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Hello sunflowers and happy Thursday!

In honor of National Farmers’ Markets week, and because I didn’t have a post prepared ahead of time, here are lots of pretty pictures of fresh food and flowers:

National Farmers’ Markets Week runs August 1-7, 2010.

In Albuquerque, the downtown Growers’s Market is every Saturday morning. It’s a great way to begin the weekend.

You can find the times and locations of all the local markets by visiting this site:

It’s so important to feed yourself and your family with fresh veggies and fruits. These growers are doing all the hard work, and there are markets practically every day of the week, so there are no excuses not to eat well.

Plus, fresh veggies just taste better. Why wouldn’t everyone want that for their families?

Besides the farmers, the downtown growers’ market also has vendors who sell plants, artists who sell their wares, and live music.

I took all the photos, some of which I’ve used in previous posts, like these carrots.

This is Sandra serving up her Farm Pie, which is incredibly delicious. She uses an oriental food take-out container, and layers it with lightly seasoned Pinto beans and Basmati rice, then she pours a red chile Calabacitas sauce over the rice and beans, and tops it off with a little olive oil, some Cilantro and Sunflower seeds, and a few Fritos. Mmmmmm! It’s vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, which shows her brilliance.

Fun for the whole family!

A particularly pretty bouquet that made its way into my living room. Haha, there are perks to getting there early!

I’ve posted this photo before, but I love this band, Three String Bale. That’s Bard, Sarah and Tom. Great bluegrass music.

It wouldn’t be New Mexico with chiles everywhere. We are crazy for our chiles, red and green.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of the downtown growers’ market. In the spirit of National Farmers’ Market week, I hope you find a market near you and enjoy the fresh food.

I’ll be back manana with a new Ask the Experts panel, as well as a new plant puzzler. I think I might really stump you this time, so be sure to check back. Until then, happy gardening!

Hi bacon slices, and happy Monday!

I’m considering changing my writing schedule to Tuesday through Saturday instead of Monday through Friday. I have several reasons for this, a main one being I like having Sundays and Mondays free.

I could probably just begin to publish on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and to some degree I have. But you see, we’re in a relationship now, you the reader and me the writer, so I felt like I should talk to you about the changes first.

I don’t want you to feel like I’m abandoning you. Nor do I want to disappoint you for not being there when you show up to read me.

Plus, it just doesn’t seem polite not to involve you in the decision. Granted – it’s always going to be my decision and mine alone when and what I write. But I’m writing for you. The least I can do is to explain my behavior so you’ll have appropriate expectations.

I want this to be a healthy relationship.

Haha, aren’t you glad I at least posted pretty pictures so today’s post wasn’t a total waste? Riiiiiiight.

I’ll see ya manana!

Hello pinto beans, and happy Saturday.

I usually post Monday through Friday, not on Saturdays. But there was a full moon lunar eclipse last night, and I read that during the days surrounding an eclipse, you should concentrate on doing what you love. Even if it’s only for a little while.

I love writing, I love photography, I love fresh vegetables.

And I LOVE this time of year. The farmers are back! I’m supposed to call them growers, I think, it’s the Downtown Growers’ Market. I’m partial to calling them farmers though.

Rainbow chard is so photogenic, isn’t it? I say that with full awareness that this photo is not great – this particular booth was busy. I went back later to take more shots, but they were sold out. Which is great – I’d rather have people actually eat the stuff than me try to capture its inherent beauty.

Edible Calendula flowers from the good guys at Viva Verde farm’s booth. They offered me one, but I said nah. They’d be great on a salad, though. I should’ve taken one to tuck behind my ear.

One of my favorite local bands, Three String Bale. That’s Bard on the left, Sarah, and Tom. Bluegrass music makes the world a better place. Thanks guys!

It wouldn’t be New Mexico without Chile peppers.

I don’t know if everyone shares my love of farmers’ markets. When I was in college, I used to go every Saturday. There’s just something about seeing piles of fresh vegetables that makes me happy.

