A Shout-out to our Growers

Between the weather, the culture and the urban sprawl, being a grower in Phoenix, Arizona is no easy feat. We want to take a moment to recognize the humans that cultivate and tend to the land which grows the food you take home each and every Saturday.

They wake up long before dawn to pack up the goods and display them on tables with labels and a smile.

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They spend hours in the sun on their land, monitoring irrigation, tilling plots, harvesting just-ripened vegetables, and mitigating the strange Sonoran weather conditions.

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They invest their savings in point-of-sales systems, vendor fees, organic certification, and infrastructure construction.

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They are constantly learning and seeking new ways to make their systems work efficiently, get a better yield, and have the best quality product possible–building on generations of skill and expertise.

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They bring the whole family to the market, keeping the farm going for generations and maintaining a farm-to-table culture throughout all age groups.

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They work together, work with their community, and depend on farmers markets to make their hard work truly mean something.

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They provide education and inspiration when it comes to use of the product, helping market-goers try new things and get the nutrition they need.

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They form relationships with local businesses, bringing local produce to chefs and food-lovers all over the valley.

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They encourage us to grow our own food by bringing plant starters and years of know-how.

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They hold farm days and workshops that bring us into their operation and show us the reality of urban agriculture.

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They are families, bands of friends, and bundles of passionate agriculture nerds who look forward to putting in a full day of work in the middle of the city while most people are starting their weekend.

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They don’t cut corners with pesticides or detrimental GMOs, because they know the true value of growing their own food.

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Join us this Saturday for a tribute to our growers at MEET YOUR COMMUNITY: GROWERS EDITION! There will be workshops all day as well as a coffee chat hour from 8am-9am. Network, ask questions and get feedback, or simply shake the hands of your neighbor the farmer!

Locally Sourced + Market Approved

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One of our favorite things at the Market is the fact we get to meet the growers and producers, ask questions and learn how our foods and products are grown and made.  Traceability is important, we should know where our food comes from just the same we like to know it’s organic.  We should be able to see and understand the food chain and what we’re buying and consuming.

Look our new for the Locally Sourced badge at the Market! 

Vendors offering products featuring more than 50% locally-sourced ingredients are being awarded “Phoenix Public Market Approved” badges.  In addition to the nutritional and health benefits, choosing these products keeps even more money in the local economy, leading to a healthier sustainable community.

We have power as consumers and where we choose to use our spending power makes an impact! When you choose to shop local you support.

We love sharing all of the wonderful reasons shopping local is so valuable to our community! Want to read more?  Check out these past blog posts: Why Shop Local?
The Importance of Shopping Local Growers and Producers

Prepare for Citrusocolypse

It’s every Arizonan’s duty to be able to recite the 5 C’s like the ABC’s: Cotton, Copper, Cattle, Climate, and CITRUS!

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In the early years of Arizona’s history, citrus was a major player in the fate of Arizona’s economy. Citrus was brought over to the Southwest in the 18th century by Spanish settlers. As grapefruit in particular gained popularity during the 1930s, more than 1 million crates of grapefruits were produced by our state in the year of 1935.

The industry flocked to Arizona, landing mainly in the Arcadia and Mesa areas, where many groves are landmarks for historic neighborhoods. The sprawl of these neighborhoods and urban areas in general encroaching on farmland is largely why orchards declined heavily in the 1990s.

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Our warm and sunny climate creates a perfect incubator for sweet, juicy citrus of many varieties. Today, shoppers at Phoenix Public Market can find tangelos, kumquats, ruby reds, and so much more in overwhelming abundance at every grower’s stand. The ubiquity of citrus in our Phoenician lives can make the fruit mundane and cumbersome, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy it and reap the nutritional benefits–it’s time to get creative!

Read on for 4 ways get excited about our prolonged and plentiful citrus season…

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Market Recipe: Orange Glazed Radish

Crop of the Moment: Bok Choy

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A staple in Asian cooking, this round-leafed vegetable may be less familiar to American cooks. Here’s what you need to know — including what its name means, how to wash it, and how to use it.

1. Bok Choy’s Name
Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in color, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy.

2. Its Plant Family
Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it’s a member of the cabbage family.

3. History
The Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable for more than 5,000 years.

4. Where It’s Grown
Although the veggie is still grown in China, bok choy is now also harvested in America and parts of Canada.

5. Cooking It
Bok choy, known for its mild flavor, is good for stir-fries, braising, and soups. You can also eat it raw. Try this delicious and easy recipe from Bon Appetit

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Market Recipes: Thanksgiving Favorites

True Thanksgiving Tradition- Eating Local

There’s nothing wrong with family traditions, but it’s easy and fun to give those old favorites new life with fresh, locally raised foods. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to choose from autumn’s bountiful cornucopia of locally grown foods from salad greens to root vegetables. The most traditional Thanksgiving menu has its roots in local, seasonal foods.

