Yep. That's right. September is half over, and counting today, there are only three markets left in your 2009 Wallingford Farmers Market season. Sure, you can visit all your favorite farmers market vendors at Ballard Farmers Market this fall and winter, but why not stock up now right here in your neighborhood while you can? One crop that has winter right in its name, and that will store well through the cool, dark, wet months, is winter squash, like the above from Summer Run.
Another crop that speaks to fall and winter, and also stores well, is apples, like these from Lyall Farms. Lyall Farms grows these apples on the eastern slopes of the Columbia River Gorge in Mattawa, near Vantage -- hundreds of acres of them.
Grapes also sing of fall, of cooler nights and shorter days. Just look at these beautiful, juicy and intensely sweet Concord grapes are from Alm Hill Gardens.
You might not think of strawberries as a fall crop, and the truth is that these everbearing strawberries from Sidhu Farms will only produce until the first frost, but they will produce until then. There are so many varieties of strawberries. We are most familiar with the spring varieties, but these late-summer and fall berries are plenty tasty, too.
When I think of leeks, the first thing that pops into my mind is a warm bowl of potato leek soup on a cool, damp fall evening. These beauties are brought to you by Ia's Garden.
One of the great things about the fact that our fine state is split down the middle by the Cascade Mountains is that we get to enjoy two seasons of many crops, and sweet corn is a classic example. While Eastern Washington corn has been around for weeks now, Western Washington corn is really just now coming into is prime. I've been told that this sweet corn from Full Circle Farm this week is just the first of many successions of corn they have planted, meaning many more weeks of sweet corn to come. And sweet corn can be easily frozen for enjoyment all winter long.
Even though we are still experiencing rather warm days in our seemingly endless summer of 2009, our evenings are cooling off nicely, making it perfect for warming up your kitchen with some fresh handmade pasta from Pasteria Lucchese, like this orecchiette, or "little ears", pasta, above.
The end of summer means it's edamame, or vegetable soy, season. This is the same stuff you are used to getting at your favorite Japanese restaurant, just grown locally. Stoney Plains has lots of it right now, so treat yourself to some at home.
I'm not entirely sure how I am going to spin these specialty loaves and granolas from Tall Grass Bakery into my end of summer theme. I suppose walnut bread is kinda fall-like. Maybe the real point is that you should avail yourself of these goodies now, while it's right here in Wallingford. And did you know that Crystal, who sells for Tall Grass at the Market, is the one who makes all that delicious granola? Maybe you should stop by, pick up a bag, and thank her before the month is over.
Shallots, on the other hand, like these from Billy's, are all about fall. Just think of your kitchen filled with the scent of these beautiful bulbs as you carmelize them into, well, whatever...
Cool, late-summer nights cause chile peppers to develop their brilliant colors and intense flavors. Just look at this magnificent collection of hot chiles from Alvarez Organic Farms.
Plums and pears truly reach their prime in late summer and early fall. You will find a great selection of them from ACMA Orchards.
Best known for their spectacular flower arrangements, The Old Farmer grows some great vegetable crops, too, like these Detroit beets, leeks and carrots.
Here I've been giving Tiny's such a hard time all summer about all the weird new hybrid stone fruit crops they keep bringing to market, and begging them to show me a nectareach, and Collins Family Orchards goes and one-ups them with, wait for it, nectarplums. This new cross between nectarines and plums is deeply and intensely sweet. Give them a try during their short, end-of-summer season.
Of course, there is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. In fact, there may be more different crops in the Market today than any other time so far this season. For a full accounting of what you will find, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner.