Sunday, April 22nd: Celebrate Earth Day With Local Deliciousness, Like Asparagus, Morels, Broccoli, Chicken Pie & No Corporate Sponsors!

Let's start off Earth Day 43 with an explosion of color in the form of freshly cut tulips from Ia's Garden. They were absolutely spectacular in the warm sunshine last Sunday... sunshine we will amazingly see more of today. Woohoo! And while we're on the subject of Earth Day, I'd like to roll out one of my favorite bits of bumper sticker philosophy: Think Globally, Eat Locally. There is power in these four words. Not only is locally-grown food, purchased at your Ballard Farmers Market directly from the farmers who grew it, fresher, better tasting, more nutritious and good for our local economy, but it also helps people all over the world. Indeed, the two most powerful lessons I learned from a group of South Korean farmers I met during the 1999 WTO protests here in Seattle were, 1) we suck at rioting; and 2) the more local food we eat here, the less pressure there is on other countries to convert their land to growing export crops for the U.S., resulting in the loss of land for growing food for local consumption there, and often resulting in the land itself being ruined by use of chemicals and mono-cropping. So before you eat another meal today, go hug a farmer at your Ballard Farmers Market, and then think about the farmers in India, Chile and China who are benefiting from your purchase of local broccoli.

Oh, and did we mention that it is asparagus season?!? Yupperooni! Today, four farms will have asparagus at your Ballard Farmers Market, including Collins Family Orchards, which grew this beautiful asparagus over in Selah.

As we continue heading deeper into what appears to be an actual spring this year, more and more spring crops are arriving, including these wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles last week. They also have been harvesting wood sorrelstinging nettlesminer's lettuce and fiddleheads in recent weeks. Of course, we never know what the forests will offer up from week-to-week, and I've been burned more than a couple times by promising you they'd have one thing or another on a given Sunday. Bottom line is, they are likely to have these wildcrafted items this week, but I make no promises. And if you want morels, get here early.

Does this image not give us all hope for sweeter days soon to come, when tables throughout your Ballard Farmers Market are covered with local strawberries. Just look at the blossoms on these strawberry plants from Stoney Plains. Sigh. And hey, you can plant these now, and you'll be picking your own sweet deliciousness come June!

Hey look! Stokesberry Sustainable Farm is selling big, and small, sacks of... um... err... soil amendment. You know, I just had to give them a hard time last week when I saw that description of this stuff. But I guess some people just choose to get offended by, well, what this really is. Well, hey, let's face it -- compost happens. And this composted chicken poop from Stokesberry's egg-laying hens is some mighty fine medicine for your soil. You want all those plants you'll be getting today from Stoney Plains, as well as Cascadian Edible Landscapes, Growing Things, Seattle Urban Farm Co., etc., to grow up big and strong and bless you with their bounty? Then my advice is for you to git yerself a big old bag of... um... err... soil amendment from Stokesberry today!

This is the last week for over-wintered broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. And I don't mean that in the sense that Nash's Organic Produce had their last week of Brussels sprouts for five weeks in a row, either. Sheesh. They were like a jewelry store having a liquidation sale! But unlike Nash's, where their sprouts just kept coming, Clayton told me that they just disced under all the broccoli plants from the winter, so there just ain't no more broccoli to be had. And over-wintered broccoli is the sweetest there is, having weathered the cold, harsh winter months. BTW, Alm Hill also has asparagus and rhubarb today, too, while it lasts!

Deborah's Homemade Pies is back today, after a brief hiatus for the Boston Marathon. It was in the 90s this past Monday, Patriot's Day in New England, the day Greater Boston comes to a screeching halt so that everyone and their grandmother can line the 26+ mile course of the grandest of all marathons, and your Ballard Farmers Market had its own representative braving the elements to pound the pavement their. I, for one, can't wait to hear from Deborah how she faired in those tough conditions. Then again, she spends much of her time slaving over hot ovens, making the best pies in Seattle, if not the universe, so 90s probably didn't slow her down too much.

Wait! I almost forgot to tell you the biggest news of the day! Alvarez Organic Farms returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today, with dried beansdried chilespeanuts and lots of organic asparagus! Okay, now it's official. It really is spring. And we don't need no phony green NBC logo to celebrate Earth Day around here, cuz we celebrate it every Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market, and unlike us, NBC will still be owned by General Electric on Monday. I'm just sayin'.

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.