Saturday, December 29, 2012

Changes Coming

Hello All! Sorry I haven't posted for some time but lots has been happening the past few months the biggest and best is that I got married to the love of my life, Ren. This has been such a blessing in so many ways. She is the most thoughtful, kind, loving person I could ever imagine being with and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. 

Ren and Scott, December 1st 2012


There has been lots to take care of in the past few months which has made visiting the Farmers' Markets a low priority and therefore no new material for my blog.  The good news is though that there are some big changes coming. Number one being that I have created a new blog titled the AZ Farmers Market Review.  I will be moving all of my posts regarding AZ markets to that blog and also will be moving the AZ Market directory page with it.

Does this mean that "Tending the Garden With Scott" will go away?  No, but tending the garden will focus more on plants and gardening of all kinds while the "AZ Farmers Market Review" will focus on the happenings of the farmers markets in Arizona and on occasion, markets in nieghboring states.

With that being said, I look forward to getting back to the markets, the gardens,  and hope you will follow along.

Until the next time.  God Bless!!

Scott

Monday, September 3, 2012

Singh Farms, Blends Organic Farming and a Farmers Market in a Desert Oasis

I must have driven by Singh Farms a thousand times without a clue that beneath this large, seemingly out-of-place stand of trees lies an incredible organic vegetable farm and farmers’ market.  The mountains of mulch that run the entire length of the farm’s eastern boundary should have been a clue, but then I figured it was just another garden center; I was dead wrong!
 
Would you believe that a beautiful organic farm is hidden in the stand of trees?
All Pictures Taken With A Nikon Coolpix Camera



 

I first learned about Singh Farms from friends of mine.  As it turns out, word-of-mouth is their preferred method of advertising.  Now learning about a new farmers’ market always gets my attention and since I had a little time on my hands I decided to go investigate. 

 

Singh Farms is located on the Northeast corner of Loop 101 and E. Thomas Rd on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation. The farm is open every Friday and Saturday from 8am-1pm, the Market is open from about late September-June. See their facebook page for more info.

To enter the farm, I had to drive past the main entrance (which is gated) until I reached the mulch pile.  The parking lot is located about 200 yards off the highway and is surrounded by the giant mountains of mulch which I learned comes mainly from produce discarded by restaurants and supermarkets.  It’s also the ingredient that Singh Farms uses to fertilize their organic fruits and vegetables. After parking and locking my car, I saw as sign that said, “Market this way”, with an arrow pointing directly to a path into the trees.   

Huge mulch piles flank the entrance and driveway to Singh Farms. The mulch
is for sale to the public.

 

The trees serve a very useful purpose at Singh Farms. They filter the intense Arizona sunlight from damaging the tender fruits and vegetables.  Just before passing into the grove, I passed by a garden consisting of squash and melons. While it was a hot June day, the vines were only slightly wilted from the heat, clearly a benefit of the shade from the trees.
Herbs and Sunflowers in one of many small gardens on the farm.
 
A very health  garden sits just outside the trees.  Here Barrel Cactus and
squash live in harmony in the highly mulched soil.
 

 

Walking into the trees, I saw dozens more gardens just like this one.  This type of gardening is truly unique and if you have ever tried to grow vegetables in the desert, its definitely worth paying a visit.  Between the filtered sunlight provided by the native desert trees and the nutrient rich organic mulch, these appeared to be some of the healthiest organic vegetables I’ve seen grown in Arizona.  I will soon be employing this concept into my patio garden using shade screen and a kitchen composter.  Now all I will need is ladybugs.
 
The beautiful shaded path to the market.
A Herb garden thrives in the filtered sunlight and deeply mulched soil.  Planting
under the trees keeps the vegetables from being sunburned and conserves water.
 
