Sunday, September 26th: Fish Tales & Fall Crops!

Happy fall everyone! Your Ballard Farmers Market is abuzz with all sorts of newly arrived fall crops, and a few serious whoppers of some stories which, if I didn't have the photos to prove it, you'd think I'd made up. My first fish tale is about, well, actual fish. Smoked halibut from Loki Fish, to be exact. Take a break from smoked salmon for a week and broaden your horizons, just for the halibut. (Sorry... had to go there.)

Now for some seriously suspect stories, but with the photos to prove them. Yes, those Detroit beets Eric, from Prana Farms, is holding are in fact as big as his head! Holy flippity flop. I think I am going to buy stock in their organic chicken poo compost division!

No, that is not a miniature peach. In fact, it is a large peach we borrowed from Tiny's to illustrate just how enormous this crookneck squash is, to say nothing of that battle club-sized zucchini, from Bolles Organic Farm. You know, back in my days at the Olympia Farmers Market, many moons ago, we used to call zucchini that big "Norwegian trout." I still think to call them that, though for the life of me, I cannot remember why we called them that in the first place. Anyone know the origins of this?

Sure, lots of folks have wild chanterelle mushrooms right now, but only Foraged & Found Edibles has wild porcini, or king bolete, mushrooms. These big, meaty mushrooms are just plain awesome. Give 'em a try today.

Alvarez Organic Farms is known for the almost 200 varieties of peppers they grown, in every shape, size, color and heat level. But did you know they grow over 20 kinds of eggplant, too? Yup. Like this spectacular Thai eggplant, above.

Cippolini onions, like these from Oxbow Farm, are those kinda flat onions, like someone sat on them. But they are amazing onions -- the pride of Italy -- and they caramelize incredibly well. Don't know them? Ask about them at Oxbow today, and bring some home to play with.

Sweet potatoes are back! Yessir. Lyall Farms was the first to bring sweet potatoes into Seattle's farmers markets just last year, and they are back with a new crop now. Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious, and they are a good storage crop. And now, they are a local crop, too!

Hominy bread, from Tall Grass Bakery, is made largely from hominy, a large-grained member of the corn family. It's the stuff they make polenta and tortillas out of. It also makes for an incredibly moist, tender and even sweet bread. If you are in a bit of a bread rut, why not branch out with some hominy bread today?

Parts is parts... maybe in the used car business. But not in the meat business. Lucky for us, we've got Sea Breeze Farm bringing us cattle parts from animals that lived well and ate well. If you are looking for some delicious beef heart, kidneys, or occasionally the odd beef tongue, check in with George and the gang as the Sea Breeze refer cases. They don't always have them, but perhaps you can arrange for them to save some for you when they have them next. And you might as well pickup some sausage and milk while you are there.

Making a plum tart? Then you''d better get some Fantacia Tart plums from ACMA Mission Orchards while you can. They have a short season -- just a couple of weeks -- so quit dilly dallying and get some now!

And welcome one of our newest vendors to your Ballard Farmers Market: Lopez Island Vineyards. This organic winery grows many of its own grapes, including some varieties that only grow in Puget Sound in Washington. And many of their wines are award winners. So give them a gander today, and bring home a bottle of vino straight from the winemaker.

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!