Whips & Scapes, Fire Trucks, Van Gogh Flowers & Sushi Bars

With yet another lovely Sunday, it seems everyone was out enjoying the Ballard Farmers Market on May 31st. If you were not amongst them, you missed Seattle's newest fire truck, strutting its stuff. While its crew was sampling its way through the Market, this truck looked rather festive against a backdrop of the Market's colorful flags. Kinda makes you wish fire trucks had big, colorful flags sticking out of them all the time, doesn't it?

Check out these gorgeous leek tops at Nash's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, sure, I could have posted a photo of curly garlic scapes (a.k.a., rattlesnake tails), or even onion whips, but when it comes to this seasons most unusual onion family plant buds at the market, leek tops have to take the cake. They are a tasty lot, these whips and scapes, but their season is short, so get them while you can.

Collins Family Orchard is the second farm this season with strawberries at the Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All it took was a little heat, and bam! Here came the strawberries. Tiny's and Collins had them from Eastern Washington this week, but by next week, lots of folks will have them... and peas, too.

Sugar snap peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar snap peas are always the first peas of the season. These beauties, from Alvarez, can be eaten like candy right out of the bag, sautéed, tossed in a salad, or thrown in with some pasta.

A tray-full of Japanese deliciousness for Sunday brunch at Moshi Moshi. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those folks who has been staring forlornly into the windows of Moshi Moshi during the Market on Sundays, reading the menu and wishing they were open? Well, now they are. May 31st marked the date Moshi Moshi began serving some fine Japanese brunch on Ballard Avenue. And Sutter Home & Hearth was open again, too. I think they actually feel bad about not being open on Memorial Day weekend, when you were looking for charcoal for your barbecue.

The Tallboys at the Market on May 31st. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Market was aglow with the music and dancing of The Tallboys this week. Indeed, they captured such a large crowd that those "no parking" signs in the background might have come in handy.

Stoney Plains' purple kate. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let's see. There's green kale, and red Russian kale. There's curly leaf kale, and there's dino kale. And then there's purple kale at Stoney Plains. You know, one of the many, many things I love about the Market is when a farmer boastfully shows me their latest "cool" crop they have harvested, and purple kale definitely falls into that category, along with those leek tops, of course. And speaking of kale, did you know that Nash's has its own variety of kale? Nash's red kale. And they will even sell you the seeds for it, so you can grow it yourself.

Magnificent Alm Hill sunflowers. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if you missed the Market on May 31st, you missed these spectacular sunflowers at Alm Hill Gardens. Just look at these lovelies. Is it any wonder Van Gogh was captivated by them? They just reach out an grab you, don't they? Like everything else at the Market. Which begs the question, where the heck were you last week?