Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To market

















I've lived in Albuquerque for almost eight years. We came here with a one-year-old and had another baby two years later. We stayed home a lot in those first few years. I always envied people who could take their babies out for the entire day, which never seemed to work very well for us. Now that our kids are older, we're getting out more.

One local attraction I'd been wanting to check out for a while is the Downtown Grower's Market. We went this weekend. It was wonderful! We had a really nice time. The market is busy, with lots of stalls to check out. There is fresh produce from all over the state, along with breads, cheeses, dried corn and flowers and handcrafts, such as jewelry, knitted and crocheted items and quilts. Every week, there is musical guest performing in the center of the park, where people congregate on the grass to picnic and relax. This weekend, the music was provided by Los Primos, a mariachi trio. Their music was great; kids were dancing in the grass.

Our kids were having fun too; they spotted a stall filled with colorful Indian corn and made a beeline for it. They love looking at it. The vendor helped them choose four colorful ears; his prices were reasonable and he was very helpful and friendly. He told us he gets his corn, a heritage breed, from an 80-year-old farmer in Estancia who was feeding it to his pigs. Now the farmer makes a little money selling some of his corn, and the pigs still get some too. We've added the corn to our dining room table display, currently in fall mode.

We continued in our circuit of the market stalls. There were fruits and vegetables of every kind, much of it seasonal - lots of chiles and ristras, as well as pumpkins and gourds. There was a stall where you could have your tarot read by a goose. We didn't try it, but it seemed popular and the goose was pretty, if noisy. I enjoyed one stall full of baby quilts and bibs, all made with modern cotton prints and soft minky-type material. The Bear liked a stall with handmade jewelry and chatted up the vendor about her techniques. There was something for everyone.

Toward lunchtime we decided to put together a meal. We ended up with rosemary-beer bread and an apple tart from Albuquerque's La Quiche Parisienne Bistro, goat cheese with fig jam from The Old Windmill Dairy in Estancia, and a basket of tomatoes from a local grower whose name I didn't catch. We had brought our own bottled water. We sat in the grass and ate our delicious lunch. It was sunny but pleasantly cool and the big, old cottonwoods and ashes in the park provided plenty of shade. Our kids ran free after they ate, the Bear and I relaxed and took it all in: people of all ages, dogs, lots of bicycles and interesting snippets of conversation around us. When we were ready, we walked back to our car (parked two blocks away on a quiet side-street) by way of the stall where we'd bought our tomatoes. They had been so good, so juicy and richly flavored, we just couldn't leave without getting some more.

I'm so glad we visited the market. It was bigger than I'd expected and the goods for sale were of excellent quality. It was a delightful way to spend the morning. I tell you what, it also made me proud to live in Albuquerque. This city feels both big and small at the same time. We've got our ups and downs, for sure. But there are many people here who care a lot about building up the community and offering residents ways to connect and share, as well as to grow their own businesses, enhancing our appreciation of the environment and our efforts toward sustainability. I'm glad to be able to participate in this growth and I'm proud to show my children more of this one-of-a-kind place now that they're older. I'll go back to the market for the tomatoes as much as for the community spirit.

The Downtown Grower's Market is held on Saturday mornings (7 AM to noon) in Robinson Park (at 8th and Central). The market ends for the season on November 8.

36 comments:

  1. It looks like a wonderful market, so many interesting things. The tarot told by a goose stopped me in my tracks. You don't see that every day. All of the produce looks delicious. It's really nice to see different varieties of things - all of those different chillies, that fantastic corn and red carrots. I love this kind of market, and you've photographed it beautifully. CJ xx

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  2. How lovely, just look at all that beautiful produce!! Indian corn is amazing! :)
    V x

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  3. What a wonderful market! I remember being quite fascinated with Indian corn as a kid too - and I still like it. Thanks for sharing your visit with us!

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  4. Wow what a great market :) The produce looked great, so colourful :) What a clever idea to buy the bread etc there and eat it for a picnic :) Sounds tummy!
    Jillxo

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  5. It sounds so, so nice. I want to go! Your lunch looks delicious. X

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  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Looks like a wonderful market and love all the fresh produce. Your picnic lunch sounded nice and lovely that the kids could run and play in the grass.
    I visited Albuquerque back in 1980 and really enjoyed my time there.
    Hope you are enjoying the week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  7. What a great farmers market, all those beautiful fresh veggies! Your picnic looked pretty tasty. What a great way to spend time with your family.

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  8. Oh, you are so lucky to have wonderful farmers markets near you. We have small type markets once a month but the produce is a bit lack lustre. A lot of it is bought in from away and is no fresher than what you can get in the supermarkets.

    Your pictures are so beautiful, clear and crisp - it really made me want to visit there - hard to do when I am down under in Australia, ha!

