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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 toffee, fudge, brittle and other goodies to hold up during August. So, if you’ve been missing the sweetness, get your fix today!
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.
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 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!
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!
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!
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.