Wednesday, September 18th: Two Weeks Left In 2013 Season, Sweet Potatoes, Cool Melons, Radicchio & Chef Jason Brzozowy!

New refrigerator magnets for your Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons. Just one more week after today in the 2013 season for your Wallingford Farmers Market, so get in, stock up, have one more picnic, and grab one of these stylish new free refrigerator magnets to help you remember that we will return next May! And if you are asking, "Why so soon?" Well, the park here has no lights, and by the end of September, it is dark already at 7 p.m., meaning next week, on the last day of the season, we will all be packing up using flashlights and camping headlamps. So, enjoy your market while you can, and then we will see you every Sunday, all through the cold, dark, wet months, at Ballard Farmers Market!

Chef Jason Brzozowy of Agrodolce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Our buddy, Chef Jason Brzozowy, joins us today at 4 p.m. for another of his great cooking demonstrations. Today, he will be wearing his Agrodolce hat. That's his boss, Chef Maria Hines's new place in Fremont. Of course, Mason, as his buds call him, also is at the kitchen helm at Tilth here in Wallingford. Mason always puts on a fun and tasty show for us, with lots of great ideas, so don't miss this one!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall crops are beginning to roll in. These are sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms, and they just started harvesting them this past week. Besides the fact that sweet potatoes are delicious, these beauties are special because no other local farmer is growing them and bringing them to our farmers markets. They store well, in a cool, dark place, so stock up now for later in the fall and winter.

Snow Leopard melons from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Snow Leopard melons from Tiny’s Organic Produce are not just another pretty face, err, I mean melon. When ripe, they have a sweetness of the cantaloupe style, and they are in the class of melons know as “ice box melons” because they are small and fit in the fridge easily, and they are perfect for one person to devour on their own.

Red cippolini onions from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, yeah, baby! Red cippolini onions from Kirsop Farm. Kirsop kicks bottom at this whole onion growing business, though some might ask, "how can you beat those Ailsa Craig sweet onions they had earlier?" That answer is with cippolini onions. These jewels of Italy cook down to the most beautifully caramelized onions you will ever see or taste, making them a perfect garnish or compliment to any of dozens of hearty fall dishes, and you can pickle them nicely, too. They, unlike the Ailsa Craigs, are long keepers, so you can stock up today and use them deep into the fall.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here is yet another installment from the Collins Family Orchards book of funky, hybridized stone fruit. These beauties are nectarplums. Yup, they are a cross betwixt plum and nectarine, and they are amazing! But they have a short-lived season, so enjoy them while you can!

Chioggia radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has begun to harvest the first of its fall crop of radicchio. This is chioggia radicchio, and it has a wonderful, bitter flavor, and when sautéd, it is easily complimented with smoky, salty bacon, some balsamic vinegar, or some nice anchovies and a little grated pecorino in a salad. You might ask, “isn’t chioggia a beet?” Actually, it is a city in the Italian provence on Venice. And they know a thing or two about deliciousness. Now, don’t you feel smarter?

Cherry tomatoes and garlic from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I just love this image of garlic framed by cherry tomatoes at Alm Hill Gardens. It just underscores how our farmers do not just work the soil and grow delicious things, but they are artists, too. And we get to enjoy the delicious rewards of their labors and creativity!

Goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Above is a variety of goathorn chile peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. They are a medium hot chile with a wonderful, bright flavor. If you had a sample of some of Chef Brian Gojdics pizzas last week, you may have enjoyed some of these on them. Well, it is full-on pepper season at Alvarez. They grow over 200 varieties, and this is a prolific year for peppers, like for so many other crops. This time of year, the pepper fields are so colorful at Alvarez, they are kind of reminiscent of the tulip fields in Skagit Valley in April. You can get a pretty good idea of their many varieties of peppers by checking out our Facebook photo album of them!

Blueberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the last week for blueberries from Sidhu Farms, and likely from all of our farms, as with the return of the rains and cooler weather, the berries are beginning to turn to mush on the bush. So again, enjoy them while you can, for one last time. Stock up and freeze a bunch to enjoy all winter!

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

The sun may be setting earlier, and the clouds and rains may be returning, but we can still enjoy bringing some of this summers extraordinary abundance of sunshine into our homes with some of these sunflowers, or any of the other gorgeous flower bouquets from Pa Garden. So brighten up your kitchen table, or the day of someone you love today!

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.