Scoping out the relocated Uptown Growers’ Market
By Ari LeVaux
An asphalt parking lot is no place for a farmers market. But the vendors at the relocated Uptown Growers’ Market, on the east side of the Uptown Mall, cling together on that sun-slapped pavement like a human colony on Mars.
The action was a bit sparse when I showed up on a recent Saturday morning. But there was a little bit of everything, including fresh veggies, baked goods, crafts, meat and a smoothie truck.
With the exception of the Uptown Herb Farm, the vendors have largely traveled from elsewhere. I don’t take exception to this, as that neighborhood is hardly an agricultural hotbed.
The boys from Bosque Farms were a lively pair, with five different kinds of cucumbers to choose from, sold for 25 to 50 cents each. After taste-testing them all, I invested heavily in the sweetest and juiciest. I also picked up a dozen ears of sweet corn from Schwebach Farms, in Moriarty, and a packet of very tasty grassfed beef from Tramperos Land and Cattle in Clayton, N.M., which is closer to Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma than Albuquerque.
The boys from Bosque Farms were a lively pair, with five different kinds of cucumbers to choose from, sold for 25 to 50 cents each. I also picked up a dozen ears of sweet corn from Schwebach Farms, in Moriarty, and a packet of very tasty grassfed beef from Tramperos Land an Cattle in Clayton, N.M., which is closer to Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma than Albuquerque.
It’s been a tough year to raise cattle, the man said. Hardly any rain in months, and they’ve had to trim their herds. Then we got to telling hunting stories. They have ginormous wild pigs, he said, and elk on the plains that come down from the mountains near Raton. If only they were allowed to sell wild bacon!
Some of the most impressive products at the market were made by Revolution gluten free bakery from Santa Fe. I’m a total omnivore, and hardly disposed to a gluten-free diet. But I have been noticing a trend lately at potlucks, when people bring a gluten-free version of their dish, that for whatever reason I prefer the gluten-free dish. I think it’s because the ingredients they use to get around wheat and other gluten-containing ingredients, such as coconut and tapioca flour, are just really tasty.
Revolution’s quinoa millet bread was smooth and just a tad sweet, with a glorious, supple texture. The quinoa buckwheat was dark and earthy. The pecan roll had a whole grain denseness but was still sufficiently delicate. It was a bit sour, like sourdough, and unusually satisfying for a sweet baked good.
The green chile bacon egg McMuffin-like thing—I forgot to note what it’s really called—was a game changer. It was a barely sweet muffin with a barely cooked egg somehow baked inside, with green chile and cheese. A $5 breakfast, it was savory, delicate and majorly satisfying. I followed that with a green smoothie from the Squeezed Juice Bar food truck, and I was set for the morning. I then beat a hasty retreat from the sweltering blacktop before my cucumbers melted.
ABQ Uptown Growers’ Market
Two locations, on two days.
Saturday Market: ABQ Uptown
7 a.m. to Noon, through Oct. 26, 2013.
Tuesday Market: Presbyterian Hospital - NE end of parking lot off of Central Ave
7 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 29, 2013.
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