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.

Friday, August 22nd: Bag-O-Fish Returns, More Sweet Corn, Perfect Potatoes, Gorgeous Carrots & More!

August 22, 2014

Whole coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! Bag O’ Fish returns today to your Madrona Farmers Market! Yes, this is the annual celebration of the Washington coastal Coho salmon fishery from Wilson Fish. Coho season on the coast is short, and Wilson catches them, cleans them, bags them, and offers them to you at a great price for a late summer feast! Oh, and Chef David Mitchell from Luc Restaurant returns today, as well, with another great cooking demonstration at 3:30 p.m.!

Basin 'R' Yellow Sweet Corn. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Basin ‘R’ Yellow Sweet Corn. 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!

Fresh basil from Growing Things Farm. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Fresh basil from Growing Things Farm. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

It is time to get your pesto on, folks, or whatever you like to do best with fresh basil from Growing Things Farm! Their basil is so beautiful and fragrant right now, ready for your caprese salads, that fish, that perfect dessert with peaches and more. I had the good fortune of visiting Michaele and her crew on the farm yesterday in Duvall, and to see their robust basil fields. This is food grown with love!

Fortune plums from Collins Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Fortune plums from Collins Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

We are getting into serious plum season now, with such deeply sweet and complexly flavored varieties such as these Fortune plums from Collins Family Orchards from Selah. They are big, juicy and ready to eat, and you have to admit, they are also gorgeous, eh?

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.

Blueberries & raspberries from Hayton Farms. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Blueberries & raspberries from Hayton Farms. 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!

Rio Grande russet potatoes. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Rio Grande russet potatoes. 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!

Eggplant from Tani Creek Farm. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Eggplant from Tani Creek Farm. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

These stunning eggplant is from the good folks at Tani Creek Farm over on Bainbridge Island. They are an excellent example of how beautiful everything they grow is. They collect the best varieties of crops from all over the world, find the ones that work best where they are, and then save the seeds to grow year after year. That means that much of what they offer on their tables is in fact unique to them. So ask questions about what you see. The stories behind their crops are almost as delicious as the crops themselves!

Raisin Pumpernickel bread from Snohomish Bakery. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Raisin Pumpernickel bread from Snohomish Bakery. 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 for Saturday brunch tomorrow!

Zinnias from Yeng Garden. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Zinnias from Yeng Garden. Copyright Zachary D, Lyons.

Complete the perfect weekend mood with some flowers from Yeng Garden. Lots of spectacular late summer varieties are in season right now, including dahliasasters, and these colorful zinnias. Grab one of their pre-made bouquets, or have them make a custom bouquet just for you!

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 15th: New Winery, Mead & Cider Maker, Groovin’ Eggplant, Romantic Pluots, Classic Peaches and Raspberries Are Back!

August 15, 2014
Meet Bunnell Family Cellars. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Bunnell Family Cellar. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Please welcome Bunnell Family Cellar to your Madrona Farmers Market! Based in Prosser, in the Yakima Valley, Bunnell works with the finest wine grape growers in Washington to produce a wonderful selection of fermented grape juice for you to enjoy. Their three different labels offer a diversity of styles and price entry points, too. Now you have two wineries from which to choose at your Madrona Farmers Market. But wait! There’s more!

Mead from Honey Moon Mead & Cider. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mead from Honey Moon Mead & Cider. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We are also happy to introduce Honey Moon Mead & Cider, out of Bellingham. Mead is honey wine, and it is a delight. And we’re talking hard cider here, not the kids’ stuff. Both are made from Washington ingredients, and you can sample them today, right here at your Madrona Farmers Market! Find the one(s) you like, and enjoy a bottle or two over the weekend. Oh, and we’ve also got another great cooking demonstration today at 3:30 p.m. with Chef David Mitchell from Luc Restaurant!

Ginger Gold apples from Collins Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ginger Gold apples from Collins Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Guess what? It is already apple season! The first apples of the year are now arriving at your Madrona Farmers Market. They tend to be tart, green-skinned varieties, like LodiGravensteinShamrock, and these Ginger Gold apples from Collins Family Orchards.

Purple Rain eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Purple Rain eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These princely beings are know as Purple Rain eggplant. They are just one of over a dozen varieties of eggplant grown by Alvarez Organic Farms. Eggplant comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, and more importantly, many textures, flavors and levels of bitterness which affects how you need to prepare them. These puppies do well being sliced ahead of time and then salted and allowed to sit for a bit to neutralize its bitterness and drawn out moisture. If you are cooking it in small pieces, the process time is reduced, of course.

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 Madrona 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!!!

