Lately, I’ve been noticing all the new farmer’s markets that having been popping up all over Scottsdale. Farmer’s markets are not a new phenomenon to Scottsdale, however in the past 9 years since I moved here, they’ve been sporadic at best.
My early years in Scottsdale I craved the Saturday morning farmer’s markets I used to enjoy in California, and went on my search to find several I could frequent.
The first and seemingly only farmer’s market on my side of town at the time was Roadrunner Park Farmer’s Market on Cactus Road. I excitedly got my 1 year old son packed up in the car for this great Saturday morning tradition I had been missing.
I pull into the busy parking lot, and imagine my excitement to see so many people and so many booths set up! I thought, ‘this farmer’s market must be amazing it’s so popular!’ To top it off it was the most beautiful April morning typical of our spring weather. I ended up having to park several blocks away in a neighborhood near the park, but no bother; I tucked my baby into his stroller for the walk back to the park.
I begin my stroll through the vendors, and as I pass the first few I notice a lot of craftsmen selling silver jewelry, artwork and posters that could easily be found online. Imagine my surprise when I was finished strolling through the entire market that I did not see one item of fresh produce or fresh cut flowers that would be reminiscent of a “farmer’s market.”
I was determined to find a true farmer’s market in Scottsdale, and I was sure it had to exist in a city that is so healthful in lifestyle and with beautiful year-round weather! I found several other smaller “farmers markets” that were basically the same thing as the one in Roadrunner Park. I began to believe that in Scottsdale, “farmer’s market” is another way of saying “craft fair” or worse, “swap meet.”
Never giving up hope that Scottsdale will eventually get it right, I have been keeping my eyes open for the ONE, and believe it’s finally in my reach! Enter the Old Town Farmer’s Market!
It was my first time there today. The vendors vary, and there is still quite a bit of pre-made products as opposed to produce, however, at least the pre made items are a variety of local foods and baked goods.
McLendendon’s Select’s produce was quite extensive, fresh and organic. But pricey if you compare to a local grocery store. Two smaller produce stalls were there also, with fresh in-season items as well. There were even a couple of vendors selling grass-fed beef, farm fresh chicken and pork, eggs and even goat’s milk. The salmon was frozen as to be expected, but Alaskan wild-caught and definitely pink and fresh looking. Oh, and while your here, don’t forget some treats for your pup at Bark n Good.
This farmer’s market is definitely as close as I’ve seen to the real thing. If you decide to visit, there are a few important tips to remember:
– Bring cash, many of the vendors cannot take a card.
– Be there early for the best selection.
– Don’t forget your re-usable bags.
– Your four legged friend is welcome, however definitely walk him first to tire him out.
I already have some top picks in mind that I will for sure go back for next week; McLendon’s Select produce, Frogs Organic Bakery, Claudine’s Kitchen (hand made Lebanese Hummus…out of this world!), and Cotton Country Jams for some more prickly pear cactus jelly that my guests seem to enjoy.
Farmer’s Market Links: