Wednesday, September 17th: Winter Squash, Celery, San Marzano Tomatoes, Giant Italian Prunes & More!

September 17, 2014
Winter squash from Kirsop Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Kirsop Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Only one more market day remains after today in the 2014 season of your Wallingford Farmers Market. Celebrate a season nothing short of epic with us the rest of September, and then visit many of your favorite vendors all winter at our Ballard Farmers Market on Sundays. And if you wonder why we’d end this season while it is still raging? Simple. By next Wednesday, the sun sets at 7 p.m., and  given that there are no lights here in Meridian Park, we’ll already be packing up in the dark!

And speaking of the onward march of the seasons, Kirsop Farm has the first winter squash of the season today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. And hey, why not? It may be warm and sunny by day lately, but it is cooling off overnight now, so crank up that oven, and roast up some acorn or delicata squash in all its sweet, comforting glory! Just thinking about it is like receiving a hug on a cold winter’s night. And hey, it will last for months, so stock up. Your Wallingford Farmers Market may be going on its fall/winter hiatus after next week, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without great local food for all that time. Strategic squirreling of storage crops like these will get you a long way into the cold, dark wet months.

San Marzano tomatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

San Marzano tomatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

San Marzano paste tomatoes are the pride of Italy, growing near Naples in the fertile volcanic soils around Mount Vesuvius. So it is no wonder that they also thrive in the rich volcanic soils in the Yakima Valley of Eastern Washington at Alvarez Organic Farms. And in this epic year of the tomato, this is perhaps the best year we’ve ever had for these little treasures. They are a thick fleshed tomato with fewer seeds than a Roma tomato, and a robust flavor that makes them an ideal sauce tomato. If you ever wanted to can some sauce tomatoes, this is the year, and these are the tomatoes to can! They are great roasted and grilled, too.

Celery from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s getting deep into celery season folks. Nothing like some crisp celery on a crisp night. Besides, you are cooking more now, and your heartier fall recipes call for lots of this super food. Lucky for you, One Leaf Farm has some gorgeous celery right now, grown just a few miles from here in Carnation!

Giant Italian prunes from Collins Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Giant Italian prunes from Collins Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another sign of fall’s approach are these giant Italian prunes from Collins Family Orchards. But aren’t these really plums, you ask? Aren’t all prunes dried plums? Actually, all plums are members of the family Prunus. These are proper prunes, with a more oval shape, to a plum’s round shape. And all prunes are freestones, meaning they come easily off of their pit for easy eating, drying and cooking. Think of the sauces, chutney and jams!

Puget Sound appellation wines from Bainbridge Vineyards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Puget Sound appellation wines from Bainbridge Vineyards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington has more than 750 licensed wineries currently, up from less than 150 just 15 years ago. And most use grapes grown in the many recognized wine grape growing appellations of Eastern Washington. But did you know that there is a Western Washington wine appellation? It is called the Puget Sound Appellation, and it is known for producing wine grapes the enjoy our cool, damp nights. Bainbridge Vineyards is one of Washington’s oldest estate wineries, based on Bainbridge Island, and it specializes in Puget Sound wines, including Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe and Müller-Thurgau. Founded in 1977, when Bainbridge Vineyards released its first estate wine in 1984, it was only the 84th licensed winery in Washington. So, for a taste of truly local wine, right from the farm, and for a taste of Washington wine making history, grab a bottle or six today!

Farm-fresh chicken & duck eggs from Sky Valley Family Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh chicken & duck eggs from Sky Valley Family Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the 2014 Wallingford Farmers Market season winding down, don’t forget to get another good fix of these great, farm-fresh duck and chicken eggs from Sky Valley Family Farm. After all, you will miss them come October. Grab an extra dozen or two. Eggs keep well, and after all, these are super fresh! And grab some of their great porkbacon and sausage while you are at it. Vac-packed and frozen, they will keep in your freezer for months!

The vertical urban farm of Farmbox MIcrogreens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The vertical urban farm of Farmbox MIcrogreens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Microgreens is an urban farm. It is based in West Seattle, and it actually grows its microgreens indoors in what it refers to as a vertical farm, meaning the farm stacks multiple trays of the sprouting microgreens one atop the other. They are grown aeroponically, meaning they are grown in the air and watered using mist. They do not require soil, which eliminates many potential contaminants that have been associated with sprouts in recent years, and they are not constantly in contact with water, like in hydroponics, which results in a higher quality product with a superior flavor. Other than the mist of filtered water, they enjoy bathing in the light of LEDs (above). And if you are wondering what the difference is between a sprout and a microgreen, it is the roots. Sprouts have them, and microgreens do not. You will find them on the menus of many of Seattle’s best restaurants, but why not add them to your own menu today? They are delicious, and pound-for-pound, they are four times more nutrient dense than their fully-grown counterparts.

