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Jun 5, 2009 01:46 PM

Farmer's Markets- Dallas area

What is the best Farmer's Market in Dallas and the surrounding suburbs? I live in Carrollton and see there are several around (Coppell, Frisco, Dallas)

For those who have been, which would you recommend?

Thank you!

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  1. What are you looking for? How far are you willing to drive? How picky are you about organic v non-organic?

    1. I'd like to know about the Coppell farmer's market since it is only about 5 miles away. What kind of selection do they have and how are the prices? I'm not really concerned about organic or non-organic. I just miss the vegetable stands that were on seemingly every country road when I was growing up in East Texas. I would be pretty happy to be able to go to one place again and leave with fresh Noonday onions, purple hull peas, potatoes, and squash. Granted, I dont exactly expect to find real Noondays in Coppell.

      4 Replies
      1. re: down73

        Coppell should have a pretty good selection, but apparently you need to get there before 9AM. None of the local farmer's markets are cheap. $3-$5 for tomatoes, $3 for a cantaloupe, etc...about twice what you pay for conventional stuff at the grocery store.

        1. re: down73

          This should clear up any questions on the Coppell Farmers Market

          I don't buy so much meats as I do vegetables and fruit. I really like Gene Holmes selection and quality from Oak Ridge Valley Farms in Grand Saline. Gene is also at McKinney and I believe Dallas. He is certified organic so some items will be higher but worth it. His broccoli was one vegetable where you can taste the difference.

          I would say the produce selection at Coppell is fair though. Most times I never walk away with what I came there for. I rarely see any peas anymore and if there are any they are outrageously expensive ($4 a pint - shelled). When I was a kid we went out close to DeLeon and Proctor to pick purple hulls and shelled them for a day or more.

          Noonday onions I did see this past weekend at the DFM form a local East Texas farmer. I wasn't sure of the price since I had picked my own purple onions in Waxahachie at Larken Farms. I also got 3 lbs of blackberries (pick your own) and Pattypaw and Eightball squash until my squash really produce. As far as potatoes I don't eat them that often so not sure on the price and the yellow crookneck squash I grow my own.

          I will agree with luniz you do need to get to Coppell right as they open.

          Also not as a shameless plug but as a member of Slow Food Dallas, I prefer the outer markets or farms located on the periphery of the DFW metroplex. Say for instance driving out to Terrell on a weekend to buy the things you grew up with is what you should do. Also if you have kids take them to a pick you own farm outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area so you get beter slection and products. I have found that going down to Waxahachie this past weekend yielded two pick your own farms and one that had produce not quite ready but wonderfully fresh farm egg at $2 a dozen (freshly picked from the coop).

          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

            LH, for fresh eggs, I don't know if you're aware of Mahard Egg Farm, but it'd be closer than the drive to Waxahachie - I suppose, unless you're already down that way - but I don't think you gather your own.

            I came across Mahard Eggs awhile ago in Little Elm at a little market/grocery that sells them retail. They definitely had a fresh richness about them.

            1. re: LewisvilleHounder

              I am looking for organic fresh ingredients... not one thing in particular. I don't want to drive far or get too complicated.

              That local harvest Web site looks great thanks! I will have to try the Coppell Farmers Market.

              Mostly, I was just looking for a place with good produce and to support the community.

          2. As long as I've lived in Grapevine, I've never ventured to their Farmer's Market - but they do have one. Per the GV website - it's only open Thur and Sat (NOT Fri for some reason) from 8 am to sellout. I have no idea how large or varied it is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CocoaNut

              Grapevine FM has about 5 or so faithful vendors one of them is Latte Da Dairy. The selection is kinda small but I guess if you are in Gaprevine it is worthwhile.

              CN, they sell Mahard Eggs at the Wal-Mart on 407 and 2499. When we can't visit a farm we buy our cage free organic eggs there.

            2. I'm relocated from New England and really miss my farmer's markets. Is it really essential to get to Coppell before 9am? I'd be shopping for many types of veggies, but especially tomatoes. Will they be gone if I get my beauty sleep and arrive at 11?

              7 Replies
              1. re: Christnp

                If you want the best selection it is crucial. Actually 9 am is very late in starts getting hot real quick. I would actually prefer most farmers markets to open around 5:30 - 6 am as I am cooking by 11 for lunch.

                Most tomatoes are not in yet as they need about 2-3 more weeks to turn (turn from green to red) unless you are after green tomatoes for frying or chow chow.

