Salt Lake City’s Tuesday Farmers Market is everything that its Saturday sibling is not.
“It’s small and quaint and more relaxed,” said April Nelson.
The owner of Nelson Farms in Perry, along with other farmers, vendors and customers, shared the five reasons they love this no-nonsense, produce-first market, which continues every Tuesday through September at Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 West.
Size • With about two dozen vendors, the midweek market is a fraction of the Saturday event, which has more than 120 vendors — including arts and crafts. Tuesday vendors still sell everything most shoppers need: fresh vegetables and fruits, meats, cheese, breads and other prepared food. It’s a great shopping option for residents and commuters on their way home from work, said Alison Einerson, executive director of Urban Food Connections, which operates the market for the Downtown Alliance.
Parking • The Tuesday market runs from 4 p.m. to dusk, making it easy to park around the perimeter of Pioneer Park — for free — and take a quick shopping stroll. No need to pay for parking several blocks away. Nelson said many customers who want large boxes of fruits and vegetables for canning prefer the Tuesday market for this reason.
Meet your farmer • Sometimes the Saturday crowds prevent customers from really talking to the farmers and producers and learning about the food they are buying, which is a big component of such markets. “Saturday is fast and busy," said Raul Rivero, owner of Tequeños Factory, which makes empanadas. “On Tuesday, there is more time to talk and sample and listen.”
Farmer options • When the growing season is at its peak, farmers need to pick — and sell — produce more than once a week, said Amanda Theobald, co-owner with Elliot Musgrove of Salt Lake City’s Top Crops Farms. The Tuesday market “allows us to pick in the middle of the week” and boost sales.
Vibe • Words like “chill,” “low-key” and “relaxed” are how most people describe the Tuesday market scene. “It’s not as chaotic, it’s more, more Zen,” said Fusako Tomiyama, an urban farmer and owner of Asian & Heirlooms farm in MIllcreek. That’s what attracts customers such as Larry Mullin. “I love it,” he said earlier this week. “It’s less crowded; you can browse longer.”