Wednesday, July 24th: Lots of Local Picnic Foods & More, Right Here!

Chef Clara Moore, from Knife For Hire Picnic Foods. Meet Chef Clara Moore. Starting today at your Wallingford Farmers Market, she will be joining us with her new venture, Knife for Hire Picnic Foods. The name is sort of self-explanatory, but just in case, Clara will be making fresh, grab-and-go picnic foods using ingredients from other Market vendors. So if you plan to picnic at the Market today, you can easily do it with all local ingredients. Ask your local Big Box grocer's deli staff if they can offer the same! Here is what's on her debut menu for today, noting the farms from which her ingredients come:

  • Roasted Vegetables: Yellow Squash (Lyall Farms), Red and Golden Beets (Gaia's), Red Lasota Potato (Olsen Farmss), Onions (One Leaf Farm), Rainbow Carrots (Gaia's), Organic Coconut Oil, Kosher Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper, Fresh Rosemary (Gaia's)
  • Marinated Cucumbers: Cucumbers (One Leaf), White Wine Vinegar, Pineapple Juice, Organic Sugar, Salt
  • Carrot Greens Pesto Potato Salad: Red Lasoda Potatoes (Olsen), Carrot Greens Pesto (Carrot Tops (Gaia's), Garlic, Walnuts, Grapeseed Oil, Lemon, White Wine Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Onion)
  • Dijon Roasted Green Beans: Green Beans (Lyall), Pickled Onions (One Leaf), Dijon, Vinegar, Mustard Seeds
  • Market Salad: Mixed Greens (One Leaf), Cucumbers (One Leaf), Tomatoes (Alm Hill or One Leaf), Corn (Lyall), Candied Walnuts, Raspberry Vinaigrette (Raspberries from Gaia's)

BTW, we will also have another chef join us today. Chef Jason Scherer of Joule & Revel will perform a cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m.!

Yellow Curry Vegetables from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And if that isn't enough for you to outfit your Meridian Park picnic today, stop by House of the Sun Raw & Vegan Cuisine. Adam, too, sources his ingredients from our Market vendors, here and in Ballard. Then he makes absolute deliciousness with them, like this Yellow Curry Vegetables, or their three flavors of kale chips, which he makes by dehydrating them, not baking them. Then there are his spreadsveggie tacos, and even raw & vegan desserts. Seriously. If you are showing up at the park today with stuff for your picnic from a Big Box store that's made with factory-farmed produce grown in Mexico, California, or who knows where, and who knows how, you are missing out on fresher, better-tasting food that supports local farms and local jobs (maybe even yours), which is really the whole point of this farmers market thing we do here every Wednesday anyway, you know? And you can get your beverage on here, too...

Three new flavors from Soda Jerk Sodas. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Soda Jerk Soda Company makes fresh sodas using local ingredients from Washington farmers, and their flavors change with the seasons, so it is worth visiting them every week for a taste treat! This week, they’ve got Blackberry Cardamom, Lemon Lavender & Cucumber Mint, from the left. The latter is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, though I like them all. None are too sweet. Enjoy!

Sunflowers from Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 is already an epic year for our farmers, and it is only mid-July. I hope you are taking full advantage of this historic year for local crops. Warm weather is not only causing crops to arrive earlier than ever, it is also resulting in record harvests and superb quality. And many crops are also hanging around later than usual, too. Take, for example, flowers from Pa Gardens. Last week, they had in season sweet peasgladiolasdahlias and sunflowers – all at the same time! It is kind of mind-boggling, but it also means they get to make some of the most extraordinary fresh flower bouquets, the likes of which we may never see again. So, please, I beseech you. Avail yourself of this unique summer!

Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

2013 has seen the earliest arrival of apples at your Wallingford Farmers Market since we started keeping track by a solid two weeks, and they are a full month earlier than normal. These organic Ginger Gold apples from ACMA Mission Orchards are actually now the second wave of apples already this year, and from here on out, we will likely see a new variety of apple every week. Rumor has it that the Early Galas may be only a week or two out. Amazing.

