You may already be aware that the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown is celebrating its 10th anniversary this Saturday, May 18th! We are so thankful for the past 10 years of local, sustainable food, farmers, volunteers, and wonderful customers who keep coming back to support the markets. To commemorate this special occasion, we asked our community: What’s YOUR market story? Here are some of the responses:
I've been working for Engel Farms for six years, and for about 4-5 years I've been coming to markets, particularly Downtown. I really enjoy the families - little children, infants, families together, it's a good atmosphere for them to come out. The Downtown market is really good. We've got a lot of regular customers who come every week." - Phillip Bayer, Engel Farms
I've been doing the Downtown market for almost five years. What I love about coming to the market is being able to have the direct connection to my customers. It's a well-managed market…the clientele continues to get more diverse, and there's more demand for our produce and eggs. - Chris Olsen, Milagro Farms
I started volunteering at the Market 10 years ago on the opening day, but prior to that I was pleased to be part of planning the year before with Suzanne [Santos] and Karen Enredy (exact name and spelling has escaped me). At that time, I was Director of Visitor Services at the Convention and Visitors Bureau and realized the significant impact that local Farmers’ Markets have on tourism. When the Market opened in Republic Square, Nancy Burns and I were present in the Information Booth on the early shift EVERY SATURDAY for the first year and a half or so! Now we have so many great volunteers that we only go once a month!
One of the joys of volunteering is getting to see and visit with Toni, Janet, Henry and Ann and others who have been faithful patrons of the Market from the beginning and continue to this day! What a privilege to see how far the Sustainable Food Center has come in these 10 years and I thank you for the opportunity to serve. - Barbara Grove
Nearly every single Saturday I meet one of my best friends, Claire at the Farmer's Market - same time, same place. [I'm hesitant to admit] we have somewhat of a routine to the morning which always begins with coffee (1/2 coffee, 1/2 spiced chai to the cup!) We walk a couple loops around the market, initially catching up on the week. I can't remember a time we didn't stop by Cake and Spoon for a scone. (Every single week Claire asks what the different scone flavors are but I have yet to see her purchase anything other than the amazing ginger!) We are usually ready for another cup of coffee by this point and make our way back to Texas Coffee Traders for a refill (minimum of 2 cups per Saturday and I think once or twice we've maxed out at 4...) It is not unusual to find us, at some point, in the line at The Gardener's Feast waiting for a tamale. After several laps and several familiar faces (both human and canine) we always scope out the best looking spinach or beets or tomatoes that week.
So, happy anniversary and thank you SFC Farmer's Market for cultivating a healthy city by strengthening the local food system! And on a more personal level thank you for giving Claire and I the best possible place to enjoy Austin and enjoy each other, week after week. Sustainable food. Sustainable friendship. - Marcee Vest
I've been shopping at the SFC Farmers' Markets for the past couple of years. I love having the opportunity to support local farmers and buy the freshest produce available. Since becoming more involved in the SFC as a volunteer, I've started to look differently at food and the culture surrounding it. Now I try to include more vegetables in my diet and really take notice of where my food is coming from. I feel lucky to live in Austin where I can buy tomatoes at their peak, locally grown greens, farm eggs, and fresh roasted coffee. It's so wonderful to see how the markets have expanded in the past 10 years and how the SFC is striving to make these healthy foods available to more and more people in our community. - Breanna Rollings
My family and I try to go to the farmer's market every weekend - we try to make it a special experience that the children, 4 and 6 years old, always look forward to repeating. They have fun running around the kid-designated building / crafts areas and then picking the fruits and vegetables that look interesting or unusual to them - they are big fans of the multi-colored carrots. We all choose a treat and browse the stalls while listening to local performers. My favorite moment this year happened when we went to the market on a chilly day in December. The musicians were playing Christmas songs and the guest chef demonstration and samples by Chef Josh Watkins from The Carillon were an outstanding Saturday morning indulgence. The band invited children to participate in the songs, and my kids didn't leave the microphone for the next half hour. It was a great combination of local talent, foods, music and family. - Bethlyn Thornton