Sunday, August 14th: Vote Now! Excellent Eggs, Mouthwatering Watermelons, Wild Elderberries, Tremendous Treviso & Washington's Only Native(ish) Potato!

Hey, we know you love your Ballard Farmers Market. I mean, more than 3,000 of you visit this blog every week. More than 2,000 of you follow us on Facebook. Another 1,600+ of you follow us on Twitter. And then there are the 10,000 or so of you who visit us at the Market every Sunday. And in your love of your Ballard Farmers Market, you've come to expect a lot of it -- a lot which we strive tirelessly week in and out, year-round, to provide for you, asking little of you in return. Well, now we are asking you for something. Something simple. We are asking you to take 30 seconds or less to vote for Ballard Farmers Market in the 2011 America's Favorite Farmers Market Contest. Scan your smart phone across the image above, or just click the link. Help us win bragging rights and funds for improving the Market, as well as 500 No Farms, No Food canvas bags to give to you as a thank you. So far, about 500 of you have voted. We need about 5,000 to win. Do it as a thank you to the Market staff and vendors for all they do for you. Do it for Ballard. Do it for Seattle. Do it for Washington. But do it now, as voting closes on August 31st. And thank you.

By now, you have found Growing Things Farm in their new location at the top of the Market at 22nd Ave. Did you know that Michaele Blakely actually was the original manager of this farmers market, when it was still attached to the Fremont Sunday Market back in the late 1990s? Yep. And Michaele is one of those extraordinary farmers that does so much on a relatively small parcel of land, from row crops to poultry to beef and pork to jams to soap made from beef tallow and lard from her own animals to some of the best eggs on earth. And for those of you who have been getting to the Market too late to get some of those eggs in recent weeks, never fear. Michaele tells me her hens have caught up in egg production now, and she will have a lot more eggs today and in future weeks, so come and get 'em. But hey, there are still no guarantees for you slackers who show up late in the day!

Gotta love these yellow-fleshed yellow doll watermelons from Lyall Farms. Chef Peter Levine of  Waterfront Seafood Grill did a cooking demonstration for us recently at your  mid-week Interbay Farmers Market on Thursdays in which he used all yellow foods, calling it a “yellow plate special.” The one thing we were missing that day were these. Don’t you miss this sweet, refreshing summer treat today!

One of the most spectacular looking vegetables, and one of my personal favorites, it treviso radicchio. This member of the chicory family of bitter greens is perfect sautéed with some salty, smoky porkiliciousness, or lathered up with some olive oil and grilled. Pick up some from Full Circle Farm today and give it a try!

These tiny little berries are wild blue elderberries from Foraged & Found Edibles. These jewels pack perhaps more medicinal qualities in them than any other berry, and they make some awesome wine and jam. But their season is short. Put some up now for winter, and enjoy their healthful deliciousness during the cold, dark, wet months.

It's lavender season at Children's Garden, folks. May we all rejoice in their fragrant beauty, and may all the bees have one humongous insect equivalent of a kegger amidst their blossoms. Heck, if you've got a blooming lavender plant near you, sit or lay near it, close your eyes, and just listen to all the buzzing of the bees as they party their little brains out.

Take a gander at these brilliant beets from Colinwood Farms. You know, some people may find beets to be kind of pedestrian, but I find them both beautiful and luscious, and hey, bunch beets give you two dishes for the price of one -- roots and greens. Don't you dare toss out those greens! I mean, you do know that chard is essentially beet greens bred to focus on the greens and not the root, right? Well, with bunch beets, you get your beets and your chard!

I love the contrast in color between these sungold cherry tomatoes and blackberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Their blackberries are as good as any could hope to be. And I've been eating these sweet sungolds by the pint. Sungolds are one of the sweetest tomatoes. And since you are going to want to put some on salads, make sure you get a couple of pints, as you will eat one of them right out of the container!

Ozette potatoes, like these from Alvarez Organic Farms, are the closest thing we've got to a native potato here in Washington, the potato producing capitol of the United States. See, all potatoes originated in South America. And almost all potatoes now in North America are descendants of potatoes that first traveled to Europe before coming here. But there are a very few exceptions. The Ozette, along with three other fingerling potatoes, were brought up the West Coast by the Spanish in 1791 and planted near their ports from Northern California to Vancouver Island. The Ozette was brought to the area inhabited by the Makah Nation out near Neah Bay. But the Spanish couldn't hack our Northwest weather, so in 1793, they buggered off back down the coast, leaving behind these potatoes. So, pick up a little bit of local, and potato, history today. Oh, they taste pretty good, too!

When you look at this perfect tray of apricots from Martin Family Orchards, it will come as no surprise that they are called perfection apricots. Perfect looking. Perfect tasting. Nuff said.

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!