Okay, you likely know about the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market. Maybe you’ve already shopped it and seen all the fresh produce, grass-fed beef, and other local agricultural products it makes available each and every Saturday.
And, to a more modest degree, Wednesdays, too.
But did you know about the Farm Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market (FFMFM)?
It’s another excellent source for seriously fresh and local groceries in Las Cruces.
The FFMFM’s groceries come into Las Cruces courtesy of La Semilla Food Center and the several acres of farmland the organization owns in Anthony, New Mexico.
That’s where a small group of food-savvy and hardworking people seed and harvest year-round.
They do it so other New Mexicans ~ and El Pasoans as well ~ can have fresh, organic food year-round.
You could say the Farm Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market is Las Cruces “other Farmer’s Market.”
Sort of. Well . . . for at least one day a week.
The Farm Fresh Truck really is ~ a truck.
Now one very cool thing about trucks is that they move. That’s how the FFMFM can serve customers throughout most of the Mesilla Valley wherever they happen to be.
Each day of the week from Tuesday through Saturday, the truck relocates to a different city. To the Southern New Mexico cities of Chaparral, Anthony, Las Cruces, Sunland Park, and El Paso, Texas.
It really is a moveable feast.
If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Las Cruces
When in Las Cruces, the truck parks outside Beck’s Coffee on Thursday mornings.
It’s where, last winter, I bought red kale and spinach. And just this past Thursday, I bought some squash and eggplant.
I like to sauté my food ~ a lot ~ so the FFMFM assistant, Jesus Chavarria, recommended the small and tender eggplants as well as what would be my very first Mexican squash.
Just for kicks, I chose a few of the creamy white-skinned vegetables they call OG squash. Ever hear of these?
Farm Fresh Veggie Tales
The OG squash is unique.
Jesus says it came into being when some bees cross-pollinated Mexican gray squash with scallop squash. And these bees happened to do it on a piece of land owned by a fellow with the initials O.G.
Anyway, it’s a good story about what turned out to be a good and mild-tasting squash. It’s what was for dinner the other night.
That same day, I cooked one of the eggplants with melted cheese for breakfast.
And I whipped up a small dish of Mexican squash for lunch.
The Mexican squash tasted as tender as Jesus said it would be. Less than two days later, they were already gone.
Besides a variety of squash, the FFMFM sells greens, herbs, and nuts on a regular basis. They also sell plenty of fruit.
About That Farm Fresh Fruit
For instance, the other day I saw TWO BIG CRATES of red plums, small but plump. Now, I didn’t buy any of these because I still had plums at home from a previous shopping trip.
But when Jesus invited me to sample one of the plums and see how sweet they were, how could I say No?
Another summertime vegetable you can buy here is this crazy-looking Armenian cucumber. Ever taste one?
I never have.
But now I wish I had put a few of these in a bag for home, too. Maybe the next time the truck comes to Cruces they will have some more.
You see, there’s no guarantee the same fruit or vegetables will be available each time since offerings are seasonal. Plus, La Semilla teams harvest different crops from week to week.
Think apricots and peaches one week and mint, basil, watermelon the next.
The FFMFM does tend to stock staples like fresh eggs and dry red chile, on a regular basis.
But most days, shopping here is much like Forest Gump’s description of life and that box of chocolates:
You never know what you’re gonna get.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, Yeah, yeah, healthy veggies and fruit are great, but
Where’s that Farm Fresh Truck Beef???
It’s right there, in the truck’s freezer section.
The FFMFM stocks locally raised grass-fed beef, goat, and lamb, thanks to partnerships with other local farms and ranches. Meat, like the eggs and chile, is available on a regular basis.
And Just How Fresh Is that Farm Fresh Truck Produce?
You can’t get much fresher produce than what they sell on the FFMFM.
They harvest twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. So you can be sure that whatever you’re buying came out of the ground within the last 96 hours.
Super fresh food has been my experience with the FFMFM from my first visit. That was the winter I bought that red kale and spinach, remember?
Fresh, just-picked produce is one of the reasons I keep coming back.
The other reason is the people who man the FFMFM.
They really enjoy cooking and don’t mind sharing food preparation tips and recipes. Just ask.
That’s how I learned magic happens when you sauté red kale and spinach together with a bit of garlic.
They also know a lot about the food they sell.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy who gave me that tip had himself picked that kale and spinach from the field a few days before.
One thing is clear: La Semilla Food Center staff members and volunteers are already doing the hard work to help you eat healthy food.
They’ve planted, harvested, and brought the fruit (and veggies!) of their labor to market.
Now all YOU need to know to make magic happen in your kitchen is the answer to this question:
Where IS that Farm Fresh truck today?
- To find out when the FFMFM truck is coming to a location near you, check out La Semilla’s calendar here.