By Shala Watson

Peppers, juicy tomatoes and homemade jellies. Oh my! Farmers markets are an oasis of fresh and tasty produce.

As you wander around the market, you’ll be sure to find some bountiful harvests and farmers, too. It’s a great chance to meet and connect with those who grow our food.

Ask questions about how or where that food was grown. It’s a great way to learn. Then decide for yourself what kind of produce you want to purchase.

Because there’s quite a few types of produce available—conventional, organic, local, etc. To me, that doesn’t matter. What counts is the experience and the quality of the fruits and veggies I take home to my family.

You can also learn tips on how to cook and store the ingredients you buy. I know that’s an area in which I could always use a little help!

Farmers markets are about color, freshness and the people. You can find a blend of farmers, ranchers and vendors offering a variety of meats, eggs, honey, homemade breads and spices.

Those sweet aromas and sounds of bustling customers fill the air. It’s an experience—one that can leave a lasting impression about agriculture. It shows you some of the farmers behind your food and how hard they’ve worked for those fruits and vegetables.

It’s a little bit of their farm on your table. It’s a little bit of Texas agriculture in your home. That should make us all pretty darn proud.

So, the next time you take a trip to your local farmers market, stop and talk to the farmers. Listen to their stories and just maybe you’ll be inspired to have your own small garden.