Among the concrete columns at University Hospital’s patient pickup/drop-off point, fresh sprouts are available at Debrilla’s Living Foods. Debrilla Ratchford is of one of the 10-odd vendors that compose UNM Hospitals’ weekly Farm Fresh on the Plaza event—a growers’ market, essentially—which goes down Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. There’s fresh produce, prepared foods hot and cold, and lots of informed conversation going on.
Throughout the growing season, New Mexico is home to fresh food markets every day of the week. You can follow the progression of summer by watching the diversity of produce unfold like a kaleidoscope on vendors’ tables. And you can travel to markets around the state and marvel at the differences that elevation and latitude make in what can be grown.
It’s Los Ranchos Growers’ Market opening day, and when I arrive at 7 a.m., a lively crowd is already jockeying for position around the stalls. I find Hand To Mouth Foods, LLC where Jeffrey Lee and wife Elaine DiFederico offer tables full of starter plants, assorted greens and carefully packed early harvests. I’m looking for breakfast, and in the midst of the greens is a tempting array of baked goods. I walk away munching a piñon-spangled custard tart, saving an onion galette and a fruit tart for later.