Eating seasonally and purchasing locally is important for both local agriculture and your health. Fresh, local produce, picked when ripe, have more nutrients and vitamins. Items at farmers markets are often picked within a few hours of being taken to the market, as the vitamins and nutrients begin to decline as soon as they are picked.
Farmers markets are fantastic places to pick up fresh and local produce, as well as other varieties of food, such as organic, grass-fed meats, herbs, cheeses, eggs, desserts, and flowers. Taking your child to a farmers market can be a worthwhile and educational experience. You and your child can learn about the different seasonal foods, as well as the impact that “choosing local” has on farmers and the economy in and around San Antonio. While not all of the food is organically grown, one can still talk to the growers to find out about pesticides and practices that they use on their produce.
While the Pearl Farmers Market at Pearl Brewery is the most well-known market in the area, there are many others to visit.
• Leon Springs Farmers Market is open every Saturday, year round, from 8:30 am until noon. Vendors at this location include Circle H Orchards (offering items such as vegetables, pecans, pecan oil, and chocolate covered nuts), Edelen Farms (offering grass-fed beef and naturally raised chickens), Flor Hermosa Nursery (with beautiful succulents and flowers), and the Green Brownie Company (an eco-friendly, organic bakery). The market is located at 24133 Boerne Stage Road, in the parking of the Leon Springs Baptist Church.
• Legacy Outdoor Market is open every Sunday, year round, from 10 am to 3 pm. Located on the northeast corner of 281 and 1604, in the Legacy Shopping Center, the outdoor market features both a farmers market and arts and crafts. Farmers market vendors include Cowgirl Granola (all-natural, small batch granola mixture by Heather Hunter), Delectable Nuts ‘N Such (an assortment of roasted almonds, cashews, and pecans, as well as tea breads), Mike’s Seafood (fresh seafood from Port Aransas), The Farm at Woodland Acres (organic produce and herbs), and Uncertain Farms (jellies, salsas, pickles and relishes, as well as “Cowboy Candy”- bread and butter jalapenos).
• The San Antonio Farmers Market Association has markets open Tuesdays through Sundays, all across San Antonio. With a fresh mix of seasonal, local foods available, as well as specialty items such as jerky, jams and jellies, gulf fish, and free-range turkeys (pre-order now for the holidays!), the SAFMA has been operating for over 20 years. Visit their website for information on the various farmers markets they operate around the city.
Buying from farmers markets offers a great opportunity to meet and speak with the farmers who grow your food. You can ask about their farming practices, or get tips and recipes for cooking the items. Your child will enjoy the local entertainment offered, as well!