Farmers markets in metro Phoenix keep cool

Steve Weiss presents Cindy Gentry of Community Food Connections a contribution of some "cool cash" on behalf of the Downtown Voices Coalition.

[Source: Diana Balazs, Arizona Republic] — Valley farmers markets have come up with cool ways to keep their ventures open during the long hot summer.  They start early, drape shade cloth over aisles, and [some] set up misting systems…

The 4-year-old downtown Phoenix Public Market run by Community Food Connections operates throughout the year, rain or shine, said Cindy Gentry, Community Food Connections director.  The market is open from 4 to 8 p.m.  Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the southeastern corner of Central Avenue and McKinley Street.  “We have produce year-round.  Our goal is to increase access to healthy foods and to keep farmers on the land,” Gentry said.

She said customers do not mind the heat and enjoy buying locally produced goods.  “There is a sense of community and creativity and openness.  I always feel like what we’re trying to do is set the table and invite people in,” she said.

Shade cloths cover the aisles, and portable coolers are used to offset the heat.  “We figure out ways.  Some of them aren’t the most graceful or the most beautiful.  We like to say our produce is always fresh, but maybe our farmer’s aren’t,” Gentry joked.  For a list of farmers markets throughout the Valley, click here.   [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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