Fresh Orca beans from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Orca beans from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Orca beans from Alm Hill Gardens are one of those varieties of shelling beans that was developed in partnership with Washington State University in an effort to produce beans that would thrive in the climate of Western Washington. Alm Hill actually developed and named these right on their farm in Everson, Washington, a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. They are gorgeous, aren’t they? And they do look like Orcas. Alm Hill has a number of fresh shelling beans, both in the pod and shucked, right now. If you haven’t cooked with fresh shelling beans before, I highly recommend it. Mmm. Think of the soups, the salads, the sides… think of the succotash!

Asian pears from Tinys Organic at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Asian pears from Tiny’s Organic at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These Asian pears from Tiny’s Organic may look like apples, but they are all pear. Now, I say that only to then tell you that they are really another fruit unto themselves in many ways. They have a flavor that is almost wine-like. The point is, they are wonderful, and you should get some.

Cranberry-orange pops from Seattle Pops. Photo courtesy Seattle Pops.

Cranberry-orange pops from Seattle Pops. Photo courtesy Seattle Pops.

Seattle Pops introduces a brand new ice pop flavor today at your Wallingford Farmers Market today: cranberry-orange. They feature freshly-pressed, organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Cranberry Farm on Long Beach Peninsula, a lone organic cranberry farm in the heart of Washington’s huge cranberry growing region on the coast. Enjoy!

Gluten-free brownies from Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gluten-free brownies from Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These gluten-free brownies from Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery are as good as they look. Seriously. If you require gluten-free baked goods, these will thrill you with the bakedliciousness you’ve been missing. Even if you don’t require gluten-free goods, you will still love these. And Nuflours uses all sorts of yummy local ingredients from local farmers in many of their goodies. Right now, their products feature produce from Hayton Farms, Kirsop Farm, Martin Family Orchards and Stoney Plains Organic Farm, to name a few.

Late summer flower bouquets from Pa Garden at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Late summer flower bouquets from Pa Garden at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to pick up a lovely bouquet of late summer flowers from Pa Garden today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. These beautiful, local flowers are fresh, affordable, have a smaller carbon footprint, and come with the face of a local farmer, unlike the flowers from the Big Box store which come via airplane from places like Holland, Israel, South Africa and who knows where.

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.

Please remember to bring your own bags today, and please take note of our new 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. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Wednesday, September 10th: Fresh Peanuts, Medicinal Mushrooms, Westside Sweet Corn, Cannellini Beans, Cookie Dough & More!

September 10, 2014
Don Hilario Alvarez Organic Farms holding freshly dug peanuts on the farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don Hilario Alvarez Organic Farms holding freshly dug peanuts on the farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It is fresh peanut season at your Wallingford Farmers Market again! Yes, our good friends at Alvarez Organic Farms are harvesting peanuts right now from their fields in Mabton, Washington. Still don’t believe peanuts grow here? Then look at this photo I took of Don Hilario Alvarez on the farm two weeks ago! Those are two freshly-harvested peanut bushes in his hands, and behind him is acre after acre of peanuts. Peanuts are not nuts at all, but legumes, and you can see that in the pea-like leaves they have. Love boiled peanuts, or you want to roast your own? Now’s the time!

And speaking of it being now time, only two more market days remain after today in the 2014 season of your Wallingford Farmers Market. Celebrate a season nothing short of epic with us the rest of September, and then visit many of your favorite vendors all winter at our Ballard Farmers Market on Sundays. And if you wonder why we’d end this season while it is still raging? Simple. By the last week of September, the sun sets at 7 p.m., and there are no lights here in Meridian Park. That day, we’ll already be packing up in the dark!

Sweet corn from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Westside sweet corn has finally arrived at your Wallingford Farmers Market, and this year’s crop is amazing! While we’ve been enjoying the blessings of Eastern Washington’s hot weather and earlier corn crops for almost two months now, the corn fields in Western Washington have slowly been growing to maturity. You’ll find big, beautiful, sweet ears of corn from a few of our Westside farms today, including this beautiful specimen from Alm Hill Gardens in Everson.

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.

