Farmers markets are among Texansí best routes to the freshest locally grown produce, and the market in Brownwood has been in operation for several decades. It is one of 56 farmers markets located across the state that are certified annually by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Despite this long tradition, the market here is looking for a growth spurt this year.

Customers are always welcome, certainly, but right now, more vendors are needed. The passing of years has left many long-time members unable to participate, so the number of people offering their homegrown fruits, vegetables, pecans, honey and even flowers ó among other items ó has dwindled.

A new season opens at 7 a.m. Saturday for the Brownwood Area Farmerís Market, and faithful patrons will need to remember that the market has moved to a different location, in the parking lot in the 500 block of Brown between Chandler and Adams streets. Market days will run through September, beginning at 7 a.m. until the vendors sell out each Saturday, and also beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing until sell out every Tuesday and Thursday.

It may still be rather early in the growing season, but shoