Sunday, March 20th: Farewell, Oh Winter Of Our Discontent!

Woohoo! It's spring!!! Okay, that was not necessarily the snowiest winter ever, but it was one of the coldest. Heck, Seattle didn't even have a high temperature in all of 2011 that was at or above normal until yesterday. Brrr. And we've noticed it on the produce tables at your Ballard Farmers Market, because cold, gray skies do not much food make. Ah, but it's spring, and the sun (that's that blinding fireball of an orb you've been trying to figure out) is out today in a bright blue sky (yes, that's what the sky looks like without clouds), and Children's Garden, as well as my own, has daffodils! And with that, we bid the winter of our discontent farewell, and wish it is not hit in the bum by the door on its way out.

Besides daffodils, I've got violets and crocuses blooming in my yard, and ornamental cherries are finally in bloom all over the city. Heck, as I walked through Ballard on Saturday, I was shocked to find that I still had neighbors -- lots of them! Yes, we have been starved for some sun folks, and we all were out worshiping it yesterday. I saw a lot of folks tending to their yards, prepped garden beds and pruning trees. Good on you. And now is as good a time as any to start making your yard more edible. Well, Cascadian Edible Landscapes returns today with all sorts of wonderful native plants that will feed you for years to come, so let them help you eat your yard!

No, this is not a file photo. This is fresh mizuna from Stoney Plains that I captured just two weeks ago. Yes, green things are back, baby. Woohoodillihoo!!! Hey, I like root veggies and cabbage as much as the next guy, but lordy, have I missed me some leafy greens.

And how's about some new red radishes from Colinwood Farms?! A-friggin-men! Let me hear it, people!!! Yes, we are indeed slowly climbing out of that deep, dark, cold, wet hole that was winter 2010-2011. Adios, La Nina. We'll miss you... not! Oh, Colinwood has some righteous salad mix right now, too.

Some braising mix from Full Circle Farm will cheer you about right about now, as well. Heck, anything leafy and green will, I'd say. Being the simplistic kinda guy I am, I like just lightly sauteing this stuff in olive oil with a bunch of garlic, but hey, maybe you're into soup or quiche. Who am I to judge you?

I know you've got some mustard in your fridge that is just dying to get slathered all over one of these soft pretzels from Tall Grass Bakery when you get home. That is, unless you eat them all before you get home. It's a tough call, I know. But as your physician and your attorney, I recommend that you convince yourself that you will in fact make it home with some, but that you hedge your bets by buying some extras, so you can, in essence, have your pretzels and eat them, with mustard, too.

For me, there is no such thing as too much garlic. But for some, garlic can be their nemesis. And then there are simply times when garlic is not indicated. Well, the ladies from Four Sisters Gourmet Sauces -- the folks who make amazing Vietnamese chili sauces from Alvarez peppers -- are now making a version of their red chili sauce without garlic. Yep. And if that weren't enough, they are also now making a version of their green chili sauce without any sugar! Thank you, sisters, for your thoughtfulness... and your delicious sauces, too!

Okay, it's time for dessert. So how about a nice coconut cream pie from Deborah's Homemade Pies? Of course, it seems that every time I feature one of her pies on the blog, it is always the week she doesn't actually have any of that kind. But never fear. All of her pies are awesome. If she's out of coconut cream, just try one of her other pies. I'm telling you, these are the best pies in town. Had the Weekly considered Deborah's pies when they belittled the so-called pie "trend" here, they'd have sung a different tune indeed. Her crust alone is worthy of a new religion. So, am I coming through on FM yet? Step away from your computer and get yourself down here right now and eat some pie!!!

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.