The idea of purchasing local has been growing in popularity. Not just as a method of supporting the trend, area farmers markets have been promoting the types of food and wares that can produced in North Texas.
Both Sherman and Denison host their own events that feature farmers, ranchers, artisans, and more.
Here are five things to know ahead of your next visit from market.
1. They are held weekly when there is accomodating weather.
The weekly Sherman farmers market is held each Saturday from 9 a.m to noon at the northwest corner of Crockett Street and Houston Street and the Denison event is held at the same times on Main Street.
The Sherman market also welcomes area craft makers on the second Saturday of each month. Visitors are free to roam from table to table in the parking lot, against the market’s new mural and backdrop - an antique pickup loaded down with colorful produce.
“It’s a great place, where neighbors can meet neighbors and find great quality foods and handmade goods,” said Sherman organizer Angela Wilson.
2. Knowing the rules and what to expect
Sherman’s farmers market does not allow re-sellers, so all vendors must grow their own foods or make their own products.
Angela Wilson said home-grown produce may not look as polished as fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, but it’s fresh and shoppers get the unique chance to ask growers about their products and their process. Shoppers should also be aware that the time of year of year, temperature and rainfall amounts all affect the availability and quality of harvested goods.
“Weather is very important in terms of what’s coming out,” Bryan Wilson said. “It affects the growing season, when the fruit comes out, the size and the taste. All of that matters.”
3. What’s in season?
Late August and early September tend to offer fewer harvest opportunities in Texoma, but current food finds include peppers, herbs, apples, pears and herbs.
4. Making a purchase
To help make sure shoppers are making the right choice, many sellers will offer free samples or tastings. Interested parties need only to ask. And when it comes time to buy, remember that vendors often prefer cash, but most will be happy to take credit or debit cards, too.
5. Keeping food fresh
Once the groceries are home, see to it that they’re enjoyed promptly for optimal freshness and flavor, or stored away properly.
“Garlic will last all year long in a pantry,” Angela Wilson said. “Potatoes should be kept in as cool and dark a place as possible, but not in the refrigerator, because it concentrates the starches. The greens should be kept in the fridge . And peppers and fruits are good just out on the counter if you’re going to use them reasonably soon.”