Still Lots o' Veggies -- and Crafts! -- at Friday's Mesa Farmers' Market and Others
|Bunneh sez "nom nom nom": Genuine baby carrots from Love Grows Farms|
Every field -- even each side of the same field -- is a unique microclimate that might produce a new harvest next week or might get crotchety and make you wait. Temperatures in the next couple of weeks will determine when cruciferous vegetables give up for the summer and melons start rolling in.
Some grower/vendors supplement their wares with produce that wasn't grown locally, if a particular market's administration allows it. Sunny Boy Produce's Brent McCaleb is picky about what makes it to his Gilbert stall, all the same; it has to be in season, perfectly ripe, and super-fresh -- a standard supported by a taste of his mango samples last month.
Even if there's demand for an item, McCaleb won't carry it unless it meets his criteria. "I can go to the produce warehouse and get it," he says, "but I don't like to do that, because it's not as good." Sounds like he's on the way to a solid reputation and happy customers.
While you're at the markets, keep in mind that we're approaching Easter, Mother's Day, graduations, and Father's Day, and the supply of local, funky, reasonably priced gifts does not depend on the weather. From the Mesa market's crafters, we like Siobhan Falen's teensy-weensy sculpted clay earrings (cupcakes! bunnies! mermaids! puppies!) -- they'd be sweet in a girl's Easter basket. Falen's only at the Mesa market every other week now, because she's launching the semi-monthly Saturday afternoon Wilted Garden Boutique at Chandler Cinemas.
The Mesa market's coordinator, Patricia McNaught Foster, has a deft hand with beads, as you can see below.
Julie Peterson Some of Patricia McNaught Foster's FeatherWolf creations
Foster's also a graphic designer with prints and bookmarks available at her booths in Mesa and Ahwatukee, along with a few items from other artists, including super-cute kids' aprons.
Check future posts for more gift ideas as the weeks go by, plus up-to-the-minute agricultural developments, of course. Happy grazing!