Sunday, February 23rd: Spinach, Cabbage, Daffodils, Fermented Vegetables & Hot Cider! Winter Collides With Spring!

Bouquets with fresh daffodils from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons. No, I don't care what the forecast is for today. Those are daffodils. Local daffodils. From Children's Garden. They are blooming right now, bringing with them the promise of a spring that is not far off. So let Ma Nature get a little more gloppy lowland snow out of her system today. Matters not to me. I'll have a bundle of spring on my kitchen table! Will you?

Over-winterd Savoy cabbages from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, yeah, baby! Gotta love those over-wintered Savoy cabbages from Nash's Organic Produce. Having survived not one, but two week-long hard freezes, they are sweet and nutrient dense, and what makes them strong makes us strong! How about some nice braised cabbage? Maybe sauté some. And how about doing a test-run of corned beef and cabbage in advance of St. Paddy's Day? It's just three weeks off, you know.

Baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boom! Yup, that's baby spinach from Colinwood Farms. They just started harvesting a new crop from their greenhouses last week. Talk about a hint of spring. But wait! There's more! Yes, they also now have salad mix again. Indeed, Colinwood has become famous for its amazing winter salad mix, which is full of hearty greens and tender, spicy mustards. I live off of this stuff this time of year.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right). Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful bacon from Olsen Farms. That's traditional pork belly bacon on the left, and pork jowl bacon on the right. Jowl bacon, you ask? Yes, it's bacon made using the jowl of the pig, and it is amazing. It has a unique, delicious flavor, and it is well suited to many dishes. Hmm. Maybe I'll sauté some Olsen bacon with some of that cabbage from Nash's tonight, and finish it off with...

Britt's Curry Kraut. Photo courtesy Britt's Pickles.

Curry Kraut from Britt's Pickles. This naturally-fermented kraut is not only uncommon, it is uncommonly good. And it is even certified Kosher! I know what you're thinking. If it's Kosher, why am I going to add it to my cabbage and bacon. Look, just because it's Kosher does not mean you are required to keep Kosher to eat it, but if your do keep Kosher, it's nice to know you can get a great local product like this, eh? Britt's joined us last week with their kimchis, krauts and pickles. Stop by and try some samples today!

Over-wintered carrots from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The over-wintered carrots at Alm Hill Gardens are amazing right now. Mind you, after the last big freeze, they are a little funny looking. Some have even needed to be trimmed a bit. But remember, sugar is natures anti-freeze, and when it got really cold two weeks back, these bad boys got really, really sweet. They may not be beautiful, but they taste incredible.

Organic apple donut dippers and hot apple cider from Tiny's Organic Produce.. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny's Organic Produce is mixing it up a bit lately with their organic appliciousness. They have begun to offer hot apple cider and apple donut dippers at your Ballard Farmers Market. The dippers are battered, deep-fried wedges of their apples -- a little winter decadence that will still keep the doctor away. And the hot cider comes traditional and spiced, and it will warm you up on this cold, late-winter's day. Enjoy!

Fresh, local Rockfish from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last, but certainly not least today, I present you with fresh rockfish from Wilson Fish. They are catching rockfish, true cod and ling cod this time of year off the Washington Coast when the weather permits. Gotta love some blackened rockfish, eh? But remember, supplies are limited, and this stuff always sells out fast. The early bird get the, um, err, fish.

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.