Hey kids! We've added a whole bunch of exciting new vendors to the lineup of your 2014 Wallingford Farmers Market, including our newest prepared food vendor, Ethan Stowell Restaurants. Each week, one of the chefs from their various restaurants will create a fresh, new, market-driven menu built around what's in season and available from our farmers. Last week, Chef Joe Ritchie from MKT got us started off with an amazing roast beef sandwich made using beef from Sea Breeze Farm, cukes and carrots from Colinwood Farm, potatoes from Olsen Farms, and flour for the rolls from Shepherd's Grain. Everything from scratch. Everything direct from Washington farmers. I can't wait to see what they've got in store for us this week! (Oh, and speaking of chefs, we'll have another great cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m., this week featuring Chef Phillip Crowder from Phinney Market.)
This year, we welcome a new veggie farm to our vendor ranks as well. Around the Table Farm, from Poulsbo, is actually partnered with Bainbridge Vineyards, and both are bringing their produce to your Wallingford Farmers Market. The farm has lots of gorgeous veggies and herbs, including the mint, oregano, sage and green garlic, above, as well as bok choy, Japanese wax turnips, peas and much more! And the winery has a great selection of unique Puget Sound Appellation estate wines.
Britt's Pickles has made a big name for itself making exceptional barrel-fermented pickles, kimchis and sauerkrauts in many flavors. Full of all sorts of beneficial little critters, this living food well please your palate, and the rest of your body.
Talk about a superfood, these migrogreens from Farmbox Greens are delicious and nutritious. These tiny radishes, arugulas and mustards will spice up your salads, add a little crunch to your soups, and garnish your proteins perfectly. And they're grown right here in Seattle!
Speaking of wine, we are also joined this year by White Heron Cellars, from Quincy. Located in the Columbia Valley Appellation in Central Washington, White Heron was founded in 1986, actually in the ghost town of Trinidad, just outside Quincy. We are very lucky to live in the #2 wine producing state in the nation, with 10 different appellations, or distinct grape-growing regions, each friendly to different wine varietals, giving us one of the most extraordinary diversities of wine to be found in one place anywhere on earth. We are fortunate to have three wineries this year here at your Wallingford Farmers Market from three different appellations. Experiment, and enjoy!
Seattle Pops is taking the art of the frozen pop to a whole new level. This brand new enterprise is a family affair run by two sisters and their dad. They take great local ingredients and turn them into frozen deliciousness fresh every week, with flavors changing with the seasons. Pops come in flavors the kids will love, and flavors well-suited to adult tastes, too.
Finally, meet one more new member of the vendor lineup at your Wallingford Farmers Market: Soulever Chocolates. Their chocolates are predominantly organic, low glycemic, and dairy, gluten, and soy free, and they use local ingredients where they can. These are well-suited for folks with dietary restrictions (such as paleo, vegan or diabetic). Oh, and they're good, too! Enjoy!
Now, let's talk about some crops that are in waaaaay earlier than we usually expect to see them -- like these 80-11 variety Early Rainier cherries from Lyall Farms. This variety ripens a good two weeks ahead of other Rainier cherries, and Lyall Farms gets another 7-10 days head start on other farms because of the location of their orchard in the warmest, sunniest micro-climate in the state. Add to that the fact that, after colder than average months of December, January, February, March & April, and lots of rain to start off May, May ended up with warmer than average temps and sunnier than normal skies! Go figure. But hey, who’s complaining? 75 and sunny, with Rainier cherries, in the first week of June in Seattle? That’s fine by me!
But wait! There’s more! Yes, these are sugar snap peas, I kid you not! I took this photo last Wednesday. These peas are from our friends at Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton, another of Washington’s warmest, sunniest micro-climates. And Alvarez has Detroit red beets now, too, and green shallots!
And let's finish off with some more strawberries. This is the earliest we've had strawberries in years, so let's enjoy them! These are organic strawberries, grown by Gaia's Harmony Farm. They grow them under row covers on their farm up on Snohomish, which keeps them warm and clean, helping make them some of the best strawberries you will ever taste!
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 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.