Collard greens from Kirsop Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Kirsop Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I love collard greens. I love them lightly sautéed with some nice bacon and garlic. I love them as a side to a nice steak, or as the centerpiece of my meal. See, most folks think of collard greens like the ones they cook Down South, cooked long with ham hocks. And mind you, them’s so good greens. But ours are different. They are more tender. They are sweeter. They like to be treated more gently. And they reward us for it with amazing flavor and a ton of nutrition! These gorgeous collard greens are waiting for you today from Kirsop Farm.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchardsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchardsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards are big, beautiful, sweet and juicy. They are the quintessential peach — the peach’s peach. They are the legendary peach for which Washington is famous. When you look up “peach” in the dictionary, you’ll see these guys. They are a freestone peach, making them easy for canning or making cobblers. And they are in season now!

Chef Brian Gojdics from Tutta Bella performing a cooking demonstrationat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Brian Gojdics from Tutta Bella performing a cooking demonstrationat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! Our buddy, Chef Brian Gojdics, from Tutta Bella, is back again this week for another deliciously informative and inspirational cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. today at your Wallingford Farmers Market! Two weeks ago, he was grilling pizzas topped with Market localiciousness. Today? Who knows? Come see! And guess what else? Our friends at Two If By Seafoods, whose smoked salmon adorned the top of a couple of Brian’s pizzas in August, are also now making both sockeye salmon lox and pink salmon lox! If you tend to favor more of a Northwest style of lox with a bold salmon flavor and pronounced alder smoke, go for the sockeye. If you are more old-school East Coast in your tastes, and are looking for a flavor and texture more like what you’d find in New York, then I recommend the pink. Enjoy!

Pork belly (left) and jowl (right) bacon from Olsen Farmsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork belly (left) and jowl (right) bacon from Olsen Farmsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous bacon is from Olsen Farms. On the left is traditional pork belly bacon, and on the right is pork jowl bacon. And while both are great, the jowl bacon has its own unique, somewhat sweeter, flavor to it that I love for adding to vegetable dishes and pastas.

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, baby. Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm! These lovely little shelling beans are white when dried, but are green when fresh. And when fresh, their flavor and texture are quite different. I love fresh shelling beans in general. They make for great salads, sides, additions to pastas, spreads… but I especially love them in succotash. Just shuck and boil the fresh beans for 15-20 minutes in well-salted water, until just slightly fork tender. Then toss them into a pan with some rendered bacon or some smoked salmon, add corn freshly cut off the cob, some chopped parsley, some green onion, a bit of crushed garlic and some salt and pepper and give it all a good toss until just warmed through. Don’t overcook it. And enjoy! Remember, too, that you can buy, shuck and freeze fresh shelling beans now, and enjoy them all winter.

Reishi mushrooms from Ascended Groundsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Reishi mushrooms from Ascended Groundsat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This is a block of fresh, young reishi mushrooms that were ground by Cascadia Mushrooms for Ascended Grounds. Ascended Grounds then takes these wonderfully medicinal fungi and makes beverages and tinctures that are both delicious and darn good for you. I’m not sure I am versed well enough to do it justice, but they say, “Ascended Grounds transforms what it means to drink a cup of coffee. Using the ascended health practices of ancient masters, we are awakening your mug and your consciousness to upgrade your health and quality of life. Let us introduce you to the incredible synergy of medicinal mushrooms and coffee. Your ‘morning cup of joe’ will never be generic again!” Stop by today for a taste, and for the whole story, at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Seasoned red onions from Around The Table Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasoned red onions from Around The Table Farmat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As the sun reaches longer on the horizon, sunset comes earlier, and the march toward the autumnal equinox looms just days away now, we continue enjoy what  decades from now we will tell future generations was either, “The Endless Summer of 2014,” or “The True Beginning of local Climate Change.” Whatever the case, and regardless of the fact that it is mid-September, and we’re all still wearing t-shirts and shorts, the fall crops are coming on anyway, and with only two more market days after today in the 2014 season of your Wallingford Farmers Market, it is not only okay, but advisable, to start stocking up on fall and winter storage crops, like these seasoned red onions from Around The Table Farm. By the same token, this is a great year to be canning a bunch of their awesome tomatoes, too!

Concorde pears from Tiny's Organicat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Concorde pears from Tiny’s Organicat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Big, beautiful and delicious Concorde pears from Tiny’s Organic are in at your Wallingford Farmers Market. These giants of the pear world are the quintessential pear, a cross between the great ancient Conference and Comice varieties, developed in England years ago. They enjoy a superior flavor, texture and a dramatic, classical pear shape. They are only around for a month or two each fall, so enjoy them while you can!