My oldest brother might say, “Blehhhh” to this picture because he hates beets. But I love them! I cook them in the most ridiculous way – in the toaster oven. It’s true. I trim them down but leave the skins on, put them in tin foil, and coat them with Olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Then I pop them in the toaster oven for about an hour, depending on how big they are. The skins peel right off when they’re done. So easy.

Last week for a pool party, I sliced them and added a dollup of chevre, put toothpicks in them and served them as an appetizer. They were delish. How could they not be when you start with vegetables that fresh?

I couldn’t leave the market without a bouquet.

I loooooooove the bouquets at the Downtown Growers’ Market. There’s one guy who lives in the North Valley and his bouquets are amazing. He made special mention of the maroon Bachelor’s Buttons. Pretty cool.

My favorite part of the market is my friend Sandra, who serves Farmers’ Frito Pies and fresh teas. She was really busy this morning, but here’s a shot of her from last summer:

She fed me all last summer – I’ve never felt healthier. Her Frito pies are amazing. She serves them in an oriental food take-out container. She starts with lightly seasoned Pinto beans, then adds a layer of Basmati rice seasoned with Tumeric, then pours a Red Chile Calabacitas over the top. Then she adds some Sunflower seeds, a little Olive oil, some Cilantro and Frito chips on top. It’s a really great way to start the morning. Thanks, girl!

I think that satisfies my eclipse duties – writing, photographing, fresh vegetables, great music, delicious food, a blue, blue sky and gorgeous flowers. And it’s not even noon. How lucky am I?

Hello melon slices, and happy Tuesday. Welcome back to the Good To Grow site.

Today we’re going on a field trip to the season opening of the Albuquerque Downtown Growers’ Market held at Robinson Park (8th and Central) on Saturday morning, June 5th.

I realize this may be a risky bet – I might alienate readers who came here for plant or garden advice. If that does happen, too bad for them. This blog is for locals, too. And for my entertainment, of course. I’m highly entertained by the farmers – they fed me all last summer!¹

Plus, I’ll bet there are a few curious people out there who wonder what a New Mexico growers’ market looks like. There’s the obligatory red chiles, of course.

Live music and families having a good time.

I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite farmers and artists as the summer progresses. For today, I just want you to get the flavor of the market.

I don’t know why anyone buys vegetables from the grocery store during the summer. Who wouldn’t want the freshest veggies possible?

Awwwww, cute girl in a cute dress.

Besides the farmers, the growers’ market also showcases local artists and their creations. There are so many talented artists in this city.

If this is mindcrushingly boring for out-of-towners, you’re welcome to bitch about it in the comments section. I’ll take your opinion into account. Then I’ll probably ignore it, haha!

This sign cracks me up.

I prefer to have kind folks grow the food for me – they can do all the hard work, and I’ll reap the benefits, thank you very much.

Do you and your family visit your local farmers’ markets? Or do you grow all your own veggies?

In the coming weeks, I’m also going to shine a spotlight on some families who’ve decided to grow their own food (not on the scale of these farmers, but enough to feed the family all summer and fall) right in the middle of the city. I love urban gardeners!

I hope you enjoyed a peek at a New Mexico growers’ market. I’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of the Plant Lady Chronicles. Hope to see you back here. Until then, happy gardening!


¹ My small plant care business keeps me so busy with everyone else’s plants, that I don’t have time to dedicate to growing my own veggies at home. Thankfully, there are lots of folks who do make the time.

Hi golden beets, and happy Saturday! Well, sweaty Saturday here in Albuquerque – it’s already 100 degrees, and it’s not even noon. It feels like 100 anyway.

Despite the heat, I’m tickled – my favorite time of year has begun. It’s the grower’s market season. The Downtown Grower’s Market opened this morning and it was a hoot. I’ll be posting about it in the coming weeks, introducing you to some of our farmers, some of local artists and crafts people. We’ve got a lot of talented people in New Mexico.

Ahhhhh, the farmer’s are back. They fed me all last summer. Thanks guys!

I’ll be back Monday, hope to see you here!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.