September 13th: The Last Fresh Salmon of 2009, Winter Squash, Edamame, Pickled Huckleberries & A Beautiful Piece Of Meat

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Today will likely be your last chance to get fresh fish from Wilson Fish this year, because the Washington Coastal season closes on Tuesday. After this week, you will still be able to get frozen and smoked fish from them, as well as a variety of fish products from Loki Fish (see photo below), but Loki is also done selling fresh fish now.

Loki Fish display at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, one season ends, another begins, and we have all sorts of new fall stuff coming into the Market now.

Winter squash from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash has arrived. Just look at these beauties from Growing Things. When you buy winter squash or pumpkins, make sure the stem is healthy and firmly attached, and store it in a cool, dry place, and it will keep for months, unless you eat it first.

Edamame from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is something about the thought of a steaming bowl of edamame (a.k.a., vegetable soy beans) that makes me think of a damp fall night spent in the cozy confines of one of Ballard's many fine sushi bars. You get your cup of miso soup, your edamame and your lovely pieces of raw fish, and you are set for the evening. Well, Stoney Plains has edamame grown locally you can take home and boil up yourself. Yeah, baby.

Pickled huckleberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild huckleberries are a special, late summer treat brought to us by the good folks at Foraged & Found Edibles. Now, lots of the wild goodies they bring to market make us wonder what to do with them. The good news is that these guys put recipes on their blog, like for the pickled huckleberries above.

Specialty bread and granola from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As we enter to cool, dark, wet months, we start craving those carbs. Well, if you're gonna eat carb-rich breads and cereals, at least each good, local, organic ones, like these from Tall Grass Bakery. You've got your Poulsbo sandwich loaf, cherry-pumpernickel, walnut bread, a variety of granolas for breakfast, and that's just what could fit into this picture.

Skagit Valley Gold potatoes from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or how about some Skagit Valley Gold potatoes roasted in the oven in olive oil and thyme. Yum! As far as I know, only Nature's Last Stand grows this locally developed, delicious alternative to the Yukon Gold. Why not give 'em a try and expand your horizons.

Turnips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh turnips with the greens attached, like these from Alm Hill Gardens, are one of those great vegetables of fall that gives you two dishes for the price of one. Roast the turnips, or slice them up raw and throw them in your salad like radishes, and then sauté the greens with a little olive oil and garlic.

San Marzano tomatoes from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

San Marzano tomatoes, like these beauties from Oxbow Farm, are by many accounts the sauciest tomato there is. In fact, you can't make an authentic Neapolitan pizza without them. These are late-summer tomatoes, available now from Oxbow and Alvarez. Stock up on them and can them, and you'll have plenty of spectacular tomato sauce to last you all winter.

Sungold cherry tomatoes from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the earliest producing tomatoes of summer is also one of its most prolific tomatoes: sungold cherry tomatoes. For my money, they are one of the best tomatoes, too, and they really are at their prime right now. Just look at this gorgeous sea of them at Children's Garden.

Clockwise from lower left corner, spring cheese, farmhouse cheddar, crottin, peppered chevre and Mt. St. Helens from Port Madison. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Port Madison makes some great goat cheeses, like those pictured above, and cheese is good in any season.

Romanesco from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Romanesco, like this from Nash's, is back at the Market. You know, romanesco is without a doubt one of the coolest looking vegetables there is. I mean, these suckers actually grow in fractals! There are lots of ways to prepare it, but I often like taking the easy route of just quickly steaming them and then grating some fresh parmesan over the top.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Berry season is waning quickly, so get them while you can. These organic blueberries from Sidhu Farms freeze very easily. Just spread them out on a baking sheet in the freezer, then put them in a freezer bag once they're frozen, and you can enjoy them all winter.

Nectarplums from Collins. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While I am still waiting for someone to come out with nectareachs, Collins Family Orchards has come pretty close with these nectarplums. This dense-fleshed stone fruit is deeply sweet, and you will need to wash your hands and face when you are done.

This sign hung at a farmers market vendor's booth means it accepts FMNP checks. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The season is also waning to use WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks this year at the Market. These checks expire at the end of October, so if you are someone you know has some, please use them soon, lest they go to waste. Ballard Farmers Market also accepts Food Stamps/EBT. Inquire at the Market Information tent on the Vernon Place end of the Market.

A beautiful pork shoulder blade steak from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I promised you a beautiful piece of meat, and I did not disappoint, did I? This is a pork shoulder blade steak cut from the Boston Butt from Sea Breeze Farm. Just look at the magnificent marbling in this steak. Sea Breeze forests their pigs, so they eat a natural, healthy diet that makes them that much more delicious. This is not the kind of fat that needs trimming. This fat is full of flavor.

Of course, there is much, much more this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner for a full list, and we'll see you today at the Market.