 
 
After walking about 100 yards up the beautifully shaded path, I came to the market itself.  The market very much resembles an old country store with a hint of suburbia.  It just really has a nice feel to it. The market building features a center table piled high with tomatoes, garlic, onion, cabbage, and even eggplant.  The shelves around the perimeter of the room are filled with squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, herbs and preserves. Right outside the backdoor of the building were piles of sweet corn and watermelons.  All of the produce grown at the farm rivals anything found in California. On Saturdays, right next to the main building is a cafĂ© complete with chef featuring middle-eastern cuisine. The food looked excellent and the atmosphere was so serene……one could eat and meditate all at the same time.
 
A bounty of produce grown on the farm graces the center table in the main
market building.
 
Beautiful Potted Peppers Adorn the front step to the main building.


 
Singh Farms has plenty of fantastic produce!
It was sweetcorn season at the farm!  Yumm!!!!
Great Looking Watermelons!
Hungry Yet?  The market has a great cafe open on Saturdays!

Singh Farms has a great Selection of Jams, Jellies, and Preserves.


 

I did get a chance to talk to the proprietor before leaving.  Wanting to learn more about their methods, I asked about volunteer opportunities and classes.  I didn’t catch his name but he did tell me that there wasn’t much of either in the summer unless I wanted to pull weeds, but there would be opportunities for both. I will be back!

No Farm would be complete without chickens which is also a great method
of organic pest control and fertilization.



Best of all, Singhs has goats!!!
 

On the way out the path continues on a loop through the trees past dozens more gardens and a chicken coop.  While many of the gardens were dormant for the summer, there were still plenty of vine crops growing.  As I passed back out of the trees and into the hot desert sun, I felt like a changed man.  A man that couldn’t wait to plant his fall garden using the methods I observed here.  If you like gardening and want to check out some superior methods for growing in Arizona, I highly recommend a visit to Singh Farms.



 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Gilbert Farmers' Market, Fun and Food Beneath The Water Tower

Hats off to the people of The Gilbert Farmers’ Market for their willingness to brave the Arizona summer heat just to make sure we won’t miss out on any of their many fine local products! When I saw their facebook post on Saturday morning, July 28th,  I decided I just had to get out their and see what they were all about. Fortunately, the day was overcast and the fragrance of rain hung heavily in the air.  I set my TomTom GPS for 222 N Ash St. in Gilbert and off I went.  


Much to my pleasure, the Gilbert Farmers Market is located in a Park-and- Ride right off the main drag in downtown Gilbert.  The easiest way to find it is to remember that it's right behind The Water Tower!  This makes it very handy for shoppers to make their local purchases, peruse the local shops, and take care of their errands all in one convenient location. Even better, there is plenty of FREE parking in the paved lot adjacent to the market. The market has plenty of shade, water, and restrooms and is open year-around!  The hours are: May-September, 7am-11am and October-April, 8am-12pm.

The Gilbert Farmers Market is Located right downtown.  Just look for
The Water Tower.




Once inside, I set off to find the market coordinators. In the summer, GFM does not have an information booth set up, but everyone there was very helpful in helping me find Jessa Koppenhofer who along with here husband Dan, co-coordinates the market.  Jessa graciously offered to sit down with me and tell me about the GFM .
There is ample parking at The Gilbert Farmers' Market!

The Gilbert Farmers' Market has one of the Valleys most beautiful
market locations.  Pleanty of trees Shade the walkway between the
vendor's tents.






Gilbert Farmers’ Market was established on October 23rd, 2010 with 24 vendors.  The city of Gilbert was and has been very supportive of the market knowing that having it in downtown Gilbert would be a win-win situation for the downtown merchants, the market vendors, and most of all, the patrons. The market now has about 35 vendors in the summer and about 60 in the winter. When I asked Jessa what the  goals of  the market were,  she stated that she would like to be at 95% food and 5% crafts and service and for it to be the largest Farmers’ market in the East Valley. With Jessa’s energy and enthusiasm, I see that as soon being a reality.

