Visit local farmers’ markets

The growers at the farmers' markets are Arizona local and the produce is guaranteed to be vine-ripe, highly nutritious, mostly organic and pesticide free.

The Phoenix area has many wonderful farmers’ markets where you can buy not only freshly picked organic fruits and vegetables, but also homemade breads, jellies, honey products, flowers, wine, cheese, herbs, crafts, gifts and much more.

Every market has its own personality and neighborhood feel with demonstrations, music and a wide variety of foods from the sublimely gourmet to the simply fresh-from-the-earth or off-the-tree. The growers are Arizona local and the produce is guaranteed to be vine-ripe, highly nutritious, mostly organic and pesticide free.

Farmers’ markets are also known to be fun and interactive. You will have a chance to meet the growers and sellers in a laid-back but informative environment. Remember to ask for taste samples, recipes and for calendars highlighting what the next harvest will bring so you can eat in season and plan healthy meals ahead of time.

Have reusable canvas or plastic bags with you and small bills in your wallet to save time and help the grower (and the planet).

Tip for October and November: Tomatoes are in season. If you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a fresh, organic and delicious tomato (one that didn’t taste like a genetically modified tennis ball), then you need to get yourself to the nearest farmers’ market.

Autumn is also the time for fresh arugula, basil, green beans, all kinds of peppers and chard. Also, keep an eye out for the first of the season’s baby vegetables like tiny carrots, slender green onions, delicate radishes, baby beets and miniature turnips. Freshly harvested dates provide a touch of sweetness.

The closer you are to your food’s healthy, organic origin, the better the price and the tastier and fresher it will be.

Most of all, have fun!

For more information about Arizona markets, please see the following Web sites:

  • www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com
  • http://farmersmarketaz.blogsport.com
  • www.phoenix.about.com/cs/shop/a/farmers
  • www.fruitstands.com

 

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 5, October/November 2007.

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