Friday, September 26th: Final Day Of 2014 Season! Thank You!

September 25, 2014
Thank you for supporting your Madrona Farmers Market this season! Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Thank you for supporting your Madrona Farmers Market this season! Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We love you, Central Seattle, and we thank you for another awesome season of your Madrona Farmers Market! But the earth has taken another trip around the sun, and as of Monday, we were officially back on the dark side of the calendar again. Today, we reach the end of the 2014 season of your Madrona Farmers Market. The sun will set before 7 p.m., and we will be packing up in the dark. Without a doubt, this season has been one for the record books, with the best vendors, the best produce, the best neighbors supporting us, and absolutely extraordinary weather all summer long. So stock up one last time this year, then we will see you again next May. On behalf of the entire staff of your Madrona Farmers Market, on site and behind the scenes, thank you! And in honor of our last Market of 2014, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the diverse, creative and groundbreaking vendors who make this Market so special. (And please visit us all winter at Ballard Farmers Market on Sundays.)

Chef Michael King from St. Clouds at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Michael King from St. Clouds at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We cannot forget the amazing team of chefs from the Central District, Madrona, Madison Valley and Capitol Hill who came out just about every week to give us tips on working with the local bounty here, and to feed us deliciousness. We round out this year’s cooking demonstration calendar today at 3:30 p.m. with Chef Michael King of St. Clouds. Thank you, chefs. We are indeed chef rich here!

Heather (left... sort of) and Rand from One Leaf Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Heather (left… sort of) and Rand from One Leaf Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Heather (left) helps out Rand (right) from One Leaf Farm many weeks at your Madrona Farmers Market. The two have known each other for years, going back to when they worked together at Central Coop many moons ago. Rand left the coop to become a farmer, for which we are all eternally grateful. Heather left the coop to… what is it she does again? Well, whatever it is, she clearly doesn’t want her picture taken!

Michael from Pinckney Cookie Café at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael from Pinckney Cookie Café at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney, cookie maker extraordinaire from Pinckney Cookie Café, helped sweeten us up all summer with his amazing creations made with Washington flour. And hey, he didn’t leave out gluten-free folks either.  Good on you, Michael. BTW, did you know that you can buy frozen cookie dough from him now? So stock up for winter!

Max (left) and Ali from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Max & Ali from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Max and Ali from Tani Creek Farm. Tani Creek joined our vendor ranks anew this season at your Madrona Farmers Market, and they have been a great addition. Their farm is over on Bainbridge Island, and they specialize in growing heirloom varieties of crops from around the world. They practice seed saving, which is at the heart of what the term “heirloom” means. It is like open-source software. Heirloom seeds are not owned, trademarked or patented by any one seed company, but instead belong to all of us. Farms like Tani Creek help maintain the delicious biodiversity of our planet, and we are the beneficiaries.

Farhad from Tall Grass Bakery at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farhad from Tall Grass Bakery at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Today is not only the final day of the 2014 season here at your Madrona Farmers Market, it is also the final day ever here for Farhad of Tall Grass Bakery… at least in his capacity working for them. Farhad is moving on to other projects after over seven years with Tall Grass. He has always been a delight to work with, and we’ll miss seeing him every Friday. Stop by for one more loaf of challah, and wish him well!

Sundeep (left) and Sharnjit from Sidhu Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sundeep (left) and Sharnjit from Sidhu Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cousins Sundeep (left) and Sharnjit sling berries for Sidhu Farms, their family’s berry farm down in Puyallup. All season long, they ply us with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, marionberries and boysenberries. And this has been an epic year for berries indeed!

Lillian from Simply Soulful performing a cooking demonstration at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lillian from Simply Soulful performing a cooking demonstration at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Lillian from Simply Soulful during her cooking demonstration earlier this month. She and her mom bring us their amazing sweet potato, berry and pecan pies made from her Mississippi-based grandmother’s recipes. Earlier this year, Simply Soulful opened up a new storefront bakery and restaurant in Madison Valley, so you’ll be able to easily enjoy their soulfuliciousness through the dark, cold, wet months!

Whole king salmon from Wilson Fish at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gene from Wilson Fish will be enjoying some sleep next week, what with the end of both the Madrona Farmers Market season and the Washington coastal king salmon season. Thank you, Gene, for sacrificing sleep, and a good junk of sanity, to bring us the freshest, most delicious, truly local fish every Friday all season long!

Michael from Farmbox Greens at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael from Farmbox Greens at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We got to learn the difference between “sprouts” and “microgreens” this season from Michael of Farmbox Greens. See, sprouts have roots! We also learned about urban and vertical farming, that microgreens are, pound-for-pound, anywhere from four to 18 times as nutrient dense as their mature vegetable counterparts. Oh, and they taste really good, too!

Aimee from Soulever Chocolates at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Aimee from Soulever Chocolates at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Aimee from Soulever Chocolates believes in bringing us full-strength chocolates with pure, natural flavors in great combinations. She works directly with cacao farmers and organic chocolate makers to ensure she has the finest ingredients. and she offers a number of vegan and paleo-friendly flavors, too.

Derek from Snohomish Bakery at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Derek from Snohomish Bakery at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We were joined by a new (to us, anyway) full-service bakery this season: Snohomish Bakery. They’ve actually been around for over five years. They loves them some farmers markets, and we were happy to have them join us, and to have Derek ply us with cheese bread and chocolate croissants all summer!

Sarah from Collins Family Orchards at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sarah from Collins Family Orchards at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sarah has been working with Collins Family Orchards for about as long as I can remember. She can talk you through the seemingly endless varieties of fruit they grow over in Selah in her sleep. (In fact, she probably does sometimes!) And thank goodness for that, since most of us have a hard enough time wrapping our heads around the difference between an aprium and a pluot as it is, let alone trying to make sense of nectarplums and peachcots.

Pete from Pete's Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pete from Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pete makes perfect toffee. So it made sense for him to name his company, Pete’s Perfect Toffee. He’s smart like that. And he has a great collection of Hawaiian shirts. Not as good as my collection, but hey, Pete can’t be perfect at everything!

Cassie from Pasteria Lucchese at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cassie from Pasteria Lucchese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We all kinda missed having Samuele Lucchese charming us with his thick Italian accent this season, waxing poetic about his pastas and sauces. That is, until we got to know Cassie. Sam who? It’s pasta weather again, folks, so stop by Pasteria Lucchese today and stock up!

Remember, there is plenty more to tantalize your taste buds today at your Madrona Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting, see What’s Fresh 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 Madrona 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.

Friday, September 19th: Farm-Fresh Eggs, San Marzano Tomatoes, Pie Pumpkins, Microgreens & Much More!

September 18, 2014
Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Only one more market day remains after today in the 2014 season of your Madrona 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 Friday, the sun sets by 7 p.m., and we’ll already be packing up in the dark!

With the 2014 Madrona Farmers Market season winding down, don’t forget to get another good fix of these great, farm-fresh chicken eggs from Growing Things 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! Oh, we also have another great cooking demonstration by Chef David Mitchell from Luc at 3:30 p.m. today!

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

San Marzano paste tomatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms at Madrona 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.

Sugar pie pumpkins from Kirsop Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar pie pumpkins from Kirsop Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pumpkins are not just for carving. They are also for eating! And these organic sugar pie pumpkins from Kirsop Farm are for exactly what their name says they are for: pumpkin pies! Still think it is too early to make pumpkin pie? That’s okay. These will store just fine for several months in a cool, dark, dry place. And when it comes pie time around Halloween or Thanksgiving, you will already have your delicious local pumpkins with which to make it!

The vertical urban microgreens farm of Farmbox Greens available at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The vertical urban microgreens farm of Farmbox Greens available at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmbox Greens 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.

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Today is the last day in 2014 for fresh Washington coastal king salmon from Wilson Fish at your Madrona Farmers Market. The coastal fishing season closed earlier this week. Of course, next week, they will still have plenty of their amazing smoked salmon, as well as other fresh fish. But this is your last chance this year to get your fresh, local king salmon on!

Heirloom snow peas from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom snow peas from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Peas? This late in the year? Yuppers! Our friends from Tani Creek Farm are now harvesting a new crop of their heirloom snow peas for a late taste of spring. Of course, they also have lots of great storage crops available now, too, so stock up for fall while enjoying the freshness of these lovely heirloom legumes!

