Sunday, May 18th: We Celebrate Our Norwegian Heritage, The Eruption Of Mount St. Helens, Our Generous Vendors & The Return Of Summer Run Farm!

Huge heads of lettuce from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. As Ballard celebrates is Norwegian heritage this weekend, and Washington remembers when Mount St. Helens blew its top 34 years ago on this day, your Ballard Farmers Market welcomes back yet another farm for the 2014 season. That's right! Summer Run Farm from Carnation has finally rejoined us, bringing with it those ginormous organic heads of lettuce for which they are so well known.

Hanging out on the roof of Hotel Ballard during the Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we also give thanks to our Ballard community and beyond for filling the Rooftop Pavilion of Hotel Ballard on Tuesday night for our inaugural Farmers Market Dinner & Auction to Support Fresh Bucks. In fact, we had to bring in extra seats and table settings to accommodate the crowd. It was a spectacular evening with great food by Chef Jason Stoneburner and his topnotch crew at Stoneburner Restaurant, and Auctioneer Jason T. Haynes, who lit the place on fire with his platinum-coated Kentucky tongue. We raised a pile of cash to help expand and enhance the Fresh Bucks program, though the more we raise, the more folks we can help eat great local food every week. If you would still like to donate, please go to our Brown Paper Tickets page before June 1st! Also, please see the event's webpage so that you can check out all the generous folks that made the event such a success.

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

Today's post is dedicated to the many generous vendors at your Ballard Farmers Market who donated goods and auction items to our Fresh Bucks fundraiser. Without them, none of it would have been possible! Olsen Farms donated pork shoulder and potatoes, for instance.

A Mother's Day 2009 visit to Ballard Farmers Market from the entire family Vojkovich of Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Skagit River Ranch donated a whole lot of wagyu beef short ribs. Plus, Eiko, Nicole and George (above) all attended the event. I think George won a 10" French skillet from our own Blu Skillet Ironware in the auction, too!

Dino kale from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

One Leaf Farm contributed a whole bunch of greens for the menu. And they are excited to offer their first harvest of Dino kale of the 2014 season today, too!

Clayton Burrows of Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) talks farmers markets with Senator Maria Cantwell. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Clayton Burrows of Growing Washington (a.k.a., Alm Hill Gardens) helped the auctioneer, though I'm not sure he remembers. His farm also helped out with eggsrhubarb and arugula.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm, in Port Townsend, may be best known for bringing us their amazing salad mix all year round, including the dead of winter. Now, they are also known for providing us with gorgeous chard for Tuesday's affair that accented some lovely pasta.

Gene Panida of Wilson Fish proudly showing of his "Bag-O-Fish." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene & Janai Panida of Wilson Fish also joined us Tuesday night. Chef Jason's quick cure of their freshly-caught Washington king salmon served almost as sashimi was definitely a highlight of the menu.

It's green garlic season at Alvarez Organic Farms! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thank you, Eddie, Junior and the whole Alvarez Organic Farms team for providing organic asparagus for the dinner, which Chef Jason cooked so delicately. I saw several tables asking for more!

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of their fresh chickens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry & Janelle Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm provided a bunch of their organic duck eggs that were perfectly cooked and added to a lovely salad of One Leaf Farm's Golden Frills mustard greens. They also generously bought a ticket to the event to be donated to a member of the community unable to buy one for themselves!

Blooming succulents from Phocas Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jim Robinson of Phocas Farms offered up not one, but two auction items for the event! First, he contributed a gift certificate for $100 worth of these gorgeous succulents he grows, meaning someone in Ballard is going to have a garden now that is the envy of all! And if that wasn't enough, Jim also threw in a second auction item: three nights at his spectacular vacation rental home on Freshwater Bay, just west of Port Angeles, overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca, complete with a fridge stocked by Nash's Organic Produce and dinner for two at Alder Wood Bistro, your farm-to-table dining destination in Sequim! If you are looking for a nearby getaway, you can't beat this place.

Brian enjoys a fresh soda from Soda Jerk Sodas, as well as his new paper hat! Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We enjoyed a few different flavors of Soda Jerk fresh sodas during the evening... some straight, and some mixed into some fine cocktails!

Shucked, smoked & pickled oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hama Hama Oyster Company offered an auction item of a seafood basket of oysters, clams and Grandma's crab cakes that they would deliver to your door!

Bacon from Crazy Farmer George at Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

George Page of Sea Breeze Farm kicked in an extraordinary farm dinner experience for two out at his farm on Vashon Island!

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

Tall Grass Bakery hominy bread crumbs added a lovely crunch to that One Leaf mustard greens salad.

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also enjoyed fine wines, ciders and brews from LIV, a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards, and these other great Ballard Farmers Market vendors: CommuniTea KombuchaEaglemount Wine & CiderKitzke CellarsPropolis Brewing and Wilridge Winery.

Mother's Day display at Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D., Lyons.

Nash's Organic Produce may have had these fresh flours for mom last Sunday at your Ballard Farmers Market, but they also provided leeks and green garlic for our fundraising dinner, too!

Ron & Florence from Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the good folks at Whidbey Island Ice Cream set up one lucky bidder with one gallon of ice cream per month for an entire year!

Spring flowers from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Finally for today's epistle, we thank Choice Bulb Farms for donating gorgeous fresh flowers for the event. Of course, many more people and businesses contributed to making this event a great success. Please check out our event webpage for lots more info!

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.