Eating Local in Phoenix


“Locally grown food? In Phoenix?”
September 15, 2010, 1:38 am
Filed under: challenge, farmers markets, local, welcome | Tags: , , ,

“You’ve got to be kidding, right?  I mean, does anything actually grow there?”

When I tell people that I’m going to be eating at least one all locally grown meal per week, on a grad student’s budget no less, I get a lot of different reactions, but mostly disbelief.

Saguaro Lake area

“How can anything grow in 115 degrees?”

“Are you going to eat only Mexican food?”

“Well, I hope you like citrus!”

The truth is, produce grows very well in Arizona.  Tomatoes are planted in February and yield through July, we have peaches into the second week of June and the winter brings us enough lettuce to make a salad for the nation.  And, yes, we do grow a lot of citrus.  The seasons may be a little different in Arizona, but our mild winters and the range of temperatures means that Phoenix is home to a wide variety of produce.  Not that all of it is edible of course, unless you like the taste and texture of cattle corn.

But don’t get confused, I’m not planning on growing anything myself (my 700 square foot studio apartment and plant destroying cat are enough of a deterrent to limit me to one very pathetic basil plant), instead I’ll be relying on the farmers markets scattered through the Valley of the Sun and a small bit on my parent’s pepper garden and their neighbor’s laying hens.  With the increasing consumer demand for local produce it’s become easy to eat local and support those who are growing and raising food responsibly throughout the Valley.  There are farmers markets in every part of the Valley – don’t believe me? – check it out here.  And yes, they are affordable and no, you don’t have to be a hippy to shop at them.

In the coming weeks I’ll be documenting my culinary exploits, trips to the farmers markets and urban farms and thoughts on the importance of eating local and forming a food relationship with my city.  I welcome comments, tips and suggestions and I hope you join me as I discover the seasons of local food in Phoenix.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Umm…Awesome! I am excited to see your adventures in locally grown food.

Comment by Jennifer Smith

Hmmm –there’s a farmer’s market right down the street. You’re welcome to come over and cook some fresh food for us anytime!
Check out the link to “eating grad style: free food”. Although it is not about local produce, it is full of great advice to starving students.

Comment by Jerry

I look forward to following you throughout your journey, and excited to read about your experiences.

Comment by Monica Hamilton




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