Downtown Phoenix ripe for a more stable farmers market (Republic editorial)

View of the downtown farmers market (Westward Ho in the background)[Source: Arizona Republic, June 24, 2008] — The nationwide salmonella scare seems to be ebbing.  At last, consumers can feel good again about buying tomatoes.  Or not quite so nervous, at least. Of course, buying tomatoes — or any produce, for that matter — doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking experience. Phoenix-area families never needed fear salmonella.  Not if they buy local.

Among all of America’s great cities, Phoenix is nearly unique in that it does not have a well-established and stable farmers market.  A market in downtown Phoenix is struggling to take root — it has a growing base of both producers and customers — but tents erected on fiercely hot blacktop will get a nascent farmers market only so far.  “We don’t have much of anything but the sheer will to do this,” said Cindy Gentry, executive director of Community Food Connections, a non-profit organization operating the Downtown Phoenix Public Market at North Central Avenue and McKinley Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

By “this,” she means a building. With food-preparation service and cool areas indoors where neither customers nor arugula will wilt in the summer heat.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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