Farmers Markets in Tucson and surrounding communities | News
In a recent survey about eating locally grown produce, Arizona ranked near the bottom. There are several farmers markets in the Tucson area, one just has to search online for 'Tucson Farmers Market' and you get a long list. For some this task can be a little daunting so here is a short list of the top picks from a recent search. The first website to pop up is http://farmersmarkettucson.com. This site gives you the list of the main farmers markets in the Tucson area.
There are four locations that hold markets once a week - on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with hours for summer (April - October) as 8 a.m. to noon.
Jesse Owens Park is the location for the east side of Tucson, located at 400 S. Sarnoff Drive (East of Pantano and South of Broadway), they are open on Friday at the above hours.
Oro Valley and Maynards are both run on Saturday and it depends on which side of Tucson you live on as to which is better for you. Oro Valley is 11000 N. La Canada at the Oro Valley Town Hall (Southeast corner of La Canada Blvd and Naranja Rd.) Maynards is located in downtown Tucson, next to the Depot and Maynard's Kitchen, across from historic Hotel Congress. They are also on summer hours.
St. Philips Plaza is the oldest of the four central farmer's markets in Tucson, they have been running for over 12 years. They are located at 4280 N. Campbell Ave (Southeast corner of River Rd and Campbell Ave.) St. Philips is held on Sunday with summer hours.
For those who are not so lucky to hit any of these locations there is another popular farmers market far out on the east side of Tucson called the Rincon Valley Farmers Market. They are located at 12500 E. Old Spanish Trail. Their website is www.rvfm.org, they are on summer hours as well from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday.
You can visit either website and get a list of vendors who are usually at the farmers markets and even find out what sort of product they are selling. Here are a few tips on shopping at a farmers market, according to the Tucson farmers market website:
- Take a walk – Walk around the market to check out what’s available. Ask a seasoned market shopper and they will tell you – there’s a lot of delicious stuff to be discovered that isn’t always obvious.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />
- Bring sturdy Shopping Bags – It’s easier to carry produce in a sturdy bag, plus, it helps reduce waste! Some markets might even sell their own canvas reusable bags!
- Cash & Carry – Plain old cash is the main currency at Farmers Markets.
- Ask for a Sample – Most vendors are glad to let shoppers sample before buying.
- Ask Questions – If you see something you’re curious about, vendors can tell you about their products and their favorite ways to cook it. Other questions to ask a vendor: How much longer will this be in season? How should I store this? What unusual products will you be bringing to Market next week? You’ll come away with the knowledge you need to fully enjoy your purchases.
There is another option to farmers markets, if you are the pick your own fruits and veggies type - Apple Annies Orchard in Willcox. Their growing season is from June to October - open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (July to September) for the area called Produce and Pumpkins; hours are different on the Orchard side - 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (but same months). Both locations are open daily in October from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
If you visit their website at www.appleannies.com and click on their harvest calendar page you can see what crops they are harvesting. There are two different choices, you can pick it yourself or buy what has already been picked (prices vary for both, but you still pay by the pound).
Any of these choices is a good one, and there are several other smaller farmers markets that were listed on the internet search, but are too many to list here.
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