Farm Fresh: Produced in a field near you

Written by KELLY GOOCH,

(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Community members will have multiple farmers' markets to choose from this year.

The Tyler Farmers Market, the Rose City Farmers Market and the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market are all slated to be in town.

The Tyler Farmers Market begins May 10. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Aug. 30.


David Claiborne, president of the Tyler Farmers Market and owner of the Tomato Shed in Jacksonville, said nothing has changed for the Tyler Farmers Market.

He said the same farmers are involved, and it will be outside Broadway Square Mall, as it has been for the past five years.

"We're the same dependable farmers market," Claiborne said.


He said the Tyler Farmers Market offers locally-grown products.

Claiborne said the growing season has gotten off to a slow start, but the Tyler Farmers Market won't see a significant impact, and cold winters can be good for the ecosystem and growing cycle.

This year, many growers are may be trying out different varieties of different vegetables, and more seedless watermelon and cantaloupes are being added to the production this year, Claiborne said.

He said there are some growers who have participated since the beginning of the Tyler Farmers Market, which was established in 1983, and this year, there are up to 25 participants.

The Rose City Farmers Market opens May 3 and runs through Nov. 29.

It will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Tuesdays at 7212 Old Jacksonville Highway.

Carmen Sosa, market director of the Rose City Farmers Market, said the farmers' market also will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. Although an exact location for Thursdays has not been announced, she said it will be somewhere north of Front Street.

Ms. Sosa said the farmers' market is sharing space with Juls restaurant, and will work closely with Philipp Norsetter, executive chef at Juls, on farm-to-fork efforts, meaning that local ingredients from the farmers' market will be served at the restaurant.

"We're super excited about that," she said. Ms. Sosa said the Old Jacksonville Highway location is new for the Rose City Farmers Market, which was formerly called The Fair Market and located on the East Texas State Fair grounds.

"The initial reason behind the move is that The Fair Market lost its lease at the fairgrounds," she said via email. "Additionally, the farmers voted unanimously to find a location that would allow them to trade from May through November. Historically, the farmers had to relocate the market from the fairgrounds in July due to the opening of the state fair event. There will still be a farmers market at the fairgrounds, called the East Texas (State) Fair (Farmers) Market, open May to July."

During the Rose City Farmers Market this year, Ms. Sosa said the public can expect "exactly what they came to love about the farmers' market last year."

She said the farmers' market will be 100 percent producers-only, and all of the produce had to be grown within 75 miles of the farmers' market.

Aside from the produce, she said, cocktails will be offered on Saturdays, and there will be live music scheduled on Saturdays. There will be an open jam session on Tuesdays, and local musicians are invited to participate, she said.

Ms. Sosa also described the Rose City Farmers Market as kid friendly and dog friendly, and said food artisans will sell baked goods, candies, jams and pickles. She anticipates 50 market members.

She said the Rose City Farmers Market accepts Farmers' Market Nutrition Program vouchers for WIC (Women, Infant and Children) participants, as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and credit and debit cards.

The East Texas State Fair Farmers Market opens on May 3 and closes on July 26. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays at the East Texas State Fair South Pavilion, 2112 W. Front St.

Deb Fletcher, market member with the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market, said Saturdays is when most of the farmers will be on hand. She estimated that likely 14 farmers will have local produce at the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market.

She said various items, such as handmade goat milk soap hand poured candles and handmade aprons and pillows, also will be available.

Additionally, she said, there will be chicken and quail eggs, along with a limited quantity of duck eggs, and the hope is to have a market bakery, as well as some locally raised beef.


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