Singh Farms Saturday Market: A Salad Chef, Pickled Produce, and Vegetables Plucked From The Garden Outside

The Market: Singh Family Market is an escape to a farm oasis that even locals would be amazed could exist, let alone flourish in the middle of the desert -- a 20 acre patch of land on Thomas Rd., not even a minute east of the bustling 101 freeway. The market's open every Saturday from 8 a.m. 'til 1 p.m., even open for business through the heat of the summer, partly thanks to the foliage that provides shade to the land.

The Parking: Through the entrance and down a short narrow dirt road is Singh's own high-capacity parking area.

The Vendors: The entire operation is all Singh, contained mostly to a central gazebo that's filled to the brim with their own freshly harvested vegetables, herbs, and cartons of eggs from the chicken co-op on-site. You can see the crops growing free of pesticides in their gardens a few meters away, so it isn't possible to be more convinced of freshness when you can pay a visit to next week's harvest.

Aside the vegetables are rows of baked bread, cheese, oils, dips, and pickled produce as well as an assortment of honeys and condiments contained to glass mason jars. 

In addition to Singh's creative selection are a few local brands that fill out the roster with specialty items that Singh hasn't taken on the task of dabbling in yet: English Brothers Apple Cider from the town of Willcox and Hayden Flower Mill's bags of whole wheat and all purpose flours, pizza flour blend, polenta, corn grits, barley, and more.

Outside the gazebo is a station preparing fresh market salads from whatever the chef was able to find nearby in the garden. This Saturday salad was built out of baby spinach, arugula, and more, accompanied by sliced and pickled radish, and topped with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. You get a large slice of focaccia bread, topped with cheese spread that they melt on top in their hand-built oven.

The People: They're the kind who are attracted to fresh air and fresh vegetables, gardens and chicken coops. All age groups enjoy this market -- you'll just as easily spot a couple in their seventies attending with their grandchildren alongside a newlywed couple with their newborn child.

Best Taste: Many items are available for tasting. You can dip pita chips into tepary bean hummus or a flavor-packed dip of tomato-garlic crumble. There's also cheese for slicing across the room. Worth the five dollars is the chef's station outside for fresh salad and bread.

What We'd Like To See: It's hard to request anything more from this family operation, who already distribute their produce to clients and restaurants in the valley that give them their compost in return. Not to get greedy here, but more samples could be helpful in choosing some of their items, notably their honeys, pickled produce, and some of their oils and grain-filled breads (although it most likely changes from week to week).

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