Top Superfood Ingredients for Short Term Cleansing

We could all do with adding a few more fruits and vegetables to our diets and luckily the Seattle Farmers Market has a wide range of fresh and ripe produce available. With the stresses of work, family and household chores, sometimes nutritional concerns get pushed aside. After a few days of binging on junk food, you may start to feel unwell or fatigued. Short term cleansing diets may help to detoxify your body, whilst topping up much needed nutrients. To quickly consume large amounts of plants, try juicing. In the long term, a varied and balanced diet of solid foods is recommended by all good nutritionists. However, short term cleansing won’t do any harm and can quickly revitalize your body.

Which ingredients should you put in? Read on to discover the top three superfoods and why they are perfect for short term cleansing.


The stunning color of blueberries is due to anthocyanins. But these flavonoids aren’t just there to make your plate look pretty. They are packed full of health benefits. Vitamin C and vitamin A in the blueberries act as antioxidants, which improves your immune system and can inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. They also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and vitamin K, all of which contribute to healthy bones.

If you’re feeling slightly constipated from too much junk food, the high fiber content in blueberries will quickly improve your digestive functioning. The low glucose and sodium content naturally lowers the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. There is even research to show that consumption of blueberries can improve mental wellbeing.

Blueberries are native to North America, so the Farmers Market in Seattle will sell only the freshest, locally sourced berries. The best time to enjoy these naturally sweet and delicious fruits is in summertime, between May and August.


Packed with vitamin B5, B6, C, E and K, an avocado can quickly top up the vital nutrients that your body is craving. If you haven’t been getting enough potassium recently (and most people aren’t), skip the bananas and head straight for the avocados, which contain 14% of your RDA, compared to bananas which contain only 10%.

77% of an avocado is fat. But this isn’t the saturated fats that your doctor tells you stay away from. Instead, avocados contain oleic acid, which lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, the fatty acids will actually help your body to absorb nutrients more efficiently from the other plants that you consume.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants for short term cleansing. In the long run, these nutrients will improve the overall health of your eyes.

Avocados are also a summer fruit, with the freshest available in Washington between June and August. Throw them in the blender to get all those healthy fats into your system.


Leafy greens are an essential part of any short term cleanse. They are densely packed with vitamins and minerals, meaning only small amounts can quickly provide the healthiest nutrition for your body.

Lutein and zeaxanthin is also present in kale. Furthermore, a cup of kale is only 33 calories, yet the high fiber content will make you feel full for longer, preventing over eating. Beyond this, there is a high protein content without any of the downsides of fatty meat.

Kale also contains the fatty acid alpha-linolenic, which contains omega-3. This can improve mood, reducing depression. It will also reduce inflammation, which helps the lungs to breathe comfortably.

Kale can be cooked or blended raw into a fruit juice smoothie. By adding more leafy vegetables and less tropical fruits to juices, you will be cutting down on the sugar content, whilst still getting all those minerals and vitamins that many people are lacking. Head to the Seattle Farmers Market between September and November for kale that’s in peak season.

Whilst there are plenty of superfoods you can include in a cleansing diet, these three alone contain a huge range of nutrients with almost no negative health effects. Enjoying large quantities of blueberries, avocados and kale for a short period can quickly detox harmful substances and return the normal functioning of your body.


Written by Sally Phillips

Three Important Ways You and Your Children Can Help Protect Your Local Bees


Bees and the pollination they provide are responsible for at least 70 of the top 100 food crops we eat. Every third bite of food you consume every day can be attributed to bees. Without bees, our world would be a much different (and likely a lot worse) place. That’s why it’s vital that we do what we can to help protect the bees in our own backyards. It’s also just as vital that we instill this love of the bees into our children. It will fall on them to continue to fight to save the bees. Here are some tips.


1. Teach your child the wonders of gardening

Grab a few dozen packets of seeds and get to starting your own garden - and make sure your children are involved in every step of the process. That’s the basic idea, though it’s a little more complicated than that.

There are certain types of plants that bees love and other types that they are just ok with. You want to make sure you fill your yard (or your porch planters, if you suffer from lack of outdoor yard space) with the types they truly love. Bees like flowers that are easy to access - so showy, ornate double petal varieties aren’t as bee-friendly. They also prefer yellows, blues, whites, and purples. You want to plant flowers that bloom in a staggered schedule from early spring to fall, so that there are at least some flowers blooming at all times. Here’s a good list of flowers that bees love for each season.

Lastly, you’ll want to plant as many vegetable plants, flowering plants, etc. from seed as you possibly can. This way you can instill a love of gardening in your child, as they will get to experience the wonders of life from germination to sprouting and growth, and eventually to blooming or bearing fruit. Making sure you give kids this sense of caring for something from seed to feed is vital for developing young gardeners.


