Food, Family, Friends & Farms

by Roxanne Garcia

While other Farmers’ Markets around the country are seasonal and just thawing out with reasonable temperatures, here in the old pueblo we are hunkering down to brave the heat.  We have often discussed other options like opening the market an hour earlier, closing earlier, or closing the market altogether like they do in Phoenix during the extreme heat.  But year after year we settle into a routine, set up under the sun and deal with it. With the Tucson Farmers’ Markets, we are open 52 weeks of the year…how lucky is that!

We pride ourselves on the fact that we are a true farmers’ market making sure that our mission is agricultural and small business oriented around our regional food!

Did you realize that our farmers’ wake up in the wee early morning hours (around 3 am), harvest what is ready to be picked, load the trucks and trailers and head to the markets, often traveling over 80 miles?  They do this every weekend!  Arizona regional food systems are complicated, and when you add temperatures of over 100 degrees, farming is challenging at best.

Farmers need rain and sunshine, yet too much of either is a recipe for disaster.  The extreme conditions we experience here in the desert southwest often leave the farmer hoping each and every weekend that he will have enough produce to make a good showing at the market.  So when you have your heart set on getting that juicy peach and your favorite farmer didn’t make it to the market, please return the following weekend.  Why? Farmers love their customers, but sometimes life on the farm gets in the way.  Remember: farms feed us, but we help feed the farms too.  The farmers’ market is the key to connecting family, food, friends and farms. Tucson is the place where I choose to live, and I can’t think of anything better than to shop at the farmers market once a week to secure my communities food future…..and as Tucsonans we all know the early morning hours are much cooler, so get to the market early!