Sunday, September 16th: Nectarplums, Purple Carrots, Banana Cantaloupes, Asian Pears, Greek Yogurt, Earl Grey Tea Jelly & Other Deliciousness!

Now, them's some carrots, eh? Purple Haze carrots from Boistfort Valley Farm, in fact. Stunning, aren't they? And admit it. You either just hurt your fingers or smeared your nose all over your screen trying to get at these, didn't you? These beauties are plenty satisfying raw, but they really shine cooked. They get a big, deep, wonderful carrot flavor to them -- more earthy, less sweet, and just plain delicious. Plus, they look really cool, too! Stop by Boistfort Valley Farm today to see all the stunning produce they've got for you this week at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Lettuce is still rocking your Ballard Farmers Market, and Oxbow Farm has some amazing heirloom varieties of lettuce to please every palate and fit every application. This lovely oak leaf variety of lettuce is called Bolsa Chica lettuce. It is bold and beautiful, with its deep green color and its spiky leaves, and it packs a big flavor and tons of nutrients. This ain’t no Big Box store iceberg lettuce, my friends!

Hey kids! It's another one of those stone fruits from Collins Family Orchards that has two names, because it is a hybrid of two different fruits. These are nectarplums -- part nectarine, part plum. All delicious. This is one of those new stone fruits that consistently blows away anyone who tries it. Of course, that means you should probably get to Collins early, before they sell out!

Winter squash has arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market! Find kabochabutternutdelicataspaghetti and carnival winter squash now from Alvarez Organic Farms. I realize that winter squash might seem premature on your menu, but remember, if you let the stems dry fully, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place with stems intact, they will last for months.

This weird looking creature is a banana cantaloupe melon from Lyall Farms. It is large, long, and quite fragrant, and it is bright orange inside, just like any cantaloupe. Stop by Lyall Farms today and give one of these a good sniff. Then bring it home, cut it open, and dribble its juice down the front of your chin and shirt as you devour it!

Potatoes also keep well, so stock up on them, too! These all blue potatoes from Olsen Farms are exactly what they sound like — all blue, through and through. They are great roasted in a hot oven, steamed and mashed with good butter from Golden Glen Creamery, or even chipped and fried. Yes, blue potato chips! In fact, pick up some red-fleshed and white fleshed potatoes from Olsen, and make red, white and blue potato chips!

Wanna make raisins? Then you'll want some of these seedless Thompson grapes from Magana Farms. They are perfectly sweet. And this is an amazing year for grapes. Bring them home, separate them from their vine, give them a good wash, and then load them into your dehydrator. In no time, you'll have your own homemade raisins! Yeah, baby!

These cured red onions from Nature's Last Stand are great on sandwiches, sautéed, pickled, what have you, and they will store for months in a cool, dry, dark place. Nature's also has the first yellow storage onions of the season now, too, plus lots and lots of great spuds and greens.

How’s about some Asian pears, while we’re at it? This lovely harbinger of fall has a flavor unto itself — oh, so much more that just a pear. It contains a symphony of tasting notes, like any fine wine, and it comes with a texture that’ll make your teeth sing and bring a tear to your eye. Heck, I’m a bit verklempt just writing about it. Find them at ACMA Mission Orchards today!

Tomato season rolls on. With our late-starting warm, dry summer, they are hitting their peak right now! Doesn’t a salad with lots of these cherry tomatoes from Summer Run Farm sound lovely right about now? Or how about poaching them in some olive oil and then adding them to a lovely succotash or pasta dish. Seriously. They’re vine-ripened tomatoes. How can you got wrong?

You know Samish Bay Cheese for their unique and delicious cheeses and their meat, but did you know that they make yogurt and Greek yogurt, too, from Jersey milk? Yup! Here it is right here. (I wouldn't kid about something like that.) Now, with the departure of Silver Springs Creamery for an indefinite period of time, this is very good information for yogurt lovers to know!

Sure, we featured winter squash above, but it really is still summer, both on the calendar and the weather report! So why not continue to enjoy these gorgeous, sweet and delicious summer squash from Growing Things Farm? Make some ratatouille, pickle it, grill it, roast it, make bread with it, do that voodoo that you do with it. But enjoy it while it is fresh, sweet and local, cuz you know that the stuff from the Big Box store does not compare.

These savory gluten-free dinner rolls from Dolce Lou will please any palate, whether or not your diet requires you to avoid gluten. Of course, if your diet does, these rolls will make you extra happy! They are moist, chewy and full of flavor — words not often associated with gluten-free bread products. Then again, everything Dolce Lou produces is special!

And let us finish off this week’s epistle as you should be finishing off every piece of toast — with jams and jellies from Deluxe Foods! Their products are made from heirloom recipes handed down over many generations going back to old Europe, and they use the finest local ingredients fresh from the farmers at the Market. Check out this Earl Grey Tea jelly, for instance. Talk about a morning time-saver! Just make toast, and then add a schmear of this, and BAM, you’ve got tea and toast in a single bite! You can thank me later.

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.