The Ice Cream Patrol is a popular place on a hot summer day!




After spending about 15-20 minutes with Jessa, I set off to interview a few of the vendors before the market closed.  Fortunately, I was able to speak with RhibaFarms, Foote Hold Dairy, and Sam’s Warriors.



Rhiba Farms is unique in that they use a form of sustainable agriculture called aquaponics.  Aquaponics is a cross between hydroponics and aquaculture and it is a highly sustainable form of food production.  The folks at Rhiba farms are able to raise herbs, grains, and vegetables without the use of chemicals by using the nutients from the water in fish tanks and then in turn using the plant roots to clean the water and return it to the tanks. The vegetables are then sold at both the Gilbert Farmers’ Market and at The Phoenix Public Market. You can also purchase their healthy products online through their website, www.rhibafarms.com.  I just had to try the Tabouli Salad! You can also find them on facebook, just type in Rhiba farms and then like. Their website has a ton of useful information related to organics and aquaponics.

Rhiba Farms grows these beautiful baby bell peppers and Shoots using
aquaponics.  They are 100 percent organic and very flavorful!


Rhiba Farms grew these delicious looking melons and squash at their
Gilbert Farm.


My next visit was with John Foote of Footes Hold Dairy. Footes Hold Dairy is located just a few miles south of Dudleyville on highway 77 and is one of only two goat dairies licensed for raw goat milk in the state of Arizona.  Foote Hold Dairies specialty is goat cheese.  John had a assortment of goat cheeses at the market including queso blanco, queso rojo, lemon pepper, pepper jack, and my favorite, treepa blanco.  Footes Hold is at the Gilbert Farmers’ Market every Saturday and the Ahwatukee Farmers Market Every Sunday.  You can also find Footes Hold cheeses at Sportsman’s Fine Wines on 32nd St and Camelback in Phoenix and also at Wedge and Bottle at 40th St. and Chandler Boulevard in Ahwatukee.  Stop by and see John next time your at either market, he’s a pleasure to visit with and the cheese is excellent. I had time for one more interview before the market closed and I wanted to make sure I had a minute to visit with Sam Irving and his mom, Renata Irving of Sam’s Warriors Art and Autism.


Footes Hold Dairy is one on only two gaot dairies licensed for raw milk
in Arizona.  Here is an assorment of some veru flavorful gaot cheese!





Sam and his Mother, Renata were the first people I met when I entered the market. They have a booth in "Charity Lane" which consists of 4 spots located at the main entrance that are available to local Non Profits for FREE!  Because they were doing work for Autism, I wanted to be sure and hear what their establishment was all about.   As it turns out, Sam is a very talented artist and Sam’s Warriors is a charitable organization through which Sam markets his art and then uses the proceeds to benefit the organization, AutismSpeaks.  Sam mainly created greeting cards using acrylic paint.  Sam likes to paint colorful birds and flowers and is very good at it.  I was fortunate to receive a card with two brightly colored tropical birds on it.  The cards are only $2.00 and definitely benefit a worthy cause.  

One of Sam Irvings Many Beautiful greeting cards.  What Talent!!!!

Sam Irving  of Sam's Warriors Displays some of his artwork which
he sells at The Gilbert Farmers' Market to benefit Autism Speaks.




Renata also informed me that Autism Speaks will be having a 5k walk for autism on Sunday, October 28th at Tempe Beach Park starting at 8am. Anyone interested can register online at .walknowforautismspeaks.org/arizona.  The weather should be great by then; it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and raise money for a very worthy cause. You can also call them at (602) 685-1161 or SARRC at (602) 340-8717.  If your at the Gilbert Farmers Market, be sure and stop by and say hi to Sam.



