Friday, June 26, 2009
It was a 1.25 mile bike ride from our Belltown apartment to the new Cascade Farmer's Market in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Not to bad of a commute to a Farmer's Market even if the route could use more consistent bike lanes and the location more bike racks. Once I did find a place to lock up my bike my first purchase was a container of raspberries that I munched as I browsed the various vendors.
There were a few produce farmers set up and several fruit sellers. I saw my first market zucchini of the year and managed to keep myself from buying any, knowing I had an over abundance of other vegetables from our CSA and our p-patch. But it was hard. I really wanted that zucchini. For fruit there were flats of strawberries, raspberries, cherries and even a few apricots. I didn't see any favas and I know I couldn't have past them up if I had. Fresh favas have such a short season you just have to grab them when you find them. I hope I still have a chance. There were plenty of greens and carrots and other beautiful earth bounty.
What I was happiest to see was the Samish Bay Cheese people were there because I was all out of cheese at home. I had been hoping that a local cheese maker would be at this market. Next came the tough job of deciding which cheeses to get. I tasted a few and finally went with two very different varieties, the raw milk Port Madison and a fresh farm cheese that I can't recall the name of at the moment. I wonder if anyone has ever thought to create a cheese and dairy CSA - I'd be all over it! The same farm also sells humanely raised organic meats and they had their meat stand set up right next to the cheese.
A little ways down I came across a local pasta maker, La Pasta. They had a good selection of pastas including several different raviolis. Ravioli is something I have been craving for a while now and just haven't been able to take the time to make, so I couldn't resist. I got a package of the mixed mushroom ravioli. I think I will be making that for dinner soon with the mushrooms and garlic scapes from the latest Full Circle CSA box we got.
There were flower vendors, a roasted nut vendor and few others to round out the market. I don't know if there are plans to bring more vendors in as the summer progresses or if this will be the main group, but for the most part you can get most of what you need for a good meal among those already there.
The Cascade Farmer's Market will be every Thursday from 3-7pm through September 24th.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Another surprise was one decent sized orange Sea Pen. That was a first for me at the park, if I recall correctly, and I know I had never seen them on the north beach. These had all but disappeared from the park for quite a while according to long time staff members, so the fact that they are starting to show up again is great news. Hopefully that is a sign of increasing health for the Discovery Park beaches.
Squirting clams were a thrill for everyone. "Talking" barnicles were worth listening to. The quarter sized sunflower star was amazing to see - several of the kids had seen the full sized ones at the aquarium and it was fun to compare. The Sunflower Sea Stars can get well over a foot across.
We had a Great Blue Heron stick around on the beach even with the groups of people milling around. Normally, they take off squawking the moment you get even slightly near them. And one of the big highlights for several people was the galloping River Otter that crossed the beach and took off into the water.
I had a fun group of five kids between kindergarten and fourth grade, two moms, and two college age girls visiting from different parts of the country. This group had great beach etiquette and lots of enthusiasm - which made being out there that much more of a pleasure.
I can't wait to check it out!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This event is definitely a Seattle Classic, this being its 38th consecutive year and it is always worth showing up for at least the parade! So much creativity and let's not forget all the body painted nude cyclists - this year there were more than ever! We hadn't been to the festival in several years and were looking forward to attending again ever sense we moved back to Seattle. We got there an hour before the parade and had second row seats. It was nice to just chill with our new neighbors and wait in anticipation for the entertainment to begin. And entertaining it was...
Here is a video, all be it a wobbly one, of the famous Fremont Solstice Cyclists. And yes, I realize it was polo not cricket - can you blame me for being distracted?!
After the parade we wandered through all the booths and found some really talented artists scattered among them. One woman made the most beautiful and colorful feather masks I have ever seen. There were a couple jewelry makers that Mark picked up cards from after seeing me admire their work - just in case we ever have spending money again? There were also several amazing potters showing their wares. There were a good number of informational booths including a healthy living area that was holding free yoga "classes" on the spot.
Eventually we had our fill of looking through the booths and headed for Gasworks Park where there was supposed to be music and dancing. Unfortunately there was only one band and only a few people moving to the music. This was disappointing to us. In years past we always enjoyed the huge drumming and dancing circles that went into the night and were sad to see not a one or anything that lead us to believe it would be happening at all. Without a good beat to revive us, we took our aching feet back to the bus stop and headed home. Which is probably for the best since tomorrow is going to be a long day of Beach Naturalist duty and family gathering for Father's Day. Still, I'm sad that I'm not out there right now, moving my hips to a good drum beat with a bunch of fun-loving fellow dancers...
The garden really is doing very well over all and I am looking forward to that first zucchini like you wouldn't believe!