Wednesday, August 6th: Happy National Farmers Market Week!

WhyMarkets_August2013 Happy National Farmers Market Week! Check out this list of all the amazing benefits markets like your Wallingford Farmers Market provide to your community. (You can download this image just by clicking on it.) And remember, Wallingford is the reigning Washington State Farmers Market of the Year. They actually retired that award after we won it, and can you blame them? What farmers market can top our little jewel in the park? Oh, hey, we'll have great recipe cards from Washington State Farmers Market Association today at the Market Information Desk, too. And we even have a stellar cooking demonstration at 4 p.m. with Chef Mutsuko Soma from Miyabi 45th! Chef Soma creates stunning dishes at her celebrated Wallingford eatery, many of which she fashions from Market ingredients!

Celery from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, celery may seem like a mundane kinda veggie about which to get excited during sweet corn, tomato, peach and pepper season, but it is also a kitchen staple. And if you have never had truly farm-fresh celery before, you really don't know what celery can taste like. So pick some up today from Kirsop Farm, and add a bit of local, fresh and nutritious crunch to your summer salads, or that jar of peanut butter!

River apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We enjoyed the little apricots of early summer. Now, it’s time for the big, beautiful, delicious ones, like these Rival apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Think of the jams, the tarts, the messy shirt fronts! Rivals are a free-stone fruit, which means they release easily from their pit when you cut them in half, making them very easy to cook with!

Lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look kids! It’s time for lemon cucumbers from One Leaf Farm! Now, of course they get their name from looking like lemons, but I think this year’s crop might look so much like lemons that I might squeeze one into my iced tea by accident and then wonder why it tastes like cucumber.

Sunny Honey from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for great, local honey? Lucky for us, Alm Hill Gardens has Annie on its team, and Annie keeps bees! From those bees comes this Sunny Honey in a variety of flavors. See, these lucky bees get to pollinate all the organic berries up on Alm Hill in Whatcom County, and in the process, they make this beautiful honey for us! Woohoo!

Italian, chorizo and bratwurst link sausages from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Olsen Farms, the folks with all those amazing potatoes and meat, also make some great sausages? And because they come pre-cooked, they are great for picnics and camping, because you don’t have to worry about cross-contaminating your work space with raw meat. Made from animals the Olsens raise themselves, they are great on the grill, the stovetop, or simply on a stick over a campfire!

Pan-roasted padron peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms by Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Padron peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms as pan-roasted by Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon last week during his cooking demonstration at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Consider this as enticement to visit today, AND as a recipe. Get your skillet nice and hot, with a high-heat oil, toss in the Padrons and pan-roast until tender and a bit browned. Finish with a good sea salt. Eat. You're welcome!

Zucchinin Cardamom and Ginger Peach Minin Loaves from Nuflours Gluten-Free Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Zucchini-Cardamom and Ginger Peach mini loaves from Nuflours Gluten-Free Bakery are so go, you won’t even notice that they are gluten-free. All you will notice is that you are out of cream cheese!

Striped Cavern stuffing tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Striped Cavern tomatoes from Around The Table Farm are for stuffing. If you look closely at them, you will see that they have feet -- three or four -- that allow them to stand up perfectly in the oven. What you can't see is the cavernous inside they have from whence comes their name. That makes them easy to scoop out and stuff, and their thick, meaty flesh makes them hold up well in the oven during a long, slow roasting.

Rubels blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Organic Blueberry Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Rubels blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. They are a domesticated wild huckleberry from the East Coast. The berries are small and full of flavor, and they remind me of the wild blueberries we used to pick while hiking up Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park. I remember I used to eat my weight in them.

Black tomoates, just because, from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, I just had to share these black tomatoes from Seattle Youth Garden Works. I love how many cool kinds of tomatoes they are growing this year. And while maybe some foodies are used to lots of interesting different tomatoes, imagine if you were a kid growing up in a tougher neighborhood with less opportunities and less access to really amazing local food. And then you got the chance to work with Seattle Youth Garden Works on their farm in Rainier Valley, and you started helping them grow these tomatoes. It would change your whole world! And that is exactly what Seattle Youth Garden Works is trying to do. So, when you buy these unusual tomatoes today, you are also helping change the world for some kids right here in Seattle. Now, that's a good tomato!

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! in the righthand menu for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.