I have been interested in making food with seasonal ingredients, fresh from local farms. We had been getting a decent amount of produce from a weekly Desert Roots Farm CSA, but it simply wasn’t enough to sustain our vegetarian household. Desert Roots are awesome, and I will certainly be starting that back up come the fall season. In the meantime, however, I needed to find another local source.
Fill Your Plate, a resource from Arizona’s Farm Bureau, provides a local farmer’s markets search, and a list of produce in season by month (among other things). I used the search tool to locate a few markets close to home, but most of them were not open on Sunday’s, a few of them are only open on Wednesday’s, and the rest are only open on Saturday’s, with a few exceptions.
One of the few places that is not only open on Sunday’s, but is also open all week long and late at night, is Tempe Farmer’s Market. So I headed over to pick up some produce.
I guess I was expecting a tiny version of Pike Place Market: fresh fruits and vegetables overflowing crates and tables everywhere, bustling with activity, and farm-to-table-conscious patrons rubbing elbows with local chefs as they pick through the selection. It wasn’t really like that. Stupid imagination.
Don’t get me wrong, it was cute and easy enough to find, but overall it was underwhelming. With their impressive list of locals I thought there would be some fanfare about where stuff came from, you know, “Fresh Pears from Such and Such farm.” But even that was barely present.
In the end I made out with about $45 worth of produce: red potatoes, onions, tomatoes, kale, zuchs, apples, pears, bananas, etc. It was a nice haul that will suffice for at least part of the week after we supplement it with a trip from the local grocer. But was it worth the 20 minute drive? Nah, I don’t think so. I’ll try out another CSA or another farm next week.