Mother nature doesn’t make it easy on Houston farmers. Sweltering heat in the summer, sporadic downpours, intermittent flooding and an endless supply of pests. Despite this adversity, our beloved Houston farmers persist. In the heat, they tend the soil and sow the seeds that feed millions of Houstonians; however, these hardworking cultivators are often overlooked by the throngs of people that descend upon the grocery stores each week. As the average consumer happily chops up the cherry tomatoes for their salad, they rarely pause to think about the people that make up the base of our local food system.
In fact, much of the food that Houstonians consume does not come from Houston farmers at all. Instead the food arrives from other places like California, Mexico or South America. To check, one only needs to look at the PLU sticker on their produce. If it doesn’t say Texas, then it was not grown locally. When consumers make the choice to purchase produce from other locations, they are taking those dollars away from our farmers and our local economy, and in many cases, are consuming fruits and vegetables that have been prematurely harvested, resulting in reduced levels of nutrients and a poorer taste quality.
Farmers’ markets are one easy way to bring those dollars back to our community and into the hands of our hardworking farmers. Houston and the surrounding counties have over 50 farmers’ markets. These markets showcase locally produced fruits and vegetables and are a fun activity for families. Eating locally produced food is an easy win for both the consumer and the producer. The consumer gets fresher, more nutrient dense foods, while the farmer earns money to put back into their farm and the community.
Come celebrate National Farmers Market week with us at the Get Moving Houston Farmers’ Market. SNAP is accepted at the market and WIC-eligible customers can receive Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers to spend at the market. We believe that everyone deserves the right to access fresh, fruits and vegetables!
If you would like to find a farmers’ market near you, please contact Linsi Broom at Linsi.Broom@houstontx.gov