By Ariel Wright | Reporter
After a summer break, the Bridge Street Farmers Market is back in East Waco, featuring an assortment of live music, wellness activities, fresh produce and food trucks. The market is open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays at 200 East Bridge St.
The farmers market launched in March as an extension of the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at 500 Washington Ave.
While the Saturday market remained open throughout the summer, farmers market officials decided to pause the Wednesday market in July and August due to high temperatures.
“We went all the way to the end of May, and it was super hot in the evening, so I think it was necessary for everybody that we had this summer break,” Kiersten Schubel, a worker at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, said.
The Waco Downtown Farmers Market is a nonprofit that has been operating since 2011. It has driven success for local vendors, with 2021 sales totaling $1.9 million. However, the benefits don’t end there, as many Wacoans rely on the market for access to affordable and nutritious foods.
“I just like that [microgreens] are more bioavailable,” Rebecca Curci, a vendor and the owner of Bee’s Greens, said. “It will cost more in the store and won’t be as fresh and nutrient-dense. I like making people get better.”
The Bridge Street Farmers Market hosts a number of events, including free yoga lessons and musical performances — both of which are open to any community members interested.
“Wednesday evening makes the market more available,” Curci said. “The people who are busy or working on Saturdays are just more available.”
According to the USDA, farmers markets give communities across the country access to fresh produce, even in urban areas that may be lacking these resources.
“[The farmers market is] another place where you can use your food stamps,” Schubel said. “I think that’s a very big deal. … We have this program that’s with SNAP and EBT where you can use your card, and we double what you draw from your account. We double up to 30 per day, so we really encourage produce-buying by these programs.”
On Oct. 18, the farmers market will offer a $5 graduate student voucher.