Wednesday, August 29th: How To Put The Most Local In Your Market Picnic!

It's Picnic Day at your Wallingford Farmers Market. What, you say? You thought every Wednesday is picnic day? Well, see, not everyone in the 'hood knows this, so today, the Wallingford Chamber and friends are hosting an "organized" picnic from 6-8 p.m. with live music to help introduce more of your neighbors to your Wallingford Farmers Market, and to encourage folks to support our great local farmers, ranchers and food artisans here. And to get in the cooking with local mood, come join us for another great cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. with Chef Colin Patterson of Sutra Vegetarian Cuisine. Colin shops the Market every Wednesday for his restaurant menu, and he knows his way around fresh, local produce. Come learn a few tricks from him this afternoon!

As for proper picnic, one can build an excellent, fresh meal out of Market ingredients with just a little advance prep. You will need to bring with you a blanket, plates, napkins, utensils and cups, possibly beverages, though some are available from our two prepared food vendors, perhaps a knife and cutting board for cutting bread, cheese, fruits and veggies, some salad dressing, salt and pepper, and maybe an extra jug of water for rinsing things. Then, all you need to do is forage through the Market. A great place to start is with some of these gorgeous tomatoes from Summer Run Farm. The large heirloom tomatoes make for great slicers for sandwiches, and the cherry tomatoes are perfect for salads and just eating on their own.

Spicy salad mix from One Leaf Farm makes a picnic salad easy. Just add some of those cherry tomatoes, some radishes, maybe berries or melon, dress it, and you're good to go! And you can go spicy with their fresh baby arugula, too, maybe combining it with some heirloom tomato and some fresh mozzarella from Golden Glen.

Speaking of radishes, these beautiful French Breakfast radishes from City Grown Farm, based right here in Wallingford, will certainly fit the bill. They have a lovely, light spice to them with a wonderfully refreshing taste, and they will add color and crunch to your salad. They are also great just dipped in some Golden Glen farmstead butter and a little truffled sea salt.

And speaking of Golden Glen Creamery, they've got a lovely selection of farm-fresh cheeses to suit your picnicking needs, from feta for your salads to fromage blanc to spread on a baguettecheddar, gouda and cheese curds for snacking, and that aforementioned mozzarella and butter.

These early Gala apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are a little less sweet and a little more tart than their winter counterparts, making them perfect for adding to salads. And they are wonderfully fresh and crisp right now, providing a satisfying crunch when you bite into them.

Add some color to your picnic salad with some sweet Hungarian wax peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Or try one of their other sweet peppers. Maybe you want to add a little zip with some hot peppers. And they've still got plenty of sweet corn. Eat is raw right off the cob, or cut it off the cob and add the kernels to your salad, too!

Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- says summer picnic like a perfectly ripe, juicy melon. Lyall Farms has several varieties of them to choose from right now, for watermelons to cantaloupes to honeydews to some more exotic melons. So remember your big, sharp knife. Oh, and if that knife is dull, come a little early, and let Andrew, Your Knife Sharpening Guy put a fresh edge on it!

Artisan breads and pastries are a picnic necessity, and lucky for you, we've got three great full-service bakeries at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Grateful Bread Bakery, pictured above, Tall Grass Bakery, and Dolce Lou, which produces amazing gluten-free breads and baked goods.

Whether for your sandwiches, to dress your salads, or just to devour right out of the jar, picnics call for pickles. Purdy Pickle makes an amazing lineup of pickled deliciousness made from local ingredients, and if you forget vinegar for your salad, they even make vinegars, too, from scratch!

Berries, like these stunners from Hayton Berry Farms, are perfect picnic food. I mean, let's face it. Each week, when you buy berries, you're eating half of them before you leave Meridian Park anyway, am I right? Today, add them to your salad, bring cream to pour over them for dessert, or just do what you always do -- eat them straight out of the container!

Great for adding to salads or simply munching on them whole, these gorgeous, and sweet, carrots from Gaia's Natural Goods are certain to please the whole family. And they are amazing right now!

Too lazy to put your own picnic together, but still want to support your Wallingford Farmers Market and the farmers here? Grab a bite from one of our two prepared food vendors, Skagit River Ranch (above), with farm-fresh hamburgers and sausages, and Patty Pan Grill, which sources all of its veggies from Market farmers.

And grab an ice cream bar from Whidbey Island Ice Cream for dessert. With so many flavors, they are sure to please everyone in your party.

Just remember, your Wallingford Farmers Market is your local food grocery store, not just a great place for a picnic. Do your shopping for the week while you're here. Or, do it for half the week, and then visit us at Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday. But face it... you're here picnicking anyway, right? Pick up some of these beautiful, delicious Viking purple potatoes from Olsen Farms while you are here. Because on Saturday, you are going to need potatoes, aren't you? Wouldn't you rather have potatoes with real flavor, that are fresh, and that support local farmers instead of sheepishly heading off to the Big Box store because you didn't get them today?

Please remember to bring your own bags today, and every Wednesday, 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 Wallingford 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.

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!