Downtown Farmers Market Celebrates 28th Season in Pioneer Park

August 12, 2019 Written by

The Downtown Farmers Market kicked off its 28th season in Pioneer Park on June 8. Once again, farmers, food purveyors artists and crafters line the park with local wares and tens of thousands of patrons from near and far shop, eat and enjoy the best Utah has to offer. 
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Pioneer Park has undergone a significant transformation, with the removal of the restroom building in the center of the park to make way for the installation of a multi-use grass field ringed by trees, a pathway and new lighting. These changes will help to activate the park with new and different activities and invite local residents to toss a frisbee, kick around a soccer ball or just take a stroll in this friendly green space downtown. It will also increase the safety and security in the park with clear sightlines and added visibility throughout the park. Combined with the efforts of Operation Rio Grande, a multi-agency effort to improve public safety in the neighborhood, the changes in the park will see reduced crime and drug-related activity in the area, assisting those in need of services for homelessness or health issues.

Salt Lake City Parks and Recreation leaders worked closely with the Downtown Farmers Market team to make sure these changes accommodated and even enhanced the market experience. 
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The market experience, such that it is, does not feel dramatically different for patrons, with the exception of the newly configured “Food Fairway,” the ultimate place to grab a coffee or lemonade and try food from around the world. From Pad Thai to Sudanese lentils to authentic Sicilian pizza, hungry market-goers can explore delicious cuisine while people-watching at the picnic tables. 

The Market operates under a vigorous “Waste Wise” mission, with the end goal of putting as little waste as possible in the landfill. Single-use plastic bags are not allowed, so folks are encouraged to bring their reusable bags (or pick one up for $1 at the Market Info booth if you forget). People are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle and fill up for free at one of our many water stations throughout the park and to walk, bike or take public transit to the market. Load up! 

There are multiple Waste Wise stations throughout the park, where you can recycle your plastic, paper and glass. This year we’ll be collecting organic waste (such as fruit, vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, fats, liquids, raw food, prepared food, etc.) which will be delivered to the new Wasatch Resource Recovery anaerobic digester. Waste in the digester is heated to aid the growth of microbes which break down the organic matter, without the use of oxygen, resulting in biogas production. The gas is then captured and purified before it is converted into biomethane (renewable natural gas) and fed into the nearby gas pipeline and sold into the market as renewable “green” power. 
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Of course, the Downtown Farmers Market is really all about the food - the freshest and most diverse selection of locally grown produce in the state, sourced from a roughly 250-mile radius. Farmers run the gamut, from large legacy farms to start-up urban farms, offering everything from Bear Lake raspberries to Santaquin cherries to mizuna greens grown in Millcreek. Many growers specialize in unique varieties of heirloom tomatoes, greens, peppers, houseplants, cut flowers and herbs. While you’ll find your favorite vendors returning every year, there are always a handful of new vendors just getting their start, making the Downtown Farmers Market ground zero for discovering new foods and products that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re in the market for locally brewed kombucha or grass-fed beef, you’ll find it all, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City!