Sunday, September 22nd: Chile Peppers, Concord Squash, Cheddar Cauliflower, Red Kuri Squash & More!

Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. Well, how 'bout them... well... insert any name of a local sports team except the Mariners, am I right? (Okay, gratuitous pandering to Seattle's rabid sports fans. Check.) Above is a variety of goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. They are a medium hot chile with a wonderful, bright flavor. Well, it is full-on pepper season at Alvarez. They grow over 200 varieties, and this is a prolific year for peppers, like for so many other crops. This time of year, the pepper fields are so colorful at Alvarez, they are kind of reminiscent of the tulip fields in Skagit Valley in April. You can get a pretty good idea of their many varieties of peppers by checking out our Facebook photo album of them!

Concord grapes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! It's Concord grapes from our friends at Lyall Farms! Concord grapes make the best juice, and even better grape jelly. They have a deep, bold, natural sweetness to them, and you can even let them ferment with their own natural yeasts (that's the ashy stuff on the outside of the grapes) into a nice wine.

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love this image of garlic framed by cherry tomatoes at Alm Hill Gardens. It just underscores how our farmers do not just work the soil and grow delicious things, but they are artists, too. And we get to enjoy the delicious rewards of their labors and creativity!

Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The summer of 2013 has been one for the record books. Warm, humid, prolific crop production with epic harvests, lots of thunder storms... and it is this last item that brought with it a dark, destructive side the likes of which we rarely see around here in summer. Sure, there were the lightening-caused fires. But the real trouble came with the deluges of rain, and worse yet, the hail. Not so much on this side of the mountains, but on the other side, along the eastern slopes of the Central and North Cascades. And some of the worst  damage was caused in northern Chelan and eastern Okanogan Counties, like up in the Methow Valley, where Booth Canyon Orchard is located. Between late spring freezes and late summer hail, they lost almost all of their various heirloom apple crops. That is why, when they returned to your Ballard Farmers Market this past Sunday, they came only with pears, and mind you, these are the pears that made it through the hail storms. So, if you loves you some Booth Canyon fruit, focus on their pears right now, like these Clara Frijs pears, above, and celebrate them. Cuz this year, they are among the chosen few, and the chosen few are invariably the most delicious. Enjoy them, and support Booth Canyon, too!

Nash's Best Carrots from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash's Organic Produce is famous for its carrots. So it's no wonder they call them "Nash's Best". Sure, they produce lots of delicious veggies over in Dungeness. But these carrots are a thing to behold. They are so sweet. And right now, they are available in their iconic five pound bags right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another installment from the Collins Family Orchards book of funky, hybridized stone fruit. These beauties are nectarplums. Yup, they are a cross betwixt plum and nectarine, and they are amazing! But they have a short-lived season, so enjoy them while you can!

Cheddar cauliflower & romanesco from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curiously, in this prolific summer of 2013, another of the few crops that underperformed is the cauliflower family. So Oxbow Farm having this colorful cheddar cauliflower and this geometrically pleasing romanesco right now is something worth celebrating!

Kabocha and Red Kuri winter squash from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Woohoo! Winter squash from One Leaf Farm! These lovelies are kabocha (left) and red kuri winter squash. They both have such gorgeous textures and deeply sweet flavors, and when you roast them, you can even eat their skins. Oh, and be sure to toss the seeds in some olive oil, sprinkle them with a little salt, and roast them in a pie tin in the oven for a wonderful little salty, crunchy snack. Yup. Fall does begin tomorrow, alrighty!

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for blueberries from Sidhu Farms, and likely from all of our farms, as with the return of the rains and cooler weather, the berries are beginning to turn to mush on the bush. So again, enjoy them while you can, for one last time. Stock up and freeze a bunch to enjoy all winter!

Pickled jalapeños peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purdy Pickle has a fresh supply of these gorgeous pickled jalapeño peppers that they got from Alvarez Organic Farms. These are the perfect compliment to so many thing, or just on their own. Enjoy!

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.