On your market
There’s a local farmers’ market for nearly every day of the week. Which is right for you?
Not all farmers’ markets are created equal. At the Sparks Hometowne Farmers’ Market, for example, visitors are as interested in deep fried corn dogs and beer as they are the rows of Rainier cherries and white peaches. And where else but at the Somersett market will you find gourmet pet goods and day spa vendors alongside displays organic artichokes and locally-roasted coffee?
There’s likely a market that’s the vibe, size, time, and day of the week you’re looking for. Here’s a brief summary of what you can expect at Reno-Sparks farmers’ markets, nearly every day of the week:
Tuesday: Shoppers Square. This market in a strip mall parking lot draws people looking for a more relaxed scene. With just over a dozen vendors, the selection isn’t huge, but it includes fruit stands (peaches, plums and pluots are out in force now), and both cool- and warm-season crops, from broccoli to corn. Ramiro Palacios of Dwelley Farms says he likes the slower atmosphere of this market, and that most visitors are repeat customers. Held at Plumb Lane and S. Virginia St., 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct. 6.
Tuesday: United Methodist Church, Sparks. This market is another smaller, no-nonsense alternative to its local cousin. There are no bands here, but there’re plenty of fruits and veggies, some of them certified organic. Held at 1231 Pyramid Way, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., through Sept. 15.
Wednesday: Somersett Town Square. The organizers of this market have made it an idyllic little place where fresh produce shares equal space with tiers of gourmet cupcakes, caramel-covered apples, fancy dog treats, green jalapeno fettucine, and wine tastings. Live music, be it blues, rock or reggae, plays as kids play on the town square’s well-manicured grass and adults shop and mingle. Held at 7650 Town Square Way, 4 pm.-8 p.m., through Aug. 26
Thursday: Sparks Hometowne Farmers’ Market is the mother of all local farmers markets. It’s huge, it’s boisterous, it’s full of both cooked and fresh food, both drunk and sober people, young and old. It’s a veritable parade of Reno-Sparks culture. Expect live music, plentiful samples, and more craft and produce vendors than any other farmers’ market in town. Held on Victorian Square, from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. through Aug. 20 (No market Aug. 6).
Friday>: Tamarack Junction Casino. Another quiet market for those looking to escape the crowds. Held in the casino’s parking lot in south suburban Reno, it offers a choice selection of fruits and vegetables, with organic options available. Lavender plants and products were for sale during a recent visit, as were gorgeous handmade necklaces and earrings and handsome pottery and baskets. Held at 13101 S. Virginia St., from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. through Oct. 9.
Saturday: Village Market, This used to be one of the smaller markets in Reno, but it’s grown so popular, the crowds are now quite dense. They come for good reason. There’s no attempt to turn this market into a carnival. Its main attraction is the wide variety of fresh produce, as well as honey, grassfed beef and fresh-cut flowers. Held at California Avenue and Booth Street, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. through Oct. 3.
Sunday: West Street Urban Market. The newest market in Reno features a mid-sized selection of vendors, live music, patio sating, local art vendors and an overall festive but peaceful atmosphere near the river. Held on West Street between First and Second streets, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. through Sept. 13.