Wednesday, July 30th: Warm, Sunny Weather Returns, As Do Melons, Tomatoes & Sweet Corn!

July 30, 2014
Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe in the house! Yeah, baby! Washington produces an amazing diversity and quantity of melons, and our plant researchers and hybridists have developed some of the best melons anywhere. And yet, this humble, downright ancient, cantaloupe from Alvarez Organic Farms still remains a showstopper for flavor and juiciness. They are ripe and ready today for your picnic in the park! (Always remember to give your melons a good rinse before cutting into them.)

Chef Derek Ronspies from Le Petit Cochon. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Derek Ronspies from Le Petit Cochon. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Derek Ronspies from Le Petit Cochon, Fremont’s delicious new outpost for hardcore lovavores, returns for another great cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. When he visited in mid-June, he whipped up a great spring succotash. With his love of all things local and his Southern influences combined with today’s summer bounty of marketliciousness, I can’t wait to see what he cooks up today!

Heirloom tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Around the Table Farm, from Poulsbo, is cranking out the heirloom tomatoes for you, good people of Wallingford. In this photo, you will find such outstanding varieties as striped cavern, Cherokee purplevintage wine, brandywine and Wapsinison peach (those are the little yellow ones). Bring a decent tomato knife and some salt with you today for your picnic!

Cranberry shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry shelling beans are in at Alm Hill Gardens a full three weeks earlier than we’ve every seen them before! Now it is proper succotash season! Cook these bad boys up whilst still fresh by boiling them in well-salted water for about 20 minutes, or until just tender. Then drain them and toss them in a skillet with sweet corn freshly cut off the cob, green onions, fresh garlic, parsley and some bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm or Olsen Farms, and just heat it through. No need to cook it to death. Remember to render out the bacon before adding the other ingredients to the pan, and use the bacon fat as your cooking oil, and for flavor, of course!

Salmon Zip Dip from Two If By Seafoods. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods.

Salmon Zip Dip from Two If By Seafoods. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods.

Shannon Ford of Two If By Seafoods has been busy up in Bristol Bay, Alaska, catching wild salmon for us here at your Wallingford Farmers Market. They catch it, carefully clean it, pack it and blast-freeze it at the peak of its freshness, then ship it down to us to enjoy. With the arrival of the 2014 catch in Seattle, they’ve added a new product to their lineup today: Salmon Zip Dip! Grab a nice baguette and a butter knife or spoon, and you are set!

Sweet onion from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onion from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been a lean year for spring sweet onions around here, which makes this spectacular image of these beautiful sweets from Seattle Youth Garden Works all the more welcome! You’ll find no sweeter onion on earth than our beloved Walla Walla sweets. Of course, we can’t call these that, because they’re not grown within 50 miles of Walla Walla. But it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them just as much!

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

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!

Caraflex cabbage from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Caraflex cabbage from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I thought Jersey Wakefield cabbages were the Coneheads of cabbages. Then I met these Caraflex cabbages from Kirsop Farm. I look at them, and I can hear Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtain in my head. (Youngsters, please use your smart phones to look up “Coneheads” and Saturday Night Live, and stop making us feel so old!) This is a very dense, and thus heavy, cabbage, favored by Europeans, though I don’t know if the French love them quite as much as they love the Coneheads themselves. Get your slaw or kraut on with one of these!

Hawaiian Punch pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hawaiian Punch pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hawaiian Punch pluots were actually developed by Collins Family Orchards, which means you will not find this sweet, juicy, brilliantly red-fleshed pluots anywhere else. Try something uniquely delicious today at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

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

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 Wednesday night picnic today!

Tomato Bruschetta from Ethan Stowell Restaurants from June 18, 2014. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomato Bruschetta from Ethan Stowell Restaurants from June 18, 2014. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back on June 18th, when Chef “T” of Rione XIII made this Tomato Bruschetta for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market, they sold out by just after 6 p.m. Remember, the chefs of Ethan Stowell Restaurants are taking turns making fresh menus for us every week from Market ingredients. They are rolling with the seasons and throwing down the localiciousness. And we’re the winners! Just don’t get here too late.

Dark chocolate oatmeal cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dark chocolate oatmeal cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney is a cookie-making machine. He makes six flavors of cookies in his Pinckney Cookie Cafe, including these awesome dark chocolate oatmeal cookies. He uses flour from Washington’s own Shepherd’s Grain, and with the exception of his oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate is the number one ingredient in all of his cookies. Avoiding gluten? He’s got gluten-free versions of his cookies, too. Wanna bake them fresh at home? He even offers cookie dough that you can take and bake yourself.

A hot day cools for Seattle Pops!. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A hot day cools for Seattle Pops!. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seattle Pops has two great new pops loaded with local flavor today at your Wallingford Farmers Market: Blackberry Ginger, featuring organic blackberries from Hayton Farms, and Cherry Chocolate Chunk, featuring Bing cherries from Martin Family Orchard and dark chocolate from Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate. Just in time for the return of the sun and summer warmth!

Summer flavors from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer flavors 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 Wallingford 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 Wallingford Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! in the righthand menu for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Wednesday, July 23rd: Even More Tomatoes, Donut Peaches, Colorful Pluots, A Pickle Machine & Chef Amy McCray!

July 23, 2014
Cherry tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This rainbow of cherry tomatoes come from Around The Table Farm in Poulsbo. Each different color represents a different variety of cherry tomato, so when you get one of these baskets, you will enjoy a diversity of flavors. There is even one kind that looks ashy at first look, but is actually covered in its own peach fuzz. Ask them to tell you about all of them!

Chef Amy McCray from Eva Restaurant. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Amy McCray from Eva Restaurant. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Amy McCray, from Tangletown’s Eva Restaurant, will be performing another of her great cooking demonstrations today at 4 p.m. Chef Amy has been making great meals with Market-fresh ingredients at her venerable establishment since long before many restaurants of note in Seattle were in existence. Come pick up a tasty tip or two from her today for working with the Market’s bounty in your own kitchen.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

Farm-fresh chicken & duck eggs from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh chicken & duck eggs from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Right smack in the center of your Wallingford Farmers Market, you will find Sky Valley Family Farm offering these superb, farm-fresh chicken and duck eggs from their farm up in Snohomish County, along Hwy 2. Laid by happy birds that get to run around the yard, scratch in the dirt, eat bugs and grubs, and generally live a good life, these eggs have nice, hard shells surrounding tasty whites and brilliant, deep-yellow yolks that run circles around any eggs you’ll ever get from a Big Box store.

Organic Spartans Blueberries Whitehorse Meadows. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Spartans Blueberries Whitehorse Meadows. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm, from northern Snohomish County, is currently harvesting these lovely organic Spartans blueberries. Whitehorse Meadows is located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened after the tragic slide there four months ago.

Red Meat radishes from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Meat radishes from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is a radish I bet you’ve never seen before. This is the red meat radish from Kirsop Farm. Note, in the upper right-hand corner, the one that has been sliced open. It is indeed red all the way through. This firm, rather dense radish is spicier than most, while its large leaves are in fact sweeter than those of other radishes, making them easy to enjoy as you would turnip greens. Kirsop has actually introduced a number of new radish varieties to their lineup this season, including Shunkyo radishes, my personal favorite, and the all-white icicle radishes, a relatively mild radish, both available now.

Donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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!

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

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

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market. These are from Alvarez Organic Farms. These sweet onions 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. Still, these are plenty sweet.

Exotic snow peas from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Exotic snow peas 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.

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

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

And speaking of 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.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

The Pickle-Ator from Britt's Pickles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Pickle-Ator from Britt’s Pickles. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish off this week’s installment with the Pickle-Ator from Britt’s Pickles. Yes, with one of these gadgets, their enclosed instructions, and the finest ingredients from right here at your Wallingford Farmers Market, you can make your own naturally-fermented pickles or kimchi right at home! What a fun thing to share with the kids, eh?

