Dragon's Tongues, Chinese Spinach, Blooming Succulents & Bread-Loving Butterflies

Dragon's Tongue beans from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. These cool looking, not to mention tasty, Dragon's Tongue beans from Oxbow Farm were among the many interesting, new arrivals at Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday, July 5th, but if you were holed up at home, trying to stop the ringing in your ears from the prior night's fireworks and celebrating, you missed them.

Chinese spinach from Mee Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another new arrival, and for my money, one of the most beautiful greens on earth, is this Chinese spinach from Mee Garden. As far as I know, only Mee Garden and Children's Garden grow it locally for the Market. If you are looking for an Asian green that Asians eat, here it is.

New harvest shallots from Anselmo. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Right behind Mee Garden, on the 22nd Avenue end of the Market, is Anselmo Farms. They are well known for growing many amazing varieties of onions, garlic and shallots, like these gorgeous, freshly-harvested specimens.

Mt. St. Helens cheese from Port Madison. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In honor of the volcano that coated everything in the state in ash in 1980 is this volcano-looking, ash-covered cheese from Port Madison that is just (oh, doesn't it hurt so much when you absolutely know what's coming next, and you are helpless to stop it?) erupting with flavor. (Uh, sorry. Well, not really.)

Flowering succulents at Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you haven't yet checked out Phocas Farms' spectacular collection of succulents -- those fascinating and beautiful critters of the plant kingdom that will grow just about anywhere outdoors you stick them, and will tolerate a dry summer like this without breaking a sweat -- then you must do so soon. They grow literally hundreds of varieties of them, and many of them are in full-bloom now. But Phocas could be bumped out until fall in favor of more incoming produce any week, so you definitely should not let another week go by without walking up to their booth to say, "Hey Jimmy!" And he has local saffron, too! (Oh, and he's next to Mee Garden. Guess I'm kinda favoring that end of the Market here, aren't I?  Okay, to the other end...)

A butterfly with great taste in bread. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out this lovely little butterfly that paid a visit to Tall Grass Bakery on July 5th. At the Ballard Farmers Market, we welcome butterflies and ladybugs. It reminds us that if they are here, then the food ain't gonna kill us, either. A comforting thought, don't you think?

Wilson Fish king salmon two ways. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish had whole sides of Washington king salmon on the 5th, both fresh and smoked. And Loki Fish also had fresh Alaskan salmon, as well as freshly-smoked salmon. Just take a look at these lovely pieces of fish...

Freshly-smoked Alaskan king salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of fish, did you know that Shiku Sushi is now open during Market hours every Sunday? They are right in the middle of the block of the Market.

Shiku Sushi is open for brunch during Market hours every Sunday. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And yet another eatery for Sunday brunch has opened on the Market's block of Ballard Avenue. Bastille opened for business on June 29th, with their first Parisian Sunday brunch served on July 5th during the Market. In fact, diners can brunch al fresco while enjoying a front-row seat to the show that is Ballard Farmers Market every week.

Brunching on the Garden Patio at Bastille. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And when you're done with brunch, pickup one of these Flying Apron muffins for later. I mean, just look at them. How can you resist?

Look at all the lovely muffins from Flying Apron. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So don't you dare miss another week of the Ballard Farmers Market, and I will do my best not to disparage anyone else in our local print media, no matter how outlandish their claims about the local food movement. (Indie rock fans, you just gotta get some of that Chinese spinach.)