Uptown Farmers Market, the newest addition to the Phoenix's Farmers Market scene, just might be our new favorite spot for local produce. The Uptown market strikes a perfect balance of fruits, veggies, and local food products, with way less of the fluffy stuff (read as: arts and crafts, random inedible things).
Here are just a few of the highlights.
Johns Amish Country / McClendon's Select Organic Farm
McClendon's Select Organic Farm sparked some Farmers Market controversy earlier this month when they decided (after almost ten years of regular Town & Country appearances) to move their products to the Uptown Market. Bob McClendon explained the move in a recent press release from the Uptown Market: "This new location will offer much better parking and access for customers, and also offers plenty of space for us to continue to grow."
We're glad they made the move, and that they've found a great partner in John's Amish Country. All of the team's produce was on point; in addition to some standard winter offerings (root veggies, citrus, hearty greens), the McClendon's and John's offered a nice array of broccoli, apples, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, mushrooms, eggs, and honey.
TJ Farms / Careless Coyote
Uptown Market was our first encounter with TJ Farms of Waddell, Arizona. This three-acre farm offers a fantastic array of multi-colored carrots, kohlrabi, fennel, potatoes, dried beans, herbs, and greens.
TJ farms shares their booth with Careless Coyote, makers of (super tasty) prickly pear jams and jellies. If that doesn't taste like Arizona, we're not sure what does.
L.A.B.'s Premium Worm Castings
Our award for weirdest thing at the Uptown market, and arguably the most awesome (and / or disgusting), has to go to L.A.B.'s Premium Worm Casting Farm. This Farm (more of a Worm Ranch, really) sells organic fertilizers made from the highest quality local worm castings.
What are worm castings, you ask? They're poop. Worm poop. And you can buy them by the pound. L.A.B.'s will gladly share a chemical breakdown of their fertilizer with you, but here's the basic gist: high in nitrogen and other nutrients, just a tiny sprinkle will help your garden grow strong and healthy.
L.A.B.'s also sells "Garden Tea," a liquid fertilizer mixture that they recommend for hydroponic gardens. Perfect for that extra-special herb garden you may or may not keep in your closet.
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Noble Bread's Country Loaf is the local loaf you've been waiting for. Made from without the use of added yeast, this slow-fermented bread has a subtle sourdough like flavor. The bread is baked in wood-fired ovens, and has a gorgeous open crumb, chewy texture, and sturdy crust. Pick up a loaf at the Uptown Farmer's Market or at Noble Eatery.
Arizona Microgreens is a cool concept with a tasty and nutritious product. Based out of George B. Brooks, Sr. Community School's greenhouse, the company feeds profits back to the school. Co-Founders (and brothers) Joseph and David Martinez provide training in environmental sustainability to George B. Brooks students, and produce high-quality organic microgreens. Their Uptown booth features fresh-cut micro-versions of some of our healthy favorites, including spicy radish, mustard, and arugula greens, sweet beet and sunflower shoots, and crisp pea and broccoli shoots.