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another epic harvest in 2014 is the Washington coastal king salmon catch by our own Wilson Fish! The fish are big, beautiful and seemingly more delicious than they have been in years this summer. But the season won’t last forever. So get your local king salmon on while you can!

Baby cabbages from Tani Creek Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby cabbages from Tani Creek Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Under the heading of learning something new every day comes these little, baseball-sized baby cabbages from Tani Creek Farm. You see, after they harvest the full-sized cabbages in the field, they leave the cabbage plant there, and it grows a second, smaller head of cabbage… this cabbage. Who knew? So, if you need just enough cabbage for one serving of cole slaw, or perhaps you want to braise or grill little, individual servings of cabbage, this is for you!

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Rosa Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Free-stone peaches have arrived. There is a family of peaches, all with the word “Hale” in their names, and these are the big, yellow, sweet and juicy peaches for which Washington is famous. They come freely off of their pits, ergo the term “free-stone,” and that makes them ideal for cooking and canning, as well as just eating fresh. Think of the pies, cobblers, preserves, salads, and more! These particular peaches are Rosa-Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards.

Beautiful display at Kirsop Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful display at 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!

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

Flavor Heart pluots from Tiny’s Organic. 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!

Challah from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Challah from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whether you are observing the Sabbath, or you just want some stellar French toast tomorrow morning, Tall Grass Bakery has your Challah! This moist, chewy, traditional Jewish bread is iconic on Friday night Shabbat dinner tables. It’s chewy, eggy-ness is also the perfect vehicle for sopping up your seasoned egg dip for making the best French toast ever.

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 8th: Happy National Farmers Market Week!

August 8, 2014

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Happy National Farmers Market Week! Check out this list of all the amazing benefits markets like your Madrona Farmers Market provide to your community. (You can download this image just by clicking on it.) We’ll have great recipe cards from Washington State Farmers Market Association today at the Market Information Desk, too.

Chef David Mitchell from LUC Restaurant. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef David Mitchell from Luc Restaurant. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also have another stellar cooking demonstration today at 3:30 p.m. with Chef David Mitchell from Luc! Chef David always brings it with great kitchen tips and ideas for working with the bounty of localiciousness at your Madrona Farmers Market, because it is largely what he cooks with in his restaurant!

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

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

Sure, celery may seem like a mundane kinda veggie about which to get excited during sweet corn, tomato, peach and pepper season, but it is also a kitchen staple. And if you have never had truly farm-fresh celery before, you really don’t know what celery can taste like. So pick some up today from Kirsop Farm, and add a bit of local, fresh and nutritious crunch to your summer salads, or that jar of peanut butter!

Cherry plums from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry plums from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

From the pages of the confused fruit handbook come these cherry plums from Tiny’s Organic Farm. But unlike so many other stone fruits that have been hybridized to create things like apriums, pluots, nectarcots, peachcots and more, cherry plums are actually a true plum, not a cross betwixt cherry and plum. They get their name from their small, cherry-like size and their color. But they have the flavor and texture of a plum. So mix it up this week and try yourself something new… or actually old, in this case.

Pan-roasted padron peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pan-roasted padron peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Padron peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms as pan-roasted by Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon last week during his cooking demonstration at our sister Wallingford Farmers Market. Consider this as enticement to visit today, AND as a recipe. Get your skillet nice and hot, with a high-heat oil, toss in the Padrons and pan-roast until tender and a bit browned. Finish with a good sea salt. Eat. You’re welcome!

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Perfection apricots from Martin Family Orchards are amongst the largest of apricots, and that means they carry a lot of sweet, juicy flesh on their stone. It’s so good, it’s the only apricot that Martin grows! And as a free-stone fruit, it is really easy to prep them for cooking or salads, or a fresh dessert with some berries. In fact, they almost just twist apart off of their stone!

Romano beans from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Romano beans from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, romano beans — those wide, flat beans that make for such great salads and sides. Tani Creek Farm has them in abundance now, in a couple of colorful varieties. And you should always ask them for the story behind their crop varieties. They get heirloom seeds from all over the world and find the ones well-suited to Bainbridge Island, and then they make them their own!

A beautiful, pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm in Carnation. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A beautiful, pasture-raised chicken from Growing Things Farm in Carnation. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I don’t think I’ve waxed poetic in a while about organic chickens from Growing Things Farm. These big, beautiful birds are pasture-raised and get to run around in the fresh air, being shown where the best snacks are by their ever chivalrous rooster companions. Yes, the roosters find the good food, let the hens eat first, and stand guard while the hens eat. These chickens are so tasty, my family eats them for Thanksgiving dinner, so imagine how they’d be for your summer backyard barby?

