[Here's the first of our reader-submitted regional farmers market reports! We'll be putting these up frequently in the next few weeks, as it is the golden time for farmers markets. Email us if you'd like to submit a report from your local farmers market - we'll send you a little gift as a thank you.] From Jen in Salt Lake City: The Salt Lake Downtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday morning from mid-June to late-October at a downtown park. It stretches across a whole city block with fruit and produce vendors running along one end and local artists along the other. In the middle, there are food vendors, non-profits, places to sit, and musical performers. One unique feature of the market is the bike valet parking run by the Salt Lake City Bike Collective. They'll keep an eye on your bike for free while you shop and eat.
The season starts a little late in the high altitude here, and then it gets really hot. Most of the green leafy vegetables went to seed in the July and August heat, but we've got peppers of all kinds, tomatoes, carrots, onions, corn, eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, beans, and pumpkins. On the fruit side, the local raspberries and peaches are out of this world. And you can find all sorts for varieties of melons for $1 or $2 a piece.
You can also find locally produced cheeses, breads, lamb, jams, and salsas. For local organic produce, you can't beat Zoe's Garden. Their stall is always full of everything that's in season, and you can also sample their produce at the Hong Kong Tea House, their restaurant a few blocks away. The best CSA value is East Farms where 20 weeks of local, organic produce will only cost you $195. If you need some more immediate sustenance, I highly recommend the traditional Sudanese food and the goat milk ice cream from Drake Family Farms. There's really nothing else like it. Thanks Jen!