                Peppers will be into July and August (need hot weather to get them going) later for ripe red ones. Right now you can find potatoes (Red La Soda or Viking are the red varities and Norchip is going to be the small white varieity), Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Greens - Turnip, Mustard, and Collard, some field pea varieties are in but they will be an early crop and kinda pricey, squash - Yellow, Pattypaw, and Eightball are just beginning and will be more fruitful in another week or so, some peaches will be in but they won't be that great and the freestone varieties should be even later into July and August, cantaloupes and watermelons will be early crops and generally not from Texas, Onions - Noonday, 10-15Y, and Purple are in, Garlic, have seen a few cucumber varieties but they need a few weeks, orka will be in mid July and August. Salad greens are all gone...too hot.

                Here is a link to a chart from the Texas Dept of Ag

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  It is *not* essential to get to the Coppell Farmers Market before 9:00am.

                  I was an original board member responsible for establishing this market in 2003. Our first weekend we had a limited supply of producers and those producers that did come brought a limited supply. Since this was an all volunteer market, not a farmer run nor city run market, we did not know what to expect our attendance to be and, since we didn't want them to waste their product, we erred on the side of caution.

                  However, the response that first weekend was overwhelming and nearly every vendor sold out by 10:00 at the latest. This singular occurrence seems to have perpetuated the myth that you need to arrive early at the Coppell Farmers Market. This couldn't be further from the truth.

                  In the intervening time, the vendors have adjusted well and bring as much product as they can to satisfy demand.

                  Granted there are items in high demand that go quickly like blueberries. I've arrived at 8:00 and found a long line for the berries, but you can arrive at most any time before noon and expect to find available product in Coppell. However, as LewisvilleHounder indicates, the earlier you arrive the more pleasant the weather. The CFM is not shaded in the manner that the DFM is, i.e. no big sheds.

                  The Coppell Farmers Market is one of the best markets you can find in the area outside of the Dallas Farmers Market.

                  As LewisvilleHounder indicated earlier, Gene Holmes provides a great product from his farm near Grand Saline. Gene is an original vendor at CFM and we were lucky to get him to the market. As time progressed, we worked through several city hurdles to allow him to provide a wide range of products including organic eggs which originally caused the city some heartache.

                  While I am haven't been associated with the CFM for some time, I can attest to the fact that the city of Coppell is very committed to its market. They have made several upgrades to the market space to make shopping more enjoyable. So hopefully those of us in the northwestern suburbs can enjoy a market that is a little more convenient than the DFM when time is a concern.

                  1. re: dugout19

                    Gene's (Oak Ridge) stuff sells out in McKinney by 9:30, don't know about Coppell. I wouldn't sleep til 11 if you want the good stuff. Oak Ridge veggies are worth getting up for imo. He had some smaller tomatoes last weekend, so they are starting to come in already.

                    That NorthHaven Gardens Market doesn't open til like 10 I think, but they're only once a month or something. I haven't been yet.

                    1. re: luniz

                      Looks like we have conflict!

                      Yes some of the cherry tomatoes are nearing ripeness but slicers are still in wait.

                      1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                        I picked up a basket of tomatoes from Oak Ridge last weekend. Not cherries, but smaller sized regular tomatoes. Just getting ripe, and they didn't have a lot. Maybe they didn't bring 'em to Coppell. The cherries I've seen have all been from out west I think, or maybe south. Nothing from around this area.

                        I might need to come down to get some greens, since Oak Ridge ran out a couple weekends ago, there aren't any more up in McKinney. I prefer the green veggies to squash and such.

                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                          I've picked 3 Better Boy tomatoes from my 2 plants in the last week and a half - 4 more are days from ready, if the Blue Jay doesn't beat me to them. They are small though - about 3+ in. dia., but I prefer that size to the really large ones.

                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                            I wouldn't say there was any conflict. luniz said previously that you needed to get to CFM before 9:00. My experience is that is not true. There is plenty available after 9:00 although the popular items tend to sell out first.

                            This is true for real farmer, they only bring what they have picked so the supply is first come, first served but that doesn't mean there is nothing available after 9:00 at CFM, or Dallas, or any local FM.

                            To nomnomTX85's question, I would recommend Coppell, Grapevine, Denton and Dallas based on my experience and the presence of true farmers.

                            To down73, I would advise you to drive the 5 miles and check out the CFM to see if you can find what you are looking for. I'd be interested to hear your assessment of the market.