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Fresh off the Farm and Straight to Your Table

We’ve long enjoyed the convenience and selection available at the local grocery store, but in the race to have every product in a single place, we’ve forgotten that seasonal food, grown on a local farm by a small business owner, has an appeal all its own. The food doesn’t have to travel more than a few miles, so it’s usually at the peak of flavor. And you can meet the folks who grow the things you eat — there’s no way to shake hands and say “hello” to a corporate headquarters.

We have a long growing season here in Central Texas, so you can find fresh tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers and spinach most of the year. When peach season arrives, you can find bushels of them for just a few dollars, and the Fourth of July just wouldn’t be the same without cool, refreshing home-grown watermelons. Cattle ranchers will sell you a few chops or a whole side of beef, and you’ll find that grass-fed beef has a richer, deeper flavor than the typical supermarket grain-fed variety. They also offer chickens and eggs, of course, but you may also find lamb, dairy products and fresh fish just in from the Gulf.

Many of the vendors are also talented cooks, and you can stock up on in-season jams and jellies, salsas, relishes and pickled everything. Talented bakers bring artisan breads, cookies, cinnamon rolls and pies to share with their customers. You’ll even find handmade soaps and lotions in every kind of fragrance, or bouquets of fresh flowers. Once you add a bottle or two of your favorite Texas wines to your grocery bag, there may be precious little left on your shopping list. So take advantage of the many farmers’ markets in our area, and you’ll soon realize why “local” has a flavor all it’s own.


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Farmer's Markets Offer The best of Texas Farms

Farmers have been taking the fruits of their labors to local markets for as long as they’ve been tending the land. But our modern grocery stores have increased the distance between the dining room table and the earth that supplies our food. That may be part of the reason that there’s a resurgence of interest in farmers’ markets, and why the number of markets in the U.S. have increased more than 300% since 1994. Folks are discovering that farmers’ markets are great sources for locally grown food that tastes of the land and the sun, and they’re getting to know the hard-working people who make it possible for us to put dinner on the table. The Hill Country boasts a wide variety of farmers’ markets, and there’s one (or more) near you, where you can get back in touch with the “roots” of our food supply.

Farmers’ markets are the place for produce. Only the freshest in-season fruits and vegetables make it to market, and since they only travel a few miles, they’re more likely to arrive at the peak of flavor. Depending on the time of year, Texas markets are filled with tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, pickling cucumbers, 1015 sweet onions, green onions, beets, radishes, spinach, mustard greens, okra, bell pepper, black-eyed peas, cilantro, carrots and turnips. There’s lots of fruit to be had as well — peaches, berries, cantaloupes and all sorts of melons, including the iconic watermelons that make the summer so sweet. Texas is the place for pecans, and you can buy them for far less than the prepackaged versions you see in stores, but don’t miss out on the spiced, seasoned and chocolate-covered varieties.

Texas is famous for beef, and you’ll find some of the best steaks, chops and patties at your local market, much of it grass-fed. Take the time to get to know local ranchers. They can help you save a bundle by planning ahead, and buying a side of beef can be a good way for a family to enjoy higher-quality meat, reduce the grocery bill and support a local business. There’s plenty of chicken and other fowl, along with the freshest eggs available anywhere. Occasionally you’ll find lamb, or dairy products such as goat cheese or goat milk ice cream. Some markets even include fish, and if you’re there on the right day, you may find shrimp, tuna or mahi-mahi.

Many farmers also bring artisan bread, cookies, quick breads, cinnamon rolls, brownies and seasonal pies to share with their customers. You’ll find jellies, salsas, pickles and relishes, along with sauces, syrups, dips and rubs. You can beautify your skin with soaps and lotions in an amazing variety of fragrances, and beautify your home with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Central Texas is home to a wide variety of blooms, so you can fill your home with the allure of sweet peas, larkspur, gladiolas, sunflowers and zinnias during the spring and summer. Dog lovers love to bring their four-legged friends to the market, and dogs love the homemade premium dog and cat food sold by local vendors. Top it all off with a bottle or two of good Texas wine, and you’ll wonder why you were making all those trips to the grocery store.


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Pick a direction — any direction

There are far more farmers’ markets in Central Texas than we can list here. And, because they’re more mobile than brick-and-mortar stores, the locations and times are subject to change, with new ones cropping up all the time. Go online for the latest details — most farmers’ markets have a web page, or are listed on news and community websites.

Austin Markets

SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown
Saturdays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
9 am to 1 pm
400 W. Guadalupe, Republic Square Park

SFC Farmers’ Market at The Triangle
Wednesdays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
April – September, 4 pm to 8 pm
October – March, 3 pm to 7 pm
4600 Lamar (46th Street and Lamar), Triangle Park at The Triangle

SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley
Saturdays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
9 am to 1 pm
3200 Jones Road, at the Toney Burger Center

Hope Farmers’ Market
Sundays, Year-Round
11 am to 3 pm
414 Waller St. Austin, TX 78702

San Antonio Area Markets

Leon Springs Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
8:30 am to 1 pm
24133 Boerne Stage Road, just off IH-10 and south of the HEB in the parking lot of the Leon Springs Baptist Church

Legacy Outdoor Market
Sundays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
10 am to 3 pm
Situated in the northeast corner of 281 and 1604 in the Legacy Shopping Center near Lifetime Fitness, featuring both a farmers’ market and an arts and crafts market

Helotes Farmers’ Market
Fridays, March through November
13222 Bandera Road, about one mile west of 1604 in the Helotes Hills United Methodist Church parking lot, just across the street from Bobby J's

Hill Country Markets

Blanco Market Days
Every 3rd Saturday from April to November
8 am to 4 pm
Held on the front lawn of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, a beautiful and historic location that lends an inimitable early Texas flavor

Boerne Farmers’ Market
Saturdays, March through November
2 to 5 pm
801 S. Main at Veterans Park off of Main Street

Thursdays, May through September
4 to 7 pm
Located at Kinderhalle, which is at the corner of W. Austin and N. Crockett streets

Gruene Market Days
3rd full weekend of each month, February through November
10 am to 5 pm
Take IH35 Exit #191 Go west 1.5 miles — take a Left onto Hunter Road; located on the grounds in front of the Adobe Verde Restaurant

Wimberley Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays, Year-Round, Rain or Shine
3 pm to 6 pm
A producer-only farmers' market located in the Lions Club Parking Lot #1 on FM 2325