Sunday, July 27th: Alien Stone Fruit, Ginormous Fish, Spectacular Leaves, Onions You Can Eat Like Apples, Snow Peas Of A Different Color & Something For The Cave Man In All Of Us!

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons. These other-worldly looking donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards are one of my favorite stone fruits. And considering that there are literally hundreds of different stone fruits — indeed, dozens of different peaches — that’s saying something! They get their unusual shape from their tiny stone, and because this is a free-stone variety, its flesh separates from the stone very easily, making it an easy eater, and an easy peach to cook with. Donut peaches are sweet and juicy, yet tend to be small enough that they are easy to eat. And while they will dribble on your shirt with the best of peaches, they are perhaps the least sloppy of peaches. Try one today!

Huge king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The boys at Wilson Fish have been having a tremendous season catching fish off the Washington coast. These are whole king salmon, weighing in at more than 25 pounds each! That’s some big king salmon, but it is by no means the biggest one they’ve caught. The result is big, beautiful fillets and whole fish that will feed a small army. Do not miss out on this season of wild Washington salmon!

Rainbow chard from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Talk about stunning colors, I cannot recall a year in which chard has been so colorful. Indeed, in a year in which most crops are thriving, chard stands out. The harvests of chard throughout Western Washington in 2014 have been nothing short of epic, which big, beautiful, delicious leaves that will just plain make you smile. These particular marvels of nature come from our friends at One Leaf Farm.

Sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms are the stuff of legend. They are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Never the less, Alvarez grows them just outside that range, in much the same hot, dry conditions that result in an onion you can eat like an apple! They're that sweet.

Heirloom snow pears from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These beautiful snow peas are from Alm Hill Gardens. The yellow ones are an heirloom variety with its roots in India, whereas the purple ones are a relatively new variety, bred over the last three decades. See, purple is a new color for snow peas entirely. Both are sweet and crunchy, and excellent quickly sauteed as a side dish.

Beef rib chop from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

To be honest, I haven't the foggiest idea if Sea Breeze Farm will have any of these Flintstone-esque beef rib chops today, but that's neither here nor there. That's because pretty much anything they've got in the case today -- and their case does vary, a la "it's a farmers market, folks," every week -- is going to be really tasty, and from happy animals raised by people you know, because those people are the ones standing directly behind the case. Heck, I had some beef tongue and some duck breast from them this past week that were almost transcendental. So grab a chop, a roast, a bird, some charcuterie or a few links, and reconnect with your inner Fred.

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

In case you haven't noticed, Propolis Brewing, from Port Townsend, is all about the seasonal ales. That means that their ales change every month or two to feature the flavors of the season. And today is new release day! Yes, Propolis has informed us that they'll be releasing their first Washington State award-winning Ale, "Litha," a Chamomile Saison, as well as a new Spruce Saison & Birch Ale today at your Ballard Farmers Market! Woohoo!

Sweetheart cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When Lyall Farms starts bringing in the sweetheart cherries, we know that cherry season is beginning to wind down, because they are the latest cherry variety. So if you haven’t taken the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding cherries that 2014 has produced, do so now, while you still have the chance!

Hericot vert green beans from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hericot vert green beans are not only redundantly named, they are the most delicate of green beans -- thin and tender -- and they just beg to be sautéed with some good bacon and some pearl onions. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has lots of them today, along with at least four other varieties of green beans. Yeah, baby!

Tomatoes from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm is cranking out lots of tomatoliciousness right now. Just look at this veritable potpourri of tomatoes in this basket. Big ones. Little ones. Sweet ones. Orange ones. Round ones and wrinkly ones. 2014 is shaping up to be a barnburner when it comes to maters. Don't waste your time with those tasteless things at the Big Box store when you can get some of these freshly harvested, vine-ripened beauties.

Detroit beets from Nash's Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous shot of Detroit red beets sporting spectacular beet greens from Nash's Organic Produce serve as a reminder to us all that when you buy a bunch of these sweet, earthy roots, you are actually getting two dishes for the price of one! Roast, grill, steam, pickle or shred the roots, and then use the greens as you would chard. Don't go wasting perfectly delicious food by tossing those greens!

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

Our farmers are producing more eggs than ever it seems, which means that your chances of getting some at your Ballard Farmers Market are better than ever. Just check out these certified organic chicken and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, for instance. Laid by happy birds that get to run around and get plenty of fresh air, they are way better than anything you'll find in a Big Box store. In fact. those duck eggs are the only eggs Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will eat! Yes, Stokesberry supplies both the Seahawks and the Sounders with poultry and eggs. And hey, both teams are at the top of their leagues. What can these eggs do for you? Well, if you want to find out, don't come tooling into the Market at 2:45 p.m. looking for them. I said our farmers have more eggs. I didn't say they have an endless supply of them!

Victor Jensen in the aging room at Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright by Mandy Alderink, courtesy of Golden Glen Creamery.

The Jensens of Golden Glen Creamery have been making gouda and cheddar cheeses up on their dairy farm in Bow for generations. See, when all the Dutch settlers came to the Skagit Valley to grow tulips, someone had to make cheese for them, right? Enjoy a taste of Washington's history with some their fine cheeses today!

Chesnok Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is time to get your garlic on, folks. Whether you be sautéing some greens, cooking a roast, making pickles, or whatever you might need it for, Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has the right variety of garlic for you, from mild to wild. They grow it over in Clallam County, on the North Olympic Peninsula, where the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains means their soil is not so wet as most other parts of Western Washington. That makes for great growing conditions for garlic, and we are the beneficiaries!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Moist, chewy, with little explosions of salty oliveliciousness throughout, you will adore this kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is just one of a dozen or so varieties of artisan breads they bake. Stop by for some to compliment your Sunday night supper today!

Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and Blueberry-Basil fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, how about some fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Check out their current selection of flavors, including Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and the oh, so localicious Blueberry-Basil. And remember, their cups and their straws are compostable. When you go to dispose of them, please take a moment to recognize our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to put your cup in the correct receptacle. Each receptacle 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. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

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.