You might be surprised to learn that our arid Southwestern state supplies over $23.3 billion in agriculture annually to homes and restaurants around the country. In fact, in 2015, Arizona ranked #2 nationally in lettuce production. With volume like this, it is no wonder that consumers here have easy access to locally-grown farm foods. The farmers markets in Phoenix are flourishing.
Consistently warm weather in the Valley provides a year-round growing season. Combined with the state’s various microclimates, a wide variety of crops grow here during any given month. Kale, mandarin oranges, asparagus, cantaloupe, and pecans are just a few of the assorted crops you can find growing in Arizona soil. Here is an impressive list of Arizona agriculture products and their seasonal harvest schedules.
Farmers markets are a great way for growers to find local buyers and for residents to receive fresh and direct produce. These are my top picks for the Best Farmers Markets in Phoenix:
1. Scottsdale Old Town Farmers Market
Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, this weekly market supports many Scottsdale residents. Farmers from across the Valley gather here with fresh produce every Saturday morning. For five straight years, this market has become a hotspot for both residents and visitors due its size and prominent location.
The market takes up a large parking lot on the corner of Brown Avenue and 2nd Street. Locals can visit the market to stock up on local food and goods from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from October through May. This market is seasonal and closes down for the summer months.
This isn’t just a market for fresh produce either. Shoppers can find fresh meat, homemade bread and even other products like handmade jewelry and pottery. It’s a great way to spend the morning with family if you’re looking for something to do in Scottsdale.
2. Gilbert Farmers Market
This weekly farmers market boasts over 60 vendors on the slowest of days and over 100 vendors during the busy fall and spring seasons. Every Saturday, residents and vendors gather in the growing Downtown Gilbert area for live music, food trucks and of course, fresh produce.
While Gilbert isn’t the most central of suburbs in Phoenix, this farmers market is one of the city’s best and it’s a great reason to visit this growing area. Gilbert is becoming more and more popular and exploring the Downtown area at the Gilbert Farmers Market is the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. They are open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during the fall and winter months and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. during the summer.
This market is also where you’ll find a local farmer, Frank Martin. He owns and runs a 40-acre organic farm called Crooked Sky Farms. It’s located just outside of Phoenix on the corner of 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. He is up bright and early every Saturday to supply Phoenix with some of the freshest, organic produce. Crooked Sky Farms also has booths at the Scottsdale Farmers Market and the Open Air Market in Downtown Phoenix.
3. Open Air Market At Phoenix Public Market
Downtown Phoenix is considered a food desert, which means there aren’t many convenient grocery stores around. One may not think of a location like this for one of the Phoenix farmers markets. This makes a visit to the Open Air Market at Phoenix Public Market all the more special and a great way to end your week. It’s open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during the spring and summer and until 1 p.m. in the fall and winter. Conveniently located on Central Avenue and McKinley Street, the market is as central as possible in Phoenix.
There are vendors who set up simply to supply information about services in the area as well. Everything from jewelry shops, kitchen supplies and home services like custom cabinetry can be found there. Phoenix Public Market Café is also a great restaurant that utilizes many of the fresh, local produce that the Phoenix farmers markets supply.
Grab a Bushel
Residents of Phoenix are lucky to have so many options for finding fresh, local food year round. All the fantastic farmers’ markets are just one of the reasons why Phoenix is a great place to live. This list is just the tip of the iceberg as far as great markets to visit and ways to eat locally. Contact us when you are ready to buy a home within strolling distance of your favorite farmer’s market in Phoenix.
Many young and beginning farmers start out in local markets. Some stay there, and some scale up. – Tom Vilsack, American politician, 40th Governor of Iowa and the United States Secretary of Agriculture 2009-2017