Spring is in the air – and that means that area farmers markets are setting up, stocking up and readying for the busy season ahead. That’s good news for area residents who are looking for the freshest and best of locally-produced foods, whether fruits and vegetables from local growers, meats and eggs from local farms, canned goods, breads, honey, plants or crafts from local artisans, or just the weekend fun of strolling a neighborhood venue full of neighbors, attractions and fresh air.
While it’s still early in the season, it’s a good time to visit the sites of area markets to get a feel for the offerings and “flavor” of each.
The “granddaddy” of them all, of course, is the Dallas Farmers Market, which has news of its own this season, because this is the last summer it will be as it is now. The city recently approved a privatization plan which means big changes come fall. But for now, the market will operate daily, with an abundance of color, life and fresh produce, just as it has for the past several decades. (See related story and photos.)
Also just announced is the approval by the city of Plano to allow the opening of the Collin County Farmers Market at Fairview Farms, North Central Expressway at Parker Road, on April 20. Plans are also in the works to establish a community garden at the site, and more details will be available on that project in the future. But for now, market organizers say the market will open with approximately 40 vendors, to include the usual line-up of fruit and vegetable producers, as well as beekeepers, coffee roasters, beef sellers, olive oil producers and soap makers. Live music and attractions for the kids will also be featured.
The Grand Prairie Farmers Market launched its 2013 season on March 2, and will be open every Saturday through December 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Held at the Downtown Square by the historic water tower, the market features a wealth of special events during the season, as well as a variety of vendors. Saturday, March 23, is planned as a special celebration of Grand Prairie’s birthday – no word on whether there will be cake.
The White Rock Farmers Market is also open for business, and if last Saturday was any indication, it should be a busy one for the community-supported endeavor. This year marks the beginning of a weekly market, but the locations alternate between Green Spot on Buckner on the second and fourth Saturdays, and Lakeside Baptist Church on the first and third Saturdays of each month. “Everything Markets” are the first two weekends, with only growers and artisan foods as vendors on the third and fourth weekends.
Two other area markets have announced opening dates: McKinney, which has held a monthly market on the third Saturday of the month during the winter, will begin its weekly schedule at Chestnut Square on Saturday, April 6, featuring a special presentation on Urban Gardening by Jeremiah Hammer. Thursday, April 11, marks the inaugural season opening of the Adriatica market in McKinney.
Finally, the Keller Farmers Market will begin its season in May, continuing through October. This young market enjoyed a well-attended response last season for its schedule of popular vendors, special entertainment and popular presentations by local chefs and gardeners.
One thing is certain: Wherever you live, you can find popular entertainment, fresh food and family fun each weekend at open-air farmers markets in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Be sure to check some of them out.