Sunday, January 17th: Storage Crops (Go Hawks!)

The 12th Potato from Olsen Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons. Another Sunday, another big game. That's been our reality here at your Ballard Farmers Market during football season the last two years. And in order for us to get us localicious on, we all have to do a little adapting. This week, with a 12:15 PM start time, we recommend that you come to your Ballard Farmers Market between 10 AM and noon, or step out of one of the many bars and restaurants on Ballard Avenue featuring the game on their televisions during halftime, if you want to catch the game and get your grocery shopping done, too. And if you focus on these great storage crops featured in this week's epistle, like these potatoes from Olsen Farms, you can easily leave them in your trunk while you enjoy the game somewhere here in Downtown Ballard. (Oh, and if you are not planning on watching the game, coming to Market during the game will be a pleasure for you!)

Dried grains, beans and seeds from Nash's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter is a great time to utilize and enjoy dried beans, grains, seeds and milled products from Nash's Organic Produce. From freshly milled cornmeal and gluten-free buckwheat flour, to whole grains like triticale and naked oats, from mustard seeds to dried fava beans, Nash's has an amazing, diverse and versatile selection. I love adding the naked oats to chicken soup, and using their cornmeal to bread pan fried oysters from Hama Hama Oysters, or true cod from Wilson Fish.

Mixed roots from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for a quick and easy dinner idea? How about a root roast? This handy root mix from Growing Washington (a.k.a., Alm Hill Gardens) is just the ticket. The key to a successful, low maintenance root roast is to cut your roots into appropriate sizes based on their density, so that they all will be ready at the same time. Rutabagas are the densest, followed by carrots and beets, and then potatoes. Sunchokes and parsnips cook the fastest. The denser the root, the smaller the pieces. Follow this rule, and you will have great, simple, delicious root roasts. Just lather them up with your favorite oil, salt and pepper to taste, and slide them in a hot oven until tender. Give them a toss about midway through.

Frozen blueberries from Sidhu Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I add a handful of these frozen blueberries to my hot cereal every morning. Sidhu Farms harvests them at their peak of ripeness, and quickly freezes them, so that we can enjoy them all winter long. If you do plan to shop the Market and then watch the Big Game in the neighborhood, we recommend that you bring a small cooler with some ice to keep your blueberries frozen.

Red storage onions from Colinwood Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

2014 was a great year for onions, and we will enjoy them all winter long. Just take a gander at these beautiful red storage onions from Colinwood Farm, for example. They are a great long storage onion, have a nice, intense oniony bite to them when raw that is great for salads and sandwiches, and they sweeten up beautifully when caramelized.

Dried beans from Kirsop Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Besides all of their great veggies, Kirsop Farm produces many different kinds of dried beans, including hurreritetiger, black & pinto, as well as hard red wheat. All are great for hearty fall soups, stews, salads and more, and they will keep for months!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, don't forget the wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Great roasted on their own, steamed and mashed with garlic and chipotle peppers, roasted with parsnips, made into soup or pies, or however you enjoy them best, they are sure to warm your belly and your soul on a cool, damp Northwest night.

Go Hawks!

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.