Finally, after I’ve been having farmers market envy for weeks, the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance Farmers Market opened this weekend. The market is held in a huge park on the west side of Salt Lake called Pioneer Park. In years past this place was most famous as a hangout for homeless people looking for place to sleep, but having the market there, as well as some great food destinations like Tony Caputo’s Market and Big City Soup has done a lot to help revitalize the area. Of course there’s also the love-it-or-hate-it Gateway Shopping Mall nearby, an outdoor mall with stores, restaurants, movies, Clark Planetarium, and the famous Olympic Fountain. Even though Gateway has now made it into Wikipedia, and it’s a great place for tourists, I don’t go there much. And since the Farmers Market is celebrating 15 years this summer, I give the farmers market all the credit for turning this area into a fun place to hang out.
This week I also got a generous sample of cheese from Beehive Cheese Company, a local Utah creamery who has gotten great reviews for the quality of their cheese. The cheese they gave me to try was Full Moon Raw Milk Cheddar, which I’ll probably devour before I have the chance to use it in a recipe. I loved the flavor and consistency of this cheese which is creamy with just the right bite of cheddar flavor.
Now here are other things that caught my eye at the market this week.
Our market aims to please. If you get tired of carrying those heavy sacks of fruit or veggies, you can check them and pick them up later!
I can’t wait to eat the lovely baby arugula I got from this farmer. I’m just sorry I can’t remember which farm this was!
A farm from my home town was selling French Breakfast radishes, two bunches for $1.00. You can’t beat that price or the quality of the radishes.
In Utah about 50% of the population are Mormons, and if you’re a devout Mormon you refrain from drinking coffee. People who are Mormons but don’t follow all the church teachings are called Jack Mormons, hence the funny name for a local brand of coffee. Any Utah readers know where the name Jack Mormon came from? (Edit – Thanks to former Utahn Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds who pointed me to the Wikipedia definition of Jack Mormon.)
Not a good photo, but this was something I hadn’t noticed at the farmer’s market in years past, and there were actually two booths offering henna body painting this year.
My hands-down favorite of all the non-food offerings were these lawn ornaments made by Utah artist Dave Malone. I couldn’t manage to capture a photo without lots of people in the background, but I loved these inventive figures made of iron and pieces of rock arranged in charming shapes. (Sigh, if only I had more money to buy art.)
I bought my white radishes and the lovely Purple Plum radishes from this farmer from Zoe’s Garden who was friendly and helpful. This local farm plants over 600 varieties of crops, many of them heirlooms, and offers CSA shares.
I had breakfast before I went, but next time I’d love to try the Sudanese food from this stall. Luckily a friendly local allowed me to photograph his food (below) which did look quite tasty .
That’s my farmers market tour for this time. If any Utah readers were also at the farmer’s market this week, please leave a comment and tell us what you got.
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