Wednesday, July 25th: Heirloom Tomatoes, Colorful Cauliflower, Rainbow Carrots, Beautiful Berries & Chef Amy McCray from Eva!

Chef Amy McCray of Eva Restaurant at her 2011 Wallingford Farmers Market cooking demonstration. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! It’s another beautiful Wednesday in Wallingford, and time to head to your Wallingford Farmers Market for a pleasant afternoon of shopping for the best fresh, locally-grown foods, listening to local music and having a picnic on the lawn of one of Seattle’s loveliest parks under a shady fruit tree with a fresh quesadilla or hamburger, made with ingredients from the Market’s farmers! It is also time to enjoy another great cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. by Chef Amy McCray from Eva Restaurant!

Paul Robeson heirloom tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s heirloom tomato season! Woohoo!!! These beauties from One Leaf Farm are called Paul Robeson tomatoes, and they are the earliest of the heirloom tomatoes. They are juicy and delicious and begging to adorn your sandwich, salad or favorite dish. They are the stuff that keeps us going in the long, dark, wet months, knowing that eventually, they will return and make everything just fine!

Mixed berries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about a rainbow of berries from Hayton Berry Farms? This time of year is amazing, and the hardest part about it is deciding which kind of berries to get — blackberriesblueberriesraspberries or strawberries. Lucky for us, Hayton will take the decision out of it for you with one of these mixed flats of berries. But you’ll still have the same problem with having to resist eating them all before you get home, so you’d better get double what you think you’ll need!

White, yellow and purple cauliflower from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about a rainbow of cauliflower from Alm Hill Gardens? Here, we’ve got your more common white cauliflower, some yellow cheddar cauliflower and some purple graffiti cauliflower. Each has its own unique qualities and flavor. I like to steam it, then grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the top of it. I also like roasting it in a hot oven, leaves and all, simply tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, though you can dial it up a notch with other spices. Try giving cumin a shot. And try grilling it, too!

Red Haven peaches from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ACMA Mission Orchards returned to your Wallingford Farmers Market last week, and now, they’ve got these amazing red haven peaches in season. This is the peach’s peach — sweet, juicy and delicious. The stuff dry cleaning bills are made of, after you dribble all that juice down the front of your shirt while you devour one before even leaving the Market. To that end, I recommend that you simply dress down before coming to Market today, or keep a spare t-shirt in the car you can thrown on beforehand!

Rainbow carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how’s about yet another rainbow of vegetative color? Rainbow carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Simply awesome, eh? But carrots are orange, and raspberries are red, and cauliflower is white, and tomatoes are red, and, and, and… only if you shop at the Big Box stores, baby! Here at your Wallingford Farmers Market, we use the jumbo pack of Crayola crayons, and with it, we get more flavor, more nutrients, more goodness, more life!

Ozette potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes are the closest thing to a native potato that Washington has. Truth is, all potatoes originated in South America. But did you know that almost all potatoes in the United States travelled from South America to Europe before coming here? Yup. However, there are a few notable exceptions. See, in the late 1700s, the Spanish, who, with the Portuguese, are largely responsible for transporting South America’s most famous tuber to the rest of the planet, sailed up the Pacific Coast of North America from South America back in the 1790s looking for more ports to call home. You didn’t think the Strait of Jan de Fuca  was named by the Brits, did you? The Spaniards set up trading posts in several northern ports, including our own Neah Bay, and they brought with them, direct from South America, potatoes — beautiful fingerling potatoes, to be exact. They plunked their flags down in Neah Bay in 1791, and by 1793, they figured out that the weather here kinda sucks, and they scarpered off back to Mexico. But lucky for us, they left behind with the Makah Indians those potatoes, and the Makah continue to cultivate them to this day. Indeed, the Ozette potato is one of the few potatoes to travel directly from South to North America, and now it is our potato, cool and dampness hardy, dense and starchy and delicious — absolutely brilliant roasted, great steamed, smashed and slathered with butter, or grill-roasted in a foil pouch in butter and herbs. Alvarez Organic Farms has them today. Enjoy!

Bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer picnics, barbecues and warm nights call for a nice crusty, chewy loaf of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery. From their pain levain (center left), to their Baker Street Sourdough (right), to their baguetteschallah and olive fougasse, they have a loaf for every taste and every occasion. And talk about an easy and welcome item to bring to any summer potluck!

Please remember to bring your own bags today, and every Wednesday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, 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.

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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