Crop of the Week: Cherries

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.05.56 PM

1. The word ‘cherry’ comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus.

2. Cherries belong to the rose family.

3. The English colonists brought cherries to North America in the 1600’s.

4. Canada holds the record for baking the biggest cherry pie in the world. A pie weighing 39,683 pounds was baked in Oliver, British Columbia.

5. Cherries are a small source of zinc; and moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese; and good source of copper. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Read the full story »

The Importance of Crop Diversity

Web-NSS-Logo

Native Seeds/SEARCH is a vital leader in the Southwest region for conserving and promoting crop diversity to strengthen community resilience and food security.  The mission of Native Seeds/SEARCH (Southwestern Endangered Aridland Resources Clearing House) is to conserve, distribute, and document the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico.

Crop diversity is key to achieving sustainable food security both globally and within our own region of focus, the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. NS/S approach to food security focuses on seed security, which relies on the conservation and sharing of appropriate crop diversity and the knowledge to use that diversity effectively. Their programs are designed to address these goals and broadly entail:

  • Seed banking to ensure the survival of unique agricultural biodiversity and to document its traits.
  • Seed distribution so that these crops continue to contribute to the region’s food systems.
  • Support for on-farm maintenance of dynamically-evolving crop varieties.
  • Research into low-input and climate-appropriate agricultural practices.
  • Education in managing local crop diversity and contributing to regional efforts.

Learn more this weekend at the market where we will be hosting Native Seeds/SEARCH for a FREE workshop starting at 9am.

Find more ways to get involved with their organization here: http://www.nativeseeds.org/get-involved

Workshop: Backyard Beekeeping

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 4.30.45 PM

An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping:  Intended for those who are new to beekeeping, this class will go over the basic requirements to start your own backyard hive.  We will go over local rules and regulations, initial cost and setup, safety measures, and basic maintenance.

About Kim Desoto: I am a homesteading enthusiast living in downtown Phoenix where I keep bees and chickens with my husband.  I am a certified master gardener and also an ambassador for the local non-profit The Valley Permaculture Alliance which focuses on sustainable living in the desert southwest.

This workshop is FREE but registration is required.

$10 suggested donation day of workshop.

Reserve your seat and find more details  here.

Market Workshop: Native Seeds/SEARCH

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 12.50.32 PM

The temperatures may be scorching this time of year but there are still many vegetables that can thrive in your garden! The monsoon season is the traditional time to plant in the low desert of the Sonoran Desert. Melissa Kruse-Peeples from Native Seeds/SEARCH. will discuss several different varieties of monsoon appropriate seeds such as tepary beans, chiles, tomatos, cowpeas, suqash, and more. Many of the varieties discussed have been grown here for thousands of years and are well adapted to our harsh conditions and thrive with little water and hot weather. Guests will be able to enter a drawing to take home seeds from Native Seeds/SEARCH to plant this monsoon season. Handouts about aridlands gardening will be provided.

Melissa is the Education Coordinator for Native Seeds/SEARCH, a non-profit seed conservation organization based in Tucson. Formerly the Conservation Manager for this organization, she has worked intimately on preserving hundreds of rare crop varieties that offer valuable characteristics for sustainable agriculture in aridlands. She received her PhD in anthropology from Arizona State University where she studied sustainable water harvesting and soil management techniques of ancient indigenous agriculture of the Southwest. After a brief stint down south, she has returned to the valley and continues to work for Native Seeds/SEARCH offering workshops and learning opportunities about seed saving, gardening in the desert, and the history of Southwestern agriculture.

This workshop is FREE but registration is required.

$10 suggested donation day of workshop.  Register here..

Local First Arizona Shops Local On A Budget

Image: Brandi Porter

Image: Brandi Porter

Price is a big factor when it comes to making your weekly grocery list.  So Sarah Schenck of Local First Arizona helps to dispel the myth that farmers markets are unaffordable.  Her groceries for the week came to $36.  This budget is based upon the average SNAP benefit recipients receive a week.  “Read The Full Story” to see her shopping list suggestion and meal plan.  You can also read her 7 Tips For Eating Local.

Still, the real value of shopping local foods is supporting your community.  For every dollar spent locally .73 stays within the local economy versus only .43 spent with a non-local business.  Most of the produce at the market is grown less than 10-miles away from where you come to shop. That means it is freshly picked, nutrient rich, and full of flavor.  Best of all, you can actually talk with the growers themselves, run into neighbors and meet family for a morning out at the market.

