Sunday, June 22nd: Happy Summer Solstice! We Bring You Alaskan Salmon, Blueberries, Shunkyo Radishes, 8 Kinds of Summer Squash, A New Bakery & So Much More!

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. Happy Solstice everyone! Yes, today is the first full day of summer! Woohoo! The sun will be up for 16 hours today, with an additional hour of daylight tacked on either side. It's these spectacular long days that keep us going all winter long, so let's celebrate. And to get summer started, Loki Fish began catching wild Alaskan salmon this past week, and they will have lots of fresh salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market! We expect them to have SockeyeCohoPink and Keta today, and possibly even some King. They'll have fillets and whole fish for you, ready for the grill or smoker.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness today, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck... start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain't how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you'll find around here!

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been one bakery down since the end of May. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from — you guessed it — Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: “A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!” They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

Organic strawberries from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has great organic strawberries for you this week. And that's especially good to know, since we're experiencing a little bit of a dip in our strawberry supply this week. They also have lots and lots of greens available right now.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summertime means that you need mint! Lots of mint. For desserts, cocktails, salads, proteins... pretty much everything, really. Children's Gardens grows some beautiful mint, including chocolate mint, and this spearmint. Me? I just like crunching up some of the leaves and putting it in my water glass.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Even the wild berries are early this year! These are wild Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Native to the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, the Rockies and the North Central U.S., they are nutrient-dense and mighty tasty. Oh, and Foraged & Found has lots of grey morel mushrooms today, too!

Fennel from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them... even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, "oh, but I've got that growing wild in my backyard." No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

Beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We are full-on into the grilling season now, folks. The kiddies are out of school, the evenings are long and warm, and so much summer produce is great grilled. Plus, you keep your kitchen cool and your cleanup minimal. And with Independence Day just around the corner, you'll want to stock up on some of these beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Their beef is grass-fed and finished on gorgeous pasture up in Sedro-Woolley, and it is tender and delicious. And can't you just imagine the smell of them wafting through your house as they sizzle over those hot coals?

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It’s a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means “little hat” in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask them for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting at least eight varieties of summer squash over in Mabton… and summer just started! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Ballard Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They'll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for apricots and peaches!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm blesses us with their wonderful salad mix all year round. But this time of year is when it truly shines. Loaded with many kinds of lettuces, hearty and spicy greens and edible flowers, it is a summer delight!

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Da Boyz of Summer are ready to sling you up some serious deliciousness at Patty Pan Grill. Patty Pan embodies farmers market prepared food, being the first to build their menu around what is fresh and local at the market. Their veggies for their quesadillas are all sourced every week from our market farmers, and their tamales are filled with veggies, meats and cheeses from them, as well. And Patty Pan is even a worker-owned cooperative. How cool is that? Enjoy!

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.