Ode to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market

Gourmet Girl - March 18, 2013

The Santa Fe Farmers' Market is a veritable smorgasbord of flavors and fun

Ode to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market

Last Saturday, I hit the Santa Fe Farmers' Market for the first time in quite a while and was amazed at the literal feast of artisan breads and cheeses, fresh arugula and other early spring greens, baked goods, organic meat and poultry, salsas, dips and more.

I wandered the huge room several times, tasting potato bread smeared with butter from Cloud Cliff, arugula salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil and parmesan, Galactic bread filled with mushrooms and onions, red chile ginger jam and other items made with love by the chefs and farmers who served them.

People of all ages made up the crowd that milled the market, from babies in strollers to seniors who strolled the room. Old friends greeted one another and caught on the local news, as tourists jammed the market shop at the front of the room to make purchases to take home as souvenirs.

Live music filled the air, as two guys played Irish music and people tapped their feet and swayed to the songs. Their tip was overflowing, appropriately.

As I made way to the north corner of the building, I discovered a relatively new space that opened last fall. A large room broken into booths, the shop features a Vivac Winery Tasting Room, a tea booth, a garden booth and other areas where vendors sell arts, crafts and other handmade items.

The Santa Fe Farmers' Market began with a just a handful of farmers selling produce out of the backs of their trucks in the late 1960s. With the aid of the League of Women Voters and the County Extension Office, the group became more official and relocated to the parking lot of St. Anne's Church. Over the years, the market moved to the Alto Street Recreation Center then to the Sanbusco Center, SITE Santa Fe's lot, DeVargas Center and finally to its permanent home in the Railyard, where it's open year round.

At the market, you'll find not only the traditional farmer's market foods like greens, potatoes, tomatoes, bread and cheese, you'll also find organic lamb, roasted green chile, apples, peaches, corn, melons, rhubarb, squash, eggs and more.

The Farmers' Market serves up some excellent coffee (bottomless cups) and hearty breakfast fare including breakfast burritos, tamales and an array of pastries, including some kickass cinammon rolls, strudel, bear claws and green chile croissants.

The market also hosts special events, including garden workshops, book signing celebrations and the always popular Cook with a Chef, cooking demos presented by Santa Fe chefs using ingredients found at the market. Annie Rose the Flower Fairy offers fun children's events, including an Easter Egg Hunt on March 30, as well a May Pole Celebration, Summer Solstice Party and Halloween Parade. Plus, there's always live music from an array of eclectic musicians.

The market's annual Farm Tour offers a wonderful way to visit the farms of northern New Mexico, where you'll see fields of vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, grazing sheep and chickens, honeybees, sheep, geese, turkeys and more.

The Santa Fe Farmers' Market Institute presents a  film series as well as an annual fundraiser.

Gourmet Girl On Air

Great news! Gourmet Girl is going to hit the radio waves monthly on The Big Show with Honey Harris on KBAC-98.1 FM radio station.

We'll be dishing up the latest news on restaurant openings, culinary events, cooking classes and more. So be sure to tune in for the latest scoop on the food scene in Santa Fe. The first Gourmet Girl chat takes place on March 29 at 10:30 a.m. See you on the radio!