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!

Wednesday, July 16th: More Corn, Melons, More Tomatoes, Nectarcots, Peaches & More!

July 16, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Wallingford Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour. Oh, and guess what else? Chef Carl Mofjeld of Joule will perform a cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Fresh cut lavender from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cut lavender from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is also the earliest we’ve had fresh cut lavender at your Wallingford Farmers Market by far. It is turning out to be a terrific year for lavender, and the bees couldn’t be happier. This beautiful, fragrant, soothing and tasty lavender is from Around The Table Farm from Poulsbo.

Sungold cherry tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sungold cherry tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! One Leaf Farm has tomatoes! These sungold cherry tomatoes, in fact. They are so sweet, they’re like candy. I eat them a pint at a time. Of course, that means you’ll need to get twice as many as you think you’ll need… at least. Woohoo!

A rainbow of berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of berries from Hayton Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is a spectacular rainbow of berries today at Hayton Farms, including golden raspberriesred raspberriesblueberries and blackberries. Better load up on them, so you can enjoy their cooling effects with every meal during this hot weather!

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

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

And there’s nothing like a cucumber to cool you off during the hot days of summer, a phrase we don’t get to say too often. But this year is one for the record books, so let’s get our cucumber salads on, people. Let’s crank out some cucumber sandwiches. Let’s add it to our ice water and make cocktails and gazpacho out of it. They babies are from Alm Hill Gardens. Pick some up today at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Early Red Haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early Red Haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These early red haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards are sweet and juicy, picked only when ripe, and then packed in these protective trays to reduce bruising. They are ready for you to enjoy right now, at the happy expense of the front of your shirt!

New Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends at Olsen Farms offer these Viking Purple new potatoes today, just dug fresh this past week. They are sweet and tender, and they need to be eaten right away, preferably with lots of butter!

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

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

How about some stunningly gorgeous rainbow chard from Kirsop Farm? A close cousin of beets, chard is sweet and earthy when lightly wilted with some fresh garlic in a skillet. When choosing a bunch of chard, look for stem cuts that are still clean looking, like these, where they haven’t begun to brown. That tells you it was harvested within the last day. And if it gets wilty from the heat before you get it home, submerge it in a big bowl of very cold water for an hour or two. It will perk right back up again! This trick works for most greens.

Three new flavors from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Three new flavors from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cool down with a fresh soda from Soda Jerk Soda today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Made with many fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, their flavors change from time-to-time, so stop by to see what’s fresh today!

Ron from Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ron from Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Or better yet, how about a nice ice cream bar from our buddies at Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company? It’s like a big hug and an air conditioner on a stick! They have a ridiculous selection of flavors from which to choose. I have a bit of a weakness for the cardamom, myself. Nummers.

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!

Wednesday, July 9th: Corn, Tomatoes, Pluots, Blueberries, Green Beans, Alaskan Salmon & More!

July 9, 2014
Beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

We hope you all had a pleasant Independence Day holiday. Now, it’s time to gear up for the real summer in Seattle — lots of warm, sunny days, a festival every three days, and a stunningly diverse rainbow of localiciousness at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Indeed, this particular blog installment is about as colorful as any we’ve ever done. And yes, this is a photo of beefsteak tomatoes taken this year. I took it right here last Wednesday, in fact. These beauties are from Alm Hill Gardens.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, now we’re talking! Yes, it is time for sweet corn! Lyall Farms will have their first harvest of the season today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. To quote Garrison Keillor, “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn.” 

Salmon on ice in Bristol Bay, Alaska from Two If By Seafoods. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods.

Salmon on ice in Bristol Bay, Alaska from Two If By Seafoods. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods.

