If the Downtown Farmers Market seems like the same-old, same-old, look a little closer. Of course, there’s the weekly variation in produce throughout the season, but the al fresco shopping experience stays especially fresh with its new crop of artisans and farmers that sprouts up each June.
While perusing the market these first few weeks, check out the two new farmstead cheese producers. Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery (SnowyMountainSheep Creamery.com) is making Utah’s only dairy-sheep artisan cheeses, and Woodland-based Gold Creek Farms (GoldCreekFarms.com) offers an assortment of cow’s-milk cheddar, Parmesan, feta and mozzarella.
The food court will get an extra ethnic twist this season. El Norte offers “real” Mexican food with made-from-scratch salsas prepared in a molcajete, while pouring cups of horchata to quench your thirst. Moving up from a 2010 fill-in to full-time prepared-food vendor, Bonaparte uses fresh local ingredients in 1,000-year-old Mediterranean recipes. Opa!
Noona’s Kitchen (NoonasKitchen.com) owner Rachel Lee specializes in two things: aprons (also sold online) and guacamole. Her cucumber-avocado dip—called “cu-acamole”—is Korean-inspired, and 20 percent of proceeds go to zero-percent micro-loans for refugee families. Nu Nooz Pasta (NuNooz.net) now offers infused vinegars with locally sourced black currants, peaches and cherries.
New growers include The Purple Apple (ThePurpleApple.com), which derives its name from the nearly 1,000 lavender plants and more than 80 apple trees on its farm. A newcomer to the market and to the area, Tifie Ranch, will offer fresh produce. And certified organic grower Wilkerson Farm has now graduated from the Tuesday market to Saturday morning.