When we lived in California, our home was one mile away from a weekly Farmer’s Market, which made it incredibly easy to stroll through whether we needed anything or not. The fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers weren’t always the best cost bargain, but you could always rely on a lot of people watching and running into someone you knew. Not to mention that my all-time favorite bread in the world, Acme Bread Company, was sold there fresh and if you weren’t there early enough it always sold out.
Now having been in Arizona for a grand six months, I thought it was high time to explore the Farmer’s Market scene. Granted, I am not yet attuned to the bounties of the season. But I hope to be a knowledgeable customer soon enough. My first approach was to check online and see what was listed, and I found a great list on the Farmer’s Market Online Open Air Directory, as well as on the Arizona Farm Bureau’s site. The trouble was that the CityNorth market that is advertized on banners posted across from Desert Ridge was not on either list. But it was close, and there is supposed to be a knife sharpening service there. It meets only once a month, and this was the day, so off we went.
Surprise, surprise. There were kiddie activities (“european bungee, wall climbing, sand painting, etc.), lots of prepared food vendors, the requisite jewelry, art, lotion and potion offerings, but only TWO vegetable stands! Hmmm..could CityNorth not understand the basic concept of a Farmer’s Market? One of the “farmers” was offering onions at $2 a pound, the other had no prices posted. Not too different from California, that. And the knife sharpener didn’t show that day.
There is plenty of parking, and the set-up is comfortable for a nice walk around the block, with restaurants at the ready as well. Overall, it was more of a street fair event, which may be the reason why they are not getting that much of a draw.
Lesson learned? Stick to the official Arizona Farm listings. I’ll be visiting other Farmer’s Markets soon!