Update: Sadly, it appears that the Arlington Market is no more. Please comment if you have any information about re-openings or close-by markets that I should mention for friends seeking fresh local produce in the area.
I have been hearing about the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market for a while and since the market season in North Texas is in full and glorious swing, I thought it was time to take a look myself. The impetus for my little road trip was that I saw a post on facebook that announced that they were open on Fridays. Joy! I wanted to get out and take some photos and go to lunch so I gave myself a small road trip as a gift. I forgot that Arlington is something of a haul. However, I was pleased when I arrived and found a dedicated building and a vendor tent set up out front. Like one of my other Dallas favorites, Celebration Market, this strikes me as a great neighborhood market. It is a perfect little resource for Arlington.
It is essentially in the shadow of the new Cowboys Stadium (pass the stadium and take a right on Division…the market is up a bit on the left on Front Street). I suppose that Friday is a fairly slow rendition of the market. There was not a lot going on. But, that being said, I picked up some of the largest and most impressive carrots I have ever seen, some beautiful strawberries and a little basket of peaches from around Pittsburgh. Only one produce vendor was in attendance, but he had a great selection. The farmer in question was named John Carter and he was as nice a man as you would ever care to meet. He farms in Bowie, Texas…which, if you are a Wichitan, is a small town on the way home. As Dallas and Fort Worth have spread, Bowie is now closer to town, so to speak, but when I was making the haul to WF on a regular basis, Bowie was almost home. But everything is relative. When we used to ask the kids from Bellevue what they did on the weekends, they would say “Go to Bowie” as if that was heading into the big city. It is all connected. Texas is a small world and I enjoyed meeting a farmer from Bowie, who used to go to school in Wichita Falls, who now sells his wares in Arlington, which is one door down from where I now live in Dallas. Small world, right?
I also bought some honey from Desert Creek Honey out of McKinney, Texas. They clearly have happy bees because the honey is delicious. On their website I was stunned to see that they have 1,200 hives. How have I not found this honey before? I am a honey glutton, to be sure. And, it always makes me happy to find a new local honey on which to feast. Just call me Winnie the Pooh. Desert Creek’s Facebook page has some great photos of their hives that are worth seeing.
[I still get a kick out of running across a stack of the Edible Dallas & Fort Worth Magazines with one of my photos on the cover. Be sure to pick one up when you are at the markets.]
Other products on hand included Texas Olive Ranch products, Robert’s Relish Barn, Unhinged Homestead, and Aloha Spice Company, among several others. There were also gorgeous fresh eggs, some frozen tamales and I believe there were some meat offerings, though I didn’t fully investigate that. And, winning the “well, why the heck not” award, somebody had some nice old toolboxes for sale, and there was a table of jewelry. Had it been slightly less expensive, I would have come home with a swanky little western belt buckle.
So, what do I say? I have another stamp on my DFW Farmers Market Passport. This is a sweet and viable little market as long as a farmer like Mr. Carter keeps showing up. He is selling lovely produce that he himself grows and which he also sells for a few others area farmers in order to have a nice selection. It is on the small side. It is not a destination market like perhaps Coppell’s or the Dallas Farmers Market or McKinney’s. But, much like Celebration and Grand Prairie, it is yet another great little community market. And, I fully admit that I haven’t seen it on Saturday when it may not be small at all. I’m bullish on all of these markets. I like getting out and meeting people and seeing communities organize around these food options. The more we go, the more vibrant they will be. Buy up every last tomato and methinks there will be even more tomatoes next time. So, if you live in Arlington or nearby, get over there and grab some of these giant carrots.
I would love to hear feedback on whether the selection of vendors is larger on Saturday. If you are a fan of the Arlington market speak up and tell your neighbors what they are missing in the comments section below.
The Downtown Arlington Farmers Market is open on Fridays and Saturdays during the season from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. If it is not high market season, check the website for the schedule. Here is the link to their website. The address for the market is 215 East Front Street, Arlington, Texas. If you go, also consider stopping in for lunch at Bodacious BBQ on Division. Kate, who was working at the market today, was kind enough to recommend it and I had a really nice chopped beef sandwich.
While I’m at it, here is the Dallas Fort Worth Market list. You can also visit my main Farmers Market page which is here and always available for you if you click the tab at the top of the page. And remember, I don’t update these often, so if it is November or February, you need to call the market in question first or check their website because they are not year round markets. But, they are all humming now!
The Meaning of Pie posts on the Dallas and Fort Worth area farmers markets:
Get out there and support your local farmers and food producers!! It is a fun and delicious thing to do.