Sunday, February 9th: Here Comes Valentine's Day!

Fresh cut tulips from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons. Just when our nerves are beginning to settle from Seattle's epic first Super Bowl victory, it is time to jangle those synapses again over St. Valentine's Day. Woohoo! Here is your guide to all-things-local-and-delicious from your Ballard Farmers Market that will show that special someone not only how much you care about them, but also how much you care about your community! Cuz anyone can go to a mall jewelry store or grab a bunch of flowers grown in the Southern Hemisphere somewhere at the Big Box Store, but what's special about that? That's you saying, "I love you as much as a million other generic people love their generic sweeties, and these earrings will be hanging from the ears of a million other people, too." But that's not how we roll here in the People's Republic of Ballard. We love unique, local, direct. We love things having a story and a face behind them. We... we love! And that's why we will start off by handing the ones we love a bunch of freshly-cut tulips from Alm Hill Gardens. Will they last until Friday? Yes! See, their buds are still tight enough that by Friday, they will be bursting with all their glory... just in time!

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arriving with a gorgeous bottle of red wine from Eaglemount Wine & Cider will be an excellent career move, too. And to make sure you pick the right bottle for you and yours, stop by Eaglemount today and taste a few varieties of their wines and hard ciders. Then, grab a bottle or two of your favorites, and you'll be all ready to pop that cork come Friday!

Chocolates from Trevani Truffles. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't show up without chocolate! Trevani Truffles makes beautiful and delicious chocolate truffles flavored with lots of local ingredients. And admit it. You just jammed your finger as you tried to reach for one of them on your screen, didn't you?

Seastack cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, if you must cut the cheese on Valentine's Day, make it local, artisan cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery. This award-winning Seastack is nothing short of legendary -- here and around the world. So let your love flow... with cheese!

Oysters on the half-shell, on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo courtesy Hama Hama Oyster Company.

And if you want to dial it up a notch, you can't really go wrong with some fresh oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Not only will they help get you in the mood, their zinc will also help you fend off that cold your sweetie has! Besides, is it really a successful Valentine's Day without a little bit of shucking and slurping?

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

Help set the mood this Valentine's Day without actually taking any years off of the life of you and yours. These non-toxic, natural candles from Cherepashka Candles come scented by a variety of natural essential oils sure the lay the foundation for a pleasurable evening... if you'll pardon the expression.

Polish garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Good for heart and the soul, a bouquet of these stinking roses from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm will truly test, if not show, your love. After all, when you've loaded up on the garlic during dinner, and that cutie next to you wants to kiss you anyway, you know they're a keeper!

Fresh sausages from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing says love like a nice, fresh, plump sausage from direct from a local farm, and Sea Breeze Farm has lots of sausages so fresh and plump that they will keep until Friday's romantic meal.

Loki Keta Ikura. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you see them as a salty explosion of deliciousness, an expression of fertility, an indulgence, or simply beautiful, ikura (keta roe) from Loki Fish will be a wonderful addition to your special meal. Place a little dollop of ikura on a wedge of Seastack, place it in the mouth of your sweetie, hand them a glass of that red wine, and settle in for a night so memorable that you will have to start thinking the next day about ways to top it next year!

Heat-shaped Kombucha Mothers from CommuniTea Kombucha. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For the gift of love that keeps on giving, how about one of these heart-shaped kombucha mothers from Communi-Tea Kombucha? With it, you can have fun making your own kombucha at home!

Herbal teas from Harbor Herbalist. Photo copyright 2013 by Ben Chandler.

A nice cup of herbal tea will warm the heart and the soul. Check out the many blends Harbor Herbalist has to offer -- one for just about every mood. And that may come in handy, if your night passes through many different moods.

Sail boat earrings from Itali Lambertini. Photo courtesy Itali Lambertini.

And about those aforementioned unique, local earrings... check these beauties out. They are handmade using recycled gold by Itali Lambertini in Port Townsend. Recycled gold tells your love that you care about the entire world, including the salmon up in Bristol Bay and miners in Africa, because you are not creating demand for more virgin gold that is only going to do harm to both.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, one last shout out about our Seattle Seahawks. Did you know that they, and the Seattle Sounders, eat these eggs, as well as chickens, from our own Stokesberry Sustainable Farm? It's true! In fact, apparently, Russell Wilson will only eat their duck eggs. But wait. How about a little bit of 12th Man conspiracy math? You've been seeing references to it everywhere this past week, from the safety 12 seconds into the game, to the kick run back for a touchdown 12 seconds into the second half, to the final score of 43 (4 x 3 = 12) to it being Super Bowl 48 (4 + 8 = 12). Let's add to that that Stokesberry eggs come in packages of 12! (You can't make this stuff up!) Clearly, the Seahawks were the team of destiny this year.

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.