There is energy in the air at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. It’s a sensory explosion of color, scents, music, and pride in community that is nearly impossible to put into words. The cross section of locals and visitors happily strolling, sipping coffee, and filling baskets with local produce, fresh breads, seasonal herbs, free range eggs, aromatic fresh and dried chiles, local honey and jams, luxurious body products, and homemade tamales, will transform your mood and test your bliss endurance.
The Santa Fe Farmers Market began as a loose-knit group of farmers selling produce on Saturdays, from the back of their trucks, in the late 1960s. By the mid 70’s, the organization grew stronger, added more vendors, and outgrew the Alto Recreation Center and the Sanbusco Market Center. It was moved to its current home at the Railyard in 1999 where it thrives year round. Sherman’s Travel recently included it in “9 of America’s Best Farmers Markets”, and it made the cut of the coveted Sunset Magazine’s “Top 10 Farmers’ Markets”.
Strict standards require all food and products be made with local ingredients, which means you buy directly from the source, and I love the idea of meeting the farmer who grew my food. If you’re not sure how to get your beautiful yellow cauliflower and radish greens to the table, keep an eye for Santa Fe chefs at the market talking about recipes, providing tips for local food sources, and answering your foodie questions as part of the Cook with the Chef series.
Supporting my local farming community gives me extreme satisfaction. The knowledge that I am consuming products directly from my neighbors brings me peace of mind. Knowing exactly where my food comes from is something that is important to me in this fast food culture. My Saturday morning adventure to the Farmers Market is a spirit lifter as well, and sets me right for the rest of my day.
The Bounty of Fall Meets the People’s Passion
If you are fortunate enough to be visiting during the fall, you will be rewarded handsomely. You will be reaping the benefits of the busiest and most luscious season for produce in Santa Fe. Fall harvest in Santa Fe translates to copious crops of healthy greens, pumpkins, apples, squash, and legumes. It’s the peak season for the Patron Saint of New Mexican Cuisine, the beloved green chile. The glorious aroma of roasting chile fills the market. Tasty samples, recipes, and new ways of honoring the state’s coveted culinary mascot will keep your mouth watering, and your chile cravings in effect long after you return home.
One Shopping Bag Might Not Be Enough
There are more than 40 vendors at the market, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a new addition for even more treasures. The Farmers Market Shops are located within the pavilion and next to the new Cafe Fresh. The cafe sources most of its ingredients from the market, so you can expect garden-fresh soups, salads, wraps, organic coffee, and pastries. Strolling around the Farmers Market Shops, you’ll find Vivac Winery, Artful Tea, ChocolateSmith, Gardens, and the Farmers Market Gift Shop. Income generated by the Shops and Cafe Fresh helps to keep vendor fees low. Win/win for all! The shops are open during regular market and Artisan Market hours.
Sunday Brings the Santa Fe Artisan Market
The Santa Fe Artisan Market, housed inside the Farmers Market Pavilion, boasts fine handmade crafts and artwork from more than 30 artists. The range of creative goodies spans from knitted scarves and hats, to watercolor landscapes, to artisanal teas and body products. Check out the selection of fun retro aprons, imported clothing from India, felt handbags, hand blown glassware, and a treasure-trove of jewelry. Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts here, or self-gifts — my favorites. Several crafters work while you stroll, offering unfiltered glimpses of their works-in-progress.
Meet at the Farmers Market for Special Summer Events at the Railyard Park
Along with the regular markets, the adjoining community space of the Railyard Park hosts many fun and family-friendly events throughout the summer. Summer in Santa Fe is a great time to check out swing dancing, reggae bands, gardening classes, art openings, and simply meeting with neighbors over coffee and burritos. All you need to do to have an essential Santa Fe experience is show up. Check the jam-packed schedule on the Santa Fe Railyard District website for information.
Don’t forget to gather your friends for the free Railyard Park Movie Series, which features movies every other Friday. From the Sound of Music to Willy Wonka to Stop Making Sense, there’s an entertaining movie for everyone.
See the Heart of Santa Fe at The Farmers Market
Enjoy the spirit of the lively vendors, the quality of every product laid out before you, and the energy of excited visitors. It’s a magical and lush experience that makes an impression on every guest. A day spent at The Farmer’s Market is a day immersed in the best that Santa Fe has to offer — fresh food, fine arts, diverse music, and a vibrant community.