Hey kids! It's Daylight Savings Time again, that archaic process by which we are somehow saving daylight by simply reprogramming our clocks. And yet, we still seem to have the same amount of daylight in the day. There are many stories as to the purpose of this process, but it seems to me that the farmers we work with are out in their fields while it's light, and the time on the clock is irrelevant. And it's not like the cows that need milking are going to look at the changed clock on the wall and suddenly think to themselves, "Moo. My udders are full, but the clock says..." But hey, at least I won't need a flashlight tonight to see the keyhole on my backdoor when I get home from the Market.
With seemingly the mildest winter in years here in the Pacific Northwet, lotsa green things are already returning to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, it is a great time to enjoy fresh-cut herbs again, like this spearmint from Children's Garden. They also have cilantro, rosemary, parsley and other herbs now, plus a ton of greens, and daffodils
Remember Cave Man Bars? Well, Steve is back with his delicious snack and energy bars, but under a new name: Umchu Bar. And he has incorporated more local ingredients in his recipes, as well as developed a few new recipes, too! Like his new Survival Pouch, which he calls a "primitive PB&J." Made with roasted peanuts from CB Nuts in Kingston, and Washington cherries, this is the perfect thing to keep a case of around for when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives.
Speaking of yummy, tender, spring greens, look at these tasty baby chard greens from Colinwood Farms. After months of kale, some chard sounds pretty good right about now. A quick sauté with some garlic and olive oil... mmm. Or just eat 'em raw as a salad. Hey, why not get some triticale from Nash's Organic Produce and make a nice chard and grain salad. Now, we're talking.
Gil & I had a lovely visit to Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis on Friday, and we got to meet the cows and goats and see the milking parlor, cheese making facilities and aging cave. One of the things we got to see is how they season their cheese curds. They use fresh-cut herbs and fresh spices. And the result is deliciousness. Simple curds turned into culinary works of art that will please any palate.
Braising greens from Alm Hill Gardens are back in force these days, fully recovered from the early January deep freeze they got up in Whatcom County. See, they get that cold wind out of the Fraser River Valley that comes way down out of Northern Canada. Fortunately, though, winter veggies in the fields sprang back to life quickly, and now, we get to enjoy this tasty mix of kales, chards and collards.
We also visited Stokesberrry Sustainable Farm in Olympia during our Friday trip. We first got to visit their pastures where their cattle and Icelandic sheep graze on lush greens. Then, we headed to the main farm to see all the ducks and chickens quacking and clucking and wandering about freely. Lots of space. Lots of free air. Lots of mud... well, for the pigs, anyway. The egg-laying ducks (yes, there are different breeds of ducks and chickens -- some lay eggs, some are used for meat) where rather comical, marching around their enclosure, quacking in unison. After all, they are flocking birds. Well, they lay these beautiful white eggs (above), that are wonderful, with rich, deeply yellow yolks. Yes, they do taste different than chicken eggs. Haven't tried them before? Grab a dozen today!
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.