The Lone Star State leads the nation farms and ranches, with just over 248,000 on more than 127 million acres. Texas agriculture is a nearly $25 billion industry.
So it’s no surprise that Texan farmers grow all the produce that you can think of — and sell them at your local farmers markets. Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for markets.
By supporting local growers, you’ll also be helping your community. In recent months, farmers say they’ve struggled with drought, winter weather, labor shortages and fuel costs.
Tarrant County has many markets to choose from. The Star-Telegram compiled this guide to help you navigate them and what they offer.
Tips for picking out produce
Ask the farmer or vendor, says Jack Morehead of Farmers Market of Grapevine. Knowledgeable staff at farmers market can help customers get the very best produce there is to offer. Just ask questions.
Get there early, recommends Amanda Coleman of The Clearfork Farmers Market. A lot of the vendors sell out quickly, within the first few hours of the market opening.
Embrace imperfections, says Collin Knight of Roanoke Farmers Market. You wouldn’t normally see imperfect produce in the grocery store, but you do at the farmers market. Don’t be afraid to try wonky-looking fruits and vegetables. Their appearance doesn’t mean they taste bad. And be open to trying new produce: Some vendors sell more exotic produce that you might not be used to, but they’re worth trying.
Do the smell test, suggests Jennifer Savage Hurley of Arlington Foodies Farmer’s Market. Sniffing the produce can help you tell if it’s fresh. Look for bruising; if there’s too much bruising, it’s been around for too long.
What’s in season at farmers markets this spring?
These are the fruits and vegetables that are in-season this spring in Texas, according to the University of Texas at Austin Nutrition Institute. For more details about what produce is in season each month in Texas, explore the Texas Department of Agriculture’s seasonality wheel.
Citrus: Oranges, ruby red grapefruit. Great for upping your Vitamin C intake. Add to sautéed vegetables, green soups and seafood. Or, make into a fresh juice.
Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, through mid-summer. Good for Vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber. Toss them into yogurt or cereal, or bake them into pies or muffins.
Spring veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, onions, spinach, tomatoes and squash. Make a veggie saute for a side dish. Roast or air-fry broccoli and cauliflower with seasonings and olive oil. Make homemade tomato sauce with roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, salt, a little vegetable broth and chopped herbs. Toss with pasta and a lean protein for a healthy meal.
Farmers markets in Fort Worth and Tarrant County
▪ The Clearfork Farmers Market (4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Fort Worth. Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): Shop from 25 Texas vendors at this year-round outdoor market, open since 2016. Along with fresh produce and plants, vendors sell soaps, candles and pottery. Anywhere from 100 to 1,000 shoppers go each Saturday. Spokesperson Amanda Coleman recommends getting sourdough bread and elderberry syrup, as well as carrots and greens.
▪ Cowtown Farmers Market (3821 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth. Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.; also Wednesdays, May- September): Cowtown is the oldest market in Fort Worth, established in 1986. It’s a year-round weekly market for local vendors’ produce, plants, meats, cheeses and breads. Everything is made or grown within 150 miles of Fort Worth. Cowtown is a “producer-only” market, which means that the people who sell the products are involved in growing, raising or producing them.
▪ Arlington Foodies Farmer’s Market (3206 Smith Barry Road, Pantego. Fourth Saturdays, 6-9 p.m.): Eighty vendors sell baked goods, crafts, produce, meat, seafood, coffee and tea, with more than 1,000 shoppers. Brassica, a cabbage-like vegetable, is one of the unique vegetables they carry. “You’re really celebrating all the work that all of our local farmers do when you do choose local,” says Jennifer Savage Hurley, creater and co-owner of the market.
▪ Lake Worth Farmers Market (3501 Roberts Cut Off Road, Westworth Village. First and third Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): This market was opened in June 2021 by Community Link food bank. It provides fresh, high-quality fruits, vegetables, breads and meats. When you’re done shopping, learn a new hobby or skill: Throughout the year, there are workshops for activities like gardening and painting.
▪ Flower Mound Farmers Market (900 Parker Square Road, Flower Mound. Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.): The market is part of a network established by the Four Seasons Markets group. It sells dog treats, nut butter, ginger beer, meat, eggs, produce, skin care products and quilted items. You can also bring your food scraps for composting. And grab something to eat at a food truck.
