It’s every vegan’s carrot-coated dream – El Paso is teaming with farmers markets. In recent years, art and farmers markets have popped up throughout the city (though mostly the Westside.) Not only a place to purchase fresh produce, jams and jerky, the markets are venues for local artists to display and sell their art, and they’re drawing El Pasoans in by the truckload. At Homes of El Paso, we’ve complied a list of the art and farmers markets in and around the Sun City. Take a look and discover which markets are near you. For those who shy away from the fluorescence of supermarket grocery stores and crave the outdoors, there’s no other way to shop.
Downtown Art & Farmers Market
Union Plaza on Anthony Street
Every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
One of the most well known is the Downtown Art & Farmers Market, established in 2011 and hosted by MCAD, the El Paso Museums & Cultural Affairs Department, in the Union Plaza near the Southwest University Park. Vendors line both sides of Anthony Street, blocked off to traffic for the event, and offer a variety of veggies, snacks and cooked foods, including boxed chile rellenos to-go, vegan cheeses on kale crackers, and BBQ rubs. Art at the market includes locally made jewelry, precious stones, paintings, and T-shirts for sporting El Paso pride. One Grub Community, which has a table at the market, sells plant-based meals and groceries. Patrons who come hungry for a hot meal are in luck – food trucks such as Sgt. Cheddar’s, which makes mac ‘n cheese grilled sandwiches, are open for business at the end of the block near the train station. The first and third Saturday of every month, the Downtown market has health and wellness workshops in which passerby can take advantage of free health screenings. Special events held on the nearby pedestrian pathway in front of the baseball stadium include Poppies Fest on April 1 and evening markets such as National Farmers Market Week Art Crawl on Aug. 10.
Farmers’ Market at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing
1 Ardovino Drive | Sunland Park, NM
Every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (October through May)
Every Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to Noon (May through October)
Close to both the Westside and the Upper Valley is the farmers market at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, a gourmet Italian eatery and event space in business since 1949, in Sunland Park, N.M. The year-round farmers market, which has been in operation for 16 years, offers a selection of organic and pesticide-free produce, beef, pork, lamb and goat, freshly baked breads and homemade salsas. Patrons can also enjoy a cup of fair trade coffee, a glass of fresh-squeezed fruit juice and house-made pastries. More than 40 vendors participate in the market, including Pico Joe’s, winner of the 2016 Ardovino’s Desert Crossing Salsa Contest, and Bella Cora Bakery, an all-from-scratch bakery with storefronts on the East and West sides of town. Pastry Chef Jonathan Bowden, owner of Bella Cora Bakery, specializes in French-style pastries such as macaroons and croissants. Yoga classes are conducted at the market every Saturday at 9 a.m. The cost is $10 per person.
Upper Valley Artist and Farmers Market
The Substation at 145 W. Sunset
Every Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Closed Easter Sunday)
New to El Paso’s Upper Valley is The Substation, a 24,000-square-foot outdoor shopping center at the corner of Sunset and Doniphan streets that includes restaurants and a coffee shop. The Substation opened in 2017 and soon after became a bustling focal point of commerce and yoga. The Upper Valley Artist and Farmers Market fills the courtyard and parking lot of The Substation every Sunday with vendors selling, among other things, Menonita, a Mexican cheese named after the Mennonites living in Chihuahua who make the cheese from their cows’ milk, and elote or roasted corn. Food trucks, including Kim’s Korean Food Truck, are also a part of the festivities. The Green Ingredient, a vendor at multiple farmers markets with a restaurant at 6100 Dew (Corner of Dew & Balboa), sells kombucha, avocado-chocolate mousse and dairy-free cheeses made from nuts. Artists at the event include photographer Andrew Marshall, who specializes in fine art, event and portrait photography, and woodworking designer Crystal G. Herman. For those Westsiders who prefer to sleep in on the weekend or have church to attend, the Upper Valley Artist and Farmers Market on Sunday afternoons is the ideal choice.
Kern Place Art & Farmers Market
Cincinnati Street from Stanton to Mesa
The last Sunday of every month, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (March to November)
Cincinnati Street, usually a nightlife hub, comes alive on one Sunday morning a month with the Kern Place Art and Farmers Market, a new event that began earlier this year. More than 20 vendors fill the street, selling locally grown produce, eggs, grass-fed beef, artisan breads, specialty coffees, vegan cheeses, jams, metalwork, paintings, handmade furniture, jewelry, and more. Up to 21 vendors participate each month. And what farmers market would be complete without yoga? The Kern Place Market periodically offers free yoga taught by Casa de Yoga instructors. “We will be focused on creating a family-friendly and community-driven event that supports the development of farming and an artisan community,” said Adam Marshall, organizer of the farmers market and founder of Good Days Trading Co., a natural foods company that sells products such as raw, organic, non-GMO Spirulina powder.
Montecillo Farmer’s Market
5001 N. Mesa
Monthly, 4 to 8 p.m.
The next event is March 31.
Instead of food trucks, this market offers the convenience of dining in at one of several restaurants at TI:ME at Montecillo, an upscale shopping and apartment complex on North Mesa across from Alamo Drafthouse. The newly established farmers market is hosted on an irregular basis. “It changes monthly,” said Jason Craig, TI:ME at Montecillo spokesperson and marketing manager for the restaurant and bar group Pan y Agua. “We have handmade jewelry, local apparel, beauty products, toys, fresh produce from local farms, and our stores inside TI:ME will also be open.” To stay up-to-date on future events, follow the TI:ME at Montecillo Facebook page or Instagram account @timeatmontecillo.
Eastside Art & Farmers Market
El Paso Cookie, Inc. at 3020 Trawood
Biweekly on Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The next event is on April 8, 2018.
Most art and farmers markets are on the Westside of the mountain, but thanks to Nikki Gonzalez, creator and director of Kaleidoscope Art Space, and Chef Sally Schwartz, owner of El Paso Cookie, Inc., Eastsiders have an art and farmers market to call their own. “Chef Sally started the market last year at her shop,” Gonzalez said. “Chef Sally and I have teamed up to bring the market back this year. This is an all artisan market. Local artists, artisan vendors and local food vendors will be in attendance. We are also looking to have produce vendors set up with us. We don’t have a farmers market on the eastside right now and we think it’s definitely needed.” Goods to be sold at the eastside market include art, handmade soaps, jewelry, beef jerky and farm-fresh eggs. El Paso Cookie, Inc., the venue for the art and farmers market, will be open during the event, selling gourmet cookies, breakfast and lunch with vegan options. The Eastside art and farmers market, which begins operating on April 8, 2018 will be held every other Sunday thereafter.
Have you visited any of these markets? Let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
By Meagan O’Toole-Pitts