Sunday, March 3rd: Goat Yogurt, Winter Broccoli, Tasty Tamales, Pretty Pussy Willow & Sexy Spinach!

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons. Last week, we featured hearty winter spinach from Nash's. This week, we feature tender spring spinach, from the greenhouses of Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend. Jessie assured me that this beautiful, young spinach was due in this week at your Ballard Farmers Market, just waiting for you to turn into amazing salads, to toss into pasta dishes, to stuff into pastries, or to quickly wilt and put alongside your protein of choice. Yep, it's time again to get your Popeye on and nutrient up with delicious, fresh spinach!

Fromage blanc & smoked salmon spread from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. I enjoyed some of this amazing smoked salmon & fromage blanc spread from Twin Oaks Creamery this past week on a bagel or two, and it made my New York ex-pat heart swell! Why don't you pick some up this week, along with some bagels from Grateful Bread Bakery, and you'll be good to go for dinner tonight, breakfast Monday, or perhaps just a nice, post-Market snack. Heck, bring a spoon with you, and eat it here, while you walk around! Oh, and you know, that Colinwood spinach would absolutely rock dressed with some of Twin Oaks' goat feta crumbled over it. But here's the really big news: Twin Oaks has goat yogurt this week! Woohoo!

Broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More exciting news! Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington) has some of their amazing over-wintered purple broccoli today, too! Yes, we have indeed turned the corner toward spring. It is March now, and we have months of constantly changing, local deliciousness ahead of us. Over-wintered broccoli, for instance, is especially wonderful. It is sweet and densely nutritious, having weathered the coldest months of the year. Treat yourself. You can thank me later.

Fresh-cut pussy willow from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I probably have the largest pussy willow tree on earth in my backyard. It is 30-40 feet tall, with a canopy that is a good 40-50 feet across, and every winter, I get to enjoy looking out my back window at it in spectacular bloom, as it is right now. But perhaps you are not so fortunate to have your own pussy willow in your yard -- and hey, they ain't easy to deal with either. Lucky for you, though, Children's Garden has freshly-cut pussy willow blooms for you to take home and enjoy right now. And they dry beautifully, allowing you to enjoy them for months to come!

Daikon radish greens from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for something a little different? How's about some daikon radish greens from Nash's Organic Produce? They take to a nice sauté, or you can salad them, too. Nash's has all manner of goodness for you now, from the tail end of Brussels sprouts season to arugula raab, to turnipsrutabagas and sunchokes. They are stocked to the gills with winter yummies!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means we enjoy our monthly visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with all things local albacore tuna, from frozen loins to canned tuna to smoked. This is adolescent albacore they intercept as it swims south out of its North Pacific spawning grounds toward tropical waters to spend adulthood. As a result, it is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids and low in mercury and other heavy metals, and it is, quite simply, the finest tuna you have ever tasted! Stock up today, cuz they won't be back for five more weeks!

Honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

There's still time to enjoy some of these honey crisp apples from Collins Family Orchards. Harvested this past fall at the peak of flavor, they've kept them stored all winter in what the apple industry calls, "controlled atmosphere." There's a lot of science involved, but basically, they suck all the air out of the storage room, replace it with an inert gas, and lower the temperature, so the apples stay super fresh for months, allowing us to keep the doctor away all winter long!

Brokale from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brokale is a cross between broccoli and kale, favoring broccoli in flavor. Only one farm -- Gaia's Natural Goods -- brings it to your Ballard Farmers Market, and generally, only this time of year, as it likes cool, damp weather. It is nutrient-dense, delicious and easy to work with. I just give it a quick sauté with garlic and olive oil. Or use it as you would normally broccoli.

Roasted root vegetable with queso fresco tamales from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

Patty Pan Grill introduces its newest "tamale of the month" this first Market of March. This month, they feature a roasted root vegetable with queso fresco tamale that features Nash's veggies, and cheese from Samish Bay Cheese. Stop by for a hot one at the Market, or grab some to take home for later!

Please remember 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.