This week in the Farmer’s Markets


As the September equinox approaches, bringing with it the official first day of Fall, Seattle has been enjoying one of the warmest stretches of Summer.  The evening when I visited the Madrona farmer’ market recently felt like an evening in July, with many people strolling idly, the park full of couples chatting on benches and bar-b-ques flavoring the air.  The products in the markets are reflective of this unexpected warmth, featuring a return of fruits and vegetables that already have come and gone earlier in the year.

Pike Place Market:  Fall fruits are in full swing… many kinds of pears including some of the first winter varieties I have noticed this year.  A few winter squashes have begun to trickle in, mostly small pumpkins,  delicatas and gourdes.  Peaches, plums, Italian prunes, radishes making a comeback, beets in  many colors.  Alvarez Farms is selling peppers of every description, corn, watermelons, slender green beans.

Madrona Farmer’s Market:  Wilson fish offering some lovely king salmon and ling cod, all line caught on the Washington coast and landed the afternoon before.  Blackberries (as big as your thumb but not as sweet as earlier in the summer), raspberries, strawberries (!) and blueberries enjoying a second harvest.  Kohlrabi, both green and purple and some flowering purslane both caught my eye (it was beautiful and the leaves were tasty, but as the vendor told me with perhaps a bit too much frankness, the flowers tend to taste a bit slimy).   Shell beans, both flageolets as well as runners (the latter reminding me of the “Haricots Mais” that I saw last year in the markets of  Southwest of France.  The unique quality of these beans is that, as they are grown between the rows of corn, locals say that they have taken on the flavor of their neighbors when cooked fresh).


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