Voted one of the nation’s best farmers’ markets by Cooking Light Magazine, the Roadrunner Park Farmers Market is also one of the oldest operating in Arizona. Located near prestigious Paradise Valley, Roadrunner Park Farmers Market also offers one of the largest selections of produce, fresh chickens, and even grass-fed lamb.
The farmers market is open on Saturdays all year-round, with hours set, for the months June through September and October through May. Vendors at the park, also sell specialty foods, such as jams, jerky, chili, tamales, tortilla soup, among others.
Local farms make up most vendors, with a wide variety of produce and goods including:
- Fresh vegetables & fruit
- Baked goods
- Jams and jellies
- Natural pork, beef, and fish
- Hand crafted items
Located off Cactus Rd and North 36th street, Roadrunner Park is not only host to the farmers market, but a variety of other recreational activities that visitors can enjoy either before or after their visit.
The park itself offers lighted sports areas like the baseball field, a basketball court, tennis court, sand volleyball, and soccer field, a lagoon, a playground with a shaded overhang, a pool, outdoor grills, and picnic areas.
The Importance of Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are extremely important, for both the consumer and the farmer. Many successful national brands started at their local farmers market, including Blue Bottle Coffee, Hodo Foods, and Dave’s Killer Bread. Farmers markets are usually the first entry points for new farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs, enabling them to get started selling their crops and produce to customers.
Farmers and ranchers receive 100% of the proceeds when selling at a farmers market, versus the 15 cents when using traditional food outlets.
In a 2017 survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), there were 2 million farms in the US, with 3.4 million producers working those farms. Beginning farmers grew to 27% that year, with the state of Alaska as a popular destination for those just starting to get into farming.
This is an important factor, as agriculture supplied $1.053 trillion dollars to the US gross domestic product (GDP) in that year; this number includes the $132.8 billion dollars that farming contributed to the economy. In 2018, food was the third ranked expense that American household’s pay, accounting for 12.9%, right behind transportation and housing.
As of 2019, our local food market doubled to $20.2 billion dollars. This growth has helped to bolster more support for farmers markets and home food growth. Here’s a fun infographic to see the impact of farmers markets:
Roadrunner Park Farmers Market is a great place, to not only get fresh and local produce, but if you’re starting out with your own crops, it’s a perfect place to meet other farmers, ranchers, and farm enthusiasts. You can check out more information about Roadrunner Park Farmers Market on their Facebook page, as well as the AZ Community Farmers Markets website.