And there’s even more to be thankful for, because local foods, when grown without synthetic chemicals, enhance our personal health, the health of our farmers, their farms, and our communities. And the virtuous circle expands as local organic foods benefit the soil, air, and water upon which life depends. We’re proud to host three certified organic farmers, along with another ten local farmers who practice sustainable, healthy growing techniques.  Talk to your farmers at the Market, ask questions about how they grow their foods and discover tips on how to prepare the produce at home into the perfect holiday dish.
Check out some of our favorite Thanksgiving sides…
and Italian Heat Apple Stuffing
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Making Your Garden a Buffet for Bees

The Best Gardening Tips to Make Your Landscape Irresistible to Bees
Article By Guest Contributor Christy Erikson, Saving Our Bees

Bees are our most beneficial pollinators. You can create a bee-friendly environment whether you tend a patio garden, are involved with a community garden, or plant a backyard habitat. Get started with these great gardening tips.

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Ready for Radishes

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The season is changing which means we’ll be seeing some of our favorite cool weather produce making their appearance at the Market over the next few weeks, including the radish.  So, we’re sharing our ten favorite ways to enjoy radishes this season.

Perhaps radish isn’t the first thing on your grocery list or you’ve never considered it a snack option. However, radishes were once so valued in Greece, that gold statues were fashioned in their image. There are so many varieties of radishes you’ll be able to find this season at the Market including watermelon, peppermint and even black radish! No matter which radish is your favorite all of them are packed with health benefits. Discover more fun facts we shared about the radish here.
Shop them at the Market all winter season and try new ways to prepare and serve this crunchy treat.

Roasted with Green Onions, Diced In Potato Salad, Sliced in Slaw

Radish Risotto, Tossed with Arugula, Splashed with Citrus, Baked on top Pizza

Perfectly Pickled, Turned into Tacos, Topping Egg Toast

Some Like it Raw

Walking the farmers market can be a very inspiring journey. In each aisle, shoppers might find a fruit they’ve never tasted, maybe a condiment they’ve never thought of, or perhaps even a dog on a skateboard scooting by. For Kenny Hadley, the market inspired a total lifestyle change.

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Kenny has been a volunteer at the Community Exchange Table (CET) for nine years. Now, Kenny is known as the booth manager. His family, of Hadley Farmship, helped start the club through a local permaculture group. The operation is run completely by volunteers, and featured neighborhood growers and makers keep 80% or 90% of their profits (depending on the market they’re selling at).

The CET lately features the Orchard Community Learning Center, Sundown Ranch, two independent neighborhood locals who grow fruit and make all-natural beauty products, as well as Hadley Farmship. Growers and makers set their own prices. The Hadley’s also produce “Mom’s Tortillas.” Produce ranges from the exotic non-edibles that will catch shoppers’ eyes, such as loofah and pine-cones, to the all-familiar basil (bags of which they famously sell for just $1). Often, heritage seeds are sold next to the fruit they produce. Kenny recalls seeing huge stalks of sugarcane for sale at one market, but maintains that tart and sweet mulberries from their table are still the best thing he’s ever eaten in Phoenix.

Kenny’s perspective on produce in Phoenix is especially viable due to the fact that he has been eating exclusively raw vegan foods for five years this October. After watching “Food Inc.” in 2008, he had worked to cut “bad” foods from his diet progressively until 2012. At that point, Kenny was inspired to attempt a 10-day all-raw challenge by a fellow vendor at the market after hearing how great much it improved their overall well-being. His 10-day challenge became a life challenge.

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The Benefits of Butternut

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As cooler temperatures roll in, we’re getting excited for a whole new season of fresh produce for fall and winter.  Butternut Squash is a favorite winter squash variety to cook with because of it’s slightly sweet flavors and creaminess.  Chop and roast for an easy side dish or simmer for soup, but we challenge you to think outside the box and add this colorful veggie into a variety of meals.  This season cook up everything from creamy risotto to crispy fries.  Tag us in your favorite recipes @phxpublicmarket

Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

Discover more reasons to eat this super food online here.

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This week’s Taste of the Market, C-CAP Arizona and 9 Degrees North Catering chefs will show us how to select, prepare and store squash.  Learn how to make creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce and pick up ingredients like handmade pasta from Decio Pasta, mix in extra veggies and power up the protein by adding your favorite meat.

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