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  9. Markets where local produce is sold, are always the best ! Everywhere we go on holiday, I try to find one... It is always interesting to see what is grown in a region.
    Your market looks great - so much variety in vegetables ! Looks like heaven for a veggie-lover like me !
    Too bad you didn't make photos of the tarot reading goose ;-)))

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  10. Oh my that market sounds marvellous! The produce looks amazingly colourful, and your picnic looks delicious, I love meals gathered together like that! I often feel the same way about the city I live in, big, but small at the same time, everyone you meet always knows someone you do and there are so many community events through out the year, I'm going to miss it when I leave! x

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  11. That looks like a really attractive market, Jennifer, and you had a lovely day with the little bears, turning it into a picnic too. I love the look of the Indian corn, which is so colourful and a great part of Fall decor. As for the Tarot goose - someone has a good sense of humour, what fun!

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  12. What a great market, always nice to share things as a family and create some wonderful memories. The lunch looked delightful.

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  13. All those beautiful colours - fabulous. And I LOVE that colourful corn; never seen anything like it! xxx

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  14. That looks like a really great place to go. I'm sure you'll be back.

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  15. Wow what an interesting place to visit. It sounds perfect, I've got corn similar to that which I grew myself. Only a few ears but I shall do a post soon.

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  16. I love markets like this, they seem to be popping up more and more over here and becoming more popular. It's great to have locally grown produce to buy instead of fruit and vegetables which are shipped from all over the world to end up in our supermarkets.

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  17. I'm so glad you have discovered your local market, Jennifer! They are a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours, and it is always nice knowing you are supporting local growers and artisans. Fall is the very best season for the market too, so full of colourful things like squash, Indian corn and your delicious ripe tomatoes.

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  18. That looks a wonderful market Jennifer, so much fresh and colourful produce as well as lots of other interesting things. Glad the children enjoyed their day too, that means they'll be keen to go again! Your lunch sounded yummy!
    Gill xx

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  19. Wow- the market looks amazing. Such variety and colours of vegetables. I'm always in awe of the sheer abundance of types of crops in this kind of market - especially it being different from those grown here in England. Gorgeous photos as always. It would be one of my favourite ways to pass an afternoon too. J9 x

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  20. I just love a market - whenever we're away anywhere I look out for market-days in the area. Your photos are just a feast for the eyes - beautiful! Glad you're able to have days out like this now .... it doesn't have to be a big complicated thing - simple pleasures like markets are the best! xCathy

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  21. What an incredible market ..... a feast for the eyes and a very delicious looking lunch too ~ Mmmmmmmm
    Gosh a tarot reading goose!
    love Jooles x x x

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  22. I would like to be able to say that our local market is just like that ---- but it isn't! It looks great and the produce looks so fresh :)

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  23. Sounds like a great place to visit and as though you all had a wonderful time! I like your table arrangement, very pretty, especially the table runner and the glass grapes! xx

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  24. Oh I do love a good market Jennifer. Yours sounds fabulous and glad you enjoyed your day. Love your photos. P x

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  25. Fabulous market Jennifer! We have a small farmers market here and also a craft market on another weekend and I love going to them and supporting the local farmers ☺☺

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  26. I love local farmer's markets! They're starting to slow down and come to a close here for the season. Looks like you had a perfect day for visiting your market.

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  27. Local farmer's markets have so much to offer city folks! We have one every day in different parts of the city, but because we now live in the countryside, we occasionally visit the biggest one on Saturdays. I do miss the convenience of having them nearby. Your day sounds like a lot of fun, food, and family time!

    Poppy

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  28. A fortune telling goose! That's hilarious! Worth the trip! It does look like a great day out. Bee xx

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  29. Beautiful colours and produce... I'd have stocked up on sorrel and some of that incredible-looking corn. Our market is very small and usually wet and windy. Only the determined bother to attend when the rain's coming down and the wind's howling across the tarpaulin!
    Yours looks like a lovely day out :)
    S x

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  30. What a nice day that must have been. I need to find a market like that in this area. xxoo

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  31. What a great day out for you all. I love markets too x

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  32. What a fabulous market to visit and it looks like the whole family enjoyed it too. We like going to farmers markets too and sometimes go to the Glasgow one.
    Marianne x

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  33. I love the photos of all the fresh produce, especially those colourful Indian corns. I've never seen such pretty looking corns before! I hope they last for ages because they look so lovely displayed on your dining table. My other favourite is the tarot reading goose. I don't think I'll try it either but I have to admit it sounds intriguing and funny...Have a great weekend! x

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  34. That looks a wonderful market! We used to take our children to local farmers market when they were younger and the practice has rubbed off as they now visit them to buy food for them selves. Sarah x

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  35. That looks a wonderful market Jennifer. i wish I could go. We have a farmers' market here locally too bu its very small and in no way as photogenic (even though the veggies are tasty!). What a great day out.I know what you mean about going out for the day...sometimes it's more stressful to do that and the pathway of least resistance is to stay at home...it's a bit easier now LittleR is older and can manage naps better!

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  36. Framers' markets are wonderful and your super pictures of this one just leap off the screen. Delightful post.

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