Sunday October 25th: Sweet Potatoes, Rutabagas, Colossal Squash & Pear Sorbet

Beautiful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Your eyes are not deceiving you. These really are sweet potatoes at the Ballard Farmers Market. Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms, to be specific. Sweet potatoes are a tough crop to grow here, and until this month, no farm has brought sweet potatoes to any Seattle-area farmers market in recent memory, if ever. Besides Lyall Farms, Alm Hill Gardens also has them -- a few varieties, in fact. And don't get confused by that whole yams versus sweet potatoes debate. What Americans call yams are sweet potatoes. But they are in limited supply, so stock up now.

Many cameras filled the Market on October 18th. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You may have noticed that there was a bit of a media circus going on at your Ballard Farmers Market on October 18th. That's because the Market hosted the launch of Puget Sound Fresh's Eat Local For Thanksgiving campaign. Among the media outlets in attendance, note the presence, above, of cameras from KOMO-TV and Q13. Ain't it nice to know that eating local for Thanksgiving is actually newsworthy? Then again, we should all be working for the time when doing something so obvious, and obviously delicious, would be so commonplace that it wouldn't be newsworthy.

The Rat City Roller Girls, and some folks dressed as carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take the Pledge! Take the pledge to Eat Local For Thanksgiving! You'll be asked to commit to having one item of local food on your Thanksgiving table, but we know our loyal Ballard Farmers Market shoppers can do better than that. Heck, you already eat more than one local food at every meal, right? So why not make your pledge to have everything on your Thanksgiving table be local. And we'll help you with great ideas from a pair of cooking demonstrations, on Nov. 15th and 22nd. (See Cooking Demonstrations on the right for more info.) Whatever you do, you'd better take the pledge, or the Rat City Roller Girls and some people dressed as carrots (above) will come to your house and punish you in unspeakable ways, and as much as I know some of you are thinking that sounds like fun, trust me, it won't be.

New harvest rutatbagas from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I eat rutabagas every Thanksgiving. I just steam those puppies up and mash 'em with butter. Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Alm Hill just started harvesting these fine rutabagalicious specimens above.

Cinderella pumpkins from G & J Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

G & J Orchards has some beautiful squash and pumpkins right now, like these large Cinderella pumpkins that are as good eating as they are looking.

A crown of goat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Quilceda Farm has got your goat. Just look at this gorgeous crown of goat, waiting for you to roast it and wow your guests. Goat is delicious, and I'm not kidding. (Though I am punning.)

Bok choy (right) and baby bok choy from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those folks who can't figure out what the difference is between bok choy and baby bok choy? Well, thanks to Red Barn Farm, which grows both, we have a visual aid for you. Above, on the right, is bok choy, and on the left is baby bok choy. The latter is not a younger version of the former, regardless of the names. These two Asian greens are in fact completely different plants, and you can see the difference in this photo. Note how white the rib of the bok choy is? Now, note that the baby bok choy's rib is green. They taste different, too. Get some of each, and do a little comparison of your own.

Fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish had fresh Washington rockfish this past week, and with any luck, they've have more this week. And Loki Fish hopes to have local Washington keta salmon this week, too.

Tom Lambert, right, and Sheryl Morgenstern, of Itali Lambertini jewerly. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As the holidays approach, remember Ballard Farmers Market has more than just food for your holiday table. We have talented artists with great works that make for great gifts, like Itali Lambertini, above. Goldsmith Tim Lambert makes this magnificent jewelry from recycled gold, so not only will you wow them, you will do it with a clear conscience.

Colorful pepper wreathes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And you can festively decorate your house for the holidays with these brilliant pepper wreathes from Alvarez Organic Farms. These spectacular creations are strung carefully by hand every year by the crew at Alvarez to brighten your home.

I know, you are wondering when I am going to get to the pear sorbet. Okay, here goes. Empire Ice Cream is nearing the end of its 2009 Market season, and in the spirit of fall, their featured offering this week is pear sorbet. Stock up now on all their frozen goodness while you can.

You can see a full accounting of what you'll find today at Ballard Farmers Market by clicking on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner, and we'll see you today at the Market.