I really enjoyed my visit at the Gilbert Farmers Market and see a bright future ahead for the market and for the buy local movement in Gilbert Arizona.  I highly recommend a visit to this delightful market.  I look forward to future visits here and wish them all the prosperity in the years to come.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beat the Heat at The Flagstaff Community Market

I was fortunate enough to have spent the weekend of June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in Flagstaff Arizona to participate in an event for an organization I belong to. I also made it a point to visit the Flagstaff Farmers Market aka  The Flagstaff Community Market while I was there. When the temperatures in the desert are hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, Flagstaff at a cool 7,000 ft is a great place to escape to. It is also a great place to have a farmers market in the Arizona Summer.

The Flagstaff  Community Market operates at two locations. On Sunday mornings from late May through Mid-October the market operates at the Flagstaff City Hall Parking lot located at 211 W. Aspen Avenue from 8am-12pm. On Wednesdays from late June through early September the market is held at The St. Pius Church parking lot located at 2257 E. Cedar Ave. from 4pm-7pm.

I visited the City Hall location on Sunday, June 3rd, right before I made the long drive back to the broiling summer heat in the desert and I have to say I didn’t want to leave. The parking lot was full indicating a good-sized crowd; however, there was plenty of nicely shaded street-parking nearby. I was able to park about a block away and enjoy a nice short walk along a tree-lined street. The market setting itself reminded me of an old-fashioned town square.

Even if you only have one wheel, The Flagstaff Farmer's Market is worth the
                                          trip.



A Brightly Painted Trailer Marks The Entrance to the Flagstaff Community
Market.


I stopped first at the information booth and talked to Betty who was more than happy to answer my questions. Betty, who organized markets in California, really gave me a good insight into the Flagstaff Community Market and also as to what is happening with farmers’ markets in general. She even recommended a Market in Santa Fe New Mexico as a must visit market. I really don’t need much of an excuse to visit Santa Fe so it’s now on the list. Betty also made sure I was introduced to market manager Art Babbott who welcomed me like an old friend. Even though he was clearly busy he graciously took a few minutes to make sure I felt welcome and was well informed!


While I was talking to Art and Betty I saw a woman purchase some wooden tokens and this really caught my attention. Betty explained to me that these could be bought with a credit card or bankcard and used in place of cash at any of the vendors in the market. While I was informed that other markets used this method of payment too, it was the first time I have ever seen it used. This is a win win situation all the way around by allowing patrons to use their credit or bank cards and by saving the vendors the trouble and expense of having to process plastic.


Flagstaff Community Market uses wooden tokens which can be purchased
at the information booth and used in place of cash or credit cards at all of the
vendor's booths



After a warm and very informative welcome at the info booth, I began to stroll about the market. Immediately I noticed a very vibrant atmosphere that pulsed through the market. I think the cool mountain air has a way of energizing the soul and the beautiful mountain backdrop didn’t hurt either. There was just a friendliness here that reminded me of days gone by when people would gather at the local market to socialize and catch up on current events. The Flagstaff  Community Market made me feel at home even if home was 150 miles away.

Plenty of patrons eagerly shop at The Flagstaff Community Market. The energy
here has to be experienced to be understood.  This is a must visit market!

Speaking of home, I’m a Minnesota native who has an ear for his own and when I hear one of the vendors pronounce the letter O, I knew they had to be from somewhere in the upper Midwest. I was close, Jessica Fetzner and her partner Matt of Sweet Pine Soaps originally hail from Wisconsin but now call Flagstaff home. They have a large variety of handmade soaps which you can purchase at the Market in Flagstaff or through their website/blog. They also represent Tree of Life Teas which they sell at the market for friend Jacques du Preeze. I’m a sucker for good tea and ended up deciding, upon Jessica’s recommendation, Water which did not leave me disappointed. It is as soothing as the name implies. You can check out Tree of Life Teas at there website, Treeoflifeteas.


Wisconsin natives  Jessica and Matt Fetzner  have a great line of handmade
soaps, and they also handle a fantastic line of teas for friend Jacques du Preeze
of Tree of Life Teas.

