Prices be damned, I’m a farmers market kind of gal. Salad just tastes better from bushel baskets attractively displayed and presided over by a farmer. I can only imagine the taste of tender leaves from my own backyard, but alas, I live in a desert and must garden accordingly.
Still mourning the loss of the Bet on the Farm market (said to return soon after relocation; BetOnTheFarm.com), I’ve been checking out the (friendly) competition.
I was recently turned on to the Fresh 52 Farmers & Artisan Market (Fresh52.com), open 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at Sansone Park Place (9480 S. Eastern Ave.). On a pleasant afternoon, I made the Summerlin-to-Henderson journey, noting that the carbon footprint of my trip alone likely stamped out the benefits, but again, alas.
In Vegas’ farmers market scene, “local” is a loose term. Southern California is closer than Northern Nevada, so we make do. “Of course we prefer local. And we would love to be 100 percent sustainable,” market manager and founder Carrie Hogan says, “but we have to build the Las Vegas farmers market industry.” On that day, Zuckerman’s Farm of Stockton, Calif., arrived with beautiful potatoes as well as firm asparagus. Success Valley Farms brought in luscious strawberries from Oxnard, Calif. And D&D Farms displayed a bounty of hearty vegetables from Sanger, Calif.
From a little closer, Pahrump Honey Company sells delicious pure, raw desert honey from bees working the Great Basin Desert. This will sweeten the Fujian oolong tea I purchased from vendor Shirley of Grandma Shirley’s Tea Shop.
This market also offers ready-to-eat items such as Hawaiian shaved ice for the multitude of children and the dogs that follow them around, and tender zucchini loafs from Sugar’s Bakery. Handicrafts also abound: handmade aprons, glass jewelry, repurposed art and reclaimed fabric shopping totes. I came for the edibles, but I left wearing nifty recycled vintage button earrings.
I also left with a bag of crunchy green beans and a bundle of thick asparagus, which soon became part of a Salade Niçoise served with Fujian oolong iced tea sweetened with local honey. Hendersonians should definitely check out Fresh 52’s one-year-anniversary festival May 15. And Summerliners, you’re getting a Saturday Fresh 52 market once Tivoli Village opens April 28. Carbon footprints will soon shrink accordingly.