Reader beware: If you are looking for a fully-research critique of local farmer’s markets, this is not the article for you. If, however, you are looking for a large list with links to websites, photos (as I could find them and had time to include), and unofficial commentary if I’ve been to the market before, this story is for you!!
If you are interested in other options to teach your children more about where their food comes from, please read: Three Ways to Teach Your Kids about the Source of Their Food on this website. Of the Farmer’s Markets below, I’ve ** the ones I’ve actually visited so you can get know if my comments were based on personal experience or just looking at their websites.
Dallas-Ft. Worth Area Farmers Markets:
- Arlington. Cooper Street Farmers Market. 1606 S Cooper St. This is actually a “Farmers Market” store, where locally grown produce is sold. I’ve heard good things about it from friends in Arlington (except for the frustrating parking/traffic situation given that it is located in a busy area). However, I do have to mention the reviews they have on InsiderPages are mixed and reviewers spend more time bashing each other than giving constructive information on the store (This is why we read every review on MomsOutLoud.com and don’t let anything get personal!). They don’t have a website for us to link to, unfortunately.
- Dallas. (**) The Dallas Farmers Market, in my mind, has historically been a misnomer. In my visits, which all were before 2008, I didn’t see much “local” about it and in fact stopped going because it didn’t seem any more supportive of local farmers than my “local” Target supercenter, with big produce distributors seemingly everwhere. If there were any local farmers, I couldn’t find them. Flash forward to today. A new leader with renewed focus on supporting local farmers has changed the face and tone of the market. Easy-to-spot signage for certified local farmers (who grow within 150 miles of Dallas) helps you distinguish the real local farmers from other vendors. Read about their transformation to more local growers in this D Magazine article. If you haven’t been lately, it’s worth checking out. Location: 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas, TX 75201. (At the corner of Harwood and Marilla Streets, in the southeast corner of Downtown Dallas.)
- Dallas. White Rock Local Market in the parking lot of the Green Spot, a future-forward store in its own right, being a “Healthy Convenience Store” which even sells biodiesel fuel. Held on the second Saturday of every month from June through November. September’s vendors were 4 seasonal produce farmers, 2 certified organic farmers, 4 natural meat vendors, 2 natural cheese vendors, 5 bakeries, 2 local honey merchants, and 1 locally owned honey shop.
- Fort Worth. Cowtown Farmers Market. This producer-only market, meaning everything is grown, raised or produced within a 150-mile radius of Fort Worth. They have a wide variety of produce, artisan breads, cheeses, sauces, flowers, even tamales. They are located in west Fort Worth on the Traffic Circle (junction of highways 183, 377 & 80 West), in the parking lot in front of Texas Outdoors and Eidelweiss German Restaurant. Open Wed-Sat, 8am-12pm, open year round on Saturdays.
- Frisco. (**) The Frisco Farmer’s Market in Frisco Square is a new market that feels like a new market (and not just because it’s located in the newly built-to-look-old Frisco town center). Nicest people you’ll find, but it’s very small and includes such unique items as Scentsy Candles. The highlight of my family’s recent trip to the market was the free balloons to my 2 boys from the Frisco Noon Lion’s Club, which sponsors the market. We left with 2 eggplant, some squash, and some okra – $10 lighter in the wallet, which seemed pretty steep to me. However, everyone has to start somewhere and we hope this one continues to “plow” forth and attract more local growers and vendors. Runs May-mid September.
- Grand Prairie. The Grand Prairie Farmers Market, located in the Grand Prairie City Hall Plaza, is open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 8am – 12pm (or sell out). They have a variety of locally grown produce available.
- Grapevine. Grapevine’s Historic Downtown Farmers Market. This popular, open-air “European-style” market opened Thursday, April 16, and will be open every Thursday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 17. You can find an eclectic array of items at Grapevine Market, including the finest handmade jewelry, distinctive home décor, quality antiques, Grapevine Market’s famous sweet potatoes pies and bread pudding, and more.
- Keller. The Keller Farmers Market is brand new this year, and is being launched by a group of interested citizens with a lot of heart. It is located in the Keller Town Center area in the fountain area just outside the Keller City Hall, and with its proximity to the city library, art galleries, and groomed open fields it can be a nice outing for the family even though it’s small. Each weekend they have some sort of live music performance, which has ranged from jazz bands to a local nationally-recognized teen musical performance called CPAC. More details on weekly events on their website, runs through mid-November.
- McKinney. (**) Historic Downtown McKinney Farmers Market in Chestnut Square. It’s not just that the setting is one of the most charming in North Texas (true historic downtown square, small town feel, beautiful architecture of turn-of-the-century Texas). This farmer’s market in McKinney is dedicated to providing local products and supporting local farmers. Open from 8am-noon on Saturdays from April through October, they’ve got produce, flowers, baked goods, and more. Directions and a list of vendors can be found on their website.
- Waxahachie. Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market. Did you know that 20% of the buildings in the Texas section of the National Historic Register are in Ellis County? I didn’t either, until I was researching Farmer’s Markets and thought I’d look up Waxahachie since they always have something fun going on (Renaissance Festival, Haunted Houses, Candlelight Tour of Homes at Christmas….). They have a Farmers Market, too, on the square by the historic courthouse. Saturdays May through October.
Written by Rebekah Cooksey, Founder and Chief Executive Mom of MomsOutLoud.com. She invites your comments, ideas, and any other proof that someone actually reads these articles at firstname.lastname@example.org.