe adapted from http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch4.html.

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Perhaps a nice, local pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm will warm your soul and be a nice change of pace from heavier holiday foods. And hey... you could make some chicken soup with it, which is always a good boost to the old immune system, especially when you add...

Shiitake mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Shiitake mushrooms from Sno-Valley Mushrooms. Considered both a culinary and a medicinal mushroom, these babies with cure what ails you while adding a big boost of flavor to any dish!

Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is no such thing as too much garlic! This Siberian garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm will ward off colds and vampires (and perhaps a few unworthy friends who don't appreciate your garlic breath), and it packs some powerfully delicious flavor, too!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes it's monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Come get some of their most excellent local albacore tuna, full of beneficial omega-fatty acids, which your doctor (or your PBS guru) will tell you is very, very good for you!

Sunchokes from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunchokes are sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes, but sunchokes have no relation to artichokes whatsoever. They are, in fact, a tuberous vegetable produced by a member of the sunflower family, and they are native to North America. Sunchokes, like this from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) are loaded with nutrients, and while they can be prepared any way a potato is, they actually have the opposite effect on your blood sugar, which makes them great for diabetics!

Golden Russet apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And, of course, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? So stock up on apples from Booth Canyon Orchard, like these super yummy, if not super attractive, Golden Russet apples.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell from Hama Hama Oysters at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Lauren McCool.

Finally, as we welcome back Hama Hama Oysters from their holiday hiatus, let us not forget that oysters are loaded with zinc, which can help you ward off those winter colds. And rumor has it that oysters are good for other healthy things, too, but this is a family show.

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, December 28th: Happy New Year! 2015 - Can You Believe It?!?

Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Nothing says, "It's time to par-tay!" like the prospect of new calendars! Am I right, people? This coming Wednesday night, we're going to eat expensive, rich foods, drink irresponsibly, watch stuff get blown up and kiss perfect strangers in the strangest of all our annual celebrations -- the celebration of new calendars. Woohoo! And we'll need a cork to pop at midnight, folks. I suggest a bottle or three of this bottle-fermented hard cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Its natural effervescence will tickle your nose and please your palate!

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Then, on Thursday, after we've hung our shiny new calendars in our favorite calendar spot, we will dig out our favorite stretchy clothes, make a huge breakfast, and spend the rest of the day sitting around, watching football, dog shows or Rick Steves marathons on TV, or maybe going for a nice walk, while we make grand pronouncements of resolutions for the new calendar year. We can't help you with your list of resolutions (beyond your commitment to eating more local food!), but we can help you with that big breakfast! For that, stop by Stokesberry Sustainable Farm for some of their eggs. These are the eggs that the Seahawks eat, and they'll have lots of them today!

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But back to that New Year's Eve party. Your Ballard Farmers Market has everything you'll need for it. And if we don't have it, you don't need it! Like how about whole sides of smoked local king salmon from Wilson Fish? This is the smoked salmon of my dreams! And it'll make your party the best ever.

Growlers and growler coolers from Soda Jerk Fresh Soda at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Sodas's fresh sodas will keep your teetotallers and designated drivers happy, and their syrups and sodas make for great mixers for the rest of your guests!

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

Some nice Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery will suit your guests just fine, either on its own or on a nice cracker or a slice of crusty bread.

Keta Ikura from Loki Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And try a nice dollop of ikura from Loki Fish on top of your Seastack, or as a delicious, salty accent to any number of apps and dishes. Loki makes their ikura from the eggs of local keta salmon, and they are delish!

Nut Crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don't forget to indulge that sweet tooth one more time before those resolutions kick in with some of this nut crunch from Pete's Perfect Toffee! Or some of their fudge, brittle or other great toffees.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Before you head to that late night party, treat yourself and your sweetie to one of these Flintstones-sized beef rib chops from Sea Breeze Farm. Or maybe some nice duck breasts. And grab some of their awesome pates and sausages for your party, too!

Cannoli cream puffs from Little Prague European Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finish off your pre-party dinner with some sweets for the sweet in the form of these cannoli cream puffs from Little Prague European Bakery.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

But come New Year's Day, let the recovery begin! Start with a bottle or two of our local kombucha from CommuniTea Kombucha. It will give you a boost of energy, fill your belly with lots of friendly little critters, and it just plain tastes great, too!

Sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Some lovely sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd will also make your body happy in the new year. It is a nice dose of healthy protein full of live cultures that will get the pipes moving again!

Kraut and kimchi brine from Britt's Pickles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And a shot a day of one of these delicious kimchi and sauerkraut brines from Britt's Pickles is just what the doctor ordered. See, when their krauts and kimchis are finished fermenting, and they pull them out of their crocks to pack them in jars for sale, the bottom of the crocks are full of the juices produced by the fermentation process, complete with all the flavors of the finished products. Plus, these brines are full of lots of living beneficial bacteria that will cure what ails you!

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese. at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't forget the long life noodles for a healthy new year! For that, we recommend fresh pasta from Pasteria Lucchese, like this fettuccine, some of their pappardelle or some tagliatelle.

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

And then there is roughage. We've spent the last month eating simple carbs and protein. Reintroducing ourselves to leafy greens will be an excellent career move! Stop by Colinwood Farm for a couple bags of their great braising mix! You'll thank me later.

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.