Shannon is reeling in lots of wonderful, wild Alaskan salmon on the F/V Paul Revere in Bristol Bay, Alaska right now. This is a photo she sent us from this past weekend’s catch. She’s catching it, cleaning it, cutting, vacuum-packing and blast-freezing it all in the same day, then sending it down to us here at your Wallingford Farmers Market! Stop by Two If By Seafoods today, say ‘hi’ to her parents, and pick up some salmon today.

Flavorosa Pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavorosa Pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic has the first pluots of the year today. Pluots are a cross between plums and apricots — genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot. As such, they tend to favor plums in appearance, texture and taste, but they are sturdier and surprisingly diverse in flavor and appearance in and of themselves. These are Flavorosa pluots, the earliest variety.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This Treviso radicchio, from One Leaf Farm, is one of the most beautiful vegetables on earth, hands down. It is also one of my favorite vegetables. It is a chicory, so like all chicories, it tends to be bitter. But it has a sweetness to it, too. And when you cook it, those dramatic white cores of its leaves sweeten up a bit. There are many ways to enjoy it. Two of my favorites are grilling it and sautéing it with bacon. For grilling it, just cut it in half, lengthwise, oil it down, and plop it on the grill until wilted. It’s okay if it gets a little char. That adds depth to the flavor. Then finish it with a nice finishing salt, some fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. To sauté it, cut it up crosswise, with about one inch wide cuts. Use a nice bacon, like Olsen Farms‘ jowl bacon, or Cora’s Favorite bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm. Chunk it up into smallish pieces and render out the fat over medium heat in a skillet, then drop in the Treviso with the bacon and fat, and toss together until the Treviso is just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste, and if the bacon hasn’t effectively sweetened it, add a drizzle of balsamic.

Organic blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including SpartansJerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they’ll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let’s give them a big welcome back today!

Spiced bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spiced bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

About 30 miles due south of Whitehorse Meadows, on Hwy 2 in Startup, you’ll find Sky Valley Family Farm. They produce chicken and duck eggsmeat chickens and hogs, from which they offer sausagesfresh cuts and bacon, like this delicious spiced bacon known as “Cora’s Favorite.”

Organic red & salmon raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic red & salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I know I wrote of organic salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm just last week. But when I saw this spectacular checkerboard of berries on their tables at your Wallingford Farmers Market last Wednesday, I just had to share it.

Rainbow chard from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard is not only wonderful to eat, it is just plain gorgeous to look at, and I love to photograph it. This rainbow chard is from the kids at Seattle Youth Garden Works. When purchasing chard, look for fresh, clean stem cuts that show little, if any, browning. That tells you it was harvested mere hours ago.

Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And look! Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms! Yup, green beans are now arriving at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week from several farms. Try doing a quick sauté on them, maybe with some bacon and some pearl onions, if you can find them. Or get pickling!

The wines of Bainbridge Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The wines of Bainbridge Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There are more than 800 licensed wineries in Washington, making it second in wine production only to California. But when Bainbridge Island Vineyards & Winery was founded back in 1977, they were among a handful of pioneering winemakers in the new craft winery movement here. Their diverse lineup of wines includes estate wines, meaning they are made from fruit grown by them, using grape varieties of the Puget Sound Appellation, one of 13 distinct wine grape growing regions in Washington. The Puget Sound Appellation is the coolest, dampest region, lending itself to many German white varieties and some hearty, robust French reds. Stop by and try them out, and find the ones you like!

Golden and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets, a very close cousin of chard, are also quite stunningly beautiful. Just take a gander at these golden beets and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm, for instance. And what’s great about beets is, you essentially get two veggies for the price of one. See, you get the root part, plus you get the greens, which are basically like chard.

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

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

Have you tried the Gruyere bread from our newest bakery, Snohomish Bakery? It is nothing short of addictive. It has that wonderful, cheesy, Gruyere funkiness, and lovely, moist, chewy bread. Follow it up with one of their chocolate croissants, and you’re pretty much set!

