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Shop Local at Hillcrest Farmers Market


We are approaching peak growing season here in Arkansas, and to celebrate this bountiful period, I wanted to dedicate a post to one of my favorite farmers’ markets in the Little Rock area: Hillcrest Farmers Market. Located in front of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church at 2200 Kavanaugh Boulevard in the heart of the capital city, the Hillcrest Famers Market has long been a prime destination for local growers and food producers who are looking to sell their goods to a loyal base of customers on Saturday mornings. Current hours are 7 a.m.-11 a.m., but those can fluctuate just a bit throughout the year, so follow their social media for updates. And while there are a ton of vendors, here are a few you might want to consider checking out.

Porch Swing Farms

If you love pork, Porch Swing Farms is the booth for you. It is actually a small trailer set up on the western edge of the market, complete with freezers full of every cut imaginable. Try some ribs or bacon or pork shoulder or sausage … you get the drift.

Sun Harvest Honey

I am a big fan of local honey and Sun Harvest is some of the very best you will find in the area. Yes, the honey is carried at various stores around town, but there is something nice about buying a few jars at this farmers market.

Barnhill Orchards

Barnhill is well known for its strawberries. But honestly, the Lonoke farm grows just about every fruit and vegetable produced in the area. Seriously, during strawberry season, Barnhill is one of the very top options.

Rattle’s Garden

Based in Vilonia, Rattle’s Garden is a farm favorite of mine. In the past, I’ve even taken part in their farm share program. Tara and her family do a fantastic job growing a variety of items like squash, onion, tomatoes and lettuce. Flowers are also a huge part of their business, so keep an eye out for those as well.

Natural State Microgreens

Stop by the Nature State Microgreens booth for a couple of Ziploc bags of microgreens. Options like Superfood Rainbow Mix, Micro Arugula, Sunflower Shoots, and Mighty Mighty Micro Broccoli are all healthy and quite tasty. A small pile is ideal as a dish garnish or can be eaten as a full salad. As the name suggests, these greens are small but mighty.

Wye Mountain Mushroom Farm

Talk about a completely different beast than the mushrooms found at a grocery store. If you have never visited Jess at the Wye Mountain Mushroom Farm booth, then please make it a top priority, especially if you enjoy eating quality fungi like Lion’s Mane, Blue Oyster, Black Oyster Chanterelles, Chestnut, and shiitake. And if you have a few minutes and things are quiet around the booth, ask him for a few preparation suggestions. Jess is quite knowledgeable.

Hardin Farm

I have been purchasing Hardin Farm products from various farmers’ markets for years. This is another farm that seems to grow just about everything, and it is all good. The squash is elite, as are the peppers and eggplant. Don’t miss them at the Hillcrest Farmers Market.

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and one daughter, Sydney. His oldest daughter, Natalie, is a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago. He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, twelve years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for ten years. During that time, he’s written for publications like Little Rock Soiree, Arkansas Times, AY Magazine, and The Local Palate.

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