growing up on farmers’ markets

comments 2
austin / familia
farmers' market memories | aneelee.wordpress.com

It is no secret that I relish my trips to the farmers’ market. Even as a kid in Dallas, they were a regular occurrence on Saturday mornings. There would be occasional cases of avocados, flats of strawberries, and oranges in the winter, but we were there to get my mama’s staples for the most part – tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro and the beans that she would pick up from this one vendor. They were sooooo good.

The summer is what comes flashing back most. We’d be dripping in sweat and anxious to get done with our shopping so we could cut into the gigantic watermelon that we knew would be at our last stop.

Ya, Papi? – We’d say.
No se. A lo mejor, 30 minutos mas. (The less time the beast had to spend on my dad’s shoulder the better.)

At that point, I think it was the only market in town. On the edge of downtown and off 75, it still stands and has since added an air-conditioned building where local artisans peddle their jewelry, clothing and stuffs. I’m interested to see what happens to it now that it’s been sold to private developers and that there is more access to local produce around town.

Austin is lucky. We have markets almost every day of the week and all over town. My regular spots are:

SFC Farmers’ Market at the Triangle

20130605-161042.jpg Wednesdays are for the 9yo and I. We picnic. She romps. I get to sit with a book for a bit. With the stands within eye and earshot, I can send her off with a short list and some cash. Sometimes her cravings get the best of her (strawberry season) and she is left with a dollar or two for the cauliflower and greens that I am expecting, but for the most part it works well.

Once school is thrown back into the mix, Saturdays are alternated between the Sunset Valley and Downtown markets.

SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley
Sunset Valley is a quick stop every other week to pick up our CSA box. Love catching the occasional band practice in the parking lot and there are a handful festivals throughout the year that coincide with market time.

SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown
The Downtown market is a completely different from Sunset Valley – more vendors, more people, less parking, and a few more indulgences to be found. It is on those Saturdays that I find my way to my favorite donut and a cup of coffee. If the weather cooperates and parking fairies are kind, I linger till something catches my fancy much like mom and dad used to. Rainy days pair perfectly with the downtown market. 😉

Where do you like to go? Would you go as a kid or is it a new habit?

The Author

vegetarian. mama. love to cook, read, knit, take pictures and make things. places where food, memory, and culture intersect are my favorite.

2 Comments

  1. I try to buy locally and sustainably, but I don’t go to the farmers market that often. Which market has the most variety and reasonable prices? Most recently I’ve been to the downtown market and Hope. I always come away spending a ton of money for not very much.
    I also worry about quality. My roommate used to work for JBG and says that vendors at some markets can be shady and just resell a bunch of stuff. I hear SFC markets are the best…?
    I’d love to see a post on how to make the most of shopping at the markets!

    • I don’t think I’ve come across poor quality produce at the local markets as of yet and I feel like SFC is very transparent about their farmers and where they are from. I love the idea of market shopping on a budget and might take you up on that challenge. It can be tough but is doable especially if you aren’t buying meats and dairy. 😉

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