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.

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.


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