Sunday, September 27th: Wild Things, Uncommon Things & Fall Things

King Bolete, a.k.a. porcini, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. One of the many wild treats of fall is the King Bolete, or porcini, mushroom, brought to us by the fine folks at Foraged & Found Edibles. They have all kinds of wild-harvested deliciousness now, from chanterelles to lobster mushrooms to wild huckberries to chicken of the woods mushrooms.

Chanterelle mushrooms from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm also has chanterelle mushrooms now, in addition to an extraordinary selection of produce that includes fresh-cut herbs, gorgeous onions and Ozette potatoes.

Iceberg lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of "uncommon things" is this iceberg lettuce from Stoney Plains. Now, maybe you don't think iceberg lettuce is all that uncommon, but it certainly is uncommon at local farmers markets. If you want the guilty pleasure some fresh, crisp, cool iceberg lettuce that doesn't come with all those frequent flyer miles or chemicals, give this stuff a try. Oh, and Stoney Plains has fresh garbanzo beans and edamame now, too, but only for a short time.

Pickling, or flowering, dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Given how many people were asking me, "where did you get that?" in recent weeks, I'd say pickling dill comes under the heading of the uncommon at the moment. I have seen it from two farms of late: Children's Garden (pictured above) and Oxbow.

Everbearing strawberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many folks think that strawberries are only available in the spring, which makes their presence at the Market now uncommon to them. Everbearing strawberries produce fruit right up to the first frost, and these berries from Hayton Berry Farms are delicious. You'll also find them at Sidhu, and possibly Jessie's.

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

Bok choy uncommon, you ask? Yep. While you will find many farms with baby bok choy, very few in the Market have this true bok choy, above, which comes from Nash's Organic Produce.

Decorative gourds from G&J's Farm in Lynden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gourds are a decorative, non-edible cousin to winter squash with a very hard outer shell that will last for months, especially if you give them a good shellacking. But most of our Market farms focus on its edible cousin, making these lovely gourds from G&J's Farm uncommon.

Parsnips from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parsnips, like these from Full Circle Farm, are a true sign of fall. They are sweet and earthy, and they lend a brilliant flavor contrast to a root roast and pair well with celery root (celeriac) and potatoes in soups and mashes.

Shallots from Pipitone. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots are another great fall crop. They add a special oniony sweetness and pungency to so many dishes. These shallots, from Pipitone, are the kind that grow in clusters, which some argue are the best kind.

Tanner Woods is one of the members of our Ballard Farmers Market staff. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let's finish of this week's post with something wild and uncommon: Market staff member Tanner Woods. All of the members of your Ballard Farmers Market crew are a bit wild and certainly quite uncommon, though in general, we try not to fall.

For a fuller accounting of what you'll find this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner, and we'll see you today at the Market.