Sunday, May 22nd: Summer Run Returns, Pea Vines, Green Garlic, Rhubarb & Oysterliciousness

Hey kids, another one of our bedrock farms returns today for the 2011 season: Summer Run! Catherine always has the most amazing -- and huge -- lettuce to start of the year. And we can likely expect to see other gorgeous greens and some plants from the farm, too.

You know, this past week has been a big one for us here at Seattle Farmers Market Association, the folks who operate your Ballard Farmers Market year-round. See, besides opening up two of our four seasonal markets this week -- Madrona Farmers Market (Fridays) & Georgetown Farmers Market (Saturdays) -- we also announced the new location of the Olympic Sculpture Park Farmers Market, which had to relocate due to budget cuts at the Seattle Art Museum. We are happy to introduce to you to Interbay Farmers Market as our new Thursday market. Located in front of the Whole Foods store on 15th Avenue W, it will continue to serve the residents of North Belltown and Lower Queen Anne, while it also will serve commuters headed by car, bus or bike from Downtown to Ballard and Magnolia! That's you guys!!! So you'll now have mid-week access to many of your favorite Ballard vendors. How cool is that? Interbay Farmers Market opens Thursday, June 9th at 3 p.m., and will operate every Thursday, 3-7 p.m., through the end of September.

Holy binding tendrils, Batman! It's pea vines from Oxbow Farm! (Must I say more?)

Okay, if you have never enjoyed green garlic, a.k.a., spring garlic, please do yourself the favor of trying it now. Alm Hill Gardens is just one of several farms offering it now. Basically, green garlic is a lot like green onions. It looks like scallions, and it is basically the garlic (like with onions) before it forms the familiar bulb that most of us think of as garlic. But it is tender, sweet and grassy, and at a time of year when the storage garlic is all sprouting or rotting in our root cellars (or cabinets), green garlic gives us our garlic fix with a milder flavor, no peel to, um, peel, and it cooks up beautifully with greens or asparagus, or just toss it on the grill. Me, I like tossing it with spring onions, morel mushrooms, asparagus and some olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish and roasting the lot for about 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Simple. And a little bit of spring heaven!

I have to admit it. I am grooving to KC & The Sunshine Band as I write this epistle. I have no idea what that has to do with this lovely rhubarb from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. I just thought I'd share. Maybe I'm a bit bandy from all the big doings this past week. I am certainly sleep deprived. But I'm not so far gone as to be unable to appreciate how good this rhubarb would be in a nice rhubarb crisp, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. ("Shake, shake, shake your booty." - KC)

You know what would go well with some KC? Oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company, that's what! Shuck, shuck, shuck. Shuck your oysters, baby. But hey, maybe your not into shucking. Then get yours pickled or smoked! And if you're just not into oysters, get a bag of the clams. I'm just sayin'... (More cow bell, baby, yeah!)

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.