Sunday, November 28th: Happy Chanukah! Buy Local This Holiday Season!

It's the holiday season. So whoop-dee-doo and dickery-dock, and don't forget to hang up your sock, in the immortal words of Andy Williams. So you've survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and you're gearing up for Cyber Monday tomorrow. All we ask is that you not forget that every Sunday is Buy Local Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market. Instead of pitching a tent in front of the Big Box Store to save a few dollars on something made in China they will just be telling you a year from now you need to replace with the latest friggin' updated version, or that will break once the one-year limited warrantee expires, or that will be meaningless to your loved ones because everyone everywhere got the same thing, why not find something truly unique -- handcrafted by local artisans and sold directly to you right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. I mean, if you are going to get Dad a new shaving kit, or Junior his first one, wouldn't it be special to be able to tell them you got it right from the guy making the shaving soap and lotion -- Brown & Butterfly? Hey, I use this shaving soap with a mug and brush, and you all know how pretty I am, right? But seriously, it's the best shaving soap I've ever used. Trust me. Love your razor again!

If you are planning on giving that special someone some jewelry, do you really want to give them something from one of the mall stores that was actually advertised on TV? Seriously? What, they made about 100,000 of those, right? Not very special, if you ask me. Instead, how about a truly unique creation made from recycled gold, direct from the artist who created it, like this magnificent ring from Itali Lambertini. And if you like, you can commission them to make something just for you.

Looking to give some unique fashion? Want something that is actually made in this state, let alone this country?!? How about some of the beautiful, brilliantly colored garments designed for comfort and style from Texture! They use hemp fabric to make their clothing, and if you haven't experienced their hemp fabric, it is a linen fabric to die for, as you will think yourself in heaven when you feel it against your skin.

Looking for a sweet (literally) stocking stuffer? Why not some local honey? And for a limited time, Golden Harvest has its wonderful lavender honey available again. Plus, they have fireweed honey with a hint of blackberry, but just a little, so get it while it lasts!

Apples make great stocking stuffers, too, and they're great with honey! Collins Family Orchards has a fresh crop of these delicious Pink Lady apples right now, as well as Fujis, Empires and soon to come, Braeburns. Yummers.

Oh, you so know someone who needs one of these lovely hats from Gypsy Beaded Creations. Actually, she's created lots of gorgeous stuff from which to choose. And to think you were gonna go to that store that caters to the "we wanna look like everyone else" crowd. I am so glad we saved you from that embarrassment!

Zena from Semilla Designs travels the world to collect the seeds from which she makes her unquestionably unique seed jewelry. Just look at these earrings (above) with all their brilliant colors and fascinating shapes. And she's got bracelets, necklaces and more, too. I know you have someone, or three, on your list who will absolutely love these.

La Nina ain't done with us yet. Better pick up some fleece from Pieter Muller, the Fleece Guy. Did you know he recycles fabrics into entirely new creations, while creating other anew -- from his fleece (above) to cute tops and skirts to sexy little numbers made from big old scarves. Hats, too!

We've also got a whole bunch of food artisans in the mix this week, including Four Sisters Chili Sauce, made from a recipe these four Vietnamese sisters brought over with them from Vietnam when they left as children 30 years ago. Also, you'll find Hooting Owl granola, Sip-T teas, Cape Cleare salmon, Caveman Bars and Harmony's Way goat milk soaps.

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. But please note that due to our recent cold weather, some crops may not be available as anticipated.