July 22nd: Chokes & Plums & Funny Looking Carrots

Organic artichokes from Billy's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. We really do have it good here in Washington, don't we? Just when you think there can't be any more produce, here comes a bunch more into the Wallingford Farmers Market this week. We do live in place of abundance. Take these lovely artichokes from Billy's Organic Produce in Tonasket. Billy Alstadt grows all shorts of stuff in the desert sun of the Okanogan Valley, not just tomatoes.

Viking Purple potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms travels farther than any farm in Washington state to bring us their great dryland potatoes. They come from the little town of Aladdin, northeast of Colville, or as I like to call it, so far into the northeast corner of Washington that it is almost in Alberta. Anywho, the Olsens have begun to harvest their 2009 crop, which includes these gorgeous Viking Purple spuds. They have a snow-white flesh under that bright purple skin, and they make for a great roasting or mashing potato.

Thumbelina carrots from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Really, there are hundreds of kinds of carrots. It's just that the big box stores would have us think there is only one. But at the Wallingford Farmers Market, a new week means another carrot -- in this case, the aptly named Thumbelina carrots from Full Circle Farm. They kinda look thumby, don't they? But they taste carroty.  Go figure.

Shiro plums from ACMA. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

'Tis the season for ACMA Orchards to begin rolling out the big guns, like these shiro plums. This is a special plum with Japanese origins. These particularly juicy plums make for great eating, and even better wine.

Roma beans from Alvarez. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also new this week are these Roma beans from Alvarez Organic Farms. These are a bean's bean -- great raw, cooked just tender and pickled. They provide a nice snap with their broad girth.

Pearl onions from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another gem of a crop to hit the Market this week is pearl onions, if you'll pardon the pun. But these precious little onions are wonderful pickled, great added to stews, or the perfect complement to a quick sauté of green beans and bacon -- yum!!! However, very few farms around here grow this adorable little onions, so get them while you can from Full Circle Farm.

Of course, there is so much more in season now at Wallingford Farmers Market, including a growing number of peppers, and maybe as early as today, melons. For a full list of what's in season, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the right hand menu.