The phrase "fresh from the farm" sounds like marketing jargon when you see it in a grocery store. But at the 35 or so farmers markets around North Texas, it's the real deal.
These markets delight locavores and locals alike with fresh produce and foods, homemade goods, and locally sourced products. You can get to know your farmer, rancher, producer, grower, baker, dairyman, soap maker, and even your dog biscuit maker and learn interesting stories behind your food. Plus, farmers market patrons save an average of 25 percent more on food annually than grocery store shoppers, according to American Farmland Trust.
Here are a few of our favorite Dallas-Fort Worth farmers markets and why we love them.
Dallas Farmers Market
This is the granddaddy of them all, with dozens of vendors selling natural meat, cheese, eggs, artisan food, and local farmers' produce; we love the local Zip Code Honey from the Texas Honeybee Guild in stall CC4.
Located in the heart of downtown at 1010 S. Pearl Expy., the Dallas Farmers Market is buzzing with business Thursdays from 4-9 pm, Friday and Sunday from 10 am–5 pm, and Saturday from 8 am–5 pm. Use the handy website product search before visiting to see if what you want is being sold that day, or just show up and browse. They even provide complementary wagons if your haul is bigger than your reusable tote bags.
Collin County Farmers Market
Formerly known as Fairview Farms, the Collin County Farmers Market took over in 2013 and hosts a weekly market in a big, red barn shed. It's a festive atmosphere as locals browse the soaps, fresh mushrooms, gourmet olive oils, organic produce, plants, and sweet treats. This is a great place to get local grass-fed meats, like the beef from Hidden Oaks Meats.
It's open Saturdays through October 3 from 9 am-noon (August), and to 1 pm (September and October), east of Plano at the Murphy City Hall Complex, 206 N. Murphy Rd.
McKinney Farmers Market
McKinney's award-winning market is a quaint, laid-back experience located on the tree-shaded grounds at Chestnut Square Historic Village, south of the city's downtown square. In addition to local grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, you'll find specialty goods like tamales, pastries, jerky, olive oil, and jellies. Produce from vendors such as Good Earth Organic, Sachse Farms, Local Family Farms, and D-Bar Ranch is in tip-top shape and generous quantity.
It's open Saturdays from 8 am-noon at Chestnut Square Historic Village. A mini-market sets up on Thursdays from 3-7 pm in the parking lot at Adriatica, a picturesque re-creation of a Croatian village, west of US 75.
Good Local Market
You've known and loved White Rock Local Market for years, so get familiar with Good Local Market, its new name and an expanded concept. You'll still find local produce, meats and cheese, bread and pastries, pickles, jams, and tamales, but now they've got three locations.
White Rock is open from 8 am–1 pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month through December in the same spot, 702 N. Buckner Blvd. The new Lakeside market is open the same hours on the first and third Saturdays each month at 9150 Garland Rd. Vickery Meadow is open 10 am–3 pm every Sunday at 5803 E. Northwest Hwy. Don’t miss the pasture-raised pork and eggs from Alpha Omega Acres and the small-batch locally roasted coffee from Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters.
Coppell Farmers Market
This is one of the best local farmers markets for kids and dogs, with live entertainment, a splash pad, and market-themed playground. While your two- and four-legged babies are entertained, check out the selection from vetted farmers, all coming from 150 miles of DFW.
Personal favorite: Eagle Mountain farmhouse cheese, made from the raw milk of naturally grazed, organically herded dairy cows in Bridgeport. They also have the best website of any farmers market in the area. Open through November 21 on Saturdays from 8 am-noon, rain or shine, in Old Town Coppell at 768 W. Main St.
Grand Prairie Farmers Market
This market was ranked as a "pillar of the community" by American Farmland Trust, sitting on a half-acre park in a barn-like building with corrugated tin roof. It's a community meeting spot in downtown with a shaded pavilion and entertainment, like live music.
The calendar is full for the rest of 2015, with monthly chef demonstrations and special events. (Next year, don't miss Mrs. Ruthie's Fig and Fudge Festival.) This market is generous with samples, from sausages to watermelons. Open through December 20 on Saturdays from 8 am–1 pm on the Market Square at 120 W. Main St.