By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

Whether a veteran of your local farmers market or trying one out for the first time this weekend, Arizona Farm Bureau with the help of Denise Logan, farmers market manager for Arizona Community Farmers Markets, provides a series of practical tips to enhance your farmers market experience.
1. Come early. For best selection of produce, arrive first thing so that you have first choice on the variety of produce you’ll see at your farmers market.

2. Bring change and small bills. Though more and more markets are set up to take credit cards, carrying cash is a must.

3. Talk to the growers. Ask the grower what’s new and how do they use their product (any recipes?). In fact, a farmers market is probably the best environment to chat with your farmers and ranchers. They want to share their stories and they love to explain their production methods. You’ll be surprised at the invaluable information on even the most common fruits and vegetables.
4. Ask about safety protocols. Ask the growers you meet if they have employed any safety practices to ensure the safety of their produce. Many growers have engaged what is known in the industry as “best management practices.”

5. Bring your own bags. Some growers also recycle shopping bags. Remember to wash your bags regularly.

6. Bring a cooler. Some smart produce shoppers bring a cooler on wheels to keep the produce fresh until it gets home.

7. Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring drinking water.

8. Decompress and Mingle! Markets are a great way to decompress and mingle with your neighbors!

9. Use the market as a place to plan your meal. Go to the market and get inspired. Learn to shop and eat “seasonally.”

10. Buy a new item occasionally. Ask the person next to you or the producer to give you some ideas on how to use it. Or trust your intuition and take it home, taste it raw, steam, roast, and grill or stir-fry whatever is in season. This is one of the keys to creative cooking.

11.Get the kids involved. Give them a few dollars and let them buy whatever produce they want and will eat. It’s a great way to make eating fruits and vegetables an enjoyable experience.

12. Use your senses to find the best items. Smell, touch (gently), and taste.

13. Bring a friend to the market. Turn someone else on to the rich satisfaction that can be found through the food and community at the Farmers Market.


Local Farmers Markets

Ahwatukee Farmers Market
4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(Closed 4/9/23 for Easter)
The Ahwatukee Farmers Market offers fresh, local, seasonal produce, herbs, flowers, value added foods, fresh baked goods, natural meats, and seafood, as well as local arts and crafts.

Downtown Chandler Farmers Market
Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 3 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
Saturdays Through May, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Downtown Chandler Farmers Market features dozens of local farmers, gourmet food vendors, and artisans.

Downtown Mesa Farmers Market
One E. Main St., Mesa
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Downtown Mesa Farmers Market is a nonprofit organization, managed by the Downtown Mesa Association, established to answer a call from the community for fresh, local produce, to create a family-friendly experience, and to help support and foster new and existing small businesses.

Gilbert Farmers Market
Downtown Gilbert, West of the Water Tower
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The market features local, chemical-free, organic produce from many local farmers, farm fresh eggs, meat, cheese, bread, sweets, coffee and tea, sauces, seasonings, and many other locally made artisan products.

Greenhouse Gardens
13103 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler
Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon
This south Chandler working farm features a weekly farmers market specializing in seasonal vegetables, fruit, and herbs grown chemical-free, with no pesticides.

Ocotillo Farmers Market
2577 W. Queen Creek Rd., Chandler
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(Closed 4/9/23 for Easter)
The Ocotillo Farmers Market offers fresh, local, seasonal produce, herbs, flowers, fresh baked goods, natural meats, seafood, and local arts and crafts.

Power Road Farmers Market
4011 S. Power Rd., Mesa
Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Power Road is a small, family-owned produce and specialty farmers market with a strong commitment to local farmers and local vendors.

Tempe Farmers Market
805 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This neighborhood market offers a selection of basic groceries, locally owned fruit and produce, Arizona specialty products, vegan/vegetarian items, gluten-free products, and more.

Dates and times are subject to change, please visit the Farmers’ Market websites for the most up-to-date information.