Cranberry-orange pops from Seattle Pops at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry-orange pops from Seattle Pops at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seattle Pops introduces a brand new ice pop flavor today at your Madrona 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!

Organic Fig Brittle with Almonds from Pete's Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Fig Brittle with Almonds from Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s end on something truly sweet today. This is the latest creation from Pete’s Perfect Toffeeorganic fig brittle with almonds. It’s delicious. And it has perfectly good for you things like figs and almonds in it, so you can enjoy it while justifying away any misplaced feelings of guilt.

Remember, there is plenty more to tantalize your taste buds today at your Madrona Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting, see What’s Fresh 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 Madrona 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.

Friday, September 12th: Fresh Peanuts, Cipollini Onions, Winter Squash, Giant Italian Prunes & Other Sure Signs Fall Is Approaching!

September 11, 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 Madrona 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 Madrona 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 we’ll already be packing up in the dark!

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

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

And speaking of the onward march of the seasons, despite what the thermometer is telling us… Kirsop Farm has the first winter squash of the season today at your Madrona Farmers Market. And hey, why not? It may be warm and sunny by day, 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 Madrona Farmers Market may be going on its fall/winter hiatus in a couple of weeks, 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.

Giant Italian Prunes from Collins Family Orchards at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Giant Italian Prunes from Collins Family Orchards at Madrona 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!

Pies from Simply Soulful at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies from Simply Soulful at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Lillian Rambus from Simply Soulful will perform a cooking demonstration today at 3:30 p.m. at your Madrona Farmers Market. You already love her pies, and her new storefront in Madison Valley has delivered an authentic taste of down home Mississippi soul food to the neighborhood. Pick up a few tips today for working some of that soulfulness into your own kitchen creations!

Whole king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Washington coastal king salmon fishing season closes on September 15th. That means that you have just this Friday and next to get some of this amazing fresh, local king salmon from our friends at Wilson Fish. And be sure to stock up on their smoked king salmon for the cold, dark, wet months. It freezes well!

Toffee from Pete's Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Toffee from Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Pete’s Perfect Toffee returns today to your Madrona Farmers Market after its August hiatus. See, it was just to gosh darned hot for Pete’s delicious toffeefudgebrittle and other goodies to hold up during August. So, if you’ve been missing the sweetness, get your fix today!

Black turtle bean from Growing Things Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Black turtle bean from Growing Things Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm’s lovely displays of green beans have given way to displays of shelling beans now. See, that’s what many of those green beans do. They mature into these shelling beans. It’s like “green onions” and “green garlic.” It’s the immature fruit of the plant. And these black turtle shelling beans are the mature fruit. If you like black beans, these are them, fresh from the field. Pop open the pod, and those beans are black as night! And they will taste better than any dried beans you’ve ever had, too.

Cipollini onions from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another great storage crop is these cipollini onions from Tani Creek Farm. They are the prized onions of Italy that kinda look like some dropped a brick on them, they are so squat. But they are stunningly delicious. They make the most spectacular caramelized onions you will ever taste, full of deeply complex, sweet flavor, making a perfect accompaniment to meat, fish, poultry, winter squash, braised greens and more. They pickle well, too!

Honey Moon Cider Head at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Moon Cider Head at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Honey Mood Mead & Cider returns today, as well. They make mead from their own honey, and they make these hard ciders from their own fruit. Stop by for a taste of something truly unique today, and then select the bottle(s) you like best to enjoy this weekend. And hey, this stuff stores well, too!

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

Celery from One Leaf Farm at Madrona 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!

Whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow. Lot’s of folks returning this week! And here’s another. Purdy Pickle is back with their awesome lineup of all things locally-grown and deliciously pickled, like these whole dill pickles. And while we’re talking about stuff that stores well, these babies are totally shelf stable, so load up!

Sunflowers from Yeng Garden at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflowers from Yeng Garden at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, few things shout late summer more than sunflowers, eh? I mean, they share the colors of those long, waning sunsets as we roll into the equinox next week. Grab a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers today from Yeng Garden, and bring the brilliance right into your home!

Remember, there is plenty more to tantalize your taste buds today at your Madrona Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting, see What’s Fresh 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 Madrona 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.

Friday, September 5th: Come Eat Our Endless Summer Of 2014!

