Friday, July 25th: Donut Peaches, Sweet Onions, Sweetheart Cherries, Spicy Pickles, Ice Pops & Luc’s Chef David Mitchell, Too!

July 24, 2014
Donuts peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Donuts peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These other-worldly looking donut peaches from Collins Family Orchards are one of my favorite stone fruits. And considering that there are literally hundreds of different stone fruits — indeed, dozens of different peaches — that’s saying something! They get their unusual shape from their tiny stone, and because this is a free-stone variety, its flesh separates from the stone very easily, making it an easy eater, and an easy peach to cook with. Donut peaches are sweet and juicy, yet tend to be small enough that they are easy to eat. And while they will dribble on your shirt with the best of peaches, they are perhaps the least sloppy of peaches. Try one today!

Chef David Mitchell from Luc returns for another Cooking Demonstration today! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef David Mitchell from Luc returns for another Cooking Demonstration today! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef David Mitchell of Luc returns today to your Madrona Farmers Market perform another great cooking demonstration at 3:30 p.m.! Also, Access and Outreach will be at your Madrona Farmers Market to help people sign up for food assistance (food stamps), as well as provide assistance with low cost health coverage, phone and web assistance.

Red meat radishes from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red meat radishes from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is a radish I bet you’ve never seen before. This is the red meat radish from Kirsop Farm. Note, in the upper right-hand corner, the one that has been sliced open. It is indeed red all the way through. This firm, rather dense radish is spicier than most, while its large leaves are in fact sweeter than those of other radishes, making them easy to enjoy as you would turnip greens. Kirsop has actually introduced a number of new radish varieties to their lineup this season, including Shunkyo radishes, my personal favorite, and the all-white icicle radishes, a relatively mild radish, both available now.

Sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet onions from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been a bit of a tough year for sweet onions so far — kinda surprising given how good it’s been for just about everything else. But we finally have some seasoned sweet onions for you at your Madrona Farmers Market. These are from Alvarez Organic Farms. These sweet onions are from Walla Walla sweet onion seed, but we call them “sweet onions,” without adding “Walla Walla” in front, because the name, “Walla Walla sweet onion,” is protected by a federal USDA Marketing Order, only to be used for onions grown within a 50-mile radius around Walla Walla. Still, these are plenty sweet.

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 boys at Wilson Fish have been having a tremendous season catching fish off the Washington coast. I captured this photo of Wilson’s Gene Panida at our sister Ballard Farmers Market recently. That’s one big king salmon he’s holding there, but it is by no means the biggest one they’ve caught. The result is big, beautiful fillets and whole fish that will feed a small army. Do not miss out on this season of wild Washington salmon!

Rainbow chard from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Talk about stunning colors, I cannot recall a year in which chard has been so colorful. Indeed, in a year in which most crops are thriving, chard stands out. The harvests of chard throughout Western Washington in 2014 have been nothing short of epic, which big, beautiful, delicious leaves that will just plain make you smile. These particular marvels of nature come from our friends at One Leaf Farm.

Sweetheart cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweetheart cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When Lyall Farms starts bringing in the sweetheart cherries, we know that cherry season is beginning to wind down, because they are the latest cherry variety. So if you haven’t taken the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding cherries that 2014 has produced, do so now, while you still have the chance!

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby summer squash from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Every summer, Growing Things Farm brings the most beautiful summer squash to your Madrona Farmers Market. In fact, they size it for you, so that it is easy for you to pick out the perfect sized squash for your plans. Like these baby summer squash that are perfect for a quick sauté or grilling.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Moist, chewy, with little explosions of salty oliveliciousness throughout, you will adore this kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is just one of a dozen or so varieties of artisan breads they bake. Stop by for some to compliment your Friday night supper today!

