Sunday, May 13th: Happy Mother's Day! Treat Mom Right With Local Flavors & Beauty With Soul!

Mother's Day is not a Hallmark holiday. It has far cooler, and more important, roots than that. In fact, Julia Ward Howe proclaimed the first Mother's Day in 1870 as an anti-war holiday in response to the U.S. Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. She was tired of mothers having to bury their sons. Today, Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide at many different times of year in different countries to honor the important role of mothers in our lives and societies. Heck, looking at the list of international dates, one could reasonably say that every day is Mother's Day somewhere! Now, we know that round about all of you within the sound of my keystrokes plans to pick up flowers today from one of our six flower farmers at your Ballard Farmers Market. My advice is to arrive early for the best selection and to pack some patience with you, as there will be lines. But given our beautiful weather lately, the flower selection this year for Mother's Day is better than it has been for years. So get mom some flowers that mean something. Get local flowers with a face behind them. She will appreciate what that means. After all, she gets that whole nurturing thing.

And for everyone who has ever come home and yelled, "mom, what's for dinner?!?", how's about you do the cooking for mom this evening? It is perfect weather for a picnic or backyard barbecue, and your Ballard Farmers Market has got everything you need to make your meal perfect. How about some fresh Washington halibut, king salmon or rockfish from Wilson Fish, for instance? Easy to fix, super fresh and delicious, and mom will dig it, maybe with a nice loaf of bread from Tall Grass or Grateful Bread, some grilled asparagus, and some salad mix from Colinwood Farms. And don't forget the cheese from one of our six cheese makers. But again, get here early, as the fish will sell out fast, too!

Our buddies at Oxbow Farm returned last Sunday with all sorts of goodies, including an amazing selection of heirloom tomato plants. They've also got this beautiful, and yummy, purple sprouting broccoli. This stuff is a real spring treat, so enjoy it while you can!

Returning this week is Summer Run Farm, from just up the road from Oxbow. Summer Run is famous for their huge, crisp and refreshing heads of lettuce, but usually this time of year, they've also got tatsoibaby bok choidwarf sunflowers and more!

Brown Butterfly bath, body and skin care products is offering a 10% discount on all gift boxes for Mother's Day, including their Spa Day At Home (above) and Gardeners gift boxes. If you are still buying your soap and skin care products at the Big Box stores, you must give this stuff a try. I shave with their shaving soap, and my face is smooth as a baby's bottom. So treat mom. Heck, surveys say the number one preferred Mother's Day gift for American moms is a spa day. Why not bring the spa to her!

Is your mom a gardener? Then your Ballard Farmers Market is nothing short of paradise for her! We've got plants everywhere you look right now, from more than a dozen farms! You'll find fruit and veggie starts, bulbs, ornamentals, you name it. Just take a gander at these gorgeous strawberry plants from Red Barn Farm.

And speaking of fragrant flowers, how about a little of the "stinking rose," a.k.a., garlic? This is green garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms, and it is one of my absolute favorite things about spring! See, as the farmers thin their garlic fields to give the remaining plants enough space to grow nice, big bulbs, they bring the young, green, scallion-like garlic to market with them. This stuff is sweet and tender, and I use that entire thing, from the root hairs to the tips of their green leaves, save for the part right where the root hairs attach to the bulb, since that's where the dirt hides, no matter how hard you try to wash it out. Toss green garlic with your asparagus as you roast it, or use it in place of cured mature garlic with your sauteed greens. If you have never used green garlic before, treat yourself. Once you try it, you will spend every winter waiting for it to arrive come spring!

It's gonna top 80 degrees today, and that might mean mom won't be in a wine mood. Some nice, chilled hard cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery is just the ticket. It will refresh her whilst its bubbles tickle her tongue, and she will be thrilled you thought outside of the box, without coming home with a half rack or gin!

Your Ballard Farmers Market has dessert covered, too! From pies to cookies to rhubarb just ready for being crisped, we've got the sweets for your sweet mommy! And if cupcakes are her thing, you can't go wrong with, well, anything from Cupcake Luv, all made with local flour. From these savory Kiss The Pig mini-cupcakes that are like little BLTs, to their sweet cupcakes, including red velvet and carrot cake, to their whoopie pies, you are bound to find something to meet mom's fancy. In fact, why not just get a variety pack, to be sure you get it right. Just remember to give mom the first choice!

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.