More and more Texans are discovering farmers’ markets, where farmers sell their crops directly to the public. The friendly atmosphere and fresh produce from local producers are big draws for many consumers.
According to USDA, about 60 percent of farmers’ market customers say one of the things they value most about the venue is supporting local agriculture.
Farmers’ markets also help small growers survive. Reportedly, 25 percent of vendors in the U.S. use these markets as the only outlets for their products.
Young and older established growers agree farmers’ markets are a great way to get their name in front of the public. There also is support from large retail supermarket chains, like HEB, which host farmers’ markets in donated parking lots outside their stores. This is a win-win partnership because hosts gain exposure and a sense of pride when they invest in local producers and the community.
Furthermore, farmers often find they make lasting connections at the markets. Producers tell me they see many of the same faces each week, so it becomes more than just a business - it becomes a community.
For a complete listing of markets certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture, or for information about becoming a Texas Certified Farmers’ Market, visit TDA’s Pick Texas Web site at http://www.picktexas.com/.