The Salt Lake City Downtown Farmers Market
By Carla Beocklin
Few things evoke thoughts of summer like a farmers market: fruits ripe from the orchards, veggies tugged off the vine, bread crafted in ovens, eggs pulled from the coop, cheeses fresh from the farm, and flowers delivered from the nursery—all served up among warm breezes and bright sunshine.
The Downtown Farmers Market has been a summer tradition in the Salt Lake City area for twenty years. Founded in 1992 and located in Historic Pioneer Park, the Market offers a sanctuary for community growers and food and craft artisans to showcase their goods at affordable prices. Two hundred and fifty vendors gather weekly to sell baked goods, produce, candies, flora, bulbs, dairy, jellies, and prepared food and beverages. Additionally, an accompanying Arts & Crafts commerce has expanded the Market into one of the largest in the West.
The Market isn’t only about the vending. Part of the Market’s promotion is the annual Dine O’Round. Three of Salt Lake City’s favorite chefs host an Iron Chef-esque “throwdown” on September 15th. These culinary heavy-weights will put out three sumptuous courses in only an hour using ingredients found at the Market that day. The Summer in a Jar series offers workshops of seasonal, hands-on canning classes held at the Harmons City Creek Cooking School and presented by the Downtown Farmers Market, Slow Food Utah and Wasatch Community Gardens. Produce is selected that day at the Harvest
Market and canned at the peak of freshness. These workshops take place on Tuesday evenings (July 16th, August 6th, August 27th, September 10th, September 24th, and October 15th).
The Downtown Farmers Market’s Waste Wise Program is an effort to create a zero-waste event at the market each week. The Market has chosen to use as many recyclable materials as possible, working with the municipal waste and recycling program, in hopes of educating people about the importance of recycling, while working in conjunction with vendors to promote and utilize reusable products.
Kim, Angeli-Selin, Special Events Director, is excited about the Market’s milestone. “When the Market opened in 1992, management had to convince our first farmers that customers would come to Pioneer Park to buy their produce. Now, our vendors grow and sell an amazing array of vegetables and fruit in sustainable methods that are good for the body and the planet. This is an exciting time in Utah for local food. [We are] on the map for world- renowned chocolate, charcuterie, cheese, and more.”
Support Local! Check out the Downtown Farmers Market Saturday mornings, June 8-October 19 (8am–2pm) and Tuesday evenings, August 6–October 22 (4pm to dusk). slcfarmersmarket.org