Have you been missing these spectacular displays from Boistfort Valley Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market? Well, miss them no more, because today they make their triumphant return for the 2010 season. In a year when we have seen many crops come in late, Boistfort Valley, which is usually our last farm to come in each year, is coming in especially late. That's because they don't like to come into Ballard until they can come in big, and big is how they are coming in today! Woohoo!!! (Doh! Late update on Sunday... we'll have to wait another week for Boistfort. Apparently they weren't quite ready to come in big today, and someone forgot, but we won't mention any names (my boss). But everyone else is here!)
Of course, one side effect of the last of our regular farm contingent finally returning is that it makes for less room for other folks. Fortunately, with the absence of a few other farms briefly for a couple of weeks, the processed food vendors on the bubble have squeezed in a little extra time with us. But that reprieve is likely to expire soon, perhaps as soon as next week. So visit these folks now and stock up, while you can, lest you wait until fall for their return. Got Soup? is one such vendor on the bubble. Jerry's making some amazing cold soups, perfect for hot summer days. I am a particular fan of the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, but I recommend you try them all!
Hot Cakes is another one of our short timers. Can you really live without one of Autumn's Josephines until fall? Better get your fix now! And while you're at it, those molten chocolate cakes in jars actually freeze very well. So stock up on them. Then, all you have to do is thaw them and slide them in the oven whenever you are in the mood.
Given the fresh nature of Jonboy Caramels, I'm not sure how much stocking up will serve you, but you can certainly get yourself a nice big fix of them, right? Honestly, I recommend that you eat nothing but caramels for the next three days, just to get it out of your system for the next couple of months. Of course, if you must have another dose of any of these three vendors goodies, as well as some other folks you may be missing, or even if you need a mid-week restock on veggies, we encourage you to visit us at our newest farmers market at the Olympic Sculpture Park on Thursday evenings from 3:30-7:30 p.m. This market is located in a spectacular setting, and offers cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and dancing lessons, too!
House of the Sun makes delicious raw & vegan foods right here in Ballard. Besides this hummus, above, they make salads, crackers, snack bars, entrees, veggie chips, coconut juice and much more, right here in Ballard at a kitchen about a block from the Market. You can normally find them at some of our other markets, like Madrona and Georgetown, but today, for one day only, they are joining us at your Ballard Farmers Market. Come meet them, try out some of their products, find out where in the neighborhood you can get their stuff, and then let us know what you think. And if you are unfamiliar with the art of making raw and vegan cuisine, I am betting you will be blown away by what they can do without any cooking or animal products of any kind. Believe me, this is not rabbit food! It's too good for that.
When times are tough, so are regulators. And the latest victim of the regulatory machine is our buddy, Chris, and his Communi-Tea kombucha. It seems that the Washington State Liquor Control Board has been on the warpath with regards to kombucha lately, because the process of making it, which involves the fermentation of green tea, results in the production of a very minute amount of alcohol. Apparently, the limit is something like 0.25% alcohol content before the Man gets cranky, and since fermentation accelerates in the warm summer months, keeping the alcohol content that low gets a bit squirrelly. But come on. "Near Beer" sold to minors in some states has much more alcohol than that. The point of all of this is to say that Chris will be at your Ballard Farmers Market today, but only to answer your questions, not to sell his delicious, healthful kombucha. So stop by and have him explain more about this to you, so that we all can better understand how the oldest and one of the most restorative preservation methods known to human beings -- fermentation -- is something that the Man really doesn't need to obsess over.
Okay, back to the future. These are pie cherries. They are tart, not sweet. And that is why they make for great pies. They can stand up to the addition of sugar without ending up overwhelming sweet. They tend to have a very short season. Prana Farms has them right now, so run, don't walk, to see Eric at Prana to get you pie cherries now!
And these are Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. These wild-foraged berries that are related to the blueberry also have a short season, so stop by and try some now, while you can.
Has this whacky weather year got you missing your rhubarb crisp? Good news! Rhubarb back with a vengeance. In fact, Clayton from Alm Hill tells me, "I was wandering the farm, and I found a whole field of rhubarb!" (Actually, it is kind of amusing just how many times he has told me something like that.)
And how about some peppers? Yup, Colinwood Farms from Port Townsend wins the pepper sweepstakes for 2010 with the first ones of the year, right out of their greenhouses. I don't know about you, but I will be grilling some of these alongside a nice piece of fresh king salmon from Wilson Fish later.
Magana Farms is located in the Palm Springs of Washington -- the Yakima Valley -- and that means they grow a lot of hot weather loving crops. That includes these beefsteak tomatoes. Yes, it is BLT season! And just imagine that Skagit River Ranch burger with a slice of vine-ripened tomato on top. A-friggin-men!
My final nod to all things deliciousness this week goes to Nash's Organic Produce, and their new crop of artichokes. You know you want them. You must have them. You will be wrestling with your neighbors today to get them. But please, don't get too out of control, and remember to pickup some butter from Golden Glen to dip them in.
And remember, there is plenty more for you to find today at your Ballard Farmers Market. But before you click on the What’s Fresh Now! pages to see what all else is in season right now, please do take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in American Farmland Trust’s America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest. Just type “Ballard” in the market search box, and it’ll take you right to the page where you can vote for us. And thank you!