Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Farmers Markets - Have You Visited Your Local Farmers Market Recently?

Dear Folks,

As many of you know I have been a supporter and participant at local farmers markets for going on 2 decades.

Since I began participating, the number of markets in the valley has grown exponentially.  What started out with as few as 6 or so has grown to dozens and dozens!  A real achievement in an area many visitors and outsiders consider improbable if not impossible.  A Farmers Market? In the desert?  Locally grown?

I decided a little reminder was in order.  It is no coincidence that the chain grocery stores highlight Arizona Grown.  The growth in local farmers markets triggered those chain stores to at least try to keep some locally grown or produced food in stock.  However the chain stores do not have the wide breadth of offerings compared to YOUR local farmers market

Just remember - local means seasonal!  That means fresh, best for nutrition and taste, and sustainable.

Many of the markets offer entertainment and informational assistance along with all the locally grown or raised foods, craft foods (breads, jams, tamales, sausages, cheese, candies, cookies etc.), and local crafters.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market to host a class on Edible Flowers.

The week before that I hosted my thrice annual seed share at the Mesa Community Farmers Market.

I am at the Mesa market each Friday (9 am - 1 pm), one of the oldest markets at 20+ years, going on year-round.  (FYI the new location at 20 East Main Street (north side across from the light-rail station) offers better parking access -- off of Pepper Place.)  This Friday looks like a beautiful day to come on out.

In Phoenix, this coming Saturday, the Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix is beginning a series of classes each Saturday.with other local experts.

Jump Start Your Spring Garden with Greg Peterson 
9 a.m. the Market is on the southwest corner of Central and Bethany Home Road.

Saturday should be a gorgeous day to get to the market, take in a class before heading out to SHOP LOCAL!

Not sure where your local farmers market is in the Valley and  State?  Check out these links:

FACT:  Did you know many local farmers (big and small) started out selling a few things at the farmers market?  And "grew" from there!

Likewise, many beloved local foods like jams, tamales, and bread producers got their start at a farmers market?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find, shop and support your local farmers markets.  The more you shop, the more local producers bring out foods you love or will fall in love with.

Have a great week!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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