September 16th: It’s Almost Fall. Three Weeks Left In 2009.

Winter squash from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter squash from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yep. That’s right. September is half over, and counting today, there are only three markets left in your 2009 Wallingford Farmers Market season. Sure, you can visit all your favorite farmers market vendors at Ballard Farmers Market this fall and winter, but why not stock up now right here in your neighborhood while you can? One crop that has winter right in its name, and that will store well through the cool, dark, wet months, is winter squash, like the above from Summer Run.

Freshly picked apples from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Freshly picked apples from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another crop that speaks to fall and winter, and also stores well, is apples, like these from Lyall Farms. Lyall Farms grows these apples on the eastern slopes of the Columbia River Gorge in Mattawa, near Vantage — hundreds of acres of them.

Concord grapes from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Concord grapes from Alm Hill. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Grapes also sing of fall, of cooler nights and shorter days. Just look at these beautiful, juicy and intensely sweet Concord grapes are from Alm Hill Gardens.

Everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You might not think of strawberries as a fall crop, and the truth is that these everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms will only produce until the first frost, but they will produce until then. There are so many varieties of strawberries. We are most familiar with the spring varieties, but these late-summer and fall berries are plenty tasty, too.

Beautiful leeks from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful leeks from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I think of leeks, the first thing that pops into my mind is a warm bowl of potato leek soup on a cool, damp fall evening. These beauties are brought to you by Ia’s Garden.

Sweet corn from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the great things about the fact that our fine state is split down the middle by the Cascade Mountains is that we get to enjoy two seasons of many crops, and sweet corn is a classic example. While Eastern Washington corn has been around for weeks now, Western Washington corn is really just now coming into is prime. I’ve been told that this sweet corn from Full Circle Farm this week is just the first of many successions of corn they have planted, meaning many more weeks of sweet corn to come. And sweet corn can be easily frozen for enjoyment all winter long.

Orecchiette pasta from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Orecchiette pasta from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Even though we are still experiencing rather warm days in our seemingly endless summer of 2009, our evenings are cooling off nicely, making it perfect for warming up your kitchen with some fresh handmade pasta from Pasteria Lucchese, like this orecchiette, or “little ears”, pasta, above.

Fresh edamame from Stoney Plains Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh edamame from Stoney Plains Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The end of summer means it’s edamame, or vegetable soy, season. This is the same stuff you are used to getting at your favorite Japanese restaurant, just grown locally. Stoney Plains has lots of it right now, so treat yourself to some at home.

Specialty breads and granola from Tall Grass. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Specialty breads and granola from Tall Grass. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m not entirely sure how I am going to spin these specialty loaves and granolas from Tall Grass Bakery into my end of summer theme. I suppose walnut bread is kinda fall-like. Maybe the real point is that you should avail yourself of these goodies now, while it’s right here in Wallingford. And did you know that Crystal, who sells for Tall Grass at the Market, is the one who makes all that delicious granola? Maybe you should stop by, pick up a bag, and thank her before the month is over.

Shallots from Billy's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots from Billy's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Shallots, on the other hand, like these from Billy’s, are all about fall. Just think of your kitchen filled with the scent of these beautiful bulbs as you carmelize them into, well, whatever…

Hot peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cool, late-summer nights cause chile peppers to develop their brilliant colors and intense flavors. Just look at this magnificent collection of hot chiles from Alvarez Organic Farms.

ACMA plums and pears. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ACMA plums and pears. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Plums and pears truly reach their prime in late summer and early fall. You will find a great selection of them from ACMA Orchards.

A variety of great fall crops from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A variety of great fall crops from The Old Farmer. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Best known for their spectacular flower arrangements, The Old Farmer grows some great vegetable crops, too, like these Detroit beets, leeks and carrots.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here I’ve been giving Tiny’s such a hard time all summer about all the weird new hybrid stone fruit crops they keep bringing to market, and begging them to show me a nectareach, and Collins Family Orchards goes and one-ups them with, wait for it, nectarplums. This new cross between nectarines and plums is deeply and intensely sweet. Give them a try during their short, end-of-summer season.

Of course, there is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. In fact, there may be more different crops in the Market today than any other time so far this season. For a full accounting of what you will find, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

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