Sunday, December 4th: Wreathes, Hot Sauce, Warm Clothing, Rocksalmic Vinegar, Arkansas Black Apples, Tasty Fish Eggs & Dried Chiles! It Is The Holiday Season!!!

In the immortal words of Andy Williams, "It's the holiday season, so whoop-dee-doo, and dickery-dock, and don't forget to hang up a sock." And don't forget to hang up one of these spectabulous holiday wreathes from Alm Hill Gardens, either. Not only beautiful and aromatic, they last forever. Heck, I've still got mine from last year hanging on my living room wall, ready to be replaced this week with a fresh one.

Twice a year, Rockridge Orchards bottles some of its prized, long-aged Rocksalmic vinegar, and this is one of those times. This stuff is the closest thing we've got to local balsamic vinegar around here. It is a thick, sweet, smooth vinegar made from Rockridge's Asian pears, and once you've tasted it, you won't feel the need to bother stocking balsamic from the other side of the planet in your kitchen anymore, cuz you'll have the good stuff from Enumclaw. But get it today, and early today at that. It will likely be sold out before the day is done. And hey, if that's the case, you can still get you some sweet or hard cider, or some berry wine, right? They'll bottle some more Rocksalmic for you around tax time.

A holiday treat of sorts are these crisp and tart Arkansas black apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. See, they show up every December, kinda like satsumas, just in time for the holidays, it seems. So enjoy these special, heirloom apples while you can. Hey, if you can't go to Arkansas, at least Tiny's can bring a little Arkansas to you, right?

Many folks know Pieter Muller of Pieter Muller Designs as "the fleece guy," as he is renowned for his unique, original fleece creations, perfect for the Pacific Northwet, and so much more attractive than the mass-produced fleece available in, well, blue or black, and made in China, from the Big Box stores. I mean, just look at this stuff! It's fabtastic! And he also makes an entire line of clothing from recycled fabrics, too. Talk about clothing with purpose.

After a brief post-Thanksgiving hiatus, Oxbow Farm returns today, along with several others, so your Ballard Farmers Market will be flush with produce and other deliciousness today. Like these crunchy purple haze carrots, perfect for roasting. And remember, this year, your Ballard Farmers Market will not be open on Christmas Day or New Year's Day, which both fall on Sunday. So start stocking up your pantry and fridge now!

Looking to spice up your life a little? Then stop by Zane & Zack's World Famous Honey to sample their award-winning hot sauces. Single bottles of hot sauce make for great stocking stuffers, or for the more adventurous ones on your gift list, pick up one of their holiday sampler boxes. And don't forget to pick up a bottle or three for yourself. Support your local hot sauce this holiday season.

Christine Groutier has been a mainstay for handcrafted jewelry for years at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just look at the way these sets of earrings pick up the light, eh? Their colors kinda just explode out of them. Why not brighten up the ears, and the eyes, of someone special by slipping a pair of these in their stocking.

Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm drops in on us today with some of their blueberryliciousness. They've got gift baskets that include, among other things, their awesome blueberry mango salsa, made from their own certified organic blueberries.

Mmm. Tasty fish eggs. This is ikura, or keta salmon roe, from Loki Fish. And tasty, they are. I like 'em with some fresh goat cheese on a crostini, or make some sushi with them. Heck, sprinkling them on your seafood-based pasta as a wonderful finishing touch. They are briny deliciousness that literally explode in your mouth with incredibleness.

Karmela Botanica handcrafts lovely soaps. And I'm not just talking to look at, though they are easy on the eyes. But they are made will all sorts of gorgeous herbs and essential oils that will soothe your senses and your skin. Just resist the overwhelming temptation to eat them. And you will want to eat them. Especially the chocolate soap. Yeah, baby.

Alvarez Organic Farms hopes to stretch their season out through the end of the year, but keep in mind, the end of the year for your Ballard Farmers Market is December 18th, since we'll be taking a holiday break both on Christmas Day and New Year's Day this year. (Of course, we'll be right back in January.) So start stocking up now. One thing you can stock up on are these awesome dried red chile de arbol. Grind 'em. Toss 'em whole into your soup or stew. They've got huge, spicy flavor. And Alvarez has several other peppers dried for you this December, from mild to wild, along with all their dried beans, onions and garlic -- all great storage crops, so stock up now for the winter!

We may be in the midst of the coldest, darkest, wettest time of the year, but that doesn't mean you can't add a little color to your life, or to the life of someone special. How about one of these delightful skirts from Marmalade Originals? Talk about adding color to your day! So come to your Ballard Farmers Market, and meet your local fashion designer today. Yes, you will meet the actual creator of these gorgeous garments. Try doing that at the Big Box stores, where you'll just be another amongst millions wearing the same made-in-China stuff. Get yourself something original, something local, something that creates local jobs, and something that comes with fresh air instead of a stuffy, crowded, dehumanizing mall. (Shutter.)

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.