Copia & Brandywine tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Copia & Brandywine tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is rocking the Brandywine and Copia tomatoes right now! The Brandywines (bottom) may not be the most flamboyant of tomatoes, but they are one of the most delicious — the perfect vehicle for salt and mayo, or on a BLT, or in a simple caprese salad. Copias, on the other hand, are quite flamboyant. Just look at all their different colors and stripes and shapes and sizes! Plus, they are awesome to eat, and they will add a ton of character to whatever creation they join!

Pain Au Chocolate (chocolate croissants) from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissants) from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There is just something about a chocolate croissant, you know? Flaky, buttery pastry wrapped around deep, dark chocolate… meow! I heart them! And Snohomish Bakery makes some lovely ones that they offer to you right here at your Madrona Farmers Market. Grab one to snack on at the Market, and a few more for tonight’s dessert!

Dahlias from Yeng Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dahlias from Yeng Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is dahlia season, good people of Central Seattle! And these stunning beauties are from Yeng Garden, right here at your Madrona Farmers Market. They have them in a host of colors, as well as many other gorgeous varieties of fresh, late-summer flowers. Grab a ready-made bouquet, or have them make a custom bouquet just for you. Support your local flower farmer!

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 1st: Juicy Cantaloupes, Conehead Cabbages, Awesome Apricots & Chef Sabrina Tinsley!

July 31, 2014
Cantaloupe melons from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

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

Cantaloupe in the house! Woohoo! Washington produces an amazing diversity and quantity of melons, and our plant researchers and hybridists have developed some of the best melons anywhere. And yet, this humble, downright ancient, cantaloupe from Alvarez Organic Farms still remains a showstopper for flavor and juiciness. They are ripe and ready today for you at your Madrona Farmers Market!

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

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

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

Chef Sabrina Tinsley from Osteria La Spiga. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Sabrina Tinsley from Osteria La Spiga. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Sabrina Tinsley of Osteria La Spiga brings her Italian influences to another great cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. at your Madrona Farmers Market. With so much in season right now, the Market is a chef’s playground. Come pick up an idea or two!

Yellow wax beans from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow wax beans from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm grows lots of different kinds of beans, and their cascading displays of them are almost as delicious as the beans themselves. Like these yellow wax beans flowing like a waterfall out of this bucket. Their beans come in a rainbow of colors, some round and skinny, and others wide and flat, and a few that are speckled. Green bean season is always so short, and when they’re gone, they’re just plain gone. Enjoy them while you can!

Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We enjoyed the little apricots of early summer. Now, it’s time for the big, beautiful, delicious ones, like these Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Think of the jams, the tarts, the messy shirt fronts! Rivals are a free-stone fruit, which means they release easily from their pit when you cut them in half, making them very easy to cook with!

Summer squash from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One of the things I love about a new farm at your Madrona Farmers Market is that I am unused to all the different crops they grow, like I am with more veteran farms. As a result, every week is like Christmas morning, with a new surprise gift of nature on their tables. This past week, Tani Creek Farm arrived with bin after bin of these gorgeous summer squash. In this photo alone, I can identify nine different varieties of squash. This is a great year for squash. Celebrate it, like it’s Christmas morning!

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These white-fleshed, organic Arctic Star nectarines from Tiny’s Organic are very sweet. In fact, when I tried drying them one summer, I ended up with little slices that seemed more like candy than dried fruit.

Sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Olsen Farms, the folks with all those amazing potatoes and meat, also make some great sausages? And because they come pre-cooked, they are great for picnics and camping, because you don’t have to worry about cross-contaminating your work space with raw meat. Made from animals the Olsens raise themselves, they are great on the grill, the stovetop, or simply on a stick over a campfire!

Lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! It’s time for lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm! Now, of course they get their name from looking like lemons, but I think this year’s crop might look so much like lemons that I might squeeze one into my iced tea by accident and then wonder why it tastes like cucumber.

Pretzels from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pretzels from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’m a Philly boy, and that means I loves me some soft pretzels. And these pretzels from Tall Grass Bakery suit me just fine. I will take a couple home, break out my bottle of yellow mustard, slather it all over them, and just devour them. Yeah, baby!

Gladiolas from Yeng Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gladiolas from Yeng Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, I just had to share this image of these spectacular gladiolas from Yeng Garden I took recently. They are just so gorgeous. They have such a short season each year, but they do make the most of it, don’t they? Yeng should have a few more today, but get here early if you want them, as they’ll likely sell out early.

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.


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