Thanksgiving approacheth, and it is time to stock up our pantries with all manner of local goodness, so that we can impress all our holiday guests with just how savvy and thoughtful we are when it comes to both local and great food. And before we start giving thanks for the bounty we enjoy here in Seattle -- because we are spoiled here -- let's all take the Eat Local for Thanksgiving pledge, while there is still county funding to keep the Puget Sound Fresh website up and running. Of course, we should probably thank all those folks in local government who have worked so hard in support of farmers markets and local farms in recent years, many of whom will be out of jobs soon. (And we can all thank Wall Street for that!)
On a personal note, I would like the thank Dave Niehaus for giving all us baseball fans the most beautiful verbal paintings of Mariners games for more than 30 years. No matter how badly the Mariners ever sucked, I always enjoyed listening to him call their games. As a storyteller myself, I can only dream of having so gilded a tongue as he possessed. He will be missed, but at least we know who will call the games in the remake of A Field Of Dreams, right? So for Dave, I started out with some Tall Grass Bakery rye bread, then some Full Circle Farm mustard greens (sorry, no mustard photos from Sea Breeze), and...
... some salami (of to the left above) from Olsen Farms. Of course, you might be more likely to be looking for potatoes and a standing rib roast from Olsen right now, but what baseball fan doesn't find tears welling up in their eyes at the thought of Niehaus screaming, "Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, cause it's grand salami time!" Dave, you embodied the little kid in all of us.
Hey, sports fans (and everyone else)! Let's also give thanks for all the cool new food artisans we've gotten to welcome into our five markets in 2010. This time of year, when we've got a little more space for them at your Ballard Farmers Market, we get to welcome a lot of additional food artisans into the Market. In recent weeks, you've seen Platypus Breads (gluten-free breads), House of the Sun (raw & vegan foods) and Four Sisters (Vietnamese chili sauces). Today, we welcome Firefly Kitchens with their incredible fermented deliciousness in the form of kimchi, sauerkraut, rötkraut and Yin-Yang (carrot and ginger goodness). Firefly Kitchens is another new company in 2010 -- a rising star we got to help foster along at our Wallingford and Madrona markets this past summer. It was the coolest thing to see them run out of inventory in their third week at our markets and have to get larger fermenting crocks because their products were so well received. And hey, a spoonful a day will keep the doctor away, don't you know!
Let us also give thanks for the amazing farmers who feed us week in and week out. Let us do it by serving their bounty on our Thanksgiving (or Thanks for the Land Day, as I like to think of it) tables. And are you panicked because you forgot to order a turkey from one of our farmers, and now they're sold out? Never fear! Serve ham instead! I don't know if you've ever had one of Skagit River Ranch's smoked hams, but I have, and they are to die for. Really. And Eiko told me last week that they still have a fair number of them.
Okay, so you must have sweet potatoes on your holiday table, and you think you can't get them from a local source. Well, you can thank the good folks at Lyall Farms for growing them for you over in Sunnyside. So now, you can have your sweet potatoes and get your local on, too!
Me, I gotta have me some rutabagas mashed with butter. For that, I thank Boistfort Valley Farm for growing some spectabulous bagas, baby. Maybe you are unfamiliar with this proud Nordic vegetable, but if you are going to continue to spend time here in Ballard, you had better honor its Scandinavian and Irish heritage with what the Scandinavians call "Swedes" and the Irish simply call "turnips", and you better get you some bagas, too. (Oh, and you'll find the butter at Golden Glen Creamery, by the way.)
You'll likely be needing apples for all sorts of things on your holiday table, and you can thank ACMA Orchards for bringing you a dizzying array of apples every week. Like these Galaxy Gala apples they just harvested. They've got an apple for every one of your apple needs!
And thank you, Wade & Judy, for your wonderful hard ciders and berry wines. We'll be needing many bottles of Rockridge Orchards goodness to grease the holiday skids, as it were, helping us make merry, and in some cases, helping us all get along. And they've got sweet cider for the kiddies, too!
Whatever you care to share across your table during the holidays, you'll find it at your Ballard Farmers Market, from flour to eggs to chicken to gluten-free croutons (order yours now!) to bacon to cheese to wild mushrooms. So when you take the Eat Local for Thanksgiving pledge, and it asks you to commit to adding one local item to your table, scoff at it and say out loud, "One item? Heck, I'm going to make every item on my holiday table local!"
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!