Farmers Market a hit with locals

Local vendor Happy Stuff works hard trying to sell their product at the weekly Waco Downtown Farmers Market. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

Every Saturday morning, farmers and artisans from all around Waco come together and set up their tables in order to provide local Waco residents with the true farm-to-market experience. The Waco Downtown Farmers Market supplies the Waco area with an array of homegrown produce ranging from fresh peaches to organic black bean tamales to even locally brewed kombucha.

Many of the vendors view the farmers market as a way to connect with the surrounding area.

“We came to sell our goods, and now it has evolved into more of a community experience,” said Toby Tall of Homegrown Farms.

The Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market gives local farmers the opportunity to bring their homegrown produce to sell at a reasonable price, which creates a very tight-knit and welcoming community. Beyond the vendors, the farmers market allows opportunities for the community to connect through scheduled programs such as cooking demonstrations and dance jams. Occasionally, they hold a weekend in which Baylor students are offered a discount at most vendor stands to get them out of their dorm rooms and into the Waco community.

One may question why, after a long week, these people still find the energy to get up early every Saturday morning and sit outside from 9 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon? The answer is that many vendors are proud to bring their goods as a way to give local residents and students a chance to enjoy what Waco has to offer.

“We had a lot of eggs, and this is the best place in town to sell homegrown goods,” said Shannon Benson of Heart of Texas Farms.

The Waco Downtown Farmers Market offers not only fresh produce, but also a great place for students and residents alike to come together as a community. Many vendors offer students employment along with a welcoming environment.

“I love the people here,” said Fort Worth senior Katherine Burr, who works for one of the local vendors. “It’s awesome and everyone is super comfortable. It’s like a salad of people.”

Since November 2011, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market has been supporting local farmers and allowing the Waco culture to thrive within the community year-round. When you need to shop locally, you can find the market down University Parks drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market provides a wonderful environment to bring your friends, children and even dogs as a way to relax after a long week. With live music and local vendors, how could one say no to such a homegrown and humble experience?