By Amanda Hill

We talk a lot on Texas Table Top about connecting customers with farmers. There’s a growing interest in meeting the men and women who grow our produce, and many people like to buy local food. Fortunately, we live in a society that creates markets to meet customers’ desires and needs. Customers want to be able to buy produce from local farmers? Farmers markets are created to connect the two groups. And the movement is growing really quickly in Texas.

Last week, I visited the Cowtown Farmers Market, located smack-dab in the middle of downtown Fort Worth. The market is open every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Lanham Federal Building. All of their vendors, which include farmers and also artisans who sell homemade products, are located within 150 miles of the market. At break time and lunch, employees filter out of the downtown skyscrapers and right into the plaza, wandering from vendor to vendor buying fresh peaches, squash, tomatoes, pasta, homemade breads and more. How convenient is that?

I thought I’d share some photos from my visit to the Cowtown Farmers Market. I was very impressed with the quality of the food and really enjoyed talking with the farmers and artisans.

Texas peaches at the Cowtown Farmers Market

John and Danny have been selling at farmers markets in North Texas for more than 25 years. When I visited, they were selling peaches and cantaloupes.

Danny Russell selling Texas peaches

Danny and John, both farmers in Montague County, were a popular spot for the lunchtime crowd in downtown Fort Worth.

Fresh vegetables from Pruitt Farm

Pruitt Farm, located in Teague, Texas, brought all sorts of fall produce, including pumpkins, squash and zucchini.

Texas pumpkins at the Cowtown Farmers Market

Nina, who works in the Federal Building, bought a few pumpkins from Pruitt Farm.

Organic produce at the Cowtown Farmers Market

This woman was selling organic produce from her farm in Parker County. While she sold organic produce, it is not a requirement for vendors at the Cowtown Farmers Market.

Artisan Baking Company

And this is Gwin, selling her delicious baked goods. Gwin is the manager of the Cowtown Farmers Market and also sells fresh bread, muffins, cookies and more from her company, Artisan Baking Company. I took a few peanut butter cookies home. They were delicious!

Although I work with many farmers now, I did not grow up on a farm. But I can relate to customers who want to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and other food straight from a farmer.

If you’re looking for a farmers market to frequent, there are plenty from which to choose. Central Texas has built a great community on Saturday mornings at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market. Of course, the Cowtown Farmers Market is great for those in Fort Worth, and Dallas has a world-famous market on the outskirts of their downtown. The Texas Department of Agriculture also has compiled a great list of more than 60 markets across the state.

Do you shop at farmers markets? If so, what do you like about them? Is there any fall produce that you just can’t wait to buy? Tell us by leaving a comment below.