Pickled Okra

pickled

Okra is known to be slimy but pickling them is the crunchy cure, enjoy!

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Green Chile Roll Ups

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Construction Notice + Parking Guide

We are thrilled to see so many new faces moving in downtown.  As a part of the major development taking place in the neighborhood, the City of Phoenix has begun construction on 1st Street as part of an improvement project that will extend down to Marget T. Hance Park.  We’ll keep you updated with the best routes to take to the Market.  You can easily access the Market going north of south on 1st Street.

You can still find plenty of available parking surrounding the Market.  Parking off of Mckinley remains accessible when turning off Central or 1st Street.  Scroll down to reference our Construction Notice Map for more details.

Construction Notice

Switching to Soap Nuts

Soap nuts, also known as soap berries, are a natural alternative to store-bought laundry detergents full of chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. Grown on Sapindus trees, these berry-like fruits produce a soap called saponin, a natural surfactant.  The shell absorbs water and releases the saponins which circulate in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.

Soap nuts can also be used to clean dishes, windows, cars, jewelry, you and your pet! Because they’re 100% natural, they are biodegradable and therefore completely safe for septic systems, gentle on sensitive skin, including baby clothes, and are also antimicrobial.  No need to fret, soap nuts are free of pesticides, as insects are naturally repulsed by saponin so there is no need to use them in cultivation.

Read more about Soap Nuts on Sustainable Baby Steps and learn how to use this natural product to wash clothes, dishes, windows and even your hair!  Pick up your own satchel from Recycled City on Saturdays at the Market!

EWG’s Guide to Shopping Produce

Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, ranks pesticide contamination of 48 popular fruits and vegetables.  Every day, consumers rely on EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to help them make the best choices for their families and reduce their exposures to toxic pesticides.

One major benefit of shopping at the Open Air Market is talking to the growers directly about their produce and practices so you can make the most informed decision.  Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to help you navigate your purchases and direct your questions to know more about the fruits and vegetables you are buying.  Our growers use a variety of techniques and alternatives to pesticides.  Learn for yourself by visiting your local farm stands this Saturday at the Market.

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What’s In Season: Late Summer

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As August winds down and we move into September, farmers are busy cleaning up their fields and preparing to plant fall crops.  September finds us in transition between summer produce and waiting for cooler weather fall vegetables.

So what can you anticipate to find at the Market in late summer? 

September is a peak for many crops right here in the Valley such as chiles, okra and summer squash.   In addition, areas outside of the Valley are coming into high season.  You will see apples, tomatoes, corn, melons and peaches coming to us from areas like Prescott, Flagstaff and Wilcox area.

Apples
Arugula
Basil
Black-eyed peas
Chard
Chiles
Corn
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Figs (late crop)
Green Beans
Herbs
Melons
Okra
Peaches
Peppers
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Summer Squash (and blossoms)
Tomatoes
Winter Squash (Spaghetti, Acorn, Butternut)
Zucchini

 

Market Gravy + Country Potatoes

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Bees, Food, and You

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Bees, Food, and You: What You Need to Know to Protect Pollinators

There’s no getting around it: If you like to eat, you need to care about bees.

Bees don’t just pollinate the wildflowers that dot the landscape. They’re also responsible for pollinating nearly 100 crops that humans rely on. From tomatoes to cotton, bees pollinate the crops that sustain us. Without bees visiting their crops, farmers wouldn’t be able to produce as much food with their land. This would lead to big price increases at the grocery store and farmers market and a dwindling selection of fresh food. Some crops might disappear completely, including watermelons, almonds, squash, and avocados. Even coffee relies on bees to increase its yield through pollination.

Bees’ impact isn’t limited to fruits and vegetables: Livestock production relies on bees to pollinate alfalfa, buckwheat, and other animal fodder, and the rangelands used to graze pastured cows and sheep provide foraging and nesting habitat for bees.

It’s clear that humans have a vested interest in saving bees. But how can the average person make a difference? Here are a few changes you can make today to protect the environment for tomorrow:

1. Stop Using Pesticides

Pesticides are a major contributor to declining bee populations. Not only do some insecticides kill bees directly, but other pesticides can interfere with bees’ ability to forage and reproduce. While the most attention has been paid to conventional pesticides like neonicotinoids, even some organic products are toxic to bees. Instead of spraying around the home or garden, opt for bee-friendly pest control methods.

2. Choose Food Grown Without Pesticides

In addition to stopping pesticide use in your own home, start buying food grown without synthetic or organic pesticides. Unfortunately, there’s no labeling standard to make buying pesticide-free food easy; while organic food has its benefits, many large-scale certified organic growers still use pesticides. Buying directly from a local farmer whose growing methods you know and trust is the best way to ensure your food is truly pesticide-free.

3. Buy Pastured Meat

When rangeland isn’t overgrazed, it serves as an important habitat for bees. Bees dine alongside cattle, swine, and sheep in fields filled with forage grasses, and pithy plant stems and bare ground provide homes to cavity-nesting and ground-nesting native bees. That means that when you buy pastured meat instead of meat from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations, also known as factory farms, you’re supporting bee health.

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Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant with Za'tar

Za’atar Roasted Eggplant

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10 Farmers Market Facts

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  1. Creating Greater Opportunity: Farmers markets provide one of the only low-barrier entry points for new farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs allowing them to start small and test new products.
  2. Local Farming is not a dying trend: There are 3.5 times as many U.S. farmers over the age of 65 as there are under 35.
  3. Direct Producer to Consumer: According to the USDA, of the $3 billion in direct to-consumer sales in 2015, on-farm stores and farmers markets accounted for $2 billion, or 67 percent.
  4. Help the Environment: 4 in 5 market farmers use soil health practices like composting.
  5. Competitive Prices: Farmers Market unaffordable? Studies show comparable or lower prices than at supermarkets.
  6. Building Healthier Communities: The American Fitness Index includes the number of farmers markets per capita as a factor contributing to community health, using it as an indicator for community members’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  7. Greater Access: 818k low-income seniors got fresh local produce at Farmers Markets through Senior FMNP in 2015
  8. Healthful Education: Farmers markets serve as invaluable educational sites and a rare bridge between urban and rural communities.  According to a study conducted by the American Farm Bureau, 72% of consumers know “nothing” or “very little” about farming or ranching.
  9. Strengthening the Economy: Farmers & ranchers get only 15.6 cents on the dollar. At the farmers market they get the whole hog!
  10. Creating Jobs: Growers selling local create 13 farm jobs per $1 mil in revenue. Those not selling local create three.