My family has always enjoyed a good farmers market. Most towns have one within 10 to 15 miles (or even walking distance) from their homes. We most recently spent some time at the Imperial Farmers Market in Sugarland. The market was in the parking lot of the Imperial Park Recreation Center and hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. We chatted with vendors and learned about composting, succulents and jewelry making while we listened to local artists. We even watched a Tai Chi class which I’ve always found fascinating. It was a small environment, yet so rich in community.
Here are five reasons you should squeeze in a visit:
1. It’s a Nice Family Outing
Casually getting up and out the door is a great way to get the kids out the house without it being a frantic school morning. Grab some coffee, throw on some comfy jeans and a sweatshirt and head out to roam and try new things. I’ve seen everything from a story time circle for kids to mommy and me Zumba! The fresh morning air is amazing and it really doesn’t require a lot of planning. You’ll find you spend about 2 hours or less looking around, so it’s definitely not an all day outing, but can be if you want!
2. Support Local Family Farms and Small Business
You’ll notice right away that most of the vendors are local farms. In fact, the farmer himself/herself will be the one selling you their produce, eggs, grass-fed beef etc. “Get to know your farmer, get to know your food!” It’s a totally different experience then the produce section or deli at the supermarket.
Local small businesses are also there selling everything from food, crafts and woodwork to compost. You’ll have the opportunity to support and get to know your neighbors. Even if you don’t make a purchase, it’s really nice to chit chat and make a new friend.
3. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!
The best tasting fruits and vegetables are the ones that are in season! And you can count on a local farmer to have the best available to choose from. Meats are sourced locally and seafood is fresh and sustainable.
4. Enjoy the Live Music and Entertainment
Most markets have live bands, performers or DJ’s to entertain. It’s always fun to grab a shady spot and snack on a treat you purchased from a vendor while you enjoy the show.
5. Bring the Dog!
You can bring your BEST FRIEND (on a leash of course)! Very few don’t allow dogs and I have yet to visit a market that didn’t have a vendor with doggie treats or toys. Check with the organizers first, but furry friends are always a joy to have around.
TRADITIONAL FARMERS MARKETS IN OUR AREA
Hope Farms (Drive-through market)