Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market opens 2016 season
The Downtown Waxahachie Farmers Market opened for its 14th season Saturday. The market is open from 8 a.m. to 1p.m. each Saturday from April through October, located at 410 S. Rogers St, and offers a wide selection of items from locally grown produce to handcrafted items to home décor.
“It has been a good turnout so far. We have got lots and lots of great, great vendors. We have had a steady flow of traffic. I think that all of the vendors are really doing well so far,” said Downtown Development Director Anita Brown. “I think that that it is going to be a stellar year for the farmers market. People have been ready for it. I think that everyone in the community looks forward to the opening of the farmers market and they really support it. I am really thankful to our community who support locally grown food and crafts.”
One of the returning vendors at the market is Rolen’s Honey Bee Removal. Rolen’s works to remove bees from places where they are unwanted and relocates them to an area where they can flourish and thrive. One of the byproducts from the bee removal process is the capture of fresh honey, now available for purchase. The honey comes in different shade, which is because of the types of plants the bees have feeding on.
“The different shades of honey are based upon what the bees are feeding on and the time of year because that is what they are able to go out and harvest. The darker honey is mainly trees. The lighter honey is mainly flowers. When I go remove bees from a house that has a pasture with lots of grasslands and flowers around it the honey will be very, very light in color,” co-Owner Scott Rolen said. “Then I can go down on Marvin Street where I have pulled bees out and the honey will look like molasses. The flavors range from a very floral all the way to a very woody flavor. It almost like selecting wine.”
Rolen said he would also have a beehive inside a wooden box so people can view and watch it grow each Saturday.
Another returning merchant to the market is We Garden, which is ran by Stanley and Jean McMahn. At their booth, they have a wide selection of plants and baked good available for purchase.
“We have natural organic plants that haven’t had pesticides on them. We have tomatoes, jasmine and blackberries. My wife makes baked goods that are fresh every Friday. Nothing is ever frozen. The We Garden brand has expanded this year to a second booth. We Garden is a group of master gardeners who take their talents in other areas and bring them to the farmers market,” Stanley said. “Today’s opening has been great. We are looking forward to bigger and better things each year. This year is looking good the opening day is very encouraging.”
Ellis County Master Gardners were also back at this years market to provide people with information and tips on how to make their plants furbish.
“It is so good to be back at the market this year. So good to have it open again. We really miss it,” Master Gardner Arlene Hamilton said. “One of the new things that we are doing is called pop-up horticultural. The third Saturday of each month will have a Master Gardner who will be speaking on a specific topic. Today we are featuring tomatoes. We are trying to do more variety.”
Hamilton said the Master Gardener Grill Festival at the market would take place twice this season on June 18 and Sept. 17 so vegetables in season at the different times of the year can be featured. The grill festival is a live cooking demonstration that shows healthy alternatives when barbequing outside and how to prepare those items.
One of the many shoppers that came out to the market was Stephen Foster.
“I come to farmers market about three or four times a year. I noticed that it was opening today. So this was a good opportunity to come out and see some of the goods and buy some of the fresh goods. I always enjoy them,” Foster said. “This early in the season, you are not going to get a lot of vegetables or a lot of produce. So I always go for the fresh salsas, the fresh honey and the fresh bread. It looks like we are going to have 400 to 500 before the day is over, so I think that it is a good turnout for the first day.”
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