Find a Local Farmers Market in TX
Just about everyone understands by now that Texas farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Texas farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also occur right in your own home town, so you don't have to travel far to locate them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they have gotten more popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Texas
The advantages of shopping at your local Texas farmers market are many. First off, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as they come straight from the farm to the market. Most crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Texas farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help reduce global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost by using less fuel and contributing fewer emissions in the air.
Often, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need to mark up his prices to generate income from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less of your budget for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Texas farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and in addition they do not have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local TX farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Texas Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Texas farmers markets are such a big deal now, that typically local newspapers will print a schedule of markets in your area as the season is about to begin.
Often, you will find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've become very popular, in fact, that some communities get to enjoy a number of farmers markets every week, so it pays to shop all of them and choose the ones that provide the produce and other products you like the best.
What to Look for at a Texas Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Texas farms promoting their products at sensible prices, but there are a few things to look out for. Make sure the produce is ripe and hasn't been sitting out in the sun too long, or has been damaged in transport. Many booths will give you a free taste of whatever you are looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you may not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also supply you with recipes and other ideas on how to serve their products, too. At the really big markets, organizers may bring in free entertainment, arts and crafts booths, and other amusements to bring in the crowds, and they may even provide play areas for the kids, too.
Look for other items at your farmers market, too. Sometimes local meat, cheese, and dairy producers bring their wares, and big markets are more like a county fair, with food booths, information booths, and even games for the whole family. So, check out a local Texas farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.