Sunday, October 14th: Hardy Kiwis, Carving Pumpkins, Holiday Hams, Celery Root, Cheesecake & More!

The rains have returned, and frankly... yippee! Don't get me wrong. I, too, enjoyed having a summer that, well, was a summer. But I wouldn't live here if I didn't like rain. And after 81 days without it, it is quite refreshing. The air smells cleaner. The dust is washing off of, well, everything. And I can hear each and every blade of grass cheering. Imagine how our beloved farmers are feeling! So, it really is October. Most farms have already felt a nip of frost by now, and your Ballard Farmers Market is awash in fall crops. Today, we celebrate the arrival of a particularly special Northwest fall crop, the hardy kiwi. These tiny jewels of sweet deliciousness are indeed kiwis, but they have evolved so that they thrive in a cool, temperate climate like we have here in Western Washington. Greenwater Farm grows them in Port Townsend, and they'll only have them available for a few short weeks. If you've never tried them, avail yourself of this opportunity!

Halloween is fast approaching, and it is high time to get that perfect pumpkin and carve it. Grab one of these lovely Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins today from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Cut the top out. Scoop, wash and roast the seeds, and carve it up with some menacing looking face. Just be sure to let your kids pick out a pumpkin, too!

Have you ordered your holiday turkeys and hams yet? It's not too early. Heck, it's already October 14th! Thanksgiving is less than five weeks away. Seriously. It's early this year -- November 22nd. Swing by Skagit River Ranch today and place your order, so you'll been sure to have a delicious, humanly-raised, local centerpiece for your Thanksgiving feast.

It is by no means the most handsome of fall vegetables, but celery root, or celeriac, is an essential ingredient to many fall dishes. From soups to roasts to amazing mashes -- think celery root, parsnips and potatoes! -- you'll need it. In fact, many have been asking about it for weeks. Well, One Leaf Farm, which returned to your Ballard Farmers Market just last Sunday, wins this year's celery root sweepstakes, being the first farm to roll in with it this year. Woohoo!

We've been a little short on honey this past year at your Ballard Farmers Market, so we've allowed some of our farmers to bring in honey produced on their farms for sale. This honey, from Boistfort Valley Farm, is made by their resident bees that also pollinate all their crops on the farm.

Gaia's Natural Goods returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market will lots of tasty greens, like the above kale and collard greens. See, with a little nip of frost in the air recently, greens have gotten a lot sweeter, making this a great time of year to enjoy them. Plus, cooking them helps warm up your kitchen and takes the nip out of your house.

Bosc pears from Collins Family Orchards are in their prime right now. Sweet, juicy, and wonderful to eat, they make for a great addition to junior's lunchbox, a salad, or a snack at the office during your afternoon break. Enjoy this fall treat while you can!

Just had to share this photo of the display at Nash's Organic Produce last week. It comes under the heading of "spectacular displays." Oh, the fall colors of goldenchiogga and Detroit beetsturnipscelery and arugula. Comforting veggies for cool fall days!

And how's about some daikon radishes from Colinwood Farms? They have a bright, clean, mild flavor, with just the slightest hint of spiciness. Add them to salads like any radish, shred them as a garnish or to use with sashimi, sauté them. These Asian delights are deliciously versatile!

While you are ordering your holiday turkeys, roasts and hams, don't forget about dessert! From sweet breads to pies to one of these amazing cheesecakes from Pasteria Lucchese, check in with your favorite Ballard Farmers Market dessert makers now to learn about what you'll need to do to ensure you'll bring the best dessert with you to whatever holiday festivities.

Finally, another reminder to please bring your own bags every Sunday, 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 Ballard 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.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.