Texas is Big on Farming and Farmers Markets
Not everyone in Texas has had the privilege of growing up on a farm. But every Texan knows how to appreciate the homegrown goodness from the acres and acres that make up our local agriculture.
What is a Farmers’ Market, Anyway?
By definition, a farmers’ market is an indoor or outdoor marketplace where consumers buy fresh eats and locally-inspired products.
Most Texas farmers markets sell a spot for 30-50 local growers to set up their own unique space. When the market opens, eager buyers, mouths watering for the taste of fresh summer garden crops, will inspect what the vendor has to sell, purchase a few things for the week, and likely be back the following Saturday morning.
A few Texas markets are set up on a much grander scale, a little more permanent, like the Dallas Farmers Market, which is open every day and sells everything from antiques to apple cider vinegar.
What are the Best Things to Buy at Farmers Markets?
The best things to buy at farmers markets are eggs, organic meats and fresh vegetables from local farms.
Who among us doesn’t experience a little perk just thinking about the taste of fresh, garden-grown tomato slices? Mmmm.
I like mine with a generous sprinkle of salt and served on a summer sandwich or as a stand-alone side to grilled chicken, but I also love little cherry tomatoes in big summer salads.
In certain parts of the state, summer fruits are a big draw to local farmers markets. If you’re passing through Austin, be sure to check out all the fresh berries at local markets like the one in Mueller. And, of course, what Texan isn’t willing to drive hundreds of miles for Fredericksburg peaches?
I haven’t been to the Fredericksburg Farmers Market, but I think it should be written down on the intentional-adventure list right away, don’t you?
Local honey is another great buy at Texas farmers markets.
According to the Texas Beekeepers Association, at least 70% of honey sold in the U.S. is imported, but local honey adds more to our health by providing local pollens. The map below is an amazing image of just how many beekeepers are providing honey around the Lone Star State. (Learn more about Texas beekeeping by following the association here on Facebook.)
What do I Need to Know Before I Go?
Do a little research to see if your local Texas farmers market maintains a website. You’ll find some good information there about parking, hours of operation, and perhaps a list of their standard vendors. That could help you plan which booths to find first and how long you can plan to be there.
Most of your purchases will be small amounts at several stops. Paying with cards is accepted, of course, but it takes longer and people get a little grumpy while waiting in line for those beautiful veggies.
Wear a hat.
The summer sun is already bright in the Texas sky by the time farmers markets open. Since you’ll be milling around in it, a hat with a brim like this one will help keep you cool and protect your skin.
Take a bag.
If you have a favorite shopping bag, take it. The vendors do provide plastic bags, but if you have your own sturdy shopping bag, it makes it easy to combine purchases and only have one item to carry.
I love to sip Saturday morning coffee when I visit farmers markets! Some markets do offer coffee vendors, but I would rather bring my coffee already brewed, and then buy some beans to take home.
How Can I Find Texas Farmers’ Markets?
There are 41 certified markets at GoTexan.com, but you’ll find hundreds more around small-town squares and in central meeting spots.
You know what that means, my friends. That means you can plan some everyday intentional adventure around a Texas farmers market experience.
Encouraging everyday intentional adventure, and a fresh taste of Texas,
PS: Here’s a great list of 10 Best Adventures in Texas from another website. I’ve done most of them – but not all!
Links to inspire your own Texas adventures: