The good folks at the Nob Hill Growers’ Market information table.
Well, I’ll admit it’s been a little while since our last blog post. Market season is always a busy time for farmers’ markets, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in the work that we forget to tell you about it!
Recently I visited the Nob Hill Growers’ Market in Albuquerque. It was my first market visit as the new outreach coordinator for NMFMA, and what an experience! Before the visit I’d only been to very large markets, and it was a heartwarming reminder of why direct-market agriculture is so important to our communities.
Located along the walkway that cuts through Morningside Park, the Nob Hill Growers’ Market has a familiar, laid-back atmosphere. Walking in, you’ll see vendors chatting with their neighbors under the park’s large trees as long-time customers amble along the path, gesturing gleefully at the sight of new crops from their favorite growers. Strike up a conversation with anyone there and you’ll feel as though you’ve just become part of a tight-knit community.
For my first stop, I headed to the information table to meet Catherine Gordon, the market’s long-time manager; she happily agreed to give me a tour of all the booths. The market may be small, but it took me two hours to browse the whole market. In addition to the standard summer produce, the vendors boasted a surprising array of specialty items: local New Mexico honey, homegrown sprouts, pastries from a local French bakery… even fava beans and fennel pollen (that’s right, fennel pollen)!
The best part about a market this size, though, is getting to know the growers. Every vegetable bought at a farmers’ market carries with it the story of its grower; at the Nob Hill Market, vendors have plenty of time to share their tales. Not every grower at this market has a large-scale farm — in fact, most don’t. Some come simply to share the abundance of their backyard gardens. Some, such as Atrisco Truck Farm and Sterling Gardens, are in their first season of commercial growing, and some have been around for years. Nonprofits such as Rio Grande Community Farm and Feed the Hood represent whole communities of folks in the Albuquerque area committed to urban food production and community food security.
Alongside the growers you’ll meet some fantastic women making homemade herbal salves and tinctures for all of your bath and body needs (LOVE the Mint + Miel lip balm from La Abeja Herbs). I even met a couple selling soap made from their own goats’ milk! If you’re looking for a change of pace from crowded Saturday markets, or just a reprieve from the stresses of the work week, stop by Morningside Park on Thursdays from 3:00pm-6:30pm to join the Nob Hill Growers’ Market community. If you’re new, just stop by the information table and say hello to Catherine — she’ll be sure to get you oriented.