Sunday, January 12th: Tulips, Sheep Cheese, Cranberry Juice & More!

Fresh tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. Say what?!? Yuppers. Them's are fresh-cut tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Between their greenhouses and finding varieties of tulips from other latitudes, they have figured out how to get their tulips to bloom in January! In fact, we've even seen them bring some in December in the past. Seriously. So why not take a bit of the edge off of this gloomy January, and brighten up your home with some colorful fresh flowers?

Aged sheep cheeses from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you meet Glendale Shepherd, one of our new farms last week? They have a sheep dairy, and they make amazing sheep's milk aged cheeses. Four of them, currently. Have you missed hard aged cheeses at your Ballard Farmers Market? Do you have issues with cow's milk? Give this a try. Oh, and they also have wool, too!

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This just in! In response to ongoing concerns people have expressed about potential contamination from the Japanese tsunami, our friends at Loki Fish have released a lab report on residual radiation in their fish, and the results are good! Five out of seven kinds of salmon they catch and sell showed no residual radiation at all, and two others only showed small amounts -- less than a fraction of 1% of the FDA limit -- that could be consistent with background radiation from nuclear testing decades ago. Go to their website to read the complete report, and Loki's statement, published this past Tuesday.

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The other new farm to join the vendor ranks of your Ballard Farmers Market last week is Starvation Alley Farms. They are a certified organic cranberry farm from Long Beach, the cranberry belt of Washington. They offer this fresh-pressed cranberry juice, which is very strong, so a little goes a long way, and this week, they introduce their frozen cranberries, which are individually quick frozen (IQF), meaning they are loose and easy to add to whatever you want.

Stew Mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It's root season, and that means root roasts, stews and soups that will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and full of energy for hours. Mix it up and make life easy with one of these stew mix bags from Colinwood Farms.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When most folks think of Olsen Farms, they think potatoes. But Olsen produces meat, too, including lambbeef and pork. Just take a gander at these spectabulous pork chops, for example. No wonder more and more chefs around Seattle are choosing to feature Olsen pork on their menus these days, including our own Los Chilangos, right here at your Ballard Farmers Market!

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

Just a couple more weeks left to get your Brussels sprouts on. The season is waning. So get thee to Nash's Organic Produce now, then grab some shallots, bacon and white wine, and blow the minds of your Brussels sprouts-hating friends!

Hard ciders from Finnriver Farm & Cidery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It's tasting day for Finnriver Farm & Cidery at your Ballard Farmers Market! And they have a wonderful selection of top-notch hard ciders favored on bar menus all over Seattle. Stop by today for a sample, find one or two you like, then take some home and reconnect with one of the oldest-school beverages on earth.

Non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

"Do you really want to inhale petroleum-derived, allergy-causing ... carbons?" asks Cherepashka Candles on their website. Well, um, duh. No, we don't. Lucky us, just as we were lamenting the exit of Ascents Candles and their all-natural, non-toxic candles that use natural essential oils for wonderful, refreshing scents, we are now able to welcome Cherepashka Candles, also made in Seattle, also with natural and non-toxic candles. Stop by, check them out, and bring some home. And hey, the jars the candles come in are even reusable. Woohoo!

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.