LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (LRFM) – On Tuesday, May 3, the River Market and Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) will have their first official day of the 42nd Annual Little Rock Farmers’ Market (LRFM), with their first Saturday of the season following on May 7 at the River Market Pavilions.

For over four decades, the Farmers’ Market has served as a seasonal institution and local destination favorite, filled with farmers selling farm-fresh produce to consumers from the backs of their trucks from early morning until mid-afternoon. Every May through September, patrons can find bargains on Arkansas crops, as well as a bountiful array of handmade arts and crafts.

Housed in the River Market’s two outdoor, open-air pavilions overlooking Riverfront Park and the Arkansas River at 400 President Clinton Ave, the Market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 3 – July 24 and Saturdays in August and September, ending September 24.

This special year will see old faces and new ones as the LRFM reinvents the Garden Gourmet Chef Series and brings back Veggie Valet. Dean the Bean, the LRFM mascot for the past five years will be a regular feature again this season.

Partnering with the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Institute, the Garden Gourmet Chef Series will feature chefs from the Culinary Institute. Staffed by star students, each demonstration, held from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month, will focus on healthy recipes with as many locally sourced ingredients they can find at the LRFM.

Patrons will learn inventive and exciting ways to prepare a variety of fresh produce ranging from the abundant, southern staples locals have grown up with, to the more unique and less familiar items available; they will get to visit with chefs about the demonstration, taste samples, and take home recipe cards.

If you want more recipes, tips and other important Market information, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook/LRFarmersMarket.

Dates for the 2016 Garden Gourmet Chef Series* are as follows:

May 14 Tony Brooks

June 11 Renee Smith

July 9 William Ginocchio

August 13 Tony Brooks

September 10 Suzanne Campbell

In support of the Pulaski Tech Culinary Arts program, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension office will provide produce harvest calendars and recipe guides to help patrons get the best out of the local, fresh, tasty produce sold at the downtown Little Rock River Market Farmers’ Market.

Not only does the River Market and LRCVB want to provide patrons with local produce and arts and crafts, they want the buying experience to be special and easy.

Returning this year, Veggie Valet will provide shoppers with a “coat check” system while they get their vehicle, enjoy lunch, shop at one of the River Market District’s restaurants and boutiques, or play in the splash pad. You can “park your veggies” on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will be available for participants to purchase tokens inside Shop the Rock in the Market Hall for use at participating farmer booths. Signage will be displayed indicating which vendors accept SNAP and allowable SNAP purchase products.

Free parking is always offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays for LRFM shoppers in the central parking lot off Ottenheimer as well as in River Market Parking Deck. Ask a Market Manager or Vendor for a complimentary Farmers’ Market parking pass. Additional parking along the Amphitheater fence for handicapped and elderly patrons will be available, too. Market Managers will wear red Farmers’ Market polo shirts with “Manager” printed on the back in large, white lettering.

For more information, visit or call the River Market at 501-375-2552.

(Source: Little Rock Farmers’ Market)