Sunday, September 1st: Taste That Hard Cider Before You Buy It! Jerzy Boyz Returns! And It's St. Jude Tuna Day!

Some of the hard cider lineup at Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. We've all been talking about it for years. We've been hearing about it in the news. We've worked for years with the State Legislature to get it to happen. We've worked for months with the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement it. And today, it becomes a reality. Yes, starting today, you can actually sample hard cider and wine from the vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market before you buy it! Yup. All the campaigning and paper pushing is done, and now, it's go time. So stop by Finnriver Farm & Cidery today for a sample of their amazing collection of hard ciders, and find the one that's right for you. And just maybe, it's all of them!

Hard ciders from Eaglemount Cidery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you find the sheer number of enticing choices of wines and ciders from Eaglemount Wine & Cider overwhelming, especially when you can't taste them first to see which one you like best? Well, Eaglemount will also be sampling today at your Ballard Farmers Market. So maybe you've tried one and stuck with it. Try the others today, find a new fave and mix it up a bit!

Purple Goddess pears from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends from Jerzy Boyz return today for the fall season with their amazing, certified organic fruit. They grow many heirloom varieties of applespears, and other goodies on their farm that hugs the rim of the Columbia River Gorge just north of Chelan. Check out these aptly named Purple Goddess pears, for instance. That's what I'm talking about!

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It's tuna day! That's right. It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means Fishing Vessel St. Jude is here with their extraordinary local albacore tuna. They have it frozen, canned, smokedjerkied and more. This is the best tuna you will ever taste, and it is low in heavy metals and high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And if you get it in the can, don't you dare pour off the liquid! See, they don't add any cooking liquid, so what you find in the can is the natural juices from the tuna that is packed with flavor and goodness.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids. It's Westside sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farms. Since it doesn't get as hot over on this side of the Cascade Mountains, Westside corn takes longer to mature. But what it lacks in speed it makes up for in flavor and sweetness. But it will go fast, so get here early!

Jerseys blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerseys blueberries are the latest variety of blueberries to come into season at Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. They are kind of the classic blueberry, sweet and a little tart. Toss them in your oatmeal. Make muffins. Add them to pancakes. Relish in their antioxidant qualities!

Whole pastured chicken from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you fry it, roast it, smoke it, make it with dumplings, or stick a beer can up its bum and barbecue it, a pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm offers you one of the best chickens you’ve ever tasted. Maybe it’s the fresh air and exercise they get. Maybe its because they eat excellent food. Maybe it is just farmer Michaele Blakely’s magic touch. Whatever the case, I’ve been proud to serve these birds for my Thanksgiving dinner many times. So you can imagine the amazing fried chicken they’d make!

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These magnificent little creatures are Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms, and they are just one of about 18 varieties that they grow, 13 of which are gracing their tables right now. If you love eggplant like I love eggplant, check out Alvarez today. And to get your juices flowing , just take a gander at our Facebook photo album of their eggplant.

Organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be September, but it is still berry season. These organic raspberries are from Gaia's Harmony Farm. 2013 has been one of the best berry-growing seasons in history, with better quality, sweeter berries and huge harvests. There is still plenty of time to get your berry on this season!

Peppers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez isn't the only farm with a rainbow of peppers. This colorful collection of sweet and hot peppers are from Colinwood Farms, over in Port Townsend. 2013 is a historic year for peppers, too, and the more sun and heat we get, the better, and in some cases hotter, they are. So load up on peppers this year, too!

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple mizuna from Boistfort Valley Farm is as delicious as it is beautiful. It is a little spicy and a little bitter, and it makes for great salads, garnish for sandwiches or a nice, quick wilting for a tasty side dish. Enjoy!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is almost time for the saffron harvest, and that means it is almost time for our buddy, Jim, from Phocas Farms to disappear for a few months back over to Port Angeles. In fact, next week is his last until next year. So if you've been putting off getting that succulent garden going, or those saffron crocuses planted, now's the time. Stock up today, and then use your day off tomorrow to get them in the ground!

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.