Need some fresh produce? Organic duck eggs? Maybe Spot wants some organic chicken jerky to munch on while you browse gluten-free bread? Well, hop in the car and head north to the Texas Farmers Market. Rain or shine, local artists and vendors will happily show off their product and maybe offer a free sample or two. The variety and quality of produce and product are unique and nothing a grocery store could offer you. Encircling the large mall parking lot, vendor tables stretch off into the distance as far as the eye can see. Lift your nose, take a whiff, and sigh as the bakers wave loaves of fresh sourdough bread about. Dogs will peek at you from beneath tables and children offer their sticky hands forward for another round of raw honeycomb dripping with golden nectar.
On my visit to the market, many of the vendors were already packing up. Like most farmer’s markets, the hours of operation are not as long as say the local grocery’s hours. Regardless, the beautiful organic tomatoes and fresh chicken eggs more than make up for the inconvenience. At the time of my visit, I was on my lunch break, so I took advantage of the brief time I had to take pictures, collect business cards, and purchase a delicious agua fresca. Farmer’s markets are a great way to network, get-to-know your local farmer, and learn where your food is actually coming from. I was surprised to see that many of the vendors were young folks such as myself. They were all friendly and more than willing to share their operation’s history.
Farmer’s markets also offer an opportunity to buy products you may not necessarily find at the store. For example, this particular farmer’s market has a vendor that sells raw dog food. Sure, Petsmart has those ground up sausage rolls wrapped in plastic, but there’s something about giving the dog a fresh cow bone that makes me smile. Outside of these products, this particular market also sold homemade soap and detergents, a fresh assortment of meat, baked bread by the tablefuls and even homemade razor sets. There were also folks who made and sold mango chutney, cold brew coffee, even paletas! I felt like my head was going to twist off from the assortment of goods surrounding me.
Don’t be surprised if your local market is filled with people and pets. The Texas Farmers Market is always busy in the morning with couples and families being the most popular of goers. Even during closing hours, I could spot a family looking through a case of cucumbers to take home. This farmer’s market, in particular, also works with low-income families to provide fresh food. If they belong to a state program, families can utilize food vouchers to get double the amount of food they would normally get at the grocery store. This means that even low-income families can enjoy organic foods and other naturally produced products. I have yet to visit a farmer’s market that offers this service to families.
Get online and look up the time and location of your local farmer’s market. Take the family and dog, buy some good food and try a few samples. And as always, be kind and tender to one another.
We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and now Steemit! Follow and like us for more updates!