Gluten-free sandwich breads from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Do you require gluten-free products, or are you just convinced that they all taste like sawdust? Either way, you should be beating a path to d:floured gluten-free bakery, because they have built their business on the premise that everyone deserves really good bread and brownies. For instance, check out these two new sandwich bread loaves, above. They are moist, chewy, tasty and sliceable! On the left is their sesame loaf, which they intentionally developed to be a full-sized loaf of bread, perfect for a nice, big sandwich. On the right is whole grain, which while a stitch smaller, still makes for a fine PB&J. So now, you can have your gluten-free diet and your BLT, too!

Organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wow! Fresh, organic sweet corn from Alvarez Organic Farms! This bi-color variety is super sweet right now. And it's great raw. Of course, they also have like a gagillion kinds of summer squash now. They’ve even got pickling cukes now, too! (And you'll find your picking dill at Alm Hill Gardens.)

Saturn donut peaches from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah. My favorites peaches. These are donut peaches -- Saturn donut peaches, to be precise -- from Tiny's Organic Produce. I remember when I first encountered these back in 1999. They were just then beginning to be grown significantly by orchardists here in Washington, and as such, they began making their first appearances in local farmers markets. I came across them when I was visiting the Yakima Farmers Market for the first time -- it opened that year. I stayed at a B&B just up Highway 12 in Naches, and that B&B was surrounded by orchards, one of which was full of these funny looking fruits. My hosts offered me one, and I fell instantly in love. They are sweet, juicy, have a tiny, easily removed stone, and are nice and small, so I found them easier to eat, and a lot less messy. And they are delicious. My hosts sent me home with an entire box of them! If you haven't tried them yet, today's a great day for them, and they are, after all, yet one more excellent picnic food, and they are great for hikes, too!

Fresh chevra from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you tried one of the several flavors of chevre (fresh goat cheese) from Twin Oaks Creamery? They are wonderful, with a nice bit of sweetness and tang, and talk about a perfect picnic food! Grab a loaf of bread from one of our three bakeries, tear off a hunk, slather some of this on it, and you are all set! And don't forget to try out their fresh goat yogurt and goat and cow milk, too.

Carrots from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With so many crops arriving historically early this year, the one crop that dawdled was carrots. They actually, and perhaps even bizarrely, arrived late this year. Go figure. But they are here now, and they are spectacular! Just look at these beauties from Seattle Youth Garden Works. And you know, they, too, make a great picnic food, plain, or dipped in some hummus from Uncle Eyal's!

Blueberries & raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, if there is one thing I have seen being devoured atop most of the blankets on the lawn here each Wednesday evening this summer, it is fresh local berries, and you can't do much better than these blueberries and raspberries from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington). And in this epic sumer of 2013, their berries are better than ever, and more prolific, so be sure to get your berry on!

Opening Day... really, opening minute cue at Whidbey Island Ice Cream. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of our amazing summer and great picnic food, we’ve all been missing our weekly Whidbey Island Ice Cream fix for the last few weeks. But they are back up and running again, and thus they are back here today with lots of great flavors of ice cream bars ready for you to devour!

The Gin Jars performing at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Of course, we always are visited by great local street musicians, like The Gin Jars, above. They will keep you entertained while you enjoy your weekly trip to your Wallingford Farmers Market, and while you have your picnic. Do remember, however, that we do not hire them to come play. If you like what you hear, please tip them generously. That is how they make their living. Thank you.

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Finally, a quick reminder that you can use your SNAP/EBT benefits (a.k.a., Food Stamps) at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Just take your Quest Card to the Market Information Desk. And for the rest of this season, you can get one dollar in Fresh Bucks for every dollar in Food Stamps you use during each visit to the Market, up to $10 per visit. Fresh Bucks are good for fresh fruits and vegetables from our farmers. Get more info at the Market Information Desk, and please tell your friends, family and neighbors!

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!

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.