September 5, 2014

Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy cow! It is September already! The kiddies are back in school, the nights are getting longer and a little cooler. And the crops in your Madrona Farmers Market are beginning to trend toward fall. But today, Seattle will tie the record for the most days with temps of 80 degrees or more in a year. Summer is not over! If it were, after all, you wouldn’t be able to get this amazing fresh, wild Washington king salmon from our buddies at Wilson Fish. That’s because the salmon fishing season on the Washington coast ends in mid-September. So enjoy it now, while it is still here, and while your Madrona Farmers Market is, too. Because after today, there are just three more weeks left in the 2014 season! (And please spend 3 minutes to help us make your Madrona Farmers Market even better by clicking here!)

Collard greens from Kirsop Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Kirsop Farm at Madrona 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.

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

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Madrona 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.

Cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Madrona 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.

Chef Kristi Brown-Wokoma from That Brown Girl Cooks! at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Kristi Brown-Wokoma from That Brown Girl Cooks! at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! Look! Our pal, Chef Kristi Brown-Wokoma from That Brown Girl Cooks! returns for a cooking demonstration at 3:30 p.m. today! Kristi has been busy making her black-eyed pea hummus and selling it here at  your Madrona Farmers Market all summer. But today, she takes a break to cook for us and give us tips on working with the localiciousness all around us. Woohoo!

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

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

Sidhu Farms has a fresh crop of late summer strawberries for you today at your Madrona 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 Madrona Farmers Market blog this week?

Heirloom cucumbers from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Heirloom cucumbers from Tani Creek Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This fascinating collection of little cucumbers comes from Tani Creek Farm, over on Bainbridge Island. They are heirloom cucumbers from all over the world, and yes, heirloom cucumbers are a thing just like heirloom tomatoes. Some of these are gherkin varieties, meaning they are very small and well suited for gherkin pickles. Some hail from Mexico, while others come from Jamaica. Their flavors vary as much as their appearances, too. So if you want to try something new — if you want to learn some cool stuff about unusual crop varieties while enjoying locally-grown deliciousness — stop by Tani Creek today at your Madrona Farmers Market!

Belly and jowl bacon from Olsen Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Belly and jowl bacon from Olsen Farms at Madrona 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.

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

Cherry tomatoes from Gaia’s Harmony Farm at Madrona 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 Madrona Farmers Market!

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

It is fine pasta weather again, since you can count on your house cooling off overnight, in spite of daytime still being warm. 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.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Madrona 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!

Cookie dough from Pinckney Cookie Cafe at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cookie dough from Pinckney Cookie Cafe at Madrona 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!

Remember, there is plenty more to tantalize your taste buds today at your Madrona Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting, see What’s Fresh 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 Madrona 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.

Friday, August 29th: Ripe Melons, Hot Chile Peppers, Gala Apples, Fresh Shelling Beans & More!

August 29, 2014
Hot chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

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

I was over visiting Hilario and Eddie Alvarez on their farm in Mabton, Washington last 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.

Melons from Lyall Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Melons from Lyall Farms at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We know you love your Madrona Farmers Market! Please help us make it even better! Please take 3 minutes to let us know a bit more about how you use your Madrona Farmers Market, and what you like. (Just click the link. Thanks!) Oh, and Lyall Farms has lots of these ginormous, delicious, juicy melons right now, too.

Toddler summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Toddler summer squash from Growing Things Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet toddler squash, little summer squash that are so sweet and so beautiful, and the perfect size for grilling or sautéing. See, Growing Things Farm sorts their summer squash by size so that you can get the perfect ones for your special meal… which ends up being every meal, when you eat them!

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

Gala apples from Martin Family Orchards at Madrona 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.

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

Cranberry shelling beans from Kirsop Farm at Madrona 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!

Chicory from One Leaf Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicory from One Leaf Farm at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The cheery folks at One Leaf Farm grow all sorts of wonderful bitter greens that are members of the chicory family, from radicchio to sugarloaf to escarole, and they also grow this: 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!

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

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

Organic estate wines from Wilridge Winery at Madrona Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget a nice bottle of wine from Seattle’s original winery, based right here in Madrona no less: 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 Madrona to enjoy tonight!

Remember, there is plenty more to tantalize your taste buds today at your Madrona Farmers Market. For a fuller accounting, see What’s Fresh 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 Madrona 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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 159 other followers