Two farmers markets are now open for residents of the Magnolia-Waller areas, giving them a chance to buy fresh produce, eggs and meats. The most recent market to open is the Waller County Farmers Market, located at the Waller ISD Auxiliary Stadium, just south of SH 290, on Field Store Road. The other is the Magnolia Farmers Market, which has been in existence for three years and is located at the intersection of FM 1488 and FM 1774 in Magnolia.
The new Waller County market, which is open each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., opened on July 14 and had many visitors, despite the floods in the area that week. On July 21 the market had 15 vendors offering locally-produced food products and home-made crafts. It is sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension and the Texas Cooperative Extension.
“This market was founded to boost the agricultural community in Waller County by encouraging crop diversification and offering a year-round sales opportunity for their products,” Debbie Cross, Vice President of the Waller County Farmers Market Board of Directors and vendor, said.
Any grower in the area can participate on any given Saturday, by paying the booth fee of $40. There are restrictions on prepared food products, but not on raw produce. Interested vendors should call Debbie Cross for more information at 832-863-5533. All of the workers are volunteers and currently the proceeds from booth fees are used for advertising. The market is looking to partner with local charities that will receive donations and can help promote the market.
The Magnolia market, also called Sweet Magnolia Pickins, is held every second and fourth Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. It is supported by 4B Community Development of the City of Magnolia and offers local residents fresh and organic food options to purchase. This market requires vendors to be members and currently charges a $25 annual membership fee and a $15 booth fee on each market day the vendor attends. In addition, there is a permit fee required for vendors that sell temperature-specific products such as meat or eggs, or that offer samples. Some of the vendors at the Magnolia market are also represented at the Waller market, but each market also has unique food products. Those interested in seeing the vendor list or becoming a vendor should visitwww.sweetmagnoliapickins.net.
At this time, the Magnolia Farmers Market is held at the same location as Magnolia’s Peddler’s Green Crafts Market, but on separate days. It is a goal to combine both markets on the same days in the near future, according to Market Manager Boo Henderson.
Big sellers at the markets this month were ripe watermelons, local honey and free-range and grass-fed meats, according to organizers. Today people look for natural food products that are purported to be higher in nutrients and free of unhealthy additives or pesticides. In addition, many residents prefer to help the farms in their own area by buying locally.