Abby Lee Farms

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Last week we went to meet the growers behind Abby Lee Farms and see their greenhouse operation located less than 7 miles from the Phoenix Public Market.  Specializing in hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers we were blown away by their 120,000 Sq Ft high-tech growing facility.  Using coconut fiber grow bags and strategic watering equipment, they use significantly less water than traditional growing techniques.  In order to manage the extreme conditions of Phoenix weather, going from frosts to extreme heat – they go off of a tried and true system.  When you’re hot and want to put on a hat, your plants are probably feeling the same way and it’s time to coat the greenhouses with shading paints.

We highly recommend a taste test of the many varieties of tomatoes Abby Lee offers. Grab one of each, slice them up, taste the differences and share your favorite by tagging us on instagram @phxpublicmarket

Read more to meet Neal Brooks & his various growing locations:

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Vendor Feature: Fiscalini Cheese

We love the work Dairy Good did to capture how Fiscalini Cheese makes their magic!

Mesquite Harvesting Workshop

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Mesquite tree bean pods from the three common species – honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) and velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) – are some of our desert’s greatest edible treasures. Mesquite flour has a low glycemic index and is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. Saguaro fruits boast high vitamin C, B12, and dietary fiber.

Join Valley Permaculture Alliance at the Phoenix Public Maret to learn how to harvest ripe pods and store them until you are ready to mill or grind the beans. This is an onsite talk and demonstration, designed to teach you to harvest from the mesquite trees you might have in your yard or neighborhood. Come prepared to share your favorite Mesquite and native food recipes with the other participants, if you know a good one.

The workshop will be followed by a cooking demonstration by Chef Aaron Chamberlin.

This workshop is free, but per-registration is required.  Get your tickets here.

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Vendor Feature: Zen Bird

We loved seeing AZ Family feature our local vendor The Zen Bird.

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See the clip here..

The Zen Bird company began by creating colorful, fun and groovy headbands to remind women of all ages what you think you become. Marian, the founder and owner of The Zen Bird, puts on monthly workshops within the valley ranging from courage, radical self love, vision board and positive thinking and many more.

Visit www.thezenbird.com to find her upcoming workshops and local event schedule

and follow her on social media for daily inspiration!

Nopal Recipe Ideas

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If you had to miss our Harvesting Nopal (prickly pear) Workshop & Demonstration with Monika Woolsey, Hip Veggies, don’t miss trying some of her favorite recipes: Prickly Pear Potato Salad and Nopal Quick Bread.

Read more to see full recipes.

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Green Living in the Desert

IMG_3345_130725At the Phoenix Public Market we are dedicated to sustainable living and embracing our natural environment here in the desert.  Our mission is to encourage and inform our community about the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and to teach the importance of protecting our natural environment.  Sustainable living can seem overwhelming at times, but can actually make your life easier and help you save money.   Taking a look at our current lifestyles and making small changes can go a long way.  We are here to support those steps.

In the desert start with reducing our waste, eating native foods and harvesting water.   Read more to discover where to begin, what you can learn at the market and how to support a Greener Desert.

Also, this weekend check out our workshop: Harvesting Nopal.  More details here.

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Chef Profile: Danielle Leoni

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Hailed as one of the top innovative Chefs of the Valley, Executive Chef Danielle Leoni has lived up to that distinction with an avant-garde approach to blending local farm-fresh ingredients with tropical traditions. Under her stewardship, The Breadfruit and Rum Bar has introduced an entirely new cuisine to the Valley, while redefining perceptions of tropical dining. Chef Leoni and her acclaimed restaurant have received numerous awards including 5 gold medals from the Devoured Culinary Classic and a long standing recognition as a top 10 restaurant in downtown Phoenix. Her work in strengthening and promoting the local dining scene has given her national and local recognition. She is passionate about local, organic and sustainable foods and an ardent supporter of the farming community.

Don’t miss her Cooking Demonstration at the market this Saturday at 10am.

Learning About I’itoi Onions

12677350_234948473509626_2002222766_nLast week we had the privileged to go to Crooked Sky Farms and get the full tour of what’s growing from Farmer Frank himself!  One of his favorite pieces of produce out in his fields right now is the I’itoi onion.

So what is an I’itoi onion?

“These wildly popular and prolific multiplier onions resemble the wild onions harvested on I’itoi Mountain, also known as Baboquivari Mountain, by Tohono O’odham people. Botanical studies place the I’itoi onion among a very old line of clumping onions brought to the US by Jesuit missionaries in the late 17th century, concluding that the onion is not necessarily a US native. Today they are eagerly sought out by chefs for their mild shallot-like bulbs and slightly spicy greens. The peppery flavor pairs well with Southwestern cuisine. They are very easy to cultivate and in the low-desert will grow in response to both winter and summer rains.  In cooler regions their growth is in the summer. Rarely flowers and set seeds; propagate by division of the bulbs. When the greens dry down dig up the bulbs and divide. Enjoy some but be sure to save a few for your next planting. The name I’itoi signifies the Elder Brother, who is the creator deity in Tohono O’odham legends.” – Native Seeds/SEARCH

Want to learn more about native produce and how to acquire it to grow yourself?  Check out our friends at Native Seeds/SEARCH.

Market Recipe: Wok Char Salmon

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Wok Char Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze by Carefree Spice Company

This has become a standard in our kitchen. Use the freshest Wild Caught Salmon you can find,  which we now have at the Market.

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Spring Workshop Series: Harvesting Nopal

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March 19: Harvesting Nopal Workshop & Demonstration

Monika Woolsey of Hip Veggies will be at the market teaching guests about Harvesting Nopal.

Did you know, there are over 1,000 edible plants in the Sonoran Desert? And that one of them, the prickly pear, or nopal, has been a staple vegetable in indigenous diets for centuries? Did you know this plant has been found to have multiple health benefits?  Come learn why Nopal is more than just a pretty landscaping face!

Pre-registration is required HERE A suggested donation of $10 can be made day of workshop.

This Spring learn about Harvesting in the Sonoran Desert at the Phoenix Public Market!  Mark for your calendars April 9th for our Harvesting Mesquite Workshop and Demonstration, with Kate Radosevic from Valley Permaculture Alliance.

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