The Best Outdoor Market

By Richard Mahler

Author of "New Mexico's Best"

For a truly "local" Santa Fe experience, come to its twice-weekly Farmers' Market. It is seasonal, running from late spring through the October harvest. Only bona fide Northern New Mexico growers are allowed to participate in the event, so you know your money is going to the person who planted, grew and harvested the food you're buying.

Besides the very freshest fruits and produce available-much of it certified organic-you can sample homemade breads, salsas, cheeses, chiles, jams, relishes and more. Cut flowers and potted plants are also sold.

Almost every weekend the market sponsors special events, ranging from a master gardener question-and-answer session to cooking demonstrations involving area farmers and restaurant chefs. There are strolling singers and musicians, too.

"The Farmers' Market folks are always friendly-and it's a terrific place to learn about cooking or gardening," says Nancy Porter, who as a member of the local Food Brigade collects donated produce and delivers it to the poor and homeless.

If You Go: The Santa Fe Area Farmers' Market (505-983-4098) convenes Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7 to 11:30 a.m., in the Santa Fe Railyard parking lot on Montezuma Street near Guadalupe Avenue. Nearby bakeries and restaurants are open for coffee and pastries, which also are available at the market.

Richard Mahler is author of "New Mexico's Best" and several other books. A journalist and photographer as well, he specializes in travel writing, among other subjects. He has contributed to National Public Radio since 1973 and to the Los Angeles Times since 1979. He has written thousands of articles for more than 100 magazines and newspapers, including The New Mexican, New Mexico magazine, and Santa Fean magazine. A longtime resident of New Mexico, he lives in Santa Fe.

For a full listing of Richard Mahler's books, and to place orders for them, visit

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