Sunday, December 16th: Cultivated Mushrooms, Golden Turnips, Holiday Bread, Local Tuna & Much More!

Baby blue oyster mushrooms at Sno-Valley Mushrooms in Duvall. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons. Hey, kids! There are just two more Ballard Farmers Market days before Christmas! Today, and next Sunday. Better get down here and stock up on local arts and deliciousness to make your holidays extra special. And if you've got a football fan who just won't leave the house with you, let them know we've got about a dozen places within a block of the Market that'll have the Seahawks game on today, so they can watch while you shop. And how's this for an extra bonus: we've got mushrooms!!! Yuppers. Today, we are joined by Sno-Valley Mushrooms from Duvall, and they've got shiitakelion's mane and blue oyster cultivated mushrooms from their state-of-the-art growing facility. This is serious cause for celebration, folks, as this marks the first time in our history, going all the way back to our humble roots in Fremont in the early 1990s, that we've had a cultivated mushroom farm at the Market. Better yet, they're just in time for the holidays. And even better still, they'll have some grow bags that you can take home to have fun with growing them yourself. How cool is that?

Stölen holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, this bread is not contraband. It's stöllen, a sweet, holiday bread from Grateful Bread Bakery. This delightful fruit bread hails from Germany, and it offers an old-world festiveness to your seasonal dinners and parties. Only available for a few short weeks each year, why not treat yourself today!

Beautiful metal art ornaments from Metalwing Studios. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful little baked enamel metal Christmas ornaments are produced by Julia Garrels of Metalwing Studios right here in Seattle. Is gifting a special ornament to your loved ones part of your family tradition at Christmas time? Well, you won't get more special, unique and beautiful than these, and you'll know you are giving a gift with a story and a face behind it, while supporting a local artist!

A sampler pack of canned tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fishing Vessel St. Jude makes a special mid-month visit to your Ballard Farmers Market, just in time for the holidays. Stop by and load up on extra local albacore tuna to meet the needs of all your festivities. And remember, they have a wonderful variety of canned tuna flavors that make for great stocking stuffers!

Decorative faceplates for your electrical outlets and switches from Dimensional  Colors. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These decorative faceplates from Dimensional Colors will liven up your switches and outlets throughout your home, and they are great conversation pieces. Just think, everyone will be ooing and ahhing over the coolest fixtures they've ever seen during your holiday dinners and parties. And talk about a gift that provides both form and function! No one can complain that this is too practical.

One of the many educational displays at Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has decided to come back for one extra week today to your Ballard Farmers Market. And good thing, that, as when we visited them on Monday, their fields still had plenty of deliciousness in them. And have you ever noticed that their full name is Oxbow Organic Farm & Education Center? That's because the whole farm is one big classroom. You'll find signs like this one all over, explaining what is going on, from identifying plants to why all the tractors are on an elevated pad of dirt. It's pretty darned cool. Visit their website to learn more.

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hmm. What to bring to that party? How's about an award winning bottle of wine from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery? They have a number of newly released vintages of many of their best varietals, with something for every taste and occasion, including varietals hard to find anywhere else in Washington. And they offer case discounts, too!

Golden turnips from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look! Golden turnips are back at Nash's Organic Produce. These turnips are a true winter treat. They have a somewhat deeper flavor than purple top or Japanese wax turnips, and they are wonderful roasted. Indeed, Nash's is hitting its peak season right now, when so many other farms are beginning their winter hiatus. See, they are located in the Banana Belt, a region of Washington stretching to the northeast from the Olympic Mountains that tends to be in the rain shadow of those mountains, resulting in a much more temperate growing season. Enjoy!

Gift packs from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here's something delicious to slide under the tree for your favorite foodie -- a gift box of blueberry salsapreserves and chutney from Whitehorse Meadows organic blueberry farm! Yummers! You can thank me later.

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.