Marg+Rita pizza from Zaw Pizza In The Raw. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Marg+Rita pizza from Zaw Artisan Bake At Home Pizza. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And in case you didn’t notice last week, our friends from Zaw Pizza have returned to your Wallingford Farmers Market. With their freshly made, at the Market, take-and-bake pizzas featuring local, and often Market, ingredients, you can grab one for a quick dinner when you get home tonight, and enjoy the rest of your Market goodies tomorrow. And ask them for instructions on how to grill your pizza, so you can enjoy it without heating up your kitchen on a warm summer evening.

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!

Wednesday, July 2nd: Time To Fire Up The Barby & Celebrate Our Nation’s Birth!

July 2, 2014
Bratwurst from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bratwurst from Sky Valley Family Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to fire up the barby, mix a cool drink and settle in to watch the fireworks as we celebrate our nation’s birth on Friday! Why not get the party started with some of this delicious pork bratwurst from Sky Valley Family Farm? Great on the grill, with a little kraut from Britt’s (see below). Nummers. Oh, and we’ll get you fired up to Eat Local For Independence Day with a cooking demonstration by Chef Jason Brzozowy of Tilth today at 4 p.m.!

Hey kids, while you plan to celebrate America this week, or you enjoy a picnic in the park today, please take a moment and recognize our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Wallingford 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. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Red thumb new potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red thumb new potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just in time for getting your potato salad on for the 4th, Alvarez Organic Farms has these lovely new Red Thumb fingerling potatoes just dug from their Mabton fields. They also have new Banana fingerling potatoes today, too, and if we’re lucky, maybe some blue potatoes, so we can wow everyone at the barbecue next week with our red, white and blue potato salad! New potatoes should be eaten quickly, and at this size, they are also great wrapped in foil with some butter and herbs and tossed on the barby.

Cabbage from Kirsop Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cabbage from Kirsop Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget the slaw! Kirsop Farm has a gorgeous selection of redgreensavoy and napa cabbages for you, just waiting to get chopped up and mayo’d or vinegar’d down. Yeah, baby! Of course, cabbage grills well, too.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! Peaches! Yes, these are Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. They are the earliest peach to ripen in their orchards. Sweet and juicy, you must give them a try this week. And let me explain why. See, there are many, many varieties of peaches, and this time of year, our orchardists begin to bring in a different variety every week. Works the same way for strawberries, but it is harder for you to notice the difference. But with peaches, they vary dramatically in shape, size, color, sweetness and whether or not they release easily from their stones (“free stone”), which makes them a lot easier to cook with. In other words, enjoy the Sugar Time peaches from Collins now, because who knows if they’ll be around next time, right? But hey, at least you know you’ll be able to look forward to trying an entirely new peach then.

Reusable wine bottles from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reusable wine bottles from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to get a couple of bottles of wine from your friendly Madrona neighborhood winery, Wilridge Winery, for those Independence Day parties. They offer great table wines in an economical 1.5 liter bottle, and best of all, they are refillable! Just bring the empties back next time and swap them for full ones.

Sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This lovely sprouting broccoli from One Leaf Farm is wonderful on the grill, alongside some of their tender, young fava beans and whatever else you plan to grill. Just oil it down, grill until just tender, and hit it with a nice finishing salt and some freshly ground pepper. One Leaf also has some spectacular carrots this week — sweet and crunchy. You’ll need twice what you think you’ll need, cuz you’ll be eating them on the way home from the Market!

Honeyfire Nectarines from Tiny's Organic.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Honeyfire Nectarines from Tiny’s Organic.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic wins the award for first orchard with nectarines this summer! Like with so many other crops this year, these organic Honeyfire nectarines mark the earliest we have ever seen nectarines at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Oyster mushrooms from J&M Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oyster mushrooms from J&M Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Mushrooms are back at your Wallingford Farmers Market! Yup, these are oyster mushrooms from J&M Gourmet Mushrooms in Selah, the newest addition to our farm lineup. They grow seven kinds of oyster mushrooms, as well as shiitakes, and other varieties. Their mushrooms are grown in a state-of-the-art, positive pressure grow house, and in the field. And remember, mushrooms are not only good, they’re good for you!

