Sunday, October 16th: Fall Flour, Sweet Potatoes, Seedless Grapes, Sunchokes, Ginormous Leeks, The Difference Between Celery & Celeriac, and One Final Farewell To Carrie!

Yuppers, it's fall, good citizens of the People's Republic of Ballard. And we are breaking out the layers. Brrr. But hey, Bluebird Grain Farms is just wrapping up their fall grain harvest, and that means they've got all sorts of freshly-milled flour with which you can warm up your house as you bake all manner of deliciousness. They specialize in growing the finest emmer in the country, but they also grow some rye and wheat, too, and it is super fresh right now. And you can get it whole, cracked, and in cereal and mix blends. Tis the season! Enjoy!

These canadice einset table grapes from Jerzy Boyz are sweet, juicy and seedless. That makes them perfect for turning into raisins. So break out the dehydrator, and stock up on these beauties. Of course, you can eat them fresh, too. Just don't dilly-dally, as they'll only be available for a couple more weeks.

Sweet potatoes are back at Lyall Farms. They are the only farm currently bringing local sweet potatoes into Seattle-area farmers markets. See, sweet potatoes like it hot, and Lyall Farms grows them in Sunnyside -- about the hottest place in the state. These babies are deeply sweet. They are of the so-called "yam" school of sweet potatoes. Of course, they aren't yams. Yams grow in Africa and Asian and are white, starchy things. The sweet orange and red tubers we call yams are sweet potatoes. Blah, blah, blah. Just get you some. You can thank me later!

With our cool, fall weather and the plethora of root vegetables flooding your Ballard Farmers Market right now, it seems to me that it's high time for a good, old-fashioned root roast. Some of those sweet potatoes, and some of these sunchokes (a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes) from Summer Run Farm, will make a great start on that. Sunchokes make for an awesome alternative to potatoes in many recipes, including home fries and soups, too. So enjoy this North American native, tuberous vegetable that is from the sunflower family this fall. Eat like a pilgrim!

Okay, it's time for a little visual aid. Above is a photo of celery (left) and celery root (a.k.a., celeriac, right) from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are closely related, but no, they are not the same plant. And you do cook with them differently. Now you know. That said, you will be hard-pressed to find finer examples of either anywhere else.

Welcome a new farm to your Ballard Farmers Market -- Choice Bulb Farms. Mind you, they are not new to farming, just new to our Market. They produce an extraordinary variety of flowering bulbs up in our own little Holland in Skagit County, the #2 bulb producing region in the world. And now is the perfect time to plunk some fresh bulbs into your garden, so that you can enjoy them all next year.

Woohoo! More sweet, delicious roots! It's yellow carrots from Colinwood Farm. These are awesome. And did y0u know that Colinwood Farm is right smack in the middle of the city of Port Townsend? Yup. It sits on 12 acres of fertile bottomland, surrounded by several neighborhoods, just a stone's throw from downtown.

No, those are not miniature ears of sweet corn from Nash's Organic Produce. To the contrary, they are full-sized and delish. It's just that they are dwarfed by Nash's humongous leeks. I have heard rumors that these leeks, if left unsupervised, will, in fact, destroy Tokyo! Make soup from just one of these bad boys, and you could feed an entire army.

Pete's been in the kitchen experimenting again. The result is this new maple-walnut fudge with chocolate -- the latest addition to the Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee lineup. And hey, you eat all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables all the time from your Ballard Farmers Market, right? The meat, seafood and poultry you consume is all sustainably produced and healthy. And you're eating your share of fermented vegetables from Firefly Kitchens. So treat yourself! You've earned it!

If you count yourself a foodie, you know that padron peppers are all the rage right now, especially since the good folks at The Harvest Vine in Madison Valley introduced many of us to them fried and salted. Full Circle Farm grew some this year, and if you are lucky, you will get to see David today before he sells out of them, so you can enjoy the deliciousness at home your own self.

It's time for one last, colorful, silly goodbye to Carrie Palk of Alm Hill Gardens, as she breaks our hearts and abandons us to return to her roots in Ohio. (Hey, ho, way to go...) In this photo, taken by Clayton Burrows last week, it's as if Carrie is a setting sun behind a mountain of roots, and they are filled with all the colors of a spectacular sunset. Carrie, we'll miss you, but it is good to know we've got a couch to crash on in Cincinnati.

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.