July 12th: Lavender, Chicken, Berries, Tomatoes & (wait for it) Maybe Even CORN!!!

Lavender in full-bloom in Sequim. Photo copyright 2009 by Robin Moses. Used with permission. It is the height of lavender season on the Olympic Peninsula, and Moosedreams Lavender Farm is bringing that wonderful fragrant herbaceous shrub's flowers in all types of products, and fresh, to the Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that the Olympic Peninsula is the lavender capitol of the U.S.? Yep. And if you are one who always must go to the Tulip Festival to see the spectacular displays of color, then check out the Sequim Lavender Festival next weekend. There, you get to see and smell the scene, and maybe even taste some of it.

Freshly harvested and flash-frozen chickens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things has freshly harvested frozen chickens this week. 10 years ago, my family had one of these chickens for Thanksgiving dinner. After that, I have never purchased another chicken from a grocery store. I mean, who knows how long they've been there? Sure, "fresh" is convenient, but Growing Things chickens are frozen immediately, so when you thaw them to cook them, they are at their peak, not a week or two old. The difference is in the flavor.

A berry mix from Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don't know if this photo of a mixed flat of berries from Jessie's Berries speaks as many as a thousand words, but it does make clear the point that it is berry season.

Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It's tomato season now, too. My favorite tomatoes are the incredible Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, these above from Local Roots. I eat these suckers like candy. They are sweet without much acidity, and they have a wonderful, kinda warm flavor.

Fresh chickpeas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By now, you are used to the big bins of dried beans and peanuts at Alvarez Organic Farms. Of course, at some point, these dried legumes were fresh. And right now, their chickpeas (a.k.a., garbanzo beans) are fresh. But it is a very short season -- maybe two weeks -- so get them while you can. Just get there early.

Green and yellow wax beans from Magana. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also bean season, like these yellow wax and green beans from Magana Farms. Oxbow has Dragon's Tongue beans, and Stoney Plains has Harricot Verts, too. In fact, you will find beans all over the Market today.

Wilson Fish's Washington-coastal coho salmon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The coho salmon season is now open on the Washington coast, and Wilson Fish has beautiful, whole and filleted fresh coho ready for your barby.

Gogeous Riland apricots from Pipitone Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pipitone Farms is back at Ballard every week now with fresh apricots and peaches. And Tiny's even has nectarines and pluots already.

Fresh pluots are available now from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in addition to their beans and tomatoes that they are adding this week, Oxbow has a fresh crop of fennel, too.

Oxbow Farm fennel. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And there is so much more. Check the "What's Fresh Now!" directory to see a fairly complete list of everything our farmers will be selling this week.