Every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm, Austanites can by-pass the tasteless, mealy textured produced served up by grocery stores and experience the real thing at the Hope Farmer’s Market located at East 5th and Comal.
The Market began in October 2009, a challenge in a city known for stores selling organic and local produce. But almost four years later, it’s still going and growing, bringing Austin residents a weekly destination where they can connect with the farmers who grow the food instead of just a clerk who’s stocking it.
Shoppers can find all sorts of fresh vegetable, fruits, nuts and herbs in season. Vendors also sell fresh milk and dairy products (including my favorite goat dairy products from Swede Farm), honey, syrup, eggs, meats and baked goods.
And while you shop you can also listen to live music, and maybe snack on some of the treats you just bought. If you go, please bring plenty of reusable bags — remember, no more plastic bags in Austin. Personally, I like using one of those old-lady folding carts, too. Hey, veggies get heavy!
Most of the stands accept EBT/SNAP and WIC benefits, making it easier for people in need of a hand to get the healthy food they really deserve. You can find out more about that at the Hope Farm Stand at the market. Most vendors don’t accept credit or debit cards, so if you’re not using one of the food assistance programs, do bring cash.
The Farmer’s Market is also a great place to take your kids shopping. Once they see all those brightly colored, tempting veggies and fruits you might have an easier time getting them to try them.
Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, too.