Sunday, April 20th: Farmers Market Dinner & Auction, and More Farmers Return!

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Tickets are on sale now for our Farmers Market Dinner & Live Auction to support our Fresh Bucks Program on May 13th in the Hotel Ballard Rooftop Pavilion! Chef Jason Stoneburner of neighboring Stoneburner Restaurant and his kitchen crew will expertly prepare a amazing menu built around fresh ingredients from your Ballard Farmers Market, and Jason T. Haynes, who many of you know from Alm Hill Gardenswill perform a live auction as only that good ole Kentucky boy can! All proceeds benefit our Fresh Bucks Program that extends the benefits of those on Food Stamps when they use them here at the market, as well as nutritional and cooking classes for kids. Buy tickets now, or simply make a donation, at Brown Paper Tickets. Looking for more details about Fresh Bucks, and the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction? Click here! (And if you’d like to post one of our posters in your business or office, or you just think it’s pretty, click on it to download it.)

Radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Well, after a winter of Sundays dominated by either bad weather or Seahawks games, we welcome the fifth straight Sunday in a row of lovely spring weather at your Ballard Farmers Market. And with this gorgeousness comes more and more spring produce. Like more radishes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm! I have been going radish crazy for the last couple of weeks, after months living without them. And hey, maybe your Easter egg hunt got rained out yesterday, but today, you can enjoy some wonderful Easter egg radishes (top left of photo, above). Enjoy!

It's asparagus time again! Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And more asparagus! Yes, our friends at Magana Farms return today after their winter hiatus, meaning we now have three farms with asparagus at your Ballard Farmers Market. I suspect they may also bring with them some spring onions, too, if they are true to past history.

Fresh Herbs de Provence & Garlic-Parsley Chevre in new packaging from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Twin Oaks Creamery from Chehalis returns today with all sorts of cow's milk and goat's milk deliciousness. You'll find fresh, pasteurized, bottled cow's milkfresh chevre (goat cheese), cheese curds (cow cheese), goat yogurtgoat feta and likely some aged raw milk cheeses. Woohoo!

Over-Wintered Cauliflower in the field in Sequim from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered cauliflower is in the house! Go Nash's! It's your birthday! Go Nash's! It's your birthday! (Sorry. Lost it a bit there.) This image is, in fact, cauliflower in the field at Nash's Organic Produce. And when it's made it through a tough winter, it is oh, so sweet now! They've also got a bunch of over-wintered leeks today, too. And I hear they are sending me a recipe to make some awesome soup with the two, so stay tuned.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil is back today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Produced by Ole World Oils on their farm yonder in Ritzville, this is your local cooking oil. It has a very high smoke point (475 degrees), is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and it is stable, so you don't need to refrigerate it. It has a wonderful, nutty flavor great for both cooking and as a finishing oil. And I love tossing cauliflower in it and roasting it in a 425 degree oven until just fork tender. The flavors compliment each other well. And best of all, it is priced competitively with olive oil.

Early spring rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is still plenty of time to crank out your first rhubarb crumble of the season before the rest of the family shows up for Easter supper. Just grab some of this fresh rhubarb from Alm Hill Gardens today, and go home and get your crumble on! Just get here early, both because it will sell out, and because it will lower your stress level whilst making your holiday feast.

Freshly smoked ham from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for that last-minute Easter ham? Stop by Sea Breeze Farm! They will have plenty today... depending on your definition of "plenty." Of course, if you are the slacker that rolls in after 2 p.m. today looking for it, you might find that our definition of plenty and yours are at odds. Oh, they will have some fresh lamb today, too!

Belgian-style ales from Propolis Brewing. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When you think about Belgian ales, you think of monks, right? And besides making great beer, what else do Belgian monks do? That's right! They practice Catholicism. And since this is Easter Sunday, it only follows that you should grab a bottle or three of this holy beverage from our newest vendor, and our first-ever brewery, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend. Using malted Washington grains and many local, seasonal ingredients to give each variety its unique flavor, this is the first brewery to qualify to sell at your Ballard Farmers Market, because we actually require all of our alcoholic beverage producers to use at least 95% Washington-grown ingredients. Enjoy!

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

This is Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. "This rich buttery flavored golden coffee cake with a rich, buttery flavor is named after the pan with which it is made-kugelhopf pan," says iFood.tv on its list of the top 10 Easter breads. (Who knew?) It is a German specialty bread, and our friends at Tall Grass Bakery make it extra special. Plus, they will have some hot cross buns (#2 on the list. Kugelhopf is #1.) today, too, and maybe a few other surprises to round out your Easter festivities.

A happy child at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids (young and old)! Whidbey Island Ice Cream is back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Boy Howdy!!! 2013 was kind of a roller coaster for them, but they've settled into their new production facility, and it is time again to get our ice cream on, folks. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Easter fun from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We'll finish this week's epistle -- not a Papal epistle, but a farmers market epistle -- with this lovely image of Easter's past from our buddies at Olsen Farms. These are their Easter potato bunnies surrounded by Easter potato eggs. And if you need spuds still for today's Easter feast, they've got those, too. As well as a bunch of freshly smoked hams!

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.