Cookie dough from Pinckney Cookie Caféat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cookie dough from Pinckney Cookie Caféat Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, we all love cookies from Pinckney Cookie Café, but did you know that they offer their cookies in raw cookie dough form? Yup! In other words, you grab one of those containers, take it home, and bake up Michael Pinckney’s cookies fresh, filling your whole kitchen with the aroma. Best of all, the dough comes pre-portioned, meaning that you can grab just a couple servings out to enjoy now, and then pop the rest right back in the freezer to bake later, when you need your next cookie fix!

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.

Please remember to bring your own bags today, and please take note of our new 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. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Wednesday, September 3rd: Icebox Melons, Nectarplums, Everbearing Strawberries, Seattle’s Oldest Winery & Chef Ethan Stowell!

September 3, 2014

Icebox cantaloupe melons from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Icebox cantaloupe melons from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, those are regular-sized tomatillos next to these icebox cantaloupe melons from Around The Table Farm. See, it’s the melons that are an unconventional size! The good folks at Washington State University have been working hard with Westside farmers to develop melons that can easily come to maturity in our, until recently, cooler, damper climate, since melons generally favor hot weather. These smaller varieties do just that, ripening while still small. They get the name “icebox” because unlike larger melons, these puppies fit perfectly into one’s fridge. And since they are so small, they are perfect for urban households of one or two people!

Chef Ethan Stowell today at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

Chef Ethan Stowell today at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

Chef Ethan Stowell is one of Seattle’s great chefs and restauranteurs, bringing together great ingredients and talented chefs to produce wonderful cuisine that runs the gamut from comfort food to fine dining at his Ethan Stowell Restaurants. Enjoy a fun-filled cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. by one of Seattle’s masters, and pick up a few tips you can employ in your own kitchen. And when he’s done, you can turn around and enjoy some amazing food made by one of his restaurants using market-fresh ingredients at the Ethan Stowell Restaurants booth!

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As the days are getting shorter and (a little) cooler, now’s a great time to enjoy some fabulous late-summer greens. This stunning chard from Alm Hill Gardens is wonderful simply sautéed with a little garlic until just wilted, or added to grain salads or soup.

Everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sidhu Farms has a fresh crop of late summer strawberries for you today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Gorgeous, aren’t they? These are from a class of strawberry varieties known as “ever-bearing,” which means they will keep producing blooms and fruit until it gets too cold and dark to do so. Spring varieties are known as “June-bearing,” which means they are naturally genetically preset to bloom and produce fruit for only a specific period of time, usually 10-14 days in and around June, after which they go dormant again until next year. See, aren’t you glad you tuned in to your Wallingford Farmers Market blog this week?

Puntarelle Catalonian Chicory from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Puntarelle Catalonian Chicory from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The cheery folks at One Leaf Farm grow all sorts of wonderful bitter greensthat are members of the chicory family, from radicchio to sugarloaf to escarole, and they also grow this: Puntarelle Catalonian chicory. Yup, this is the actual head of the family itself — a lovely, dandelion-esque green that grows in a large head, kind of like a cross between dandelion and frisee. And it is in season right now!

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginormous melons from Lyall Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms has lots of these ginormous, delicious, juicy melons right now at  your Wallingford Farmers Market. They grow all different kinds of melons, some all too familiar, and others downright strange. But they are all great and just waiting to make a mess out of your best shirt!

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia's Harmony Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia’s Harmony Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gaia’s Harmony Farm has lots and lots of these spectacular cherry tomatoes today! But wait, don’t they just sell berries and juice, you ask? Nope. So come get you some of these wonderful, organic cherry tomatoes today at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The last of the season’s funny-named hybrid stone fruit has arrived: nectarplums. Yes, you guessed it. They are a cross betwixt nectarines and plums. They are large, juicy, sweet and delicious, and they’re pretty cool looking, too, eh? Grab some today from Collins Family Orchards.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

It is also fine pasta weather again, since you can count on your house cooling off overnight. These kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese will certainly hit the spot for a lovely blast of flavor and quick prep time on a busy weekday evening.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nothing like a nice, chewy loaf of crusty artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery to make your meal complete. From pain au levain, a lovely, sour loaf made with whole wheat, to hominy, made with, um, hominy, to their just plain comforting oat and honey bread, Tall Grass has set the standard for great bread in Seattle since their humble beginning with our market organization almost 20 years ago.

