'Tis the pillaging hour, and the Vikings are descending upon Ballard for the annual Ballard Seafood Festival this weekend, celebrating our community's proud Scandinavian and fishing industry heritage. Of course, this does present a few challenges for you Ballard Farmers Market faithful, and here are a few tips for managing your trip to your favorite farmers market (which you should vote for right now by clicking this link):
- Parking will be tight all day. Carpool, bike, walk, take a cab or bus, and your stress level will be much lower.
- If you plan to attend Seafood Fest, bring a good cooler with you with plenty of ice. That way, you can get your groceries first, put them in your cooler, and then hit the Beer Garden for a frosty pint, some salmon and some accordion music.
- If you just want to get groceries and then flee, we recommend you try to get here before noon or 1 p.m., as that's when the main party cranks up at Seafood Fest.
- If you just plan to attend Seafood Fest, and you stumbled onto this page courtesy of Google, come a little early and check out the best farmers market in Washington, and one of the best in the U.S.!
- Remember to bring your Viking helmet and your accordion!
Your Ballard Farmers Market is food only during Seafood Fest. Don't forget to bring your bags with you. And if you are in the vicinity of the Market between 3-5 p.m., please mind the farmers' trucks flowing in and out. We want to you survive so you can come back next week, too!
Spot prawns. If these words mean anything to you, you will be standing in front of Hama Hama Oyster Company's table at 10 a.m. this morning! That's because there was another opening for spot prawns on the Hood Canal this past week, and Hama Hama has assured us that they will make sure there are some for the good people of Ballard this time, after that bit of painful teasing they did last time. Still, "some" is a relative term, and I predict they will be gone before, if not long before, 11 a.m.!
Sometimes, you just need to stop and eat the flowers. And Colinwood Farms grows a whole bunch of delicious edible flowers just for that purpose. If you've eaten flowers before, you won't need more convincing, but if you haven't, stop by Colinwood and try them. They are a perfect, colorful and delicious garnish to any salad!
Whether you like your round balls of greens sweet and cabbagy or bitter and red faced, Stoney Plains Organic Farm has got you covered! They've got beautiful, solid heads of green cabbage now, ready for slaws and krauts of all kinds. And they've got radicchio now, too, great in salads, sauteed with a little bacon and even grilled.
It’s back! The world-famous Bag O’ Fish from Wilson Fish. That’s right, kids, coho salmon season has opened on the Washington coast, and Wilson Fish has it for you today, super fresh and whole, ready to fill with some herbs, lemon and olive oil or butter and flop on the grill! All for one low price. So get here early today. Supplies are limited, and the early bird gets the big fish… for the same price everyone else will be paying for the rest of them!
Get that hanky ready, cuz you are gonna need it to wipe the juice off of your chin once you bite into one of these juicy, super-sweet arctic star nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. You know, I do love this time of year, when I get to add three or four kinds of fruit to the fresh list every week. Like pluots, for instance. Yup, Tiny's has flavorosa pluots now, too! This cross between plums and apricots is deeply sweet and plenty juicy, yet firm enough to travel well with you on a hike or picnic.
If you've never tried the aptly named Pete's Perfect Toffee, I'd say Seafood Fest weekend is the perfect time to do it. Pete's toffee and fudge are simply amazing, adding a decadent dose of sweetness to even the biggest grumpy puss. Stop by Pete's for a sample or two to find the flavor that most pleases you!
Now, that's some spectabulous cauliflower from Oxbow Farm. It's their first harvest of the season, and it is super dense and firm and delish! Roast it. Grill it. Salad it. Dip it. Devour it!
Golden raspberries from Billy's Gardens. You know, we usually have so few of these over the course of the summer that it just doesn't seem necessary for me to go and wax all poetic about them. I mean, just look at them! But get here early to buy them, since now everyone will want some.
These 250 ml. bottles of kombucha from CommuniTea are the perfect single-serving size of this effervescent, fermented, green tea pick-me-up! Just keep in mind that technically, this is an alcoholic beverage. It doesn't have much alcohol, but it does have a little as a natural byproduct of the fermentation process, and that means you have to be 21 to buy it. I kid you not! Oh, and open container laws apply, too, I suppose. Just your luck, you'll be slurping one of these down, and the one Seattle cop who's into holistic living will cross your path and actually recognize what you're drinking. Doh!
Vanilla rice pudding from Pasteria Lucchese sounds like a tasty treat you can eat while you walk through Seafood Fest, doesn't it? Better get two, though, because it is so good, you are going to want another when you get home. Oh, and remember to bring a spoon with you today, too!
Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags today, and every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.
There is plenty more 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.