The East Texas State Fair Farmers Market in Tyler is in full swing with products ranging from produce and plants, to jams and soaps.
All produce sold must be grown by the vendors and all other items, such as arts and crafts, must be handmade, according to the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market rules. Everything is locally sourced and fresh.
Many vendors come out to the market every Saturday when it’s open.
Ginger Harris, owner of Harris Acres, said her and her family have been selling their jams and produce at this market for at least 35 years.
“It’s a generational activity,” Harris said. “It’s kind of a family tradition with us.”
Produce brought to the farmer’s market is picked about three of four days prior, allowing it to be very fresh, she said. She added it differs from grocery store offerings because the produce is local, fresh and tastes better.
Along with talking to customers, Harris said her favorite part of the farmer’s market is that everyone has their own specialty and there is so much to learn.
It’s nice to be surrounded by people who share similar passions and learn from one another, Crystal Branch, owner of Growing Branches Farm, said.
“A lot of people don’t know where their food comes from or the work that goes into growing it, and everyone here gets it,” Branch said.
In the last year, Branch began specializing in microgreens that she grows in her home.
Microgreens have become popular, especially with chefs, because they can add a lot to a dish, she said.
“Microgreens generally have about 40% more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than the full-grown plant,” Branch said. “They’re small, but they have a lot more flavor.”
Harris said she is happy with the turnout they have had this year and mentioned that even last year was great despite COVID-19.
Because the farmers market is outside, the vendors were able to spread out and continue providing people with fresh produce in a safe environment last year.
“I think last year we saw a lot more younger people,” Harris said. “People were looking for things that were locally grown.”
Being able to be a vendor at the farmers market and growing produce, or plants in her case, is some of the best therapy a person can get, Kris Alexander, owner of Big Tree Pharmacy, said.
People can visit the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market until August 14.
The farmers market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2112 W Front St.
Other farmers markets in Tyler include the Rose City Farmers Market (302 S. Broadway Ave) and Tyler Farmers Market (4859 Old Bullard Road).
Rose City Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday.
Tyler Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.