On a recent Saturday morning at the new Sherman Farmers Market, two tents sat on the aging parking lot of Walnut and Wall streets under a cloudy sky. The occupants were farmers Steve and Laurette McCommas of Red Barn Farm, and local soap maker Gina Woolsey. The market is open Thursday and Saturday mornings on Walnut Street.

On a recent Saturday morning at the new Sherman Farmers Market, two tents sat on the aging parking lot of Walnut and Wall streets under a cloudy sky. The occupants were farmers Steve and Laurette McCommas of Red Barn Farm, and local soap maker Gina Woolsey. The market is open Thursday and Saturday mornings on Walnut Street.


It started from a partnership between Lupe’s Tamales’ owner, John Arriazola, and Red Barn Farm. "We used to deliver vegetables to one of a kind restaurants," including Lupe’s, said Steve McCommas.


Arriazola, who came up with the idea for a farmers market, said there’s never been one in that location before. "It’s important (for) a restaurant. You walk over and get fresh produce, especially organic produce." The stalls are visible from the restaurant windows.


"We’re interested in getting fresh fruits and vegetables into (people’s) diets," said farmer Laurette McCommas.


"We grow peppers, lettuce, all kinds of cabbage, spinach, onion, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, pinto beans, purple hull beans, black eyed beans, green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, squash, yellow squash, all kinds of tomatoes, peaches, blackberries, plums," said Steve McCommas.


For the McCommases, who are retired, farming is a hobby, not a business. "You put a lot more than you take in," said Laurette McCommas.


Woolsey said her own needs are the reason she started making soaps. "I’m allergic to soap in stores, so many chemicals," she said. "Especially with their kids, (people) are careful with what they put on." She offers peppermint, lavender, lemongrass and unscented soaps as well as body scrub and body whip made of shea and cocoa butter.


"It costs more to make them homemade," said Woolsey as she explained that these butters are the real thing.


The supporters of the market trickle in as awareness of its existence expands. "It’s a lot better to buy local, I believe," said Elvis Gonzalez, a psychology student at Grayson College.


"We can pick and choose what we want to eat. That’s the freedom of America," said Arriazola. Over the coming weeks there will be winter crops from other local farmers available on Thursdays and Saturdays at the market.