A rainbow of carrots from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of carrots from Tani Creek Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s a rainbow of carrots from Tani Creek Farm. Most people make the mistake of assuming that the carrots that are not orange are the newer varieties, but the fact is, orange is the relatively new color in carrots. The rest of the rainbow has been in carrots for millennia, from white to black, and almost every color in between. To learn more about everyone’s favorite sweet, crunchy, colorful root, check out the World Carrot Museum!

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids: a brand-spanking-new release of spicy whole dill pickles from Purdy Pickle! You can’t get these year-round from Purdy, because they are using local ingredients when they are at their peak of freshness. And that means, when they run out, they run out. Lucky for us, this is a very early year for local pickling cukes, so Purdy should be able to put up quite a few jar. But don’t let that cause you to hesitate. Get your pickle on now!

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal cookies from Pinckney Cookie Café. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal cookies from Pinckney Cookie Café. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney is a cookie-making machine. He makes six flavors of cookies in his Pinckney Cookie Cafe, including these awesome dark chocolate oatmeal cookies. He uses flour from Washington’s own Shepherd’s Grain, and with the exception of his oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate is the number one ingredient in all of his cookies. Avoiding gluten? He’s got gluten-free versions of his cookies, too. Wanna bake them fresh at home? He even offers cookie dough that you can take and bake yourself.

Meet Seattle Pops! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Meet Seattle Pops! Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D, Lyons.

Seattle Pops has two great new pops loaded with local flavor today at your Madrona Farmers Market: Blackberry Ginger, featuring organic blackberries from Hayton Farms, and Cherry Chocolate Chunk, featuring Bing cherries from Martin Family Orchard and dark chocolate from Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate. Just in time for the return of the sun and summer warmth!

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, July 18th: Melons, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Nectarcots, New Potatoes, Farm Fresh Eggs & More!

July 18, 2014
Yellow Doll watermelon from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow Doll watermelon from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just when you thought this summer couldn’t get any more amazing, Lyall Farms brings the first melons of the season to your Madrona Farmers Market! These are Yellow Doll watermelons, and this is the earliest we’ve ever seen them here, by more than two full weeks. Wow. They also have more traditional red watermelons, sweet, juicy and ripe, and ready for you to devour. Oh, and guess what else? Chef Thom Koschwanez of Red Cow will perform a cooking demonstration today at 3:30 p.m.

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

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

Woohoo! The tomatoes from One Leaf Farm are coming in early, and with a vengeance! Four varieties so far, and more to come. Besides the sungold and heirloom cherries, above left, they’ve got Black Krim and Paul Robeson, above right. They are so ripe and juicy and delicious. While I’ve been devouring sungolds straight out of the container and in salads for a week now, last night, I enjoyed some of the Black Krims simply with some salt and some mayo. Not highbrow, just classic.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarcots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are nectarcots, from Collins Family Orchards, and as the name suggests, they are a cross betwixt nectarines and apricots. And of all the various stone fruit hybrids, I’d say these guys might be the most difficult to pick out their genetic lineage without us telling you. They kinda look like a yellow-orange plum, and they taste super sweet and are super juicy. They don’t have the fuzzy exterior of the apricot, or its deep flavor, and they don’t have that texture that nectarines have. It is as if somehow, someone was able to cross them and get them to contribute their best flavor notes while giving them the texture of a plum and the sturdiness of a pluot. Bottom line is, they are amazing, but they’re only around for a few weeks, so don’t you dare miss them!

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The weekend is upon us, and that means we need eggs. Lucky for us, we have the best farm-fresh eggs I’ve ever tasted right here at your Madrona Farmers Market, from Growing Things Farm. They have nice, hard shells, big, deep yellow yolks, and are simply amazing. Seriously, if your only experience with eggs is the eggs at the Big Box stores, you must give these a try. Trust me, you will never go back, and you will never blink at the price again. And let’s face it: $1.50 for a serving of incredibly high quality protein, full of nutrients and flavor, frankly, is pretty cheap!

Rainbow chard from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rainbow chard from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some stunningly gorgeous rainbow chard from Kirsop Farm? A close cousin of beets, chard is sweet and earthy when lightly wilted with some fresh garlic in a skillet. When choosing a bunch of chard, look for stem cuts that are still clean looking, like these, where they haven’t begun to brown. That tells you it was harvested within the last day. And if it gets wilty from the heat before you get it home, submerge it in a big bowl of very cold water for an hour or two. It will perk right back up again! This trick works for most greens.

Early Red Haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early Red Haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These early red haven peaches from Martin Family Orchards are sweet and juicy, picked only when ripe, and then packed in these protective trays to reduce bruising. They are ready for you to enjoy right now, at the happy expense of the front of your shirt!

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More sweet corn has arrived this week. This is certified organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms, and because I care, I have already done some serious quality control testing on it, and I can assure you, it is awesome!

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

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

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

Yep, it’s the world’s coolest looking vegetable again: Romanesco. A cousin of cauliflower, this stuff grows in the most spectacular fractals. If you ever questioned whether math manifests itself in natural, you need look no further than this. Grab some today from our friends at Tani Creek Farm.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s another of those cool hybrid stone fruits: Flavor Supreme pluots from Tiny’s Organic. Remember, pluots are genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot, but they definitely favor plums in structure and appearance… well, except that pluots come in an extraordinary diversity of colors, flavors and sizes. For instance, Flavor Supremes have a greenish-red skin, but a deep red flesh (see above). And they are fantastic. Enjoy!

New Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our friends at Olsen Farms offer these Viking Purple new potatoes today, just dug fresh this past week. They are sweet and tender, and they need to be eaten right away, preferably with lots of butter!

The Pete from Pete's Perfect Toffee was hot last week! Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The Pete from Pete’s Perfect Toffee was hot last week! Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Pete when it’s hot. But lucky for him, and us, today’s temps are much more reasonable than in recent weeks. And that makes it a lot easier to enjoy Pete’s Perfect Toffee, or his fudgebrittle and more. Unlike last Friday, today, it won’t liquify before you get it into your air conditioned car. And he doesn’t call it perfect for nothing, either. It is really good!

Strawberry rhubarb pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberry rhubarb pie from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for strawberry-rhubarb pie from Simply Soulful. Or at least we hope so! But hey, if they have already moved on from it by today at your Madrona Farmers Market, I think you will do just fine with their sweet potato pie, their pecan pie, or maybe some blackberry pie. Yeah, baby.

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

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

Brighten up your home with some beautiful, local flowers from Yeng Garden. Like so much else here at your Madrona Farmers Market, they are seeing many flower varieties coming in earlier than ever this season, like these gorgeous sunflowers. And today, we may even see some of the first dahlias of the year. Seriously. Wow.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Artisan breads from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to grab a loaf or two of artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery today. They have a wonderful selection, from deep, dark pumpernickel, to chewy, moist Baker Street sourdough, to earthy, sweet oat and honey and challah that will complete your sabbath meal or make for amazing French toast on Saturday morning.

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, July 11th: Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Pluots, Fresh Salmon & More!!!

July 11, 2014
Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet corn from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We hope you all had a pleasant Independence Day holiday. Now, it’s time to gear up for the real summer in Seattle — lots of warm, sunny days, a festival every three days, and a stunningly diverse rainbow of localiciousness at your Madrona Farmers Market. Indeed, this particular blog installment is about as colorful as any we’ve ever done. And yes, this is a photo of sweet corn! Lyall Farms has their first harvest of the season today. To quote Garrison Keillor, “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn.” 

Sungold tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sungold tomatoes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids! One Leaf Farm has tomatoes! These sungold cherry tomatoes, in fact. They are so sweet, they’re like candy. I eat them a pint at a time. Woohoo! Oh, and guess what else? Our friend, Chef Lesa Sullivan of LesaCooks.com will perform a cooking demonstration today at 3:30 p.m.!

Flavorosa Pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Flavorosa Pluots from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny’s Organic has the first pluots of the year today. Pluots are a cross between plums and apricots — genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot. As such, they tend to favor plums in appearance, texture and taste, but they are sturdier and surprisingly diverse in flavor and appearance in and of themselves. These are Flavorosa pluots, the earliest variety.

Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And look! Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms! Yup, green beans are now arriving at your Madrona Farmers Market this week from several farms. Try doing a quick sauté on them, maybe with some bacon and some pearl onions, if you can find them. Or get pickling!

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild Washington red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The fish are biting big time out on the Washington Coast this summer, and that means lots of this amazing wild Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish for all of us! And considering that it is some serious kinds of grilling weather right now, this weekend will be perfect for some of this.

Desiree new potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Desiree new potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, new potatoes from Olsen Farms. Yeah, baby. They grow such amazing potatoes way over in the Northeast corner of the state, and when they’re new this time of year, they are so sweet and delicious. But remember, new potatoes should be eaten within a couple of days, or they get starchy or soft. These beauties are new Desiree potatoes.

Organic salmon and red raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic salmon and red raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Check out this checkerboard of organic salmon and red raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm! Spectacular, eh? Delicious, too. Stop buy and grab a bunch of them. They are perfect for hot weather salads, desserts… even hot weather cocktails!

Green Star lettuce from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green Star lettuce from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Things Farm has lots of this gorgeous Green Star lettuce right now. This green leaf variety is perfect for that BLT, topping a burger, making a lettuce wrap, or just for a good, old-fashioned salad.

Golden and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Golden and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets, a very close cousin of chard, are also quite stunningly beautiful. Just take a gander at these golden beets and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm, for instance. And what’s great about beets is, you essentially get two veggies for the price of one. See, you get the root part, plus you get the greens, which are basically like chard.

Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gruyere bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you tried the Gruyere bread from our newest bakery, Snohomish Bakery? It is nothing short of addictive. It has that wonderful, cheesy, Gruyere funkiness, and lovely, moist, chewy bread. Follow it up with one of their chocolate croissants, and you’re pretty much set!

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And don’t forget to get your pickle on with Purdy Pickle. They have a great lineup of freshly pickled items made from local ingredients, including pickled onionspickled garlicbread and butter picklespickled carrots and more!

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!

And please remember to bring your own bags today, and every Friday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your 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.

Reminder: Closed On July 4th!

July 3, 2014

Just a reminder that your Madrona Farmers Market will take off Friday, July 4th, so that our vendors and staff can enjoy the Independence Day Holiday with their families and friends. We’ll see you on July 11th!

Friday, June 27th: Apricots, New Potatoes, Blueberries, Romanesco, Peaches, Radicchio & Meat For The Grill! Time To Gear Up For July 4th!

June 26, 2014
Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is time to gear up for Independence Day! July 4th is next Friday, and because it falls on Friday, your Madrona Farmers Market will take next week off, so our vendors and staff can spend the holiday with our families and friends. So stock up today in preparation. After all, everything here is so fresh that it will keep just fine until next Friday. You’ll want some of these incredible pork chops from Olsen Farms for the grill. These are likely the best pork chops you have ever tasted — beautifully marbled and full of flavor. In fact, they are featured on the menus of restaurants all over town, like Le Petit Cochon on Fremont Avenue. Of course, they’ve got beef steakssausages and other goodies for the grill, too.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! Peaches! Yes, these are Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. They are the earliest peach to ripen in their orchards. Sweet and juicy, you must give them a try this week. And let me explain why. See, there are many, many varieties of peaches, and this time of year, our orchardists begin to bring in a different variety every week. Works the same way for strawberries, but it is harder for you to notice the difference. But with peaches, they vary dramatically in shape, size, color, sweetness and whether or not they release easily from their stones (“free stone”), which makes them a lot easier to cook with. In other words, enjoy the Sugar Time peaches from Collins now, because who knows if they’ll be around next time, right? But hey, at least you know you’ll be able to look forward to trying an entirely new peach then.