“Read The Full Story” to see LFA’s Market Shopping List.

Read the full story »

Crop of the Week: Cantaloupe

6ca0b9019d2c3f91ceb90c66a5f6fe22

It’s summer and we’re enjoying all of the summer melons at the market lately.

A personal favorite: Cantaloupe

Not only is cantaloupe a guilt free sweet treat.
We love thinking of all of the health benefits it gives us as well.
Did you know…
1. It is a great source of antioxidants a & c
2. Contains anti-inflammatory properties
3. May help prevent heart disease
4. Boosts immunity
5. Is a great source of electrolyte potassium
6. Protects eye health
7. Is good for digestion
8. Restores the body’s ph levels

Stuff the center with yogurt and granola for a great breakfast or try grilling it and enjoy it after dinner. We loved Luci Morsels recipe from her blog.

Sweet + Spicy Grilled Cantaloupe

“Read More” to get the recipe

Read the full story »

Importance of Supporting Local Growers & Producers

WhyMarkets_2015_Page1

Local food system practices such as farmers’ markets are directly tied to place and time as well as social, economical, ethical and physical systems within which they are located.  On both a community and individual scale, farmers’ markets can assist in sustaining human health and wellbeing.

Farmers’ markets encourage local food security through their promotion and support of local food production. The more food that is grown in Phoenix, the more the residents of the area will be buffered in the event of disruptions of long distance food supply such as weather events or political instabilities. Local food production and distribution can assist in fostering food security for the local region.  Farmers’ markets can be a way of supporting the economic viability of producers who wish to operate outside of the industrial food system (Lapping, 2004). By providing producers with opportunities to sell their goods locally, farmers’ markets enable them to operate in a way they consider ethical, while opening a path for others to do so as well.  Through reducing the distance that food is transported, farmers’ markets decrease “food miles”. The distance food takes to travel is directly related to the amount of fossil fuels required to get it there.

On a broader level, farmers’ markets can support the health of communities through emphasizing a ‘healthy-community’ approach in their operations. With this approach, decisions are made with the aim of improving the wellbeing of the community as a whole.  Farmers’ markets can encourage human wellbeing through various means. One way they can accomplish this is through educating consumers about health. The type of food that is offered at farmers’ markets can also sustain human health.

Farmers’ markets also support the local economy through what Lapping (2004) describes as the ‘multiplier effect.’ This phenomenon occurs when money spent at farmers’ markets is circulated in the community, leading to multiplying effects within the local economy. In addition, farmers’ markets are able to cater to niche and specialty markets such as the needs of senior citizens and ethnic communities. The direct interaction that local producers have with their customers means they are able to immediately determine and respond to consumers’ needs.

The interactions between producers and consumers at farmers’ markets often go beyond economic capital gains and can lead to ‘social capital’ formation. Social capital is based on the premise that social networks have value. It refers to the “collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other” (Putnam, 2000).  The capacity to come together creates a social space where community, friendships and social networking are fostered. This social space was important for producers in the study.

https://crcresearch.org/case-studies/crc-case-studies/farmers-markets-and-local-food-systems

Vendor Profile: Chile Acres

IMG_6459

Meet Celia Petersen, the hardworking woman behind Chile Acres farms in Tonopah, Arizona. She and her family have been working the property for over 30-years and have been bringing their goods to the market since 2005 when we opened.  Growing up with allergies to cow’s dairy, it was natural for her and her family to raise goats and produce milk and cheeses.  Being sensitive to varieties of allergies, Celia has handcrafted all-natural recipes from goats milk soaps to gluten free baked goods.  Chile Acres isn’t only home to goats, all day Celia is out tending to her ducks, geese, chickens, horses, donkey and sheep.  Of course, with the help of her dogs.  When she isn’t taking care of all of the animals or in the kitchen, she’s busy making wooly stuff, dying the fibers with natural ingredients, creating tapestries on her loom or making her famous fry bread tacos.  Stop by Chile Acres booth and say hi to Celia.  You can often find her spinning wool at the market, meet the newest kids and ask her about raising animals in Arizona.

Read More to see images from our visit!

Read the full story »

fa6c6f3105dda0cd7a9251d5799db1ad

Adobo Dragon’s Fish Ceviche with Aji Amarillo Sauce

Did you miss last week’s Cooking Demonstration?
Read More to get the full recipe and make this easy and delicious summer dish.

Read the full story »

Father’s Day Market

Fathers_Day