After visiting with Jessica and Matt I strolled to the west end of the market and there I met Byrnie Florea, owner of Ridge View Farms near Paulden Arizona. Ridge View Farms specializes in raising healthy happy free range chickens without the use of hormones, antibiotics, or any unnatural methods. According to Ridge View’s logo, they are “Home of the Happy Chickens. How could they not be; they are spoiled by plenty of sunshine, fresh water, natural gourmet homemade chicken feed, and plenty of space to stretch their little chicken legs in. For more info on ridge View Farms, visit their website at ridgeviewfarmsonline. They also provide plenty of valuable info on how to raise your own chickens on their website.

Byrnie Floria of Ridge View Farms is all smiles and I am told his chickens
are pretty happy too. Byrnie raises about 1500 hormone-free, anti-biotic free,
organically fed chickens on his farm near Paulden.

I didn’t go to far when one of the vendors asked if I would like to try a sample of fudge and I LOVE FUDGE!! The person tempting me was Lisa Pospishel who together with her husband, Bernie, run Frazier May Fudge Company. Of course I am trying to lose weight so I politely said no even though the devil on my shoulder was whispering yes into my ear. Then they brought out the red velvet fudge………the devil won out! Guess who went home with a small container of red velvet fudge? Yours truly, and when I shared it at a party I went to a couple of days later with several pieces missing, it was a hit! I had a great conversation with Bernie and Lisa and I discovered they love checking out other Farmers’ Markets as much as I do. We even joked around about winning the lottery and traveling around the country to visit all the different markets in all 50 states. We would have a bus and call it the “Magic Market Bus” I highly recommend their fudge; it is about as smooth and sweet as I have had. You can check out Bernie and Lisa’s fantastic fudge online at fraziermayfudge


Bernie and Lisa of Frazier May Fudge churn out some delectably delicious
fudge including my new personal favorite...Red Velvet which disappeared
in a few minutes when I put it out at a party!


After visiting with Bernie and Lisa, I realize I needed to get going back to Phoenix to beat the weekend traffic returning home from the cool country but leaving this market is easier said than done. As I made my way back through the market, I spotted a stand for Jan’s Baked Goods and she had rhubarb turnovers; I had to have one! Now in Minnesota where I was raised, rhubarb is a staple. My mother, aunts, and grandmothers would use it to make jam, pies, cakes, and the ever-popular rhubarb pudding which was actually more like a cake that we drowned in sweet-cream, but in Arizona, rhubarb is a rare commodity. That’s why Jan’s Baked Goods is now one of my favorites. Jan’s has dozens of varieties of Cakes, cupcakes, rolls, breads, cookies and brownies and she also has a large selection of pies including….You Guessed it……rhubarb. I asked Jan if she had rhubarb pudding but she had not heard of it. So I promised to share my Mom’s recipe with her. I haven’t forgotten Jan!

My first ever Rhubarb Turnover from Jan's Baked Goods were just one of
many tasty treats she has to offer at The Flagstaff Community Market.

It was not easy to leave the Flagstaff Community Market behind. The people are wonderful and in the Arizona summer, you can’t beat the spending time at a market that’s located in the cool mountain climate. My visit here was so energizing it’s hard to explain the feeling I got. I would have to say it was somewhat of a spiritual experience, but then that makes sense because after all, it is just a little close to heaven than most.



Friday, June 15, 2012

High Country Hospitality Abounds at Prescott Farmers Market

Two days into a long Memorial Day weekend I decided that it would be a good time to get out of the city and review another Farmer’s Market.  After thinking about it for  bit I figured that Prescott Farmers’ Market would be an ideal candidate.  I could drive up there in about an hour and a half, review the market, have some lunch, hike Thumb Butte, and take a nice, leisurely drive back to the valley.
I made it up to Prescott in about an hour and forty-five minutes after battling the Holiday traffic.  Thanks to GPS, I was able to find my way to Yavapai College located at 1100 E. Sheldon St.  I immediately spotted colorful sign announcing that The Farmers’ Market was here today.

