Sunday, December 26th: Happy Boxing Day... The Holiday We Don't Celebrate In This Country! Woohoo!!!

Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia supplies many of the best restaurants in Seattle with certified organic, pastured chickens & ducks, but you don't have to make reservations at one of those restaurants to enjoy some Stokesberry bird. Just visit Janelle Stokeberry at your Ballard Farmers Market each Sunday, and she'll get you set up. But get there early, as she routinely sells out. Oh, and when you do visit your favorite restaurant next time, ask them where they get their poultry. If they can't tell you the name of the local farm, ask them, "Why not?"

Red Barn Farm is located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier on top of lush, fertile volcanic earth in Enumclaw. The result is some of the finest produce you will find anywhere. Julie takes great care to nurture her crops, and we are the beneficiaries. Stop by for some of these amazing spuds, some greens, gorgeous elephant garlic, or, if you're lucky, a little last celery of the season.

Got Soup? Um, that's not a question. It's the name of one of our vendors. They make delicious soups fresh weekly from local, organic ingredients, many of which come from other vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market. Then they freeze those soups in quart containers for you to thaw, heat and serve. So now the question: got soup? If not, this week's offerings will warm you up on a cold, damp December day: Sunchoke Bisque with Quinoa; Northwest Chowder; Jambalaya; and Cassoulet. I'd suggest my favorite, but honestly, I really love all for of these.

Hearty greens are sweet and in abundance this time of year, and hearty greens love shallots. Anselmo's has got the great shallots you need. And they've got some great hearty greens, too. And now's the time of year to avail yourself of their greenhoused lettuce mixes.

How about some smoked salmon? You know how I like to eat my smoked salmon from Wilson Fish? I warm it up in a little olive oil and then toss it with some fresh pappardelle from Pasteria Lucchese and some peas I froze during the summer months, though if you weren't as industrious as me, you can grab a bag of frozen peas from a store -- preferably one that's locally owned, of course, like Ballard Market. Oh, and do check the origin of those frozen peas printed on their bag. You can get them from local folks, or from as far away as China. Then next year, you freeze 'em like me.

Looking for some delicious tea to warm you up? Visit Sip-T for a tour of the many blends of teas they have to offer. Try a sample or two. Then go home, cozy up, and enjoy a steaming cup!

Beautiful beets from Full Circle Farm. You know, I've taken a lot of photos of baskets arranged with a variety of beets like this, and it never gets old. You've got your Detroits on the left, your goldens in the center, and then chiogga beets on the right -- those are the ones with the white flesh and the red rings inside. They're all amazing this time of year. And you may see those long, cylindrical beets that are the same color as Detroit beets around right now. They are, aptly enough, called cylinder beets. They taste very much like Detroit beets, which results in the question being asked of me often -- what's the point? The point is, you can slice cylinder beets in uniform slices, which is quite desirable for some recipes, like when you are pickling beets. So now you know.

Jonboy Caramels started making caramel apples on a whim several weeks back, not knowing how they would be received. Well, they have been received very well indeed. If you haven't tried one, get back in touch with that inner kid of yours. And, true to Jonboy's commitment to using local ingredients where possible, they use apples from right here at your Ballard Farmers Market.

In may seem counter-intuitive, but winter is peak season for Nash's Organic Produce. You see, they are located in Washington's "Banana Belt" over on the Olympic Peninsula in Sequim. They exist in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains in a little micro-climate that is actually a little desert, receiving only about 15" of rain per year and more sun than most of the rest of Western Washington. That means a longer growing season. So they are happily still harvesting these beautiful cabbages, and so much more!

Arkansas Black apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. The name alone makes them intriguing, don't you think? There are literally hundreds of varieties of apples, some new and some very old. This is one of the old ones, dating back to around 1870 in, wait for it, Arkansas. It is a descendant of the winesap apple. Whether you find it's name cool, or it's appearance, why not take its flavor out for a test drive today?

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.