Houston and its surrounding areas are home to a number of fantastic farmers markets which give you and your family the opportunity to eat locally sourced food items and shop locally made artisan crafts. Not only are the available food options at Houston’s farmers markets delicious, but purchasing these food items can also have a positive impact on your health and the earth’s environment. Read below to learn about some of Houston’s best farmers markets and how these farmers markets can benefit your health and the health of the environment. Plus, learn some shopping tips that will prove to be helpful on your first trip to your local farmers market.
The Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market is the largest farmers market in Houston and among the largest farmers markets in the entire state of Texas. This market is run by Urban Harvest, a non-profit organization which provides community gardening programs, farmers markets, gardening classes and youth education. If you like to get your grocery shopping done on Saturday mornings, this market is a great choice for you, as it is open on Saturday from 8 AM to 12 PM. With over seventy local vendors to choose from, the Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market offers a huge selection of local produce and meats. Every farmer and producer at the Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market comes from within 180 miles of Houston and all hot food vendors source fifty-one percent of their ingredients locally.
Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market
3000 Richmond Ave.
Houston, Texas 77098
2. City Hall Farmers Market
The City Hall Farmers Market is a great option for those looking to get fresh lunch items on-the-go in downtown Houston. Open every Wednesday from 11 AM to 1:30 PM, the City Hall Farmers Market offers Houstonians fresh produce grown by local farmers, cheese, bread, roasted coffee and prepared meals from over thirty vendors. You can also grab a quick bite at one of the food trucks such as El Topo, It’s A Wrap!, D’Lish Curbside Bistro, Breaking Bao, Churrasco To Go, Moon, Rooster and more.
City Hall Farmers Market
901 Bagby St.
Houston, Texas 77002
3. Memorial Villages Farmers Market
Not only will you find beautiful, fresh produce from high quality vendors at the Memorial Villages Farmers Market, but you will also find live music, a playground and children’s activities, food demonstrations, freshly brewed coffee, a pet friendly environment, ample parking and more. This farmers market is open rain or shine every Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Memorial Villages Farmers Market
10840 Beinhorn Road
Houston, Texas 77024
4. Rice University Farmers Market
Rice University Farmers Market has been serving Houston for ten years and features a wide selection of local vendors who offer everything from fresh produce to hot sauces, smoked on-site barbecue, pet treats and more. You can also enjoy chef demonstrations and beer tastings. This farmers market is open every Tuesday from 3:30 PM to 6:30PM and is located in the parking lot beside the Rice University’s football stadium.
Rice University Farmers Market
5600 Greenbriar Drive
Houston, Texas 77005
5. Eleanora’s Market
Eleanora’s Market is a farmers and artisan market located in the parking lot of Cavatore’s Italian Restaurant in Houston. This market is unique in its offerings, as it not only features vendors who offer the usual fresh local produce, but also gives you the chance to shop bath and body products, wine, dog treats, jewelry, kombucha, textiles, flowers and more. With over thirty vendors to choose from, you will not lack options when shopping for your favorite farmers market treats. Eleanora’s Market is open on Saturday from 9 AM to 12PM rain or shine.
2120 Ella Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77008
6. Westchase District Farmers Market
If you prefer to get your grocery shopping done on a week day, the Westchase District Farmers Market is a great choice for you. This farmers market is located in the parking lot of St. Cyril Alexandria Catholic Church and is open every Thursday from 3 PM to 6 PM. Here you will find over twenty-four vendors offering seasonal produce, baked good and prepared foods, nuts, honey, sauces, condiments, dairy, eggs, meats and home and spa goods.
Westchase District Farmers Market
10503 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77042
7. Tomball Farmers Market
Open every Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM, the Tomball Farmers Market is a good option for those living in Northwest Houston. This charming farmers market features over two dozen vendors who offer products including fresh local produce, raw honey, bagels, homemade bread, homegrown pickles, organic eggs, pies, handcrafted jewelry, pet treats, coffee and more.
Tomball Farmers Market
205 W. Main Street
Tomball, Texas 77375
8. The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill
Another option for those who live north of Houston is the Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill. This farmers market features a rotating selection of vendors who offer local produce, prepared foods and artisan goods. The profits made at this market are put back into the community though philanthropic programs including college scholarships. If you want to know which vendors will be available at the Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill on a particular weekend, sign up for their newsletter here. This farmers market is open every Saturday from 8 AM to 12 PM.
Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill
7 Switchbud Place
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
How Do Farmer’s Markets Benefit Your Health And The Environment?
Not only will your tastebuds benefit from shopping at a local farmers market, but these fresh, locally sourced foods will benefit your health, the environment and more. Read below to learn more about the benefits of farmers markets and how they can have a positive impact on the way you live and eat.
1. Less Preservatives and Additives
Because the food items found at farmers markets are sourced locally, there is less travel time for farmers who bring these foods from farm to market. These shorter travel times mean that there will be little to no preservatives or additives needed to keep the food fresh. Plus, when farmers have shorter distances to travel, they are producing fewer transportation emissions which can be damaging to earth’s atmosphere.
2. Enjoy Seasonal Produce
While it is convenient to go to your local grocery store and purchase any type of produce you want at any time of year, it is not always the most healthy way to consume fruits and vegetables. When produce is grown out of season, additional chemicals must be added to promote growth. These unnatural chemicals can then take away from the nutritional value of your produce. When you shop for fruits and vegetables at farmer markets, they are usually in season meaning that there have been little to no chemicals added.
In September, some seasonal fruits and vegetables you can get at a farmers market include figs, pears, persimmons, melons, watermelon, summer squash, cucumbers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, carrots, onions, baby arugula, sweet corn, green beans, fresh peas, sweet potatoes, red potatoes and fresh cooking herbs.
3. Farmers Markets Support Local Farmers
Because the agricultural industry now dominates produce production in the United States, local farms do not have the support that they once did. Shopping local produce is a symbiotic relationship between you and local farmers, as you get to enjoy the many benefits of fresh, local produce and meats while farmers benefit from your support.
4. Shopping Local Produce Protects The Earth’s Environment
Locally produced foods that are grown on small farms will not use the same, and environmentally damaging, agricultural practices that large industrial farms use. It is also beneficial to the environment that produce bought at a famers market does not come in unnecessary plastic packaging like that which you will find from produce grown by large production companies.
5. Eat More Natural Foods
Many of the foods you will find at your local grocery store are highly processed. The produce and meats at most grocery stores will contain hormones and pesticides that are not ideal for maintaining a healthy body. If you have ever noticed that the apples and other fruits at your grocery store look shiny, it is because this produce has been treated with wax to make the fruit look more appealing to shoppers. Farmers markets will not usually add these harmful chemicals, hormones or wax to your produce and instead, will practice sustainable production techniques with your health in mind.
6. Farmers Markets Are Better For Farm Animals
It is not uncommon for large food production companies to keep their animals in unsanitary conditions or even treat them inhumanely during their time at the farm. When you shop for meat at a farmers market, the animals will generally have grown up in healthy conditions and will have been treated humanely. These animals are generally not raised using hormones or other chemicals to manipulate the quality of meat or dairy products they produce. This means that the meat and dairy you purchase from a farmers market is will be of greater nutritional value to you and your family.
7. Choose From A Wider Variety Of Food Items
Not only will you find a wider variety of fruits of vegetables when you shop at a farmers market, but you will usually also find unique foods and artisan items that cannot be picked up at your local grocery store. These options can help you to get more creative in your kitchen and will keep you and your family from getting bored of eating the same type of produce week over week. Additionally, many food vendors and farmers will be happy to share with you specific recipes or the best way to use their products when you cook at home.
8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
When purchasing produce or meat from the grocery store, you do not always know from where that food originated. When you shop at a farmers market, you will know exactly where your food came from and often times, you can even speak directly to the farmers who produced the food. This is beneficial if you want to know where the food came from and the methods a farmer used to grow the food.
9. Spend Some Time Outdoors
Shopping at a farmers market for your weekly produce is a great way to spend productive time outdoors. You can even make it a family affair and bring you children to have a look at all of the exciting food and artisan items available.
10 Helpful Tips For Shopping at a Farmer’s Market
Your experience shopping for groceries at a farmers market will differ from a typical grocery store shopping experience in a few ways. Read below to learn about some of the small adjustments you might need to make before you begin shopping for your food at a farmers market.
It is hard to know whether or not vendors at a farmers market will take credit cards. To make sure you do not have to leave the farmers market empty handed, bring enough cash to purchase everything you will need.
2. Choose Which Time You Want To Go To The Farmers Market
Unlike grocery stores which are open daily during regular business hours, farmers markets have very specific days and times on which they operate. Decide whether you would like to shop in the morning or afternoon, on a weekend or a week day and find a farmers market which suits these needs. If you would like the best selection and freshest products, shop early in the morning. If you are more concerned with getting a good deal, shop closer to the time the farmers market closes. Vendors are more likely to offer you a good deal closer to closing time because they may not want to take home leftover product.
3. Take Advantage Of The Vendor’s Knowledge
Unlike associates at the grocery store, each vendor will have a good idea about where their products come from, how they were made or if there were any hormones or pesticides used in their product. Do not hesitate to ask these questions, as access to this knowledge is one of the biggest benefits of shopping at a farmers market.
4. Shop In Bulk
The vendors and farmers at a farmers market are usually happy to sell their products in bulk and might offer you a better deal if you shop this way. Even if you do not have a large family that will eat enough of the product before it spoils, you can always freeze the food until you are ready to enjoy it again.
We hope you have a fantastic time shopping at any of Houston’s farmers markets! Remember that as you purchase produce and meats from these markets, you are helping to ensure a brighter future for our earth and for your future generations.