Sunday, December 29th: We Bid Adieu To 2013!

Bottle-fermented hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons. It's the end of the year as we know it, and I feel fine! (Um, sorry, REM.) Yes, we've hit the bottom of the last page of our 2013 calendars, and now it is time for the one and only day of the year upon which the entire planet takes pause and celebrates. Kind of amazing, really, that the one thing that unites us globally is getting new calendars each year. All over the earth, we will be drinking and dancing and singing and kissing strangers and blowing up fireworks instead of people for just one day.

And that is why I, for one, believe it is time to switch from a 365-day calendar to a one-day calendar. See, if every day was New Year's Day, and every day was also New Year's Eve, the world would finally always be at peace. But until we can get world leaders to agree on my new one-day calendar idea, we need to make the most out of our 1-day-in-365 of harmony. So I say, let's party like its 1999! Hmm. Wait. Bad idea. Let's just have fun and love one another, no matter one's nationality, religion, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or even one's sports team loyalties. And what better way to kick off the New Year this coming week than with a bottle of the bubbly, as in bottle-fermented Artisan Sparkling Cider from Finnriver Farm & Cidery? This stuff is old-school, and seriously amazing. And it comes complete with its own champagne cork that will go, "pop!"

Dino (lacinato) kale from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for some greens and roughage in your diet after a month of holiday parties and snacks? Stoney Plains Organic Farm has you covered! They effectively use row covers to keep their greens going all winter long. Some of their tasty dino kale sounds pretty good right about now, doesn't it?

FreshBucks_LogoToday is the last day to use your Fresh Bucks coupons at your Ballard Farmers Market. If you receive Food Stamps benefits (SNAP/EBT),  when you use them at the Market, we will match them dollar-for-dollar, up to $10, each time you visit the Market through the end of the 2013. Unfortunately, as I pointed out above, today is the last Market of 2013. So use any remaining Fresh Bucks coupons you have today, or score one last set of them, as long as you use them today. Remember, Fresh Bucks are only good for fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers here at your Ballard Farmers Market.

The sausages of Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, nothing says, "Happy New Year!" like sausage. I am not sure exactly how it says it, but I am quite confident that nothing else says it the same way. And that is why you should get yourself some fresh local sausages today from Sea Breeze Farm.

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say cheese! Actually, I'm not sure saying "cheese" is really all that important when you are taking a selfie on New Year's Eve, but I am certain that adding some of this gorgeous and award-winning artisan cheese from Samish Bay Cheese will make your party much, much better.

Cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are making some homemade kraut, braising it, slawing it, or playing bocce with it, you have to admit that this is some pretty darned spectabulous looking cabbage from Nash's Organic Produce. Of course, they also have sweet-as-can-be beets and carrots now, too, recently kissed by freezing weather and all sugared up. And why not give some of their less famous roots a try? From sunchokes to rutabagas to golden turnips, Nash's is rocking the roots right now. Heck, try them all at once with one of their mixed root bags, and grab a copy of their 21 recipes for them.

Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Pickled salmon from Loki Fish. Now, that says, "let's get this party started!" But get it early, as it sells out fast.

Syrups from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Make your own non-alcoholic bubbly with these soda syrups from Soda Jerk Sodas. Or use it as a cocktail mixer. And, of course, you can grab a growler or three of their fresh sodas today at your Ballard Farmers Market, too!

Martini Stix and pickled peppers from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These carrot martini stix and pickled peppers will certainly spice up your holiday festivities. Get down to Purdy Pickle today, and get your pickle on! They've got a great selection of pickles from which to choose.

Fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And you gotta love olive fougasse from Tall Grass Bakery. Seriously. It is required of you. Mind you, if for some reason, you are one of those rare (and troubled) birds that doesn't, that just means more for me! I can eat one of these by myself in a single sitting. Happy New Calendars, indeed!

Kimchi, Krauts & more from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I seem to have a disproportionate number of fermented products in the year-end countdown, and maybe that is because that last round of glüg and fruitcake feels like it is setting up residency. Now's a good time for all of us to embrace the fermented, and healing, deliciousness of kimchi and kraut from Ballard's own Firefly Kitchens. It's good food that's good for you, especially after that third plate of holiday cookies.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And why not finish with one last bit of fermented goodness that will pick you up and cure what ails you. Yes, it is kombucha from Communi-Tea Kombucha. Delish. And hey, it will work great for toasting in the New Year, too. It's got the fizz. It has a little bit of alcohol, but not too much. And it'll give you an energy boost to help you make it through the wee hours. (And you thought these posts were never helpful. As if.)

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.