Sunday, October 2nd: Fresh Duck, Daikon Radishes, Concord Grapes, Perfect Peaches & Awesome Artisan Jams!

It's October, kids, and the seasons are changing -- climatically and for crops. It is time to enjoy cooking all those fragrant, home-warming, comfort food kinds of meals that just make the arrival of fall so cozy. And for starters, how about roasting yourself a nice fresh duck from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm? Oh, how I loves me some duck, and Stokesberry raises some tasty ones!

Hey, speaking of cooking, did you know that there's this new cooking class at Ballard High School to help teach teenagers learn how to eat healthy and cook for themselves? Yep. And your Ballard Farmers Market helps the kids out by donated some produce to them every week. You can help, too! Just swing by the Market Information tent at the Vernon Place end of the Market and buy some Market Tokens for the kids. They will use them to pick out great local deliciousness from our Market farmers. Thanks!

These carrots from Summer Run Farm are so picture perfect, well, I just had to, you know, take a picture of them. They are also sweet and crunchy, ready for adding to salads, dipping in hummus, adding to the kids' lunches, roasting, or just munching straight.

Not many farms around here grow daikon radishes, and when farms do grow them, they tend to have a short harvest. So swing by Colinwood Farm today for this rare delight. Slaw them. Kimchi them. Pickle them. Add them to salads. Enjoy them while you can!

Carrie from Alm Hill Gardens has challenged me to take at least one goofy photo of her modeling Alm Hill's farm-fresh deliciousness every week until she breaks all of our hearts at the end of the month and moves back to Ohio. In this week's offering, Carrie sports Concord grape earrings, a la Carmen Miranda. (Sorry, Carrie. The only one of the set I took in which the grapes are lit up by the sun just happened to the only one in which your eyes are closed. Doh!)

Let these fresh cannellini beans from Stoney Plains dry in their pods, then shell them, and you can store them in your cabinet for many months. Shell them while they are still a bit green, then freeze them in pint freezer bags, and you can enjoy them like fresh for months. Fresh shelling beans don’t require soaking, don’t need to be blanched before freezing, take just 20 minutes to cook in boiling water, and provide a different flavor profile than the same beans dried. But now’s the time to stock up. Store some both ways!

These Jersey blueberries from Sidhu Farms may be tiny, but they pack an enormous blueberry flavor. They are one of my favorite blueberries — remind me of the wild ones I picked in Maine as a kid. If you want to enjoy these all winter long, buy a few flats today, then freeze them on a baking sheet one layer deep. Once frozen, you can slide them into a gallon freezer bag and continue the process with the next batch. You’ll end up with about a gallon bag of loose frozen berries for each flat, easy to use in muffins and oatmeal.

Oxbow Farm is famous for having some of the most extraordinary produce to be found anywhere, and their cauliflower is no exception. And for my money, this year’s cauliflower crop is one of the best ever. It is so sweet when oven-roasted. I just toss it with some salt and pepper in olive oil and roast at about 425 degrees until fork tender, preferably with a little browning action going on. And for a little extra flavor, add some cumin!

Billy’s Gardens still has plenty of these juicy, ripe Hales peaches for you to enjoy. Plus, they still have lots of big beefcherry and heirloom tomatoes, too. And if you want to enjoy this local deliciousness all fall and winter long, load up today, and spend the weekend canning these beauties!

Welcome Ballard's own Deluxe Foods to your Ballard Farmers Market today. Rebecca makes amazing jams and jellies with great local ingredients direct from our Market farmers. Above, Old Bachelor’s Jam, as Rebecca from Deluxe Foods explained it to me, has it’s origins in old Europe. Apparently, an old bachelor would come back from foraging the countryside for the day and make a batch of jam with the berries he had gathered, pouring it into a jar. To preserve it, he would cover that layer with kirsch, a double-distilled clear brandy made from cherries. Then, the next day, he would do the same with whatever berries he foraged that day, adding one layer atop another, and covering with kirsch, until the jar was full, ready to be enjoyed all winter long. The result, as you can see in the photo above, is a distinctly layered jam full of a myriad of flavorful surprises. In this case, you see blueberry jam on the bottom and raspberry jam on the top, with, of course, that all important kirsch. You hear me talk all the time about heirloom this and heirloom that. I guess you might call this heirloom jam.

Fuji apples mean without a doubt that it is fall. And these gorgeous Fuji apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are certain to satisfy the entire household, while simultaneously keeping the doctor away. Stock up on these and many other varieties of apples today, and store them in a cool, dark place, and you can enjoy them for weeks.

With a smile like that, I keep telling Jerry from Got Soup? he should go into selling used cars. But hey, he makes some friggin' incredible soups from Market fresh ingredients, so I guess we can keep him around a bit longer. Of course, he's smiling today because we were able to find him a treasured spot at your Ballard Farmers Market this week. Woohoo!

Nature's Last Stand cranks out some mighty fine potatoes. But I'm not quite sure about what John was thinking with this particular selection of spuds. You see, he's got red ones, white ones and blue ones -- very patriotic -- and then he takes a left turn and gives us the fingerling potatoes, too. Can't quite figure the message he's trying to send us here. Maybe I'm just over-thinking this.

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.