Every day, more of us seek the healthier lifestyle that eating natural, fresh food can bring us—and lots of us look for organic farms and markets as a result. If you’re in Chandler, Arizona, you’re in luck: you have multiple options, either in downtown Chandler itself or in the nearby surrounding area, to choose from. Here are a few of the more popular options for health-conscious food shoppers in the Chandler area.
Fresh Fun Downtown
First of all, you’ll want to check out the Chandler Farmers Market, which is in session every Thursday from October to May on the East Side of Dr. AJ Chandler Park. From 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. every week, you can find a terrific selection of fresh produce, tamales, body products, relishes, and more. The “more” has included a free community book exchange, live music, pumpkin decorating, seed swaps…and it’s only getting better.
In addition to their formal Farmers Market involvement, Jeff Scott Farms (the Market’s primary supplier) maintains a presence every week there throughout the summer. Although Jeff Scott Farms is not a certified organic producer, shoppers can be assured that the produce is farmed with all-natural methods and is of the highest quality.
For information—or to participate as a crafter or vendor—consult the folks at Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, a nonprofit engaged in the mission of advancing the development of Chandler as a key regional “hot spot” for shopping, dining, art, culture, and just plain good living!
A Cooperative Option
For those who enjoy being as much a part of the process as consuming the product, the Desert Roots Farm, Queen Creek, Arizona, is one of the farms that operates on a CSA (community shared agriculture) basis. Once you purchase a share in the farm, you then receive a box or bag of seasonal produce each week of the season. All Desert Roots produce is grown without pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and all of it is fresh-picked just before the share is packaged every week, assuring you the best possible nutritional content.
Typically, the box or bag (or basket!) will contain vegetables, but CSAs can offer homemade breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, flowers, or other products as well. Each CSA farm is different—and you shouldn’t expect your “box” to be all the produce you buy every week (most CSAs don’t give out enough fruit, for example, to supply a whole family for a week). But the up side to that is that if you love to can or freeze fresh produce for later use, often your CSA farmer will be more than happy to let you have larger amounts at key times to “put up” for when the growing season is over.
Filling Out the Plate
What will you have with those veggies from your CSA box? Protein from natural, sustainable livestock farming, of course. Sidra Farms in Chandler can round out your meal with a wide variety of meat from beef and lamb to goat and game birds. Additional goodies they offer include goat cheese and other dairy products, oats, herbs, and even wool. It’s all at Sidra: a one-stop shop for everything from the roast for Sunday’s dinner to grain for cobbler, plus fiber to spin into yarn and knit socks for the winter. Now that’s sustainability!
Which Came First?
If you’ve never had organically-raised chickens and eggs, you’re in for a treat when you check out Lucky Chicken Farms, located near Chandler Heights and McQueen, Arizona. Lucky Chicken is a family affair with a community focus as well: Sally Stevens, the owner, embraces the mission to start “many small chicken farms on currently unused land.” The family is most enthused about both people and chickens living “the good life.”
Eggs can be ordered easily (by phone or online) and picked up the following Thursday or Friday at Gilbert, Arizona (Power & Queen Creek). Inquiries about the eggs, the chickens, or starting your own chicken farm are more than welcome. As for why the chickens are lucky? It’s because they’re loved, of course!
Improving Your Health on Many Levels…
…is the ultimate aim of Chandler’s organic and sustainable farmers. Enjoy the downtown Market or go a little further afield; either way, you’ll bring home flavorful, nutritious offerings that are light years better than processed grocery store food and support agriculture right in your own neighborhood.
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