Sunday, July 10th: SeafoodFest, Peaches, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Summer Squash, Raspberries & Okra!

It's Ballard SeafoodFest. Rrrr, matey. (Yeah, I know. But try getting an Italian to dress liking a Viking!) After we all load up on all manner of local deliciousness from great farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans, like Pasteria Lucchese's handmade pasta, sauces and desserts, let's all pillage Seattle! Free Ballard!!! Woohoo! (Oh, hey. Can I ask you a favor, before you start pillaging? Please take a moment to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America's Favorite Farmers Market Contest. It just takes a few clicks and about 30 seconds. Thanks. Rrrr.)

In the spirit of SeafoodFest, we bring you, well, seafood! SeafoodFest celebrates Ballard's historic ties to the North Pacific salmon fishing fleet in particular, and the huge chunk of that fleet that calls Ballard's own Salmon Bay home. Loki Fish is one of them that calls Fishermen's Terminal its home port. But right now, they're up in Alaskan waters catching salmon and sending it down to us in Ballard to enjoy. Like these whole king and sockeye salmon they had at your Ballard Farmers Market last week. Loki has all five species coming into the Market now!

Hama Hama Oyster Company raises awesome oysters and clams that they bring to Market every Sunday. And now, just for the summer months, they are also bringing in freshly caught and steamed Dungeness crabs! Oh, yeah, baby!

Just take a look at these beauties. They're whole king and coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Wilson fishes along the Washington coast, catching halibut, rockfish, true cod and ling cod, in addition to salmon. Most days, the fish you are buying from them at your Ballard Farmers Market was still swimming the day before. Now, that's fresh!

Yes, it truly is summer, folks, and it is amazing what long days, some sun and some warm temps will do to finally make lots more crops come into your Ballard Farmers Market. Like these first peaches of the year -- Sugar Time peaches from Collins Family Orchards. Just imagine the juice dribbling down your chin and dripping all over your shirt!

Tomatoes! Oh, happy day!!! Billy's is finally harvesting these Big Beef tomatoes, with many more varieties to follow. Life is good. Very, very good.

And green beans, too. These are from Lyall Farms. I think I am beginning to get giddy! (Yes, I know. You're thinking, that shipped has sailed!) Besides my shear joy at all this wonderful, local summer deliciousness, it thrills me to no end to be able to add so many new crops to the What's Fresh Now! pages. (I am, after all, a man of simple pleasures.)

I know, you don't think lettuce is as sexy as all this other stuff, but to quote John from Nature's Last Stand, "it is hard to beat really good heirloom lettuce when it is grown well." You won't find it at the Big Box store. You will find it at Nature's Last Stand at your Ballard Farmers Market. Indeed, they've got a great selection of heirloom lettuce varieties. Enjoy!

Summer squash is now arriving in abundance, like these magnificent specimens from Growing Things Farm. You know, it seems one side benefit of our cool, wet spring is that the summer squash is perhaps as beautiful and sweet as we've had around here in years. And no one grows it better than Michaele at Growing Things.

And raspberries. Yup, they're in season now, too! Yippee! These lovelies are from Sidhu Farms. They grow them it Orting, along the Puyallup River. Grab a flat or three today!

And how about this?! Yes, that is fresh okra from Alvarez Organic Farms. Already. Amazing what a little sun and some 80s will do in the Yakima Valley, eh?

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now. And please remember to vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest!