Sunday, November 30th: It's Buy Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!

Coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. We've survived the insanity of "Forego Being Thankful & Let's Go Shopping Thursday," "Black Friday," and "Small Business Saturday." Now, it's time for "Buy Local Direct From The Producer At Your Ballard Farmers Market Sunday!" Your Ballard Farmers Market is loaded with locally-made, unique gifts that will be treasured by that special someone on your list. Plus, we've got lots of great food and beverage perfect for your holiday festivities. And best of all, it all comes with the face of a real person -- a neighbor -- behind it, and you know that your hard-earned dollars are going right back into our local economy, instead of onto some distant corporate spreadsheet.

For instance, check out these naked clay coffee brewers from Daily Bird Pottery from Port Townsend. Naked clay has been used for centuries in culinary traditions from Mexico to India. The minerals in the clay help to mellow the bitterness in many foods and beverages, like coffee. If you've got a hardcore coffee aficionado on your list, they will love one of these!

Hand-knitted clothing from Suzanne de la Torre at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you looking for truly one-of-a-kind, stunning, hand-knit articles of clothing for you-know-who... or maybe for just you? Then stop by Suzanne de la Torre at your Ballard Farmers Market and take a gander at this year's styles, made right here in Seattle. Suzy's creations always brighten up the Market, and they will brighten up someone special's holidays, too!

Whole smoked side of King salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I imagine you can find a party somewhere on your calendar that calls for a whole side of smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. The finest smoked king you'll ever taste, it is moist and delicious, and it is caught off the Washington coast! Of course, no one will judge you harshly if you just bring the whole side home and eat it yourself.

Fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (Growing Washington) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We're finally past Thanksgiving, and now it is appropriate to deck the halls for the rest of the holiday season. A terrific start can be made with one (or six) of these fresh holiday wreaths from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington). They make these wreaths fresh each week using a wide variety of native pine, cedar, fir and spruce branches mixed with holly, pussy willow and whatever else they might find on the farm. They are wonderfully fragrant, and while most folks think they need to go up outdoors, I like bringing mine indoors, sprucing up my living room and making it smell great! Oh, they have fresh garlands, too!

Shaving kit from Brown Butterfly at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It's time again to play that annual game of, "What the heck should we get for dad this year?" I recommend one of these old school shaving kits from Brown Butterfly Aromatherapy. The shaving soap is refreshing and soothing to one's skin, and you don't have to deal with wasteful shaving cream cans filled with questionable gas. Plus, you are investing in a local business, instead of Gillette. They also have a lineup of bar soaps that come in a nice variety of scents. And while many soap makers cater to women, this is soap designed with men in mind! (That said, Brown Butterfly also makes spa kits for mom.)

Awarding-winning sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don't show up at your friends' party empty handed. Bring some of this award-winning aged sheep cheese from Glendale Shepherd on Whidbey Island. Their Island Brebis and Saratoga Passage cheeses are at their prime right now. Saratoga Passage is a deep, creamy cheese that will tantalize your tastebuds, and the slightly drier, sharper Island Brebis is the winner of a 2014 Good Food Award. Make sure you get enough for yourself, too!

Baba ghanoush from Uncle Eyal's. Photo courtesy Uncle Eyal's.

And you'll need plenty of dips and sauces this holiday season. Lucky for you, Uncle Eyal's has returned this week with their wonderful Israeli-style dips and sauces, from this great baba ghanoush, to hummus made with local chickpeas, to garlic mint sauce that is to die for, and more!

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also returning this week: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). They are also well-suited for the holidays! 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.