Van Gogh-esque Sunflowers, Brilliant Basil, Fish-In-A-Bag & Beautiful Butter

Sunflowers the would make Vincent Van Gogh proud, from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Say it isn't so. Tell me you did not miss the Wallingford Farmers Market on July 22nd. 'Cuz if you did, you missed these spectacular sunflowers from Ia's Garden, and so much more.

Stoney Plains was rocking the beans on July 22nd. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It was bean-palooza at Stoney Plains on the 22nd. In the container above, they've got yellow wax, burgundy, hericort vert and concesa beans, the latter being so absurdly delicious, they will have you asking the question, "Oh, dear, sweet concesa beans, where have you been all of my life?"

Golden Glen butter is like, um, buddah. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farmstead butter, meaning it is made from sweet cream that is produced right on the farm, instead of being shipped off to some plant in Issaquah with cream from a hundred other dairy farms, is very rare. It is rare because of how precious farmstead cream is. Indeed, Golden Glen Creamery could easily sell all the cream their cows produce as cream, without taking the extra step of making butter out of it, but for us, they make butter. And what magnificent butter it is -- sweet and luscious and tasting of the Skagit Valley from which it comes. I challenge you to find a more truly local butter without making it yourself.

David Panida of Wilson Fish holds a "whole fish in a bag." Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Purported to be the best deal in fish, Wilson Fish is offering whole coho salmon in a bag for the ridiculous price of $25. It's hot. Take advantage of Wilson's bag-o-fish, and fire up the barby. You'll keep your kitchen cool, and you'll have plenty of leftovers for making salads and sandwiches for the next few days.

"Saturn" peaches from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Tiny's arrived with donut peaches on the 22nd. Of course, it seems everyone has a different name for them. They call them "Saturn" peaches. Whatever. All I know is that these funny looking fruits are one of the tastiest peaches to be had.

Thai (right) and opal basil from Billy's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, we all know Billy's Organic Produce from Tonasket for their incredible tomatoes, but did you know they grow lots of other stuff, too? Just look at this gorgeous basil they had on the 22nd. These are the particularly fragrant Thai and opal varieties that absolutely explode with flavor in soups, salads, fresh rolls, etc.

Alm Hill eggs. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

As much as I was thrilled to see a big stack of eggs at Alm Hill Gardens on July 22nd, all laid by happy, pastured hens and full of deliciousness, I suspect I really wanted to get this photo in here to brighten the page up with Carrie's smiling face.

Tomatillos from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With the heat of summer, tomatillos are a welcome site. Think of cooling, refreshing salsas to help you shed the heat of the day. Alvarez had to first tomatillos of the summer on the 22nd. But if you weren't at the Wallingford Farmers Market that day, you missed them. We'll see you next time, I'm sure.