Sunday, June 24th: Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Fresh Alaskan Salmon, Artichokes, Cabbage, Fava Beans & The Return of Bill's Fruits!

Happy summer, all y'all! Did you know that on the last Sunday of each month, a different member of the Northwest Cider Association from Washington takes over Finnriver Farm & Cidery's space at your Ballard Farmers Market? This week, we are visited by Eaglemount Wine & Cider from Port Townsend. Port Townsend is fast becoming a cider making mecca here in Washington. Stop by and check out why by picking up a bottle or two of Eaglemount's excellent ciders today!

There are those who may not think lettuce is sexy. But look at this beautiful lettuce from Oxbow Farm -- three different heirloom varieties, brilliantly colorful, crisp and delicious. Lovely lettuces like this aren't available year-round, and this is the peak season for them. Let's face it, the stuff in the Big Box Stores from Arizona is just plain boring. So enjoy your local lettuce now, while you can! Think beyond salads to wraps, sandwiches, grilling and more!

Yes, these are some of the most stunningly beautiful strawberries you have ever seen, and they are not the magic of Photoshop. These strawberries from Gaia’s Natural Goods really do look like this, and they taste ever better! See, many early strawberries have an astringent quality to them, but not these. And they are so clean and perfect looking because Gaia’s uses row covers. That keeps the rainwater from splashing all the dirt up onto them, and it also keeps the plants warm, so they bare fruit sooner. If you haven’t introduced yourself to Gaia’s yet, you must do so today!

Mmm. Fresh artichokes from Nash's Organic Produce. There are countless ways to enjoy these over-sized thistle buds. Just ask any Italian you know. Or, you can just take the lazy route and simmer them with some herbs and then just tear off the leaves, dip the fleshy end in some nice mayo, and enjoy!

Do I really need to spend much verbage on why you should love carrots? I mean, they're carrots! We all wait on pins and needles for carrots to come into your Ballard Farmers Market this time of year, and when they do, we forget what polite Ballardites we are, knocking each other out of the way for that last bunch. I mean, you'd think we were talking about eggs here, or the first asparagus of spring. Well, these lovely carrots are from Summer Run Farm. Try not to injure anyone as you dive into their tent headfirst, like Pete Rose, for a bunch of them today.

Another humble crop that makes summer just that much more summery is cabbage. With all those backyard barbecues and picnics on the beach coming up, we will need some serious slaw action, right? Or maybe even some homemade kraut for our dogs. Heck, however you love your summer cabbage, head on over to Stoney Plains Organic Farm to get some of the first cabbages of summer today!

Fresh Alaskan salmon is another right of summer here in Ballard. In a few weeks, we'll shut down the whole of Downtown Ballard for an entire weekend to celebrate our longstanding relationship with the Alaskan salmon fishing fleet based right here in Ballard's Salmon Bay. One of those boat's is our own dear Loki Fish, and today will be the first of many Sundays to come that Loki will have fresh salmon flown down from Alaskan for us to enjoy. Happy summer indeed!

Speaking of fava beans, oh, for some liver and a nice chianti right about now, eh? For it’s fava bean season at Alvarez Organic Farms. They also have snow peasEnglish shelling peas and more today. Heck, before long, they’ll have sweet corn for us, too. I can’t wait! But I will enjoy the joy of favas and peas now, while I can. Won’t you join me?

Today, we also welcome back Bill's Fruits for another season of delicious stone fruits from the Yakima Valley. They'll have bing and Rainier cherries to start, and it won't be long before we see apricots and nectarines, too! Woohoo!

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.