Sunday, October 4th: Save Energy! Heat You Home By Cooking!

A busy day at Ballard Farmers Market in September. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Okay, maybe shirt-sleeve and shorts weather is gone, but every week at your Ballard Farmers Market is beautiful, isn't it? So put on an extra layer or three and come avail yourself of the local bounty.

While you visit the Market today, take time to thank your favorite vendors for their hard work producing great, fresh, delicious and nutritious local food for you. In fact, take your thank you a step further. Buy a ticket for a Market vendor to attend a thank you party for them on November 1st, hosted by Ray’s Boathouse and presented by the Seattle Farmers Market Association. Tickets are $35 each, and whatever funds are not used to cover the cost of the event (we figure about $10 per ticket) will be donated in SFMA Market Tokens to local food banks for their clients to use at our farmers markets. And for each ticket purchased, the purchaser will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two spots at the party with the vendors, SMFA staff, local chefs and Market buskers. Tickets are available at the Market Information table.

Julianna from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And when you get home, you can heat up your home by cooking wonderful meals in your kitchen. Of course, if you want to heat things up a little more, try a romantic candlelight dinner for two. But don't fill your home with toxic fumes from imported candles made with dubious ingredients, especially when your home is buttoned up tight against chilly air. Instead, visit Julianna at Ascents Candles. One of Ballard Farmers Market's longest selling vendors, Julianna handcrafts her candles using natural ingredients that will not pollute your lungs, and with essential oils that will invigorate your soul. Plus, they last about 10 times as long as those "cheap" candles at the big box store, meaning in the long run, you'll actually save money with Ascents Candles, while saving your breath, too.

Just some of the many spices and rubs from the Seattle Spice Company. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spice up your food, too, with spices and rubs from Seattle Spice Company. Just look at these brilliant offerings they have.

Fudge from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee now has fudge. Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Followup that spicy with this sweet.

Hazelnuts from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you're nuts about nuts, visit Alm Hill for some of their certified organic hazelnuts. You won't even have to fight the squirrels for them, like you do in your backyard.

Chiogga beets from Boistfort Valley. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of "ooh, pretty" or "cool" are these chiogga beets from Boistfort Valley Farm. Chiogga beets have these gorgeous red and white rings inside them when you slice them up. They are also one of the best tasting beets there is, and you can eat the greens, too, meaning you get two dishes for the price of one.

Okay, I'm going to keep this one short and sweet (and spicy, apparently), as I am off to St. Louis for Farm Aid this week. I hope you all can enjoy your Ballard Farmers Market without me treading under your feet with my camera all day. I'll be back to doing that next week. In the meantime, if you want a full accounting of what you'll find today at the Market, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner.