Tomato Basil Garlic Festival • Rillito Park

Summer in Southern Arizona is in full swing, and local fields are overflowing with vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet-smelling basil, and enough garlic to make Italian grandmas swoon. Celebrate summer’s sweet and spicy bounty at Heirloom Farmers Markets’ Tomato Basil & Garlic Festival on July 28 at the Oro Valley Farmers Market (10901 N. Oracle Rd.) and July 29 at the Rillito Park Farmers Market (4502 N. 1st Ave.) from 8am – 12pm.

This year we’re adding local garlic to our traditional tomato basil lineup! Our local farmers have been growing garlic for the better part of a year, and now it’s time to celebrate their harvest! Stock up on different varieties of garlic, like spicy purple Italian garlic from In the Beginning Farm and larger-than-life elephant garlic from Richcrest Farms, plus others from Larry’s Veggies, Robb’s Family Farm, and Wildchild Gardens. Mosey through the market and stock up on seasonally inspired salsa, pasta, olive oil, an d soap as you enjoy live toe-tapping music from blues guitarist Michael P. Nordberg on Saturday and local bluegrass from Cadillac Mountain on Sunday.

While you’re there, take some time to admire (and taste!) vibrant heirloom tomatoes of every color, shape, and size from some of southern Arizona’s best local growers. Be sure to stop by the food demonstration booth to sample different varieties of tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Then on Sunday at Rillito Park we’ll be featuring Executive Chef Ryan Clark from Casino Del Sol’s PY Steakhouse as our Chef at the Market! Taste how Chef Clark celebrates the season with a bowl of his Tomato-Basil-Garlic Gazpacho with Barrio-basil croutons, garlic oil, and sprouts.

“Tomatoes, basil and garlic are just a few of the abundant offerings you’ll find at the farmers market during the hottest time of the year. Our annual market festivals are a great opportunity to bring attention to Arizona’s seasonally grown produce and a chance for vendors to feature them in unique ways,” says Nick Szumowski, Director of Operations for Heirloom Farmers Markets. Tucson’s only Tomato Basil & Garlic Festival will be a treat for your taste buds and an opportunity to taste how delicious eating locally can be!