Earlier this month, the Uptown Farmers Market on Central Avenue and Bethany Home Road headed back outdoors for the fall farmers market season, reestablishing its home on the sprawling lawns of the North Phoenix Baptist Church for the next nine months. (For the last three months the market, which opened last November, moved inside on Saturday mornings to avoid the heat.)
Uptown Farmers Market operator and co-founder, Bo Mostow, says having an indoor option during the summer is vital to keeping the market open year-round. And as eager as she and the vendors were to get back outside, Mostow tells us that she's even more thrilled about some of the event's new components.
September 26 will bring the launch of the Uptown Growers Market, a pop-up nursery that teams Mostow with Greg Peterson from Urban Farm, Kari Spencer from the Micro Farm Project, and Jim Dennis of Farm Phoenix. The group will sell a variety of growing items such as soils and composts, and will hold classes on gardening and homesteading.
Vendor education classes are also a recent addition to the market. These sessions will give the vendors a chance to educate each other, as well as the public, on their processes and goals.
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Mostow also aims to offer activities that make the market family-friendly. Every week, the market features either a bounce house or a water slide in an area where there's some shade for the parents to relax while the kids burn some energy.
The Saturday morning market, which features dozens of vendors, runs from 8 a.m. to noon until the end of September. Starting on October 3, the hours will change to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On October 7, Uptown will also expand to include a Wednesday morning market. The mid-week market, which has been on hiatus for the summer, gets a boost from the presence of McClendon's Select. On Saturdays, the Peoria-based farm occupies about 12 tents, while on Wednesdays that number increases to 30.