▪ Keller Farmers Market (400 Bear Creek Parkway, Keller. Saturdays, April 23-Oct. 29, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): This open-air seasonal market at Bear Creek Park sells produce, meats, tamales, baked goods, artisan bread, cheese, salsa, pasta, pickles, jellies and jams, honey, baked goods, desserts, pet products and crafts, all from Texas or within 150 miles. This year, there will also be customized charcuterie boards, wine and fresh flower bouquets. There will be 112 vendors in total, with about 700 shoppers. Grab something at one of four food trucks, with BBQ, empanadas, frozen ice and coffee. Local musicians play every weekend. Some days will feature chef demonstrations, petting zoos and health and wellness presentations.
▪ Grand Prairie Farmers Market (120 W. Main St., Grand Prairie. Saturdays, April 2-Dec. 10, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.): This market hosted by the city at Market Square will feature events like a crawfish boils, ice cream challenges and a hatch chile festival. The events will have live music and arts and crafts. Shop for locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, tamales, salsas, dips, relishes, eggs, honey, chips, plants, soaps and candles. The market has been ranked No. 1 in the state by the American Farmland Trust. It’s been open since 2009.
▪ Roanoke Farmers Market (500 S. Oak St., Roanoke. Saturdays, April 2-Sept. 24, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): Twenty local vendors sell at the city’s weekly market at Roanoke City Hall Plaza, which features yoga classes, live music, cooking demonstrations and activities for kids. They’ll sell cinnamon rolls, sourdough bread, jerky and pickles, homemade seasonings, pie, honey and pet treats. Other vendors sell fresh flowers, potted plants, produce and meat. Opening day will commemorate National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day with jelly, peanut butter and bread vendors. Another April event will feature a Denton master gardener and a flower raffle. Starting in May, you can eat BBQ by top chefs every other Saturday. On May 14, a food drive marks Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day. The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will showcase hawks, owls and falcons on June 18. “It’s a mini event every weekend in and of itself, something that our citizens can look forward to, and something that’s fresh and new and exciting,” said spokesperson Collin Knight.
▪ Farmers Market of Grapevine (520 S. Main St., #203, Grapevine. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.): This family-owned indoor market is open year-round in downtown Grapevine at the Shops at the Source shopping center. The market specializes in providing food for people with special dietary needs (gluten-free, vegan). It works with around 30 local vendors, providing food like homemade tamales and fruit-infused ice cream. The owners handpick the produce from farmers to sell in the store. “Every time you come into our little market, it’ll be a different experience, because of the different things that are growing regionally around the state of Texas,” says owner Jack Morehead. “We have generations of experience working with a lot of the same farmers year after year, like my granddad worked with a lot of the same farm families that we’re still working with.”
▪ Burleson Farmers Market (141 W. Renfro St., Burleson. Saturdays, April-October, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.): Eighty vendors sell spices, crafts, desserts, jams and jellies, hot sauces and coffee along with produce. About 3,000 people shop at this family-owned market each Saturday. “Just come support your local community,” says owner Chaz Forster. “Keeping the dollars local means more to people now than it ever has with all the pandemic and everything.”
▪ The Local Farmers Market (703 E. Broad St., Mansfield. Saturdays, April 16-October, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): Formerly known as the Mansfield Farmers Market, this market with 30 to 50 vendors is now owned by Mansfield farmer Caleb Back. The market will carry produce, meats, cookies, breads, salsas and other homemade goodies. There will also be different events each weekend, like farm crafts and educational programming for kids, teaching them how to grow their own plants and produce.
▪ Watauga Farmers Market (7600 Denton Highway, Watauga. Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.): The market at Watauga Pavilion is part of a network of farmers markets established by the Four Seasons Markets group. This market has vendors selling salsa, tamales, baked goods, jams and jellies, raw honey, fresh juices, pickles and pet food. It also sells candles, handmade jewelry and accessories and home decor.
▪ Saginaw Farmers Market (752 S. Knowles Drive, Saginaw. Second and fourth Saturdays, starting March 26, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.): This farmers market was opened by the Community Link food bank. You can shop for handmade quilts, natural skincare products, candles, crafts and lots of food at 24 vendors. There will also be a Power of Produce program for kids.