This Sign Marks The Entrance to Prescott Farmer's Market Located at
Yavapai College 1100 E. Sheldon Street in Prescott AZ.


The first thing I noticed was the absence of the white tents commonly found at many of the markets I have been to. I parked my car, grabbed my notepad, and stepped out into a cold windy day which quickly explained the absence of the tents.  They would have blown away like Dorothy’s house and ended up in the Land of Oz.

The Bumper Sticker says it all!  Please support our small farms and BUY LOCAL!




I made by way to the information table and told the staff about my blog, website and mission.  I have to say that the warm greeting I received made me forget about the icy wind that was bending the treetops.  Market Manager Erin Lingo and her staff went out of their way to answer my questions. They are very passionate about the market and made me feel like an old friend.

Market Manager Erin Lingo (Second from the left) and her staff really made me
 feel like an old friend. Thanks guys for taking time out of your busy day
 to answer my questions! 


Prescott Farmers Market opened in 1997 in downtown Prescott with about 20 vendors. It was moved to its current location in 2004 and currently has about 40-50 vendors.  In 2007 The Prescott Farmers’ Market opened a Prescott Valley Farmers’ Market and took over as managers for the Chino Valley Farmer’s Market so we can find the same great vendors three days a week.

The chilly wind prevented the tents from going up but it did little to keep the
warmly dressed market patrons away.  This is a fairly large farmers
market but not to worry, there's plenty of parking


In spite of the weather causing a lower than usual vendor turnout, and my late arrival, I was able to visit with a couple of the vendors and was treated with the same down-home hospitality as the management staff. I spoke with Jennifer from Molly’s Tamales and learned that they have a store in Glendale.  Upon further investigation I learned that Molly’s has been making tamales for many years and they currently have over 18 different Tamales ranging from traditional to gourmet.  Molly’s has a wonderful website that really highlights their offerings.  According to Jennifer, Molly’s is mainly for takeout but they do have a few tables available for those who prefer to eat there. 

Jennifer from Molly's Tamales, Glendale AZ


I also had a great visit with Donna from Chino Valley Farms.  She spent some time with me talking about some of the challenges of raising vegetables in the high altitude environment surrounding Prescott. I spotted a variety that were an unusual dark green color.  Donna told me they were called black cherry tomatoes and she allowed me to sample one.  I have to say that the taste reminded me of the great tasting tomatoes my grandmother used to raise back on the farm in Minnesota. I bought a small container of them and enjoyed eating them right out of the box.

Donna from Chino Valley Farms shows off their very tasty  Black Cherry
Tomatoes.

A closer look at black cherry tomatoes

The most unusual product I saw at the market was Ray’z Bread and Butter Onions.  I Had to have them and I have to say they are great either raw or as a garnish on a hamburger or hotdog.  Yummy!!! I did a little more research and I learned that after being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, Ray Stephens and his partner, Julie La Magna, began the Urban Survival food processing company in Payson Arizona.  As the name implies, their company is geared towards survival and the teach classes on food preservation at their facility. They have a MUST SEE WEBSITE with a a very unique online store where you can buy your own jar of Bread and Butter onions and dozens of other canned goods.

Ray'z Not Quite Famous Pickles and Canned Foods.  The Bread and Butter Onions
 are front and center.

I definitely will be visiting the Prescott Farmer’s Market again this summer.  I really feel that with the weather and my tardiness, I missed the opportunity to talk with many fantastic vendors.  I think next time I will come on a Friday, spend the night,  and make an early appearance at the market.  With so many ranches and small farms in the area, I am sure to uncover many more amazing products.  I look forward to coming back again and enjoying the cool mountain air, the warm hospitality, and the many wonderful vendors.  Until the next time, best wishes to all the Folks at PFM! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Visit to a Philippines Market


A couple of years ago I had pictures from a Philippines market sent to me. In July of 2011, when my girlfriend Ren invited me to visit the Binakayan wet market in Kawit, Cavite Philippines in person, I jumped at the chance!


