Market Spotlight: Phoenix Public Market!

We. Love. Markets. Holy moly, do we love ’em. The camaraderie, the weather, the food, the people, all of it! What’s not to love?
Throughout the course of a year, you can find Practical Art (wo)manning a booth at many of the Valley’s amazing outdoor marketplaces, and with the holiday season fast approaching, we want to let you know where we’ll be, and HOW AWESOME these places are — which is, of course, why we’ll be there. First up? PHOENIX PUBLIC MARKET! 
PHX public market-2
About this market:
Established in 2005 as a facet of Community Food Connection, the Phoenix Public Market was created to:
1)    Increase access to fresh, healthy food in an underserved area;
2)    Help micro-businesses get started and build their capacity;
3)    Create jobs and family self-sufficiency;
4)    Help farmers stay on the land;
5)    Create a vibrant gathering place in the heart of our community.
Samantha Jackson, Phoenix Public Market manager, says that a whopping 90% of the market’s offerings are produced locally in Arizona.  Everything from produce, meats, honey, eggs, dips, breads, pastries, cheese, seasonings, starter plants, soaps, herbal remedies, chocolates and various handcrafted artisan items like pottery, glassware, jewelry and more.  On Saturdays, there’re more than 90 vendors! — and that leads to one of the greatest challenges for organizers Samantha and TShaka: finding room!
And the biggest reward? According to Samantha, it’s filling that need for quality food in the downtown area.  There is only one major grocery store (a large chain store), and so the market fills the neighborhood’s desire to have local produce and healthy food choices. (Phoenix Public Market also accepts SNAP benefits and are proud to give low-income families a chance to choose local!)
In the two years Samantha’s worked for the Market, among many other lessons, she’s learned not to be ::afraid:: of vegetables she’s never seen or cooked with.  Buying locally means you can actually TALK to the farmers, and they give you tons of great ideas on how to prepare the veggies you are buying from them.  Samantha says, “I’ve learned so much, and my body is better for it.”
We asked her for a bit of advice for shoppers or artisans, and she said:
“For shoppers – come early to get the best picks.  For artists – you make our City beautiful and interesting.  Keep doing what you do.”
As of today, the Phoenix Public Market crew is planning for Phoestivus, the ginormous holiday Market that’s in its sixth year! This year, it falls on two Wednesdays, Dec 10 & 17th, and they continue to honor the Phoestivus tradition with the Pheats of Strength, the Phoestivus Pole, and the Airing of Grievances (plus lots of holiday shopping, drinking and eating…)!
 
If you’re interested in getting involved, they could use some extra volunteers both on Saturdays AND at Phoestivus.  For those that are interested, please reach out to ’em at openair@phxpublicmarket.com. And be sure to tell ’em you read about ’em here!

 

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