Sunday, May 5th: We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Return of Alvarez Organic Farms... And Other Deliciousness!

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons. It seems every country's lore includes some historic battle against a superior foe that ultimately turned the tide in favor of the seemingly weaker party -- be that a sudden shift in the balance of military might, or just a symbolic victory that emboldened the weaker force with a strengthened morale and confidence that became so infectious as to ultimately lead to the demise of the greater power. The American Revolution had George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River. The Irish Revolution had the Easter Rising. And Mexico had Puebla, where on May 5, 1861, its forces were victorious against a far superior French army twice the size of the Mexican force.

Wait. What? French army? See, that's the thing right there. Most American's think Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican Independence Day. It does not. That is September 16. 1810. But the Mexican pride in that great victory over the invading French during the U.S. Civil War is still alive today, if only mostly in the U.S. But still, if you do not count yourself as a Mexican-American, please take a little time this evening, whilst you swill margaritas and eat salsa and chips, to at least express a little "booyah" for our neighbors to the south, as they have just as impressive a history of kicking European Imperialist bottom as we do. That said, seems as good a time as any to welcome back for the first time this year yet another glorious gift to us from the people of Mexico, Alvarez Organic Farms. They'll have plenty of organic asparagus today, as well as other deliciousness!

Morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what goes great with asparagus? Morel mushrooms, that's what! I like tossing the two into a baking dish together with some olive oil and roasting them in a hot oven until tender. And if you can get your hands on some spring sweet onions, add them, too! Foraged & Found Edibles says they'll have plenty of these wild beauties today. Enjoy!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Just thinking about some of that asparagus and morels alongside a nice, seared-rare albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means it's tuna day at your Ballard Farmers Market! Stop by, say 'hi' to Joyce, and pick up some frozen loins, some canned deliciousness, and maybe a little smoked, if you're lucky.

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cauliflower is mysterious stuff for many folk. I mean, does it just grow in this big, round, flower-esque head? It's not exactly a crop most of us grow in our backyards, after all, so how would we know? Well, take a look at this photo. This is a beautiful head of cauliflower in the field that has been over-wintered and is ready for harvest at Nash's Organic Produce. And the white head of the cauliflower isn't the only tasty bit. The cauliflower leaves are also delicious! Now that you know that they exist, beat thee a path to Nash's and get thee some! (Of both, that is.)

Black Crack Pepper Jack from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Townsend Creamery is celebrating the birth of a new cheese, Black Crack Pepper Jack. It is kind of the result of an experiment they did over in Port Townsend -- and after all, aren't more great discoveries and creations -- so there is a limited supply currently. But this stuff rocks! It's dangerous, in fact. I could eat a lot of it. It is creamery and rich, with a beautiful punch of freshly cracked black peppercorns -- a perfect marriage. Get some while you can, as it may be some time before they make more.

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is nira. It is from Gaia's Natural Goods, and it tastes like a cross between garlic and onions. Use it like chives in salads, to garnish meat or fish, or add it to juices. It is mild in flavor, but delicious nevertheless. And it is another one of those Asian crops you won't find on other many tables. Enjoy!

Red vein sorrel plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I still assert that Chinese spinach is the most beautiful vegetable, but red vein sorrel is close behind. How cool looking is this stuff? But it's hard to find.  Now's your chance to grow it yourself! Cascadian Edible Landscapes has these lovely little pots with red vein sorrel plants all ready for you to add to you garden. But put them in with your other perennial herbs, as it, too, is a perennial.

Earl grey tea jelly from Deluxe Foods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mom's love earl grey tea jelly, and Mothers Day is just a week away. Deluxe Foods has these lovely jars of it, all ready for you to present to mom at breakfast next Sunday, so you'll get the day started off right. Cuz remember... when mom's happy, everybody's happy!

Asparagus & Smoked Salmon Tamales are the flavor of the month at Patty Pan Grill. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the start of a new month, and that means a new Tamale-of-the-Month from Patty Pan Grill! Yessir. This month, they are offering Asparagus & Smoked Salmon Tamales. Okay, maybe they are the most Mexican-sounding flavor, but so what? I mean, it's not like Mexicans limit their diets to what is on the menu at Azteca, right? We didn't invent seasonal eating here! The organic asparagus is from ACMA Mission Orchards, and the smoked salmon is from Loki Fish, both right here at your Ballard Farmers Market as well. So how's about celebrating the Mexican kicking of French Imperialist behind with a few of these babies?!?

Unscented candles from Ascents Candles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ascents Candle Company is taking a break from your Ballard Farmers Market after Mothers Day, so Julianna can try to spend one summer  enjoying being a mother with her two little ones... and catching up. Never fear. She'll be back in September. But now's a good time to stock up on her gorgeous, non-toxic candles, available both scented and unscented. And they make for great Mothers Day gifts, too!

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.

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.