In the USA we call open markets farmers markets, but in the Philippines they are often referred to as wet markets. Uncertain as to why it is called a wet market, I looked it up.  It is called a wet market because large amounts of water are used to rinse the floors and wash the fruits and vegetables.  I suppose it could also be called a wet market because of all of the live fish tanks.



We arrived at the market about 10am and it was throbbing with human activity.  All along the entrance to the market were lined hundreds of small motorbikes and equal numbers of people.  There are also quite a few vendors along the entryway, mostly those who cannot afford to pay for a space inside the market. It was there that Ren introduced me to the world famous Mango Lady. Well, at least she’s famous to me and she also sells the freshest and sweetest mangos in the world, The Guimaras Mangoes which are grown on Guimaras Island/Province. I have to agree, Guimaras Mangoes are incredible and once you eat one, you will crave them.   

The entrance to the Binakayan Wet Market Resembles a cross between a
motorcycle rally and a swap meet! There are plenty of vedors outside the
market. The market itself is in the quonset shaped building in the background.


 The market was quite a departure from the more subdued farmers markets I have visited in the USA and Central America. Most of the market is indoors in a very large warehouse.  There were many catacomb like aisles lined with hundreds of vendor booths selling everything from jumbo-sized vegetables to chicken feet and pig’s heads.  Ren’s family was cooking me a special Filipino dinner that day of pinakbet, grilled pork, and pancit.  The Binakayan Wet Market is best described as a colorful carnival of typical and less than typical edibles.  If it grows in the earth, swims in the oceans, or roots in a barnyard, you can probably find it in the wet market…that is of course, everything but beef; I saw no beef at the wet market.  There were many different varieties of seafood including large tanks of a Filipino favorite and mine, Tilapia!!! I even saw a stingray in one of the booths; we didn’t buy it.

Illegal Vendors set up shop just outside the market.  In The Philippines,
people do what they have to just to survive. 


We stopped by a vegetable stand and purchased some eggplant, string beans, okra, and bitter melon for the pinakbet.  Then we stopped by a booth that had a huge table heaped high with a mountain of pork which Ren sorted through until she found just the right ones.  Off to the side was a table with chicken feet and pig’s heads.  Now, I would never buy pork this way in the USA, but I trusted that Ren knew what to look for.  Our health department would never allow meats and poultry to be sold without proper sanitation and refrigeration but it the Philippines it is not uncommon to see an unchilled slab of pork or chicken laying out on a table in the warm tropical air.  Does the word Salmonella mean anything?  I have to say though, the meats were very fresh and tasty and I never even had so much as a hiccup from eating anything bought at the market.  I did get sick from an American restaurant though on my next visit to PI, but that’s a different story.

Ren picks out vegetables for the pinakbet.  Look out for that eggplant Honey!!!



A nice big pile of pork to chose from, flies are extra.   Check out the fancy
cutting board. 

There is really so much I can say about my visit to the wet market, but I think I will let the pictures do the talking.  I absolutely had a great time there and loved taking in this part of the Filipino culture. Thank You Ren, I can’t wait to visit again!!

Pig's head and chicken feet, two of my favorites!  Nothing goes to waste in The
 Philippines.






The largest carrots I have ever seen!  I wonder what kind of fertilizer they
use.





Yours truly by the tilapia tanks:)


Milk fish or Bangus are delicious, especially stuffed and are nearly boneless

Stingray anyone??










No visit to The Binakayan Wet Market is complete without a stop to visit the
almost nearly famous Mango Lady.  She really has the best, sweetest mangoes
I have ever tasted!



On the ride home we pass a Filipino biker gang.  Oooooooohh Scary!  Can
you say BLING!!!



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