It is summer and I am up and at ’em nearly every Saturday Morning heading to one of the Dallas area Farmers Markets. My beloved little Celebration Farmers Market is right down the street. And I’ve been over to the White Rock Local Market, too. Those are easy and close. I need to do another trip out to the Grand Prairie Farmers Market to see it in full swing. I went there in the late fall of last year and was told that it is an incredibly vibrant market in the Summer. Did I mention that the Grand Prairie Farmers Market just put out a community cookbook? Several of my photos and recipes are in it and it is a darling little book full of recipes for seasonal produce. Take an extra $13 and pick one up if you visit Grand Prairie. We have also made it to Coppell which is a reliably great market. I know it doesn’t make a lot of greenie sense for me to be driving my tank all around North Texas to visit farmers markets but I am drawn as if by tractor beam to these early morning celebrations. And, the Frisco Farmers Market did not disappoint.
Jump on the tollway and head north to Frisco. Exit Main Street and you will see the tents over to your right by a huge municipal building. There were 3 produce vendors with a massive array of fruits and vegetables. Lovely peaches and green tomatoes as big as my head (close anyway) were stand-outs. This market is sponsored by the Lions Club and there was a little band and folks handing out balloons to the kids. There was a concentration of retail goods vendors as well as a large number of food businesses. I always love to see the food entrepreneurs and their mixes and salsas and potions. There are little businesses bubbling all around this area that deserve our support.
Oddly, I was most tempted to buy a giant barrel. I’ve seen water barrels at the White Rock Market and even at Whole Foods, but now that I have a thriving little vegetable garden of my own, the concept of trapping and keeping rainwater really appeals to me. The Gates family of Plano, who also run the Spring Creek Organic Farm, were selling water barrels that they make (and will deliver and install). They attach to downspouts and collect water that otherwise goes down the storm drains. They couldn’t be more simple. A spigot attached to the bottom of the barrel allows you to water your garden just as you would from the pipes. They also had a giant bucket of some of the prettiest sunflowers I have ever seen. I think the Gates’ are more often at the Allen and Garland markets, so watch out for them there, as well. You can read more about the water barrels on the Water Keeper Site.
I also enjoyed talking to Theann Egbert, who is the owner of Fusion Tea Room. She creates and sells premium herbal tea blends. Located in McKinney, the Egberts are using a web based business model which allows them to keep the prices of their loose teas relatively low. Lily talked me into buying a 3 oz. bag of Strawberry Garden Tea which is enough to make 30 cups. At a mere $6 it was an easy splurge on a tea that contains strawberry, blackberry, rasberry, and rhubarb. They are sourcing their ingredients from where they grow best and mixing them up down the road.
Pastamore distributes through markets in several states and has an interesting array of oils and vinegars and other mixes, many of which are gluten free.
I bought a pound of thick, beautiful bacon from Truth Hill Farms. They also had many dairy products including a few hunks of feta cheese that looked tempting.
Of course I had to buy some honey. That is what I do. Honey Pot Farms had several varieties of honey, including clover honey and wildflower honey, as well as other honey and bee goodies. The Village Baking Co. was selling their wonderful bread and pastry and their tell tale loaves decorated with flour flowers. There is always a line. There is a good reason for it. Lucido’s Pasta, a company with a wide-spread market presence in our area was in attendance too, selling fresh pastas and sauces. Some of the offerings in Frisco were decidedly not local, but very tempting nonetheless. One vendor was selling big colorful market baskets imported from Ghana that were fantastic. I am thankful I didn’t have excess cash on me or I would have come home with a 55 gallon drum, a beautiful market basket, a raffia sun hat from Madagascar, and a case of salsa.
The wind was blowing hard on this Saturday morning and I commend the the organizers of this market for their engineering prowess in weighting down tents that would have been long gone in many instances. The atmosphere in Frisco was happy. There were loads of kids and dogs and families milling around. Again, all of these markets have their very own personalities. But this is a solid market and one worth supporting if you live nearby. I was very pleased with the produce selection.
The market runs every Saturday this year from May 7th to October 22nd. It is open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. or sell out. Visit the Frisco Farmers Market website for vendor lists and maps. Remember, marketing is easier if you bring your own bag, small bills, and a big hat. Get out there and support your local markets…it is good, inexpensive, healthy, local, family fun.