Wednesday, July 30th: Warm, Sunny Weather Returns, As Do Melons, Tomatoes & Sweet Corn!

Cantaloupe melon from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cantaloupe in the house! Yeah, baby! Washington produces an amazing diversity and quantity of melons, and our plant researchers and hybridists have developed some of the best melons anywhere. And yet, this humble, downright ancient, cantaloupe from Alvarez Organic Farms still remains a showstopper for flavor and juiciness. They are ripe and ready today for your picnic in the park! (Always remember to give your melons a good rinse before cutting into them.)

Chef Derek Ronspies from Le Petit Cochon. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Derek Ronspies from Le Petit Cochon, Fremont's delicious new outpost for hardcore lovavores, returns for another great cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. When he visited in mid-June, he whipped up a great spring succotash. With his love of all things local and his Southern influences combined with today's summer bounty of marketliciousness, I can't wait to see what he cooks up today!

Heirloom tomatoes from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Around the Table Farm, from Poulsbo, is cranking out the heirloom tomatoes for you, good people of Wallingford. In this photo, you will find such outstanding varieties as striped cavern, Cherokee purplevintage wine, brandywine and Wapsinison peach (those are the little yellow ones). Bring a decent tomato knife and some salt with you today for your picnic!

Cranberry shelling beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cranberry shelling beans are in at Alm Hill Gardens a full three weeks earlier than we've every seen them before! Now it is proper succotash season! Cook these bad boys up whilst still fresh by boiling them in well-salted water for about 20 minutes, or until just tender. Then drain them and toss them in a skillet with sweet corn freshly cut off the cob, green onions, fresh garlic, parsley and some bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm or Olsen Farms, and just heat it through. No need to cook it to death. Remember to render out the bacon before adding the other ingredients to the pan, and use the bacon fat as your cooking oil, and for flavor, of course!

Salmon Zip Dip from Two If By Seafoods. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods.

Shannon Ford of Two If By Seafoods has been busy up in Bristol Bay, Alaska, catching wild salmon for us here at your Wallingford Farmers Market. They catch it, carefully clean it, pack it and blast-freeze it at the peak of its freshness, then ship it down to us to enjoy. With the arrival of the 2014 catch in Seattle, they've added a new product to their lineup today: Salmon Zip Dip! Grab a nice baguette and a butter knife or spoon, and you are set!

Sweet onion from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It's been a lean year for spring sweet onions around here, which makes this spectacular image of these beautiful sweets from Seattle Youth Garden Works all the more welcome! You'll find no sweeter onion on earth than our beloved Walla Walla sweets. Of course, we can't call these that, because they're not grown within 50 miles of Walla Walla. But it doesn't mean we can't enjoy them just as much!

Sweetheart cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When Lyall Farms starts bringing in the sweetheart cherries, we know that cherry season is beginning to wind down, because they are the latest cherry variety. So if you haven’t taken the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding cherries that 2014 has produced, do so now, while you still have the chance!

Caraflex cabbage from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I thought Jersey Wakefield cabbages were the Coneheads of cabbages. Then I met these Caraflex cabbages from Kirsop Farm. I look at them, and I can hear Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtain in my head. (Youngsters, please use your smart phones to look up "Coneheads" and Saturday Night Live, and stop making us feel so old!) This is a very dense, and thus heavy, cabbage, favored by Europeans, though I don't know if the French love them quite as much as they love the Coneheads themselves. Get your slaw or kraut on with one of these!

Hawaiian Punch pluots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hawaiian Punch pluots were actually developed by Collins Family Orchards, which means you will not find this sweet, juicy, brilliantly red-fleshed pluots anywhere else. Try something uniquely delicious today at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Moist, chewy, with little explosions of salty oliveliciousness throughout, you will adore this kalamata olive bread from Snohomish Bakery. It is just one of a dozen or so varieties of artisan breads they bake. Stop by for some to compliment your Wednesday night picnic today!

Tomato Bruschetta from Ethan Stowell Restaurants from June 18, 2014. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Back on June 18th, when Chef "T" of Rione XIII made this Tomato Bruschetta for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market, they sold out by just after 6 p.m. Remember, the chefs of Ethan Stowell Restaurants are taking turns making fresh menus for us every week from Market ingredients. They are rolling with the seasons and throwing down the localiciousness. And we're the winners! Just don't get here too late.

Dark chocolate oatmeal cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Michael Pinckney is a cookie-making machine. He makes six flavors of cookies in his Pinckney Cookie Cafe, including these awesome dark chocolate oatmeal cookies. He uses flour from Washington’s own Shepherd’s Grain, and with the exception of his oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate is the number one ingredient in all of his cookies. Avoiding gluten? He’s got gluten-free versions of his cookies, too. Wanna bake them fresh at home? He even offers cookie dough that you can take and bake yourself.

A hot day cools for Seattle Pops!. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seattle Pops has two great new pops loaded with local flavor today at your Wallingford Farmers Market: Blackberry Ginger, featuring organic blackberries from Hayton Farms, and Cherry Chocolate Chunk, featuring Bing cherries from Martin Family Orchard and dark chocolate from Seattle’s own Theo Chocolate. Just in time for the return of the sun and summer warmth!

Summer flavors from Soda Jerk Soda. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, how about some fresh sodas from Soda Jerk Soda. Check out their current selection of flavors, including Tamarind-Ginger, Lemon-Lavender and the oh, so localicious Blueberry-Basil. And remember, their cups and their straws are compostable. When you go to dispose of them, please take a moment to recognize our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Wallingford Farmers Market, and please make an effort to put your cup in the correct receptacle. Each receptacle has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. It’s easy. You already do it at home every day. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

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.