Farmers Markets, Farm Stands, CSA’s
I’m sure you realize that food doesn’t come from a grocery store, it comes from a farm. In Central Texas, we are lucky to be surrounded by farms, even in the urban environment. Increasingly, residents are connecting with our many local growers who sell their farm-fresh products directly.
Vegetables, fruit, flowers, meats, eggs, herbs, cheese, preserved foods, Christmas trees, and crafts are all available at area farms. Not only is local produce 1,000 miles fresher, dollars spent in the local food economy have added environmental, economic, and community-building benefits.
Get to know the folks who bring us fresh, local grown produce and other farm products. Take the whole family when you go.
Farmers Markets: Each market has its own personality, and offers a unique set of food and goods. Go ahead and find “your” market! Edible Austin has a detailed list and map of farmers markets in Central Texas.
Find farmers markets across Texas that are certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture: Go Texan Farmers Markets.
Farm Stands: Many local farmers prefer their customers to buy directly from the farm, at the farm. Visiting a farm can provide a lovely retreat from our urban lives, while strengthening our ties to the people and places that nourish us. Stop and smell the flowers! Pet a piggy! Toss a ball to the trusty farm dog! Ask planting or cooking advice from your local farmer. The in-person experience can’t be beat. Edible Austin has a detailed list of farm stands in Central Texas.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): As stated by one Austin organic grower, “CSA is the bread and butter of local farms.” There is a lot of work that goes into producing food (saving or buying seeds – starting seeds-preparing the fields-transplanting-watering-fertilizing-weeding-harvesting-cleaning-selling). With the payout at the very end of this process, and a brief window to sell produce once it’s ripe, farmers assume a lot of risk. With Community Supported Agriculture, consumers invest in the farm’s yield, prepaying for weekly or biweekly shares of a season’s produce, meat, flowers, eggs (shares vary between farms and seasons). Typically, produce shares cost between $30 – $50, and these large boxes of farm fresh goodies are picked up or delivered every week or 14 days. CSA memberships frequently come with other perks – members only dinners at the farm, your choice of extra produce from big harvests, recipe swapping, etc. If you are concerned about the economic viability of local farming, and would like to invest in the future of your favorite farm, CSA is the way to go. Edible Austin has a descriptive list of CSA subscriptions available in Central Texas.