Sunday, March 21st: Happy Equinox! It Is Officially Spring Now.

With the passage of the vernal equinox, there can be no more debate. It really is spring. So get out there and plant something! Fortunately, a number of farms at your Ballard Farmers Market have stuff for you to put in your garden(s). For instance, even if you depend on the Market for your fresh veggies, fresh herbs are something you will love having right in your yard for whenever you might need them, and they are really easy to maintain, too. Check out these lovely herb starts from Prana Farms, just waiting for you to give them a good home.

Cane berries, like raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, etc., are another fairly low-maintenance crop you can grow in your yard that will come back, with a vengeance, year-after-year. Cascadian Edible Landscapes, new at Ballard Farmers Market, has a variety of cane berries from which you can choose.

Perhaps you have a patch of dirt that needs a little nutrient rebuilding, so that you can turn it into a nice vegetable garden down the road. Sow it with Nash's cover crop seed. It's nitrogen-fixing plants will give your soil a boost, and then you turn it all back into the ground so it composts even more nutrients back into the soil.

Now is a good time to get your drought-tolerant ornamental gardens going. To that end, Phocas Farms offers literally hundreds of different types of beautiful succulents from which to choose. Plug them into that plain rock wall of yours. Your neighbors will thank you!

With Passover and Easter fast approaching, you're probably looking for an appropriately large piece of meat for that big holiday gathering. For Easter, you'll find hams and turkeys from Skagit River Ranch, and these tasty goat roasts from Quilceda Farm. For Passover, pickup a brisket or some lamb from Olsen Farms. Olsen is also running a special on lamb loin and sirloin chops this week.

It's fiddlehead fern season. Pick some up for an early spring treat from Foraged & Found Edibles.

Perhaps you want to take a Greek route with some that aforementioned lamb. Samish Bay Cheese offers fresh feta cheese, as well as regular and Greek-style yogurts. Just think of the possibilities!

Fishing Vessel St. Jude is back this week with their vast array of delicious, local albacore tuna products. From frozen tuna loins to smoked tuna to a great selection of canned tunas (above), this stuff is low in mercury and high in omega fatty acids, and it will be the best tuna you've ever tasted.

Meredith Clark operates the Poem Store regularly at your Ballard Farmers Market, where she crafts fresh poetry on demand to feed your soul, while all our farmers are feeding your body. What she is doing is so unique that KOMO-TV featured her on their 5 & 6 p.m. newscasts last Sunday.

Indeed, Ballard Farmers Market seems to attract all sorts of creative spirits these days, such as amateur filmmakers Alexandra Kruse (above left) and Jenny Rodenhouse (foreground). They and a group of friends were carrying out a challenge to create zombie-themed short films for a backyard movie party later this year. They interviewed many Market shoppers last Sunday, asking the question, "What would you do if you were the last human being alive on earth, and everyone else had become zombies?" Hopefully, they will load their film onto YouTube so we can share it with you.

You know and love their crusty, artisan breads. But have you tried Tall Grass Bakery's new cinnamon rolls? Treat yourself to one or three today.

We can all use a little extra spice in our lives, and trust me, a little of this spice goes a long way. Some Like It Hott! is growing a great variety of peppers in its greenhouses in Port Townsend, then carefully smoking and drying them, then grinding and blending them into great paprika. They have many different flavors and heat levels. Why buy paprika with thousands of frequent flier miles when you can get great local paprika right at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Finally, don't forget to pick up dessert at Hot Cakes. Of course, these gorgeously luscious Josephines might not make it home, but that is why you will be getting several molten chocolate hot cakes to pop in your oven for later. And don't forget the caramel sauce!

And remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.