Happy Chanukah, all y'all! Yup, at sundown yesterday, Jews all over Ballard broke out their menorahs for the first night of Chanukah 2012. And hey, look! We've turned on the falling snow again here on your Ballard Farmers Market blog for the remainder of the holidaze. Enjoy! For some extra fun, try moving your cursor around on your browser window. You can make the snow change directions like the wind. Now, let's sweeten up the season with some fresh, local honey from Sunny Honey, from up in Everson. Annie's bees help pollinate the crops up at Alm Hill Gardens, and then they give us this lovely deliciousness. Sunny Honey has a variety of honey flavors, as well as honeycomb, beeswax, candles and even beeswax lip balm! Plus, they've got those irresistible honey sticks for the kids. Stock up for the holiday for yourself, and remember that Sunny Honey products make great stocking stuffers. And if you are traveling by plane for the holidays, they've even got little jars that you can carry on the plane with you!
Talk about stunning, just take a gander at this stuff! Vern Tator Woodturner is, well, a woodturner. In other words, Vern turns wood and works it with his tools to make these spectacular wood salt & pepper mills, bowls, kitchen utensils, bottle stoppers and more. These are heirloom quality pieces you will be proud to display in your own home, and that anyone on your gift-giving list will remember you always for. In fact, if anyone is shopping for me, I'd love one of those magnificent salad bowls. Just sayin'.
It has come to that time of the year that we find ourselves bidding adieu to some of our farmers, particularly those in extremely cold or flood-prone areas of the state. One of those farms about to part for the next few months is Oxbow Farm. This will likely be their last week until spring, so stop by and gather up the last of their fantabulous produce while you can, and wish them a happy and uneventful winter.
If you are still buying soap at a Big Box store, you are probably torturing your eyes and skin whilst you miss out on some of the beautiful handmade soaps available direct from the producer right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. Soaps like these from Karmela Botanica, for instance. With an interesting variety of natural fragrances, you're bound to find one to please everyone on your list. And because this soap is made with gentle, natural ingredients, it will leave you clean and refreshed -- not with flaky skin and burning eyes. And it bears repeating: soap makes are great stocking stuffer!
Another farm in the flood plains of the Lower Snoqualmie Valley, One Leaf Farm will only be with us for another week or two as well. By now, they've been around your Ballard Farmers Market long enough that you have come to count on them for some of the finest quality produce to be found anyone. Take these daikon radishes, for example. Gorgeous, aren't they? They've also still got a few winter luxury pumpkins, celery root, parsnips, dried beans and more. Stop by today and thank them for another great season, and grab one last load of their deliciousness for your home!
Looking for something special for someone that is bigger than will fit in a stocking, or just looking for something beautiful, cozy and warm for yourself? How's about one of these lovely hand-knit garments from Suzanne de la Torre. Suzanne tries her best to come to your Ballard Farmers Market as much as she can, but as you know, we favor our farmers with vendor space. But with more and more farmers now taking their winter breaks from the Market, Suzanne is back for the holidays. And good timing that, eh?
I try to be positive about the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market, but I have to be honest about this guy. He's a real jerk. Seriously. A real jerk. Yup, this guy makes fresh sodas the old fashioned way, just like George Bailey did in It's A Wonderful Life as a kid working at that drug store and soda shop. This is Soda Jerk Soda Company (brought to you, perhaps, by the Department of Redundancy Department... but I digress), and this jerk... this soda jerk is making fresh syrups from local, seasonal ingredients, and then he is mixing them, with the jerk of his tap handle, with soda water, to make the best, freshest soda you've probably ever tasted! Please welcome this jerk to your Ballard Farmers Market today, and thank him for being a real jerk, while you're at it.
Did you know that Four Sisters Gourmet Chili Sauces has begun making Vietnamese fresh rolls and spring rolls? And like their chili sauces, these rolls feature plenty of local ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market farmers, and her shrimp fresh rolls use Gulf prawns from Texas, supporting American fishers while not destroying Mangrove habitats. She sells them regularly, while they last, in small packages, but I bet, if you give her enough notice, and a deposit, she'll make a bunch of them for your holiday party. What is up!?
Are you missing you some local yogurt? Then you should beeline it to Samish Bay Cheese at your Ballard Farmers Market without delay. They've got regular and Greek-style yogurt from cows milk, and they just introduced their Whey Tastier berry yogurt drink (above, right). Of course, they've got lots of great cheeses for your holiday celebrations, as well as pork and beef, too!
I finish off this week's installment of local deliciousness with seasonal treats from d:floured bakery. These lovely, luscious morsels are, believe it or not, gluten-free! Yuppers. And your palate will not be able to tell the difference, I promise. What you see here are chocolate-pepperment sandwiches resting on top of peppermint brownies alongside of cranberry citrus bars. Boy, howdy! What's not to love here? Check out their various savory snacks and breads, while you're at it, and they've got a lovely, seasonal pumpkin mini loaf now, too.
Please remember bring your own bags 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.