As a recent Midwest transplant to Seattle, I have been told that summers are just THE BEST here. So far I’d have to agree. Many of the things I was looking forward to in our new town are literally blossoming with the warmer temps. Here are a few of them:
- Farmers markets! The longer growing season and mild climate allow for such a wide variety of produce, not to mention year-round markets. The Ballard market was the first we explored this January after the move. The amount of produce and other delicious foods available was impressive. The winter markets I’ve been to in the Midwest pretty much consist of baked goods, home-canned foods, and crafts. But Seattle’s winter markets? Root veggies, stored apples, greens, fresh fish, pastured meats, yum! I can hardly wait for the summer markets to open in a week or so.
- Berries. Sure, I realize blackberries are invasive and the thing many in the Puget Sound region love to hate. Let’s just consider the pros for once though. They are highly nutritious – full of fiber, antioxidants. They are free. They are delicious. Besides blackberries, there are so many berries to forage for throughout the warmer months. Just last weekend, we picked handfuls of Salmonberries up on San Juan Island. Blackberries, salmonberries, raspberries and other berries that have a cluster of smaller parts are almost always edible too. I see many foraged berries in my future.
- Rosemary. Did you know that in the Midwest rosemary is an annual? In Seattle and on the west coast in general, rosemary grows into hedges! It’s amazing! I’m never, ever buying rosemary again. I love to use it on roast meats, in salad dressing and in sauces. Other herbs that I’ve noticed growing like crazy here are fennel and lavender. Equally delicious, just not quite so hedge-like.
For those of you who have lived in Seattle or the Puget Sound region for years, what else am I missing? What do you look forward to with the onset of warm weather?