Krauts and Kimchis from Britt's Pickles.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Krauts and Kimchis from Britt’s Pickles.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Britt’s Pickles naturally ferments an awesome variety of krauts and kimchis that will make your taste buds sing during your holiday festivities on Friday. Plus, they are durn good for you! Get plenty to top all manner of grilled things, to add to potato and other salads, to garnish just about anything, or just to enjoy on their own! (Oh, they have pickles, too.)

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

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

You might wanna add a little color to your slaw, in the form of these sweet and crunchy carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Or you might wanna just eat a whole bunch of them raw, by yourself, whilst sitting on your deck. But get twice as many as you think you’ll need, since you will probably eat a bunch right here at your Wallingford Farmers Market! (And they may even have a few beefsteak tomatoes today, too!)

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms.. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms.. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends at Sidhu Farms tell us they will have lots and lots of these wonderful blueberries today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. See, they couldn’t pick them on Friday due to rain, so that means all to more for us today! Get a flat for blueberry cobbler, another for blueberry pancakes for camping, or for Saturday brunch after the 4th or for mixing with your oatmeal, and a third to freeze for winter. Freezing them is easy. Give them a quick wash, dry them thoroughly by dumping them on top of paper towels in a baking dish and rolling them around for a while, and then remove the paper towel and slide the baking dish into the freezer with the berries in a single layer. They’ll be frozen in 30-60 minutes. When they are, loosen them from the dish and pour them into a one-gallon freezer bag, then start the process over again with the next batch.

Butter lettuce from Around The Table Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Butter lettuce from Around The Table Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now that is one gorgeous head of lettuce! It is butter lettuce from Around The Table Farm, over in Poulsbo. Think of the salads. Think of the sandwiches. Think of the topped burgers, the lettuce wraps, and more. Oh, this is going to be one delicious Independence Day!

Salmon raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some organic salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm? They are delicious as they are beautiful, and they’re a nice compliment to Gaia’s amazing organic strawberries and red raspberries. And have you tried one of their chocolate-covered strawberries yet? Yummers!

Microgreens from Farmbox Greens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Microgreens from Farmbox Greens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Greens is back today with their delicious microgreens. Perfect for adding to salads, topping sandwiches, garnishing meats, fish and veggies, and just for snacking. They have arugula, several radish varieties, and some nice blends. Enjoy these flavor and nutrient dense greens!

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also new this week are these gorgeous, juicy and flavorful Tomcot apricots from our friends at Lyall Farms. Grown in the warm sunshine of their orchards in the Columbia River Gorge, just south of the I-90 bridge at Vantage, these apricots are an all too short-lived joy of summer, so enjoy them while you can!

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab a loaf or three of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Many of the loaves will keep fine until Friday, though you may want to just pop it in the freezer today, then heat it through on Friday on low heat, and it will be fresh like it just came out of the bakery’s oven!

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda Company. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget beverages for the kiddies, the teetotalers and the designated drivers. Why not grab a few growlers of fresh soda from Soda Jerk Sodas? Made with many fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, they are refreshing, delicious, and they don’t contain remotely as much sugar as the stuff at the Big Box stores.

A hot day cools for Seattle Pops!. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A hot day cools for Seattle Pops!. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s going to be plenty warm today. Not in the 90s like yesterday, but mid-80s is warm enough for most of us. Cool down with one of these fruity ice pops from Seattle Pops. They’ve got some great seasonal flavors happening right now, like strawberry-basilpeach and rhubarb!

Pies from Simply Soulful.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies from Simply Soulful.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finish things off with one or all six of these great pies from Simply Soulful. In all kinds of local flavors, made in the Southern style, these puppies are just what the doctor ordered. And don’t forget to visit their new storefront in Madison Valley, next door to Café Flora.

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!


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