Sunday, October 6th: Local Tuna, Heirloom Pears, Celery Root, Award-Winning Wines, Smoked Salmon Bellies & Other Tastes Of Fall!

Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons. It's all sunshine and puppy dogs at your Ballard Farmers Market today, as we celebrate the first sunny and warm Sunday of fall. The leaves are falling from the trees lining Ballard Avenue, the mornings are crisp, and the fall crops are pouring into the Market. Everyone has broken out their finest fall layers -- yes, we get to dress again! Let's celebrate with the deliciousness of the season. Like these heirloom Conference pears from Booth Canyon Orchard! Booth Canyon grows amazing fruit, but they don't have a lot this year, courtesy of late summer hail storms, so don't dillydally!

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

It's the first Sunday of the month, and that means is local albacore tuna day! Woohoo! Yup, our friends from Fishing Vessel St. Jude are back with their sashimi-grade tuna today. They catch adolescent albacore as it is swimming south to tropical waters after spending its formative years in the icy cold waters of the North Pacific. That means it is high in beneficial (and delicious) omega-fatty acids and low in heavy metals. They have it cannedsmokedfrozen rawjerkied and more! Stock up though, as it'll be another month before we see them again.

Winter squash from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is winter squash season throughout your Ballard Farmers Market! These beautiful and tasty edible gourds are from Summer Run Farm in Carnation. They are long keepers, so you can stock up now, and enjoy them all fall and winter. Just protect those stems, and store them in a dark, cool, dry place. They are great roasted, souped, sautéed, and more, and you can eat the skins on most of them!

Brent Charnley, winemaker at Lopez Island Vineyards, hold the new release of his Wave Crest White table wine. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Brent Charnley makes some amazing wines at Lopez Island Vineyards. Indeed, many of them are award winners. From big reds made with Eastern Washington grapes, to unique whites made from German varieties of grapes grown organically on their farm that only grow in Puget Sound in this state, because they like cool, foggy nights, you are certain to find a bottle or two that is just right for you. But you don't have to take my word for it, or even that of some snooty panel of wine judges. You can sample their wines today right here at your Ballard Farmers Market to find the one that best suits your tastes.

Celery root from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was just last week when someone walked up to me at your Ballard Farmers Market and asked, "hey, does anyone have celery root yet?" Well, guess what? Boistfort Valley Farm has a fresh crop of it, just waiting for all of your favorite fall recipes, from soups to mashes to roasts to stews. Yippee!

Siberian Red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another fall cooking essential is garlic. (Okay, it's a year-round essential, but I think a lot of us forgot how to cook over a hot summer full of salads, barbecues and dining out al fresco.) Our friends at Jarvis Family Garlic Farm, over in the Dungeness Valley of Clallam County on the North Olympic Peninsula, grow a wonderful variety of heirloom garlics perfect for every cooking application and every preference. Whether you want just a hint of garlic, or so much that you will be offending people with your breath two days from now, they've got you covered!

A dizzying variety of flower bulbs from Choice Bulb Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D Lyons.

I know that many may think that gardening season has passed, but now is a great time of year to get certain perennial flowers in the ground in their bulbous and tuberous forms. Choice Bulb Farm has an extraordinary selection of different kinds of bulbs and such that would impress the most prolific Dutch flower breeders. Pop them in the ground now, and watch the magic happen next spring!

Samish Bay Cheese makes a variety of delicious farmstead cheeses. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese from Bow produces a lovely variety of fresh, farmstead, cows milk cheeses unlike anything you likely have tasted before. Several varieties have placed first, second or third at the American Cheese Society awards in recent years. Samish Bay is perhaps best known for its signature Ladysmith cheese, which has been described as a cross between Queso Fresco and Ricotta Salata. It won first place at the 2010 American Cheese Society awards competition for the category of unripened cow’s milk cheeses. Stop by for a tasting tour of their cheeses today, and grab some to take home with you!

Smoked king salmon bellies from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that there are people who don't want the bellies of their king salmon because they think it is "too fatty"?!? For my money, the belly is the best part of the fish! I mean, what's the point of getting the best of something if you are just going to diminish it? That fat is full of beneficial omega-fatty acids in their natural state -- the kind your doctor keeps begging you to add to your diet it. And it is absolutely delicious! But I guess our friends at Loki Fish get enough requests for fillets trimmed of their belly fat that they are able to offer these smoked king salmon bellies right here at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, they know their value. And if you love them, too, stop by today to pick up a package, because they likely won't last very long.

Bagels from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hmm. Ladysmith cheese. Check. Smoked salmon. Check. Bagels! Check! Grab yourself some wonderfully chewy bagels in a variety of flavors from Grateful Bread Baking today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Now, if we could just get someone to produce capers around here...

Fresh, local butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But if you like your bagels toasted with butter instead of fresh and chewy with a fresh cheese and some salmon, Golden Glen Creamery has you covered. Their farmstead butters come plain, with and without salt, as well as in enough different sweet and savory flavors that you will be able to toast the same plain bagel every morning for a week and never use the same flavor of buttery spread on it twice!

Brussels sprouts tops from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a short time each fall, before Brussels sprouts season hits, we are sometimes treated to Brussels sprouts tops by folks like Oxbow Farm. See, they trim the tops off of the stalks so that the stalks put their energy into producing those lovely, round sprouts we will all be swooning over in just a few short weeks. But the tops are tasty, too, and very quick and easy to prepare! Just this past week, I sautéed a bunch of them with some Oxbow shallots, and then I added a little white wine, to deglaze the pan of all the delicious caramelized flavor of the shallots, and to add a little sweetness. Finish off with a nice salt and some fresh ground pepper, and you're done!

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.

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.