Sunday, May 9th: Happy Mother's Day!

Don't forget to thank your mother today for all she has done for you, not the least of which was to bring you into this world. Besides, if you do forget, you will have a whole year's worth of guilt to look forward to.

Mother's Day is not a Hallmark holiday. The idea is ancient, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. In fact, I learned a lot about Mother's Day as I prepared to write this week's epistle. The first thing I learned is that whatever blog ABC News relied upon for Friday night's Nightline segment on Mother's Day was a bit loose with the dates. Tsk, tsk. Did you know that, in the U.S., Mother's Day was formalized as a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914? But in the 1870s, there was a movement to create a Mother's Peace Day holiday, in response to the carnage of the U.S. Civil War, led by Julia Ward Howe, writer of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Kinda puts a whole different spin on it when you think of the holiday as an anti-war holiday, doesn't it? So reserve a little extra thought today for all the mothers who have lost their sons and daughters to war.

You will find all sorts of beautiful, fresh, local and affordable flowers from many farms today, ready for mom, at your Ballard Farmers Market. Did you know that many flowers at flower shops are shipped from as far away as South Africa and New Zealand? No wonder they cost so much. You are paying for a lot of frequent flyer miles, and a very big carbon footprint, because, yes, they are flying those flowers up here.

Look for beautiful bouquets for mom from Alm Hill, Children's Garden, Ia's Garden, Mee Garden, Pa Garden and The Old Farmer. Find potted flowers, ready to add to mom's garden, from Phocas Farms, Red Barn, Sequim Prairie Star, Summer Run, Sunseed Farm and others. Reduce your carbon footprint and support local farmers!

Of course, some moms might like a little nip, too. Sea Breeze Farm has wonderful grape wines, and you'll find berry wines, hard cider and, for only another week or two, honey mead from Rockridge Orchards.

One of the statistics ABC News Nightline rattled off Friday night, accurate or not, I found compelling. They said that 38% of Americans eat out on Mother's Day. But when I did the math, I realized that this meant that 62% of Americans dine in on Mother's Day. If you are part of that majority of Americans that is actually cooking for mom, you will find pretty much everything you will need at your Ballard Farmers Market. Heck, take mom out for brunch on Ballard Avenue, then a stroll through the Market and pick up some of her favorite things to cook her for dinner. Some nice salmon ought to do the trick!

Mother's Day isn't the only game in town this week. Monday brings to Seattle the launch of the 2010 Seattle Cheese Week. Ten years ago, there were only seven licensed cheese makers in Washington. Now, there are over 40, and there are six at Ballard Farmers Market alone: Estrella Family Creamery, Golden Glen Creamery, Mt. Townsend Creamery, Port Madison, Samish Bay and Sea Breeze Farm. Why not pick up some yummy fresh Washington cheese during your trip to Ballard Farmers Market today?

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.