The angle of the sun combined with crisp, clear days this time of year makes for great farmers market photography. Just look at this image of Boistfort Valley Farm rutabagas I was able to capture last Sunday. As we march headlong into the cool, damp, dark months of fall and winter, I have to take advantage of these magnificent natural light days whenever I can. After all, just the week before, on Labor Day weekend, I had to use a flash for every photo, it was so dark and wet. So enjoy these bonus days we are getting in what seems to be the miraculously never-ending summer of 2009. Who knows? Maybe we will even have good football teams in Seattle this year! (Can I get an amen?)
Of course, as the official Ballard Farmers Market paparazzi, I have to deal with the occasional vendor who instructs me of a better place to put me camera. But I do appreciate the patience of our dear Market's shoppers as I stand between them and the lobster mushrooms, or move them two steps to the right so I can get the full effect of the sunlight on those onions.
The autumnal equinox does not arrive until 2:18 p.m. this coming Tuesday afternoon, and yet there is already an unmistakable look and feel of fall in the air at Ballard Farmers Market. We may all still be wearing t-shirts and shorts, but the leaves were already turning colors along Ballard Avenue last week.
Fall means we get to cook long, house-warming meals again, and that means stocking up on whole grains from Bluebird Grain Farms. And considering their days at the Market this year may be numbered, as they think about the eventual closure of Washington Pass as mountain snows return, it is a good idea for you to stock up now. You might also do a little lobbying with them to encourage them to keep coming to the Market as long as they possibly can. And if you are one of those folks who visits the Methow Valley during the late fall and winter, you might even be able to assist them with grain transport.
Another Eastern Washington farm that just returned to Ballard Farmers Market with their great apples, pears and other deliciousness is Jerzy Boyz. Stop by to visit them, and try out some of their amazing fruit.
Another sign of fall's approach is these table grapes from Magana. Fresh grapes have a short season in the Market, but you can easily turn these into raisins in your food drier and enjoy them all winter.
Apparently this maple mix honey from Golden Harvest is something rare and special indeed. This is the first they've had in three years. See, viney maples bloom very early, so it is not always possible for bees to get to them, as there may still be freezes happening.
I love all the various sausages from Skagit River Ranch. And the sun accommodated me nicely last week, so I could get this lovely photo of them. You know, while these are plenty good cooked on the stovetop, why not take advantage of our extended summer weather and grill up some of these bad boys on the barby?
While I could wax poetic about Market wonders for photo after photo, the interweb has been cranky with me today, so I best not overstay my welcome. Thus, for a full accounting of what you will find this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, please click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner, and we'll see you today at the Market!