Farmers markets return in Bosque County after COVID-19 delayed opening days, providing fresh produce from local growers
BOSQUE COUNTY -- Farmers markets are one of the oldest forms of direct marketing by farmers. This traditional venue has been reinvigorated across the United States and farmers markets are a popular destination for shoppers to purchase fresh, local produce.
In Bosque County, residents can purchase farm produce fresh from local farmers at two farmers markets.
Gathering in the shade from 8:30-11 a.m. just west of Heritage Plaza, the Clifton Farmers’ Market held its first sale of the season May 30 with offerings like onions, squash, radishes, butter crunch lettuce, spinach, peppers, herbs, banana bread mini loaves, turnip greens and homemade zucchini bread.
"The Clifton Farmers’ Market is on again for this Saturday," said organizer Deb Tolman. "We had a crowd last week, so get there early if you want to buy. If you’re only looking for great conversation, come by and we will do our best. Same place, next to the Post Office, you can’t miss us."
In a collaborative effort by a group of Bosque County residents, the Bosque Farmers Market will be held for the first time Saturday, June 6 at the Meridian Park in Meridian. Open Saturday mornings from June to October from 9 a.m.-noon., there are some changes due to COVID-19 – no vendor fees, no vendor restrictions, except the selling of live animals. The market will be open to all those that wish to set up and sell each week, and it is up to the vendors to decide whether to wear a mask and gloves.
The mission of the Bosque Farmers Market in Meridian – which is in its sixth season this year - is to serve the people and communities of Bosque County by: 1. Providing a gathering place for local producers to promote and sell fresh agricultural produce and products directly to the consumer; 2. Teaching the benefits and uses of fresh produce to consumers; 3. Stimulating the local economy; and 4. Promoting the rich agricultural history of Bosque County.
At both markets, a core group of local producers sets up each week to sell a variety of fruits, vegetable, canned goods, herbs, baked goods and eggs. Local artisans also set up booths periodically to sell handmade items such as woodcrafts, jewelry, soap, and textiles.
The benefits of farmers markets are numerous for producers, consumers and communities. Producers gain direct access to consumers at a farmers market, which provides an important source of supplemental income for many growers. Consumers are increasingly interested in sourcing locally grown, farm-fresh products, and they are interested in interacting with the people who grow their food.
Community members benefit through this extra avenue to access fresh produce, and farmers markets have a positive impact on the local economy.
The Texas Department of Agriculture reports that in 2014, Texas farmers markets accounted for more than $16 million in sales for Texas agriculture producers. This translates to nearly $30 million for the Texas economy as a whole.
The Bosque Farmers Market also became a Go Texan member and a Certified Farmers Market through the Texas Department of Agriculture. Find the Bosque Farmers Market on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/bosquetxfarmersmarket/, and find the Clifton Farmers Market at: https://www.facebook.com/CliftonFarmersMarket/.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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