2. Get involved with a local apiary

Seek out your local beekeepers and support them in every way you can. Many children will find beekeeping to be incredibly interesting and fun, and the more you can show them how cool bees really are, the more likely they are to carry the torch of bee conservancy into adulthood. Many local beekeepers are happy to share their passion with people, and if you can afford to sponsor a hive, you should. At the very least, you should buy all of your honey from these local apiaries. Small beekeepers are more likely to have better beekeeping practices.

Here’s a state-by-state resource for finding local beekeepers. 


3. Go organic

While organic produce may cost a little more at the grocery store, you can get great deals on it at your local farmers markets and small farm stores. Look into getting summer CSA (community supported agriculture) deliveries instead of buying your produce at the supermarket. Local, organic farmers do not use the pesticides that we know harm bee colonies, so by supporting them you are directly supporting bees.

The decline of bee populations is a truly global problem, so we must train the next generation that they too will be responsible for saving these vital pollinators. Though it’s a global issue, local action is helpful. Do your part to help protect local populations by practicing bee-friendly gardening, supporting local beekeepers, and sustaining organic farming whenever you can.


Article by: Christy Erickson,

Photo Credit:


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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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:





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 


-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)


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:








From multiple vendors




Meet the Farmer: Skagit River Ranch



Market founder Judy Kirkhuff shares her experience 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. 




Just what the doctor ordered, more veggies!


           They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and since July, Seattle-area doctors have been prescribing apples to do just that. Well, a prescription of fruits and vegetables that is, thanks to Fresh Bucks Rx. A new offshoot of the Seattle Fresh Bucks program, Fresh Bucks Rx allows healthcare providers to write produce prescriptions for their patients. This prescription is then redeemed at farmers markets throughout King County for Fresh Bucks tokens, which act as cash for produce purchases.

            Experts recommend that we eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a daily as part of a balanced diet. However, food security and lack of access to nutritious food is an ongoing issue for low-income individuals here in Seattle and beyond, therefore hindering their ability to eat well consistently..  

          With Fresh Bucks Rx, the hope is to better connect healthcare providers, farmers markets, and low-income families, by providing access and support to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Consider the farmers market the new neighborhood “Farmacy” and come get your dose of nutrition every Sunday at the Ballard Farmers Market. 


As of this writing, the two Fresh Bucks Rx-participating providers in Seattle are Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and Harborview Medical Center.

Scenes from Farmers Market Week 2016

Thanks to all of you who came out and joined us for another successful Farmers Market Week. Gazpacho blending, tattoo-sticking and general merry making were in full swing, with summer produce and flowers as the glorious back drop.  The photos above capture the mood and why we feel so lucky to do what we do. 

Meet the Farmer: Windy N Ranch

Bradley Newhall of Windy N Ranch.

Bradley Newhall of Windy N Ranch.

This blog post is the handiwork of SFMA summer intern Jordan Lowe, who will be contributing regularly during the growing season.  Happy Farmers Market Week!

A full inventory of the stables, paddocks, coops, and pastures of Windy N Ranch reads more like the lineup at a petting zoo than on a family-run ranch. Bradley Newhall’s family owns 800 acres outside of Ellensburg, Washington, home to 150 adult cows, 120 calves, 8 bulls, 65 sheep, 40 goats, 60 ducks, 400 laying hens, pheasants, peacocks, alpacas, horses, and milk cows. Most of the animals are raised for food, but some are for petting fun. When asked if they give any of their animals cute names, tacit, straight-talking Bradley said “No.” Understandable.

Bradley’s family has been ranching for 13 years, and for the last five he’s been right alongside, bringing their delicious meat and rich eggs to market and building partnerships on this side of the mountains. Windy N is known for its beef, but if you ask Bradley what to get, he’ll always pick the lamb. Though they have a wide variety of cuts and types of meat at the market, about 90 percent of Windy N’s business comes from direct sales of whole and half animals. State law allows them to host a butcher onsite for these direct sales, so those animals never have to leave home sweet home.

It's Windy N's first season at Madrona, and already he's making plans to partner with next-door vendor Lower Case Brewing outside the market with a Windy N food stand at Lower Case’s Georgetown Tap Room, serving burgers, sausages, and all kinds of other meaty delights straight from the ranch. In due time, Bradley might actually make that petting zoo a reality. In the long-term, he wants see Windy N construct cabins, inviting tourists and vacationers to enjoy the joys of pasture life (and maybe even get to name a pig or two).

You can find Bradley, his beautiful wooden signs, and Windy N’s meat and eggs at several farmers markets on the Eastside, but our Madrona Market on Fridays is the only place you can find them in Seattle. Come try something.