My love affair with the Dallas Farmers Market is long. But I have to tell you that no matter what town you’re living in, you need to find the place where the local farmers go to sell their wares.
Now, I’m not 100% locavore, mostly because finances don’t allow for a full-on conversion just yet. Locally-sourced meat is expensive, you know?
This summer, we took a break from doing a vegetable garden. I wanted to move the bed and raise it, and we had a lot of other things going on, and it just wasn’t going to be feasible to do all the work. Last year, the bed was in a spot that was more shady than anticipated, and we only managed a whole lot of beautiful squash vines, some decent dill, one strawberry, and maybe five tomatoes. It was the Charlie Brown Garden. So vegetables from the Dallas Farmers Market will come in to play a lot this summer. I’ll post more later about our plans for the back yard.
But back to farmers markets. You have to be careful. Some intermingle wholesale produce (which can also be purchased at any grocery store) with local produce, making it hard to determine the sources. Some segregate, which is nice.
For instance, take the Dallas market. Shed 1. Shed 1 is all the local farmers. And go slightly hungry, or snackish, because dude, everyone wants you to sample something. And bring wet wipes, because that watermelon slice just dripped down your arm.
I have hellacious allergies, but I dislike having to take allergy meds all the time. A friend recommended locally sourced honey, unpasturized, to help. It’s allegedly like taking those allergy shots from the doctor, but instead, it tastes good and you can put it in tea. The Dallas market has one vendor that sells zip code honey – honey from bees that live in specific zip codes. My zip code isn’t represented yet, but one a few blocks over is, so that’s what I get.
But don’t spend all your time in Shed 1. Wander up to the front, where the plants are. A friend and I went there to shop for plants, and ended up shocked at how low the pricing is – way lower than your chain home improvement store. Ask for Bobby, he’ll give you the hook up.
And after you’ve visited a few times, find out who helps the place run. If you’re in Dallas, for instance, seek out the Dallas Farmers Market Friends. Become a member – we just did, just in time to take part in an ice cream social this weekend.
And I can’t think of a better summer activity than eating homemade ice cream I didn’t have to crank myself.