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Best Veggies Phoenix 2008 - Carl Seacat, Seacat Gardens

Carl's designer vegetables are pure art. Heirloom seed stock, some near extinction, groomed and grown to produce some of the most tender and tasty tomatoes, greens, and herbs with an attention to detail that rivals Italian designer goods. With varietal names like Black Russian, Cherokee Purple, and Snowbell, these are no ordinary tomatoes, which show in a palette of colors that rival the spring collections in Milan. Even better, Carl's putting his design skills to use by cultivating a couple of signature tomatoes, which will include a Cherokee Orange. Ever seen purple haricots vert? They're our new favorite, thanks to Carl. His attention to gardening detail and creation of high-end and fragile foodstuffs has earned him the nickname "the Gucci gardener."

But unlike designer showrooms featuring evening gowns, these tasty bits won't cost an arm and a leg. Carl's got good taste, that's for sure, and so does his produce. (You can reach him directly at carl@seacat.com or 623-846-4624.)

Be warned. These delicious delectables are delicate. And gone, baby, gone — faster than last season's Prada shoes. The market opens at 8 on Saturday mornings, and the best of the batch will be long gone by 9.

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