First, a quick breakdown on the Austin farmer’s market scene for the newly initiated :-)
There are multiple markets spanning North and South Austin throughout the week on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, so it’s easy to find one near you.
There are 3 main groups that organize and conduct these markets:
-Sustainable Food Center (SFC),
-Texas Farmer’s Market,
-Hope Market , (which is independently run but offers the Double Up Food Bucks program sponsored by SFC).
These groups have slightly different requirements for their vendors,
but they are all producer-only, which means that in order to sell, you have to make your goods- no reselling allowed. This guarantees that whatever you buy is truly local. All of them also encourage or require their vendors to practice sustainable techniques. See Texas Farmer’s Market vendor practices here .
You’ll notice most of the links I’ve given direct you to the About pages
of each group. They are very much worth reading. It’s incredibly inspiring and comforting to know there are groups in Texas working to re-balance the human relationship with food, land and commerce (like PTYD!). Turns out farmer’s markets are also a perfect medium for this mission.
Here's the Qs:
1. What practices does this market require of you?
2. Will you tell me a little about your land & operation?
3. What led you to farming?
4. Where are you located?
5. What’s your favorite thing about this particular market?
I hope these questions help get the conversation rolling
next time you visit your local farmers market! It’s amazing how much you can learn talking to vendors at these markets. You’ll quickly learn that most are there because they really love what they do.
And maybe you’ll run into one of the farmers who feed you via Prep To Your Door!
Naomi Perryman is a Personal Chef and Health Coach in Austin, TX. She’s learned a lot over the years from people & places including The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts (Vegan & Macrobiotic cooking school), The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (holistic health coaching), and Hands of the Earth Farm. Like the folks at Prep to Your Door, she believes that connecting busy people with local food unlocks the power of whole foods to help us feel better, have more energy, and engage more deeply with our lives and the larger world around us.