July 26th: Donut Peaches, Tomatillos, Melons & Eggplant

Donut peaches from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Ah, the donut peach, a.k.a, saturn peach or satellite peach. Is it a freak of nature or a freak of science? I mean, who are these people sitting around contemplating the hybridization of peaches with little pits anyway? And who really cares? These mutant little buggers taste incredible, and they are almost all flesh, with just an tiny pit, so when you think about paying for them by the pound, you are actually getting more peach for your buck. I remember first encountering these guys 10 years ago. Back then, only four farms in the state had the right to grow them. Now lots of folks do. These beauties above are from Tiny's Organic Produce, but others at the Market will have them, too, including Ayala Farms this week.

Cantaloupes from Ayala Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Something else Ayala should have this week is cantaloupes. Yes, you know it's mid-summer when its melon season. It seems melons are somehow required by a greater power to only exist when kids are out of school, enjoying hot summer days with their families at a local park or on a camping trip, when few things can be imagined that could be more refreshing than a slice of a juicy melon. Can't you just feel the juice dripping off of your chin onto your shirt right now? Well, we hope that Alvarez will have some melons today, too. Then, not long off, we'll see all sorts of folks with melons, from Lyall Farms to Stoney Plains to Alm Hill, and more. Stay tuned.

Local Roots grows a variety of types of radicchio. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also bitter greens season, like this radicchio. Local Roots grows several types of it, including Treviso, Varingette de Luisa and Pan de Zucro (Sugar Leaf). I cooked up some of the Treviso recently with some Sea Breeze bacon, and boy, howdy, was that good.

Woods prolific bush scalup summer squash from Prana Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Prana Farms is back at the Ballard Farmers Market this week. They specialize in the kinds of heirloom crops that would please the gourmand, the food adventurer and the indie-rock fan. Take, for instance, these woods prolific bush scalup squash, which have a dense, sweet flesh with almost a winter squash feel to them. Prana has lots of fresh cut herbs right now, and just wait until you get to see all the interesting kinds of potatoes they will have, starting this week with Austrian crescent, a fingerling potato. Also returning to the Market this week is Floating Leaves Lavender Farm from Sequim, which, along with Moosedreams Lavender Farm, will have lots of fragrant, beautiful lavender to brighten you home and fill your senses.

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

Alvarez Organic Farms now has tomatillos, just in time for you to make some cooling salsa for this hot weather.

Magnificent eggplant from Anselmo Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And take a look at these gorgeous eggplants from Anselmo Farms. In this kind of weather, I just lather these puppies up with olive oil and throw them on the grill.

Two new spreads from Sound Bites. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sound Bites has introduced two new hummus flavors to its lineup of products made almost entirely from Washington-grown ingredients. They are "Honey Mustard" and "Pepper Bacon-esque." The latter is actually vegan, made using Apres Vin's Chardonnay Fumé grapeseed oil to give it that bacony flavor. Try them with some of Sound Bites' great crackers. Empire Ice Cream is introducing its latest flavor of ice cream today, too: Mulberry Sage. There's a Beatles song in there somewhere.

Golden Glen butter. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As corn season rolls on, you'll be needing plenty of butter. Fortunately, Golden Glen Creamery has got you covered. I mean, wouldn't you rather have butter that's made by people who actually know what cows the cream came from?

Dragon Tongue beans from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things has added these lovely Dragon Tongue beans to its lineup this week. And don't forget that they have great eggs and whole chickens, too.

Stoney Plains displays four kinds of beans. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains is all about beans right now, too. Above, they display yellow wax, burgundy, hericot vert and concesa beans. Of course, they have also sorts of other stuff, too. In fact, I find their display to be mind-blowing just about any time of year.

Well, due to connectivity issues, the roundup of last week will be delayed. Sorry about that. Lots of cool stuff to tell about, but it'll have to wait. In the meantime, we'll see you at the market today, and remember, for a full listing of what's in season, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the right-hand menu.