Organic, Estate Wines from Wilridge Winery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic, Estate Wines from Wilridge Winery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget a nice bottle of wine from Seattle’s original winery: Wilridge. These bottles, above, in fact, are their estate wines, made from grapes they grow themselves in the tiny Naches Heights appellation, just west of Yakima in the foothills of the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. Stop by their tent for a sample today, then grab a bottle of Washington winemaking history from right here in Seattle to enjoy tonight!

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, August 27th: Hot Chile Peppers, More Maters, Awesome Eggplant, Lovely Lettuce, Chef Brian Gojdics & More!

August 27, 2014
Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright  Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I was over visiting Hilario and Eddie Alvarez on their farm in Mabton, Washington on Friday. Alvarez Organic Farms now counts the number of chile pepper varieties it grows at more than 400, many of which are new varieties without names that have resulted from crossbreeding amongst the other varieties. Don Hilario took me on an exhaustive tour of his pepper fields (well, it exhausted me, but I think he could have kept going all night), and just when I thought I had seen every pepper on earth in the many acres of peppers in the fields behind his house on the mother farm, he said with pride, “Okay, now let me show the farm where we grow the bigger varieties of peppers!” I think that farm had more peppers on it than the mother farm. Hilario grows them all with pride, and his son, Eddie, brings them by the truckload to us here in Seattle every week. For that, we are all grateful. 2014 is an extraordinary year for peppers, too, with the hot, dry, sunny days making their plants produce more peppers that are more colorful, sweeter and hotter than ever! Enjoy.

Blueberries and blackberries from Hayton Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberries and blackberries from Hayton Farms at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in case you missed the memo, raspberries are back in full force now from several farms. These are from Hayton Berry Farms, up in Skagit Valley. They’ve also got these lovely blueberries currently, as well as their most prolific blackberry harvest in years. Yes, this continues to be an epic year for berries folks. Make sure you take advantage!

Chef Brian Gojdics of Tutta Bella at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Brian Gojdics of Tutta Bella at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We always have fun when Chef Brian Gojdics of Tutta Bella joins us for a cooking demonstration here at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Will he grill pizzas? Will he make salads? Who cares? It will be delicious, it will be a good time, and you will be able to replicate it at home very easily! See you today at 4 p.m.!

Baby romaine lettuce from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby romaine lettuce from One Leaf Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! It is adorable little heads of baby red romaine from One Leaf Farm! The summer of 2014 has been great for lettuce, too. One Leaf grows a lovely selection of heirloom lettuces that are beautiful and delicious. But like so much else this summer, you had better enjoy it now with vigor, lest you regret missing it come December.

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards, just in time for packing in the kiddies lunch bags (say it ain’t so!). And in case you haven’t noticed, this year has seen the fruit trees of Washington put out record fruit sets of the most delicious fruit ever, earlier than ever. See, global warming does have its up sides.

Eggplant from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Eggplant from Alm Hill Gardens at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Spectacular eggplant from Alm Hill Gardens awaits you today at your Wallingford Farmers Market! I enjoyed some simply pan-fried the other night. Awesome. Eggplant, like peppers and tomatoes, comes from the summer-loving nightshade family, and that means it, too, is having an epic year. Try some on the grill, alongside those sausages!

Cranberry beans from Kirsop Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry beans from Kirsop Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s fresh shelling bean season, folks, and that means all sorts of wonderful menu options that celebrate all of summer’s glory, without having to soak dried beans or open a can. In fact, fresh shelling beans have a wonderful, fresh flavor and texture all their own! Just take these pods of fresh cranberry shelling beans from Kirsop Farm, shuck out the beans, give them a quick rinse, then boil them for about 20 minutes in well-salted water, until tender. Then eat them as is, or add them to a salad, to pasta, to soups, or make the best succotash you’ve ever tasted! You can also buy extras and freeze them in pint freezer bags. Just shuck them, rinse them and plop them in the bags. Blanching is not necessary. I do recommend placing your pint bags of beans inside a larger gallon bag, for extra protection. Now, enjoy fresh shelling beans all winter — straight from freezer to boiling water for 20 minutes to your table!

Cherry tomatoes from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry tomatoes from Around The Table Farm at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These mixed baskets of cherry tomatoes from Around The Table Farm will add color and flavor to many a dish, from a summer veggie sauté to pasta to salad to grilled pizzas and more. Or just eat them right out of the basket!