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

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

This is Romanesco from Kirsop Farm. For my money, this is the coolest looking vegetable on earth. Italian in origin (bet you wouldn’t have guessed that from the name, eh?), this cousin of broccoli and cauliflower is the only vegetable to grow out into perfect fractals. It has a nice, sweet flavor, and it holds its crunch better than cauliflower when cooked. That means in doesn’t get mushy as fast when you quickly steam it, then add it to other dishes, or just enjoy it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese over it. It is also great roasted in a hot oven, sautéed with some crushed red chile pepper and tossed with some pasta, or even grilled!

A rainbow of berries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A rainbow of berries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Variegato di Lusia radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Variegato di Lusia radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is famous for their fine chicories, and those chicories are beginning to come into season. Last week, we welcomed their escarole. This week, it is this gorgeous Variegato di Lusia radicchio, another glorious vegetative gift from Italy. Like all chicories, it has a distinct bitter flavor that sweetens a bit when cooked. It can be finished with a little balsamic vinegar to sweeten it up, and it also likes being prepared, either raw or cooked, with something nice and salty, like bacon, anchovies, a salty, dry cheese, or just a nice finishing salt. When cooking, try oiling it up, grilling it, then hitting it with salt and balsamic. Yummers!

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tomcot apricots from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also new this week are these gorgeous, juicy and flavorful Tomcot apricots from our friends at Lyall Farms. Grown in the warm sunshine of their orchards in the Columbia River Gorge, just south of the I-90 bridge at Vantage, these apricots are an all too short-lived joy of summer, so enjoy them while you can!

New Red Thumb potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

New Red Thumb fingerling potatoes from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And just in time for getting your potato salad on for the 4th, Alvarez Organic Farms has these lovely new Red Thumb fingerling potatoes just dug from their Mabton fields. They also have new Banana fingerling potatoes today, too, and if we’re lucky, maybe some blue potatoes, so we can wow everyone at the barbecue next week with our red, white and blue potato salad! New potatoes should be eaten quickly, and at this size, they are also great wrapped in foil with some butter and herbs and tossed on the barby.

Bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Madrona Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for their apricots and peaches!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain’t how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you’ll find around here!

Smoked salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll need plenty of freshly smoked Washington king salmon from Wilson Fish for next Friday, too. It is easy to take camping with you, or to Gasworks Park or Lake Washington to watch fireworks, without even having to worry about making a fire, and this is for my money the finest smoked salmon I’ve ever tasted!

Radishes from Blue Bird Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radishes from Blue Bird Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blue Bird Farm returned to your Madrona Farmers Market last week with all kinds of great veggies, like collard greenskalepac choirapini, and these lovely radishes — Easter egg and French breakfast. Stop by, say ‘hi’ to Annie, and support one of King County’s newest farmers!

Reusable wine bottles from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Reusable wine bottles from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t forget to get a couple of bottles of wine from your friendly Madrona neighborhood winery, Wilridge Winery, for those parties next week. They offer great table wines in an economical 1.5 liter bottle, and best of all, they are refillable! Just bring the empties back next time and swap them for full ones.

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

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

You’ll also need plenty of cabbage for making mountains of slaw next week, and for that, our buddies at Tani Creek Farm have you covered. Be it greenred or Savoy cabbage, they’ve got it, crisp, sweet and organic, and ready for chopping and tossing with vinegar and/or mayo to side or top your favorite Independence Day dishes.

Pies from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pies from Simply Soulful. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finish things off with one or all six of these great pies from Simply Soulful. In all kinds of local flavors, made in the Southern style, these puppies are just what the doctor ordered. And don’t forget to visit their new storefront in Madison Valley, next door to Café Flora.

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!

And please remember to bring your own bags today, and every Friday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your 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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