Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rillito Downs Farmers Market

They made a big splash in the local papers, moving from St. Philips's Plaza and landing a mile or so further south, at the racetrack, in a decidedly more income-diverse neighborhood.  JannyLou and I decided to check it out on Sunday morning.... although, to be accurate, I decided and asked if she wanted to come along. 
I sighed when she said she'd already had breakfast; Prep and Pastry was on my mind all morning.  With memories of Marin's extravagant Farmers Market at the Civic Center in mind, I skipped my usual yogurt and granola.  I was hoping for a fresh pastry.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, one of those big sky, big cloud mornings G'ma loved.

 Parking was free and plentiful and close.  JannyLou and I took the cloth grocery bags from The Schnozz and crossed into the Market. 
Locally grown is a small universe here in the desert Southwest; these ranchers drove two and a half hours to hawk their wares.
That's Star on the left and Barbara on the right.  They know every ounce of feed that their animals ingest; $7 per pound ground beef is on my list the next time we need bbq'ed burgers. 
The veggies were colorful
and plentiful.
Does the variety surprise you? 
It's not Marin, but it is fresh and home grown.
Are those not the most gorgeous squash you've ever seen?
Curcubits do very well here.
So do heirloom tomatoes.

I strolled past the flower seller; it's much too hot to put anything into the ground right now.
I was thirsty,
and there were so many options.
Emu oil, taken from locally raised emus, fascinated us for a while. 
The mint seller was friendly and helpful and JannyLou and I shared a 2-for$19 promotion.
I took peppermint tincture, she took spearmint.
I rubbed some on the back of my neck and felt cooler immediately.
TBG liked it on his swollen and achy kneecap, too. 
There were very expensive eggs
and jams and jellies galore. 
and popsicles.
I was hoping that these were from the juice of the prickly pear cactus, or that the name was an homage to our most prevalent opuntia, but the dots on the uneaten popsicle on the sign looked too much like glochids for anything to entice me to stop. 
There were lots of helpers, from soup
to salsa. 
Some were human.
I was thrilled to find Sven the Knife Sharpener; I will be taking my entire inventory to him.
Sven stood next to the sweet treats, but they didn't tempt me.
It was hot and I was tired
So were the Indian caterers.
In cooler weather, I will be bringing home some of these for dinner. 
But on Sunday, with the sun blazing and my skin frying, tomatoes and peppermint and some roasted peppers for pasta were all I could imagine.



  1. Thank you for mentioning Sven the Knife Sharpener. Since City Kitchens in Seattle went out of business, as did the guy I used to visit in Tucson, my knives have had no attention, and they need it. Once we return to the SW we will look him up.

    1. I used to take them to the market in marin. I, too, have watched them dull themselves into near uselessness since I moved. I'm waiting til I get back from the baby, though.... TBG will for sure amputate a finger if the knives are sharper than they have been in ten years!


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