Raisin pumpernickel bread from Snohomish Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Raisin pumpernickel bread from Snohomish Bakery at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you been on the lookout for a nice raisin pumpernickel bread around Seattle, but been frustrated in your search? Snohomish Bakery has you covered! So grab a loaf today, and enjoy the toast you’ve been missing tomorrow!

Late summer flower bouquet from Pa Garden at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Late summer flower bouquet from Pa Garden at Wallingford Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Grab a gorgeous, late-summer bouquet of flowers today from Pa Garden at your Wallingford Farmers Market, and bring a bit of this year’s spectacular summer sunshine indoors with you this evening… without all that summer heat!

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, August 20th: Return of Raspberries, More Sweet Corn, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Flavor Heart Pluots & Chef Monica Dimas from Mkt.!

August 20, 2014
Organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic raspberries are back today at your Wallingford Farmers Market! After a brief hiatus, during which I’m guessing they were catching their breath during this prolific year of berry production, the raspberry canes at Gaia’s Harmony Farm are once again bearing fruit for us to enjoy. Woohoo!!!

Basin 'R' Yellow Sweet Corn from Lyall Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Basin ‘R’ Yellow Sweet Corn from Lyall Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The sweet corn just keeps on rolling this summer. This is Basin ‘R’ Yellow sweet corn from Lyall Farms. This is one of those super-sweet varieties with big kernels, and even bigger ears that will feed two. It is a corn developed to thrive in the Columbia Basin, and that it does!

Chef Monica Dimas of Mkt. Photo courtesy Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

Chef Monica Dimas of Mkt. Photo courtesy Ethan Stowell Restaurants.

Chef Monica Dimas from Ethan Stowell’s Mkt. Restaurant in Tangletown will join us for another great cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Mkt. is Ethan’s neighborhood farm-to-table restaurant that bustles with energy every night in Tangletown, and his chefs there definitely know how to respect and honor the bounty of our Northwest farmers. Come pick up a tip or two! (FYI: mkt. stands for, “Meridian, Keystone, Tangletown… the street, the building and the hood. Now, you know!)

Gorgeous display from Kirsop Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous display from Kirsop Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love the colorful, bountiful displays by Kirsop Farm, out of Tenino. They grow such gorgeous, yummy organic produce in so many varieties. Just take a gander at the veritable cornucopia of localiciousness in the photo above!

Beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beefsteak tomatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is up to its earlobes in organic beefsteak tomatoes this summer. So get in on the action of the most prolific tomato season in recent memory. Make that BLT. Get your salad feeling complete. Make soup, salsa, whatever. Just don’t let this summer go by with enjoying the tomatoliciousness, cuz it will bum you out in January when you get served a lame tomato somewhere.

Flavor Heart pluots from Tiny's Organic. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Heart pluots from Lyall Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fruit names don’t get more blatantly obvious than Flavor Heart pluots.  I mean, just look at them. They are heart-shaped, they are packed with flavor, and they are pluots. Of course, they also have their romantic side, right? Sweet, juicy, and that whole heart-shaped business. Bottom line is, these organic beauties are delish, and you should beat a path to get some from Tiny’s Organic, while you can!

Sweet Snax carrots from One Leaf Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet Snax carrots from One Leaf Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Sweet Snax carrots from One Leaf Farm. Beautiful, aren’t they? They are sweet and crunchy and delicious. These are just the babies, as they are thinning their fields to allow the rest to grow even longer and bigger.

Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, there are plenty of more colorful potatoes with sexier names, but there is just something about a russet potato that comforts the American soul. These little fellers are Rio Grande russet potatoes from Olsen Farms. They are, like any russet, a great baker, masher and chipper. They’re are nice on the grill, too!

Pork-apple Breakfast links and bulk sweet Italian sausage from Sky Valley Family Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork-apple Breakfast links and bulk sweet Italian sausage from Sky Valley Family Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner or a picnic, Sky Valley Family Farm has the sausage from you! They have sausages in at least a half-dozen flavors, including these pork-apple breakfast lines, and this bulk sweet Italian sausage, perfect for  so many different dishes at any time of day. All their sausages are made from the happy, free roaming pigs raised by Sky Valley, and they are yummers.

Cinnamon rolls from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cinnamon rolls from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, though I finish off with cinnamon rolls from Tall Grass Bakery, also commonly considered a breakfast item, I encourage you to enjoy them anytime. They are sweet and chewy and de-lish. Enjoy one for an afternoon snack in the park, for dessert tonight, or for breakfast tomorrow. Or do all three! We won’t judge you.

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.


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