Protecting Our Local Food System

There is a growing interest to know where our food comes from and a hunger for greater food transparency.  Therefore, it is essential to the values of our nonprofit organization, Community Food Connections, that we ensure people can rely on honest signage and find local products at our farmers market.

At Phoenix Public Market, we support Arizona grown fruits and vegetables because local, small farms create greater food access, sustainability, and economic self-sufficiency within our community. We allow our farms to supplement what they grow with other local, small-farm produce.  Signage is required so shoppers can make educated decisions about what produce they buy.

Unfortunately, fraud at farmers markets is common, but we make every effort for customers to be able to trust the authenticity of the products they shop at Phoenix Public Market.  Buying produce from around the world and reselling it under false pretenses is not what we support at our market.

Before a business is accepted into Phoenix Public Market, a vendor committee directs an interview and completes background work to check the legitimacy of products. Community Food Connections staff and board members routinely conduct site visits and farm tours, documenting what we see and asking questions to learn more. Being able to watch Blue Sky Organic Farm harvest the arugula they’ll sell Saturday, and learning how Southwest Mushrooms produces numerous varieties, ensures that we’re fulfilling our mission to sustain small farms and businesses that strengthen food security in Phoenix.

We are proud to report that in 2018, the community chose to spend $600,000 on Arizona grown fruits and vegetables at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturday mornings.  This money directly finances Arizona small farms and is a catalyst for greater food access, sustainability, and economic self-sufficiency.

Phoenix Public Market is a place for people who want to know how and where their food was grown. We encourage you to ask questions and learn about a vendor’s production practices.  It is important to understand that farmers in Phoenix grow produce year-round, but learning what’s in season is essential.

We at Community Food Connections are working hard so you can feel good about the products you find at our market. It is an ongoing effort we will continue to fight for.

Thank you for all of your support,
Sara Matlin

Watch this video on Farmers Market Fraud to learn about resellers and educate yourself on what to look out for.

Read more to see behind the scenes pictures of our most recent site tours this season.

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Top 5 Urban Gardening Ideas to Grow Your Own Foods

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This article was guest written by Cloe Matheson

Do you love the idea of biting into fresh, organic fruits and vegetables? There is something about home produce that is crisper and juicier than the store-bought stuff. Read on for 5 flavor tips on how to spark your green thumb into action and grow your own food.

Window Gardening
Picture a cute windowsill chock-full of fresh herbs. You’ll no longer need to add flavour-enhancing packets to your grocery list. Establishing a windowsill garden gives you the opportunity to grow your own produce in tiny spaces.

Stop throwing out herb plants after only plucking a few leaves. Instead, plant your favourite herbs in your windowsill garden. Herbs like coriander and parsley can be expensive for their weight, so this can help those on a tight budget. Your window garden can range from inexpensive to more intricate. For more permanent gardens, you can buy designed terracotta windowsill gardens to host your herbs.

Container Gardening
Shipping containers are an innovative method of growing fresh produce. These recycled shipping containers are insulated and climate-controlled. This ensures that your produce grows without a hitch.

Using shipping containers as a garden also helps reduce setup time when compared with a greenhouse. Greenhouses can take weeks to set up and often required a lot of maintenance. If you are stuck for time, opt for a repurposed shipping container and let its efficiency surprise you. These containers are perfect for those who have a concrete backyard space. Instead of tearing up concrete and laying soil, you only need to worry about filling the dedicated space in the container.

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10 Health Benefits of Garlic

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Sure, pre-shelled and processed minced garlic is convenient but fresh garlic used in your foods has some pretty significant health benefits. Shop locally-grown garlic at the market this season.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic

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Why Farmers Markets

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Unlimited Matching This Month

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Double Up Food Bucks Arizona is turning 3! Help us celebrate with a special offer for Double Up Food Bucks customers.  For the month of August only, there will be NO LIMIT on Double Up transactions.   This month help us celebrate by taking home even more fresh fruits and vegetables, dried beans, and food-producing plants and seeds.

Typically when customers spend $20 of SNAP/EBT at participating locations, they are matched with an extra $20 of Double Up tokens/currency per day.

Take the #HBDdoubleupAZ photo challenge

During the month of August, we challenge our customers to post creative photos incorporating our Double Up AZ temporary tattoos.

It’s easy to enter:

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Picking the Perfect Melon

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World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support for people who have had to flee their homelands because of conflict or natural disaster.

Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees.  This World Refugee Day, we challenge everyone to join together and take a step with refugees.  We encourage you to meet the market families, hear their stories, and support their businesses.

Join us Saturday June 22nd for a special market highlighting the many market refugee families and their stories. Event details here.

Read more to discover each family’s story.

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5 Best Ways to Store Apples Long Term

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Apples have become a common staple in most households and in fact are in the top three most consumed fruit.  To keep apples stocked year-round in grocery stores, apples are imported from the southern hemisphere.  However, apples are harvested in Arizona June through September.

Learn proper storage techniques to preserve apples so they don’t spoil too fast.  This can mean enjoying local apples year-round, reducing your food waste, and saving money.

5 Best Ways to Store Apples Long Term

  1. Keep them cool and dry
  2. Keep them apart (you could wrap each apple individually in butcher paper)
  3. Tart apples with thicker skin will last longer
  4. Handle with care and avoid bruising them
  5. Do not store them with potatoes
  6. BONUS TIP: Preserve them!  Try preserving them by canning, making sauce, or pie filling.  You can freeze apples. When you want to use them, just reheat in a skillet with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Lastly, you can dehydrate them and enjoy them for a snack.

 

Discover Our 10 Favorite Apple Facts

1.  Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.

2. The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.

3. Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.

4. Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.

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Farmers Market Fresh Eggs Are No Yolk!

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Have questions about the differences between store bought versus farmers market fresh eggs? Wondering what’s better, cage-free versus free-range? We’re here to help you navigate your choices when buying eggs.

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Crop of the Week: Mature Spinach

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Spinach is a cool-weather vegetable. Along with other green, leafy vegetables contain an appreciable amount of iron, calcium and vitamins a and k. A fast-growing plant, it yields many leaves in a short time. The variety we’re used to seeing at the grocery stores is known as “baby spinach”.  It’s a softer, sweeter leaf that’s delicious enjoyed fresh and paired with citrus vinaigrette and sliced radishes.  Baby spinach is harvested as early as three weeks. Alternatively, Mature Spinach is harvested 45-60 days. Mature spinach has a richer spinach flavor and is great to cook with because of its texture.

Read more fror trips on shopping, storing and cooking spinach.

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