Sunday, April 6th: Asparagus, Fiddleheads, Tuna, Brokale, Purple Sprouting Broccoli & The Return Of One Leaf Farm!

First of the year asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. No, this is not a late April Fools joke. Asparagus is here! That's right. Our friends at Lyall Farms are once again the first farm with asparagus this year at your Ballard Farmers Market, as they have been for the past several years. Of course, as this is the first harvest, there will be a limited supply, so get here early. Last year, it sold out by noon! But never fear. They still have lots of sweet potatoes and apples, too. Also, we have some additional breaking news: Frog's Song Farm will be joining us today for one day only with what has been called the best salad mix in Washington. We are accommodating them as they are in a bit of a pinch because a restaurant cancelled an order on them, so avail yourself of this rare treat. And if that isn't enough, Pam's Place Plants, from Langley, joins us today as our newest farm vendor, bringing in a great selection of plants and garden starts just in time for spring!

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Yes, it is now ladyfern fiddlehead season. Woohoo! This wild-harvested delicacy is a right of spring, as the ladyferns in the forest begin to push up out of the forest floor after their long winter's slumber. Foraged & Found Edibles has them now, as well as stinging nettles and miners lettuce.

Baby arugula from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D., Lyons.

But wait! There's more! One Leaf Farm, from Carnation, returns today for the 2014 season. Yippee ki yay! Entering their fourth year this year, One Leaf came out of gate in 2011 already quite the rock star farm, and we just count ourselves fortunate they have chosen to call our markets home. Today, they will roll in with plenty of this gorgeous baby arugula, some beautiful over-wintered leeks, a few raabs and more. Git down here and welcome them back!

Pea starts from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm will have pea starts ready for planting in your garden tomorrow. They also have baby salad mix and arugula, and their jumbo chicken eggs will be on sale for a mere $7.50. And if you think that is expensive, you clearly have never tried their eggs... and you are ignoring the math, too. I look at it this way: if you eat two of them -- and two is plenty, as they are huge -- that's $1.25 per serving of very high quality protein. They are high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, because these happy hens get to eat a natural diet, get fresh air and exercise, and hang out with roosters. They are super fresh. And they are delicious. How much are you paying at the Big Box store for factory farmed animal protein that was produced who knows where and who know how by who knows who? What can you get on a menu at a fast food restaurant for $1.25? In other words, $7.50 a dozen for these jumbo eggs is a steal!

Purple sprouting broccoli. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another early bird alert: Alm Hill Gardens will have a bit more of this wonderful purple sprouting broccoli today, but it won't last long. Of course, the good news is that they've got lots of other goodies coming on now, too, for all you late sleepers, like the return of their famous spicy salad mixbaby spinachbraising mix and more!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, it is the first Sunday of the month, and that means the best albacore tuna on earth is here at your Ballard Farmers Market from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Whether you prefer the sashimi grade frozen loins or the best canned tuna ever, you can't go wrong with this stuff. Caught young in cold northern waters, it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, which makes it delicious and good for you.

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

This is brokale. Brokale is a cross between broccoli and kale. It is not kale's "bro." It has a milder flavor than both broccoli and kale, while being loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals, and other goodness. It is great simply sautéed, in salads, juiced, even quickly grilled. You'll find it from Gaia's Harmony Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Garlic chives from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Children's Garden is awash in flowers and herbs right now, including rosemarycilantromint and these garlic chives. They will make a great addition to your salads, sautés, soups and more. Oh, spring, how I love thee!

Easter hams from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't forget to get your Easter hams now from Olsen Farms. They have plenty of them, large and small, ready for you and your guests come April 20th. And that is just two weeks from today! They also have a great selection of lamb and beef roasts, too, and all the potatoes you could ever want!

Terry Meyer of Stoney Plains Organic Farm stands alongside garden starts. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let's finish this week's installment celebrating all things spring with a look at the amazing selection of plants and garden starts from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Unfortunately, we couldn't get Vanna White here to model with their plants, so the farm's Terry Meyer will have to do. (A little something for the ladies!) And this gorgeous rack of plants is but one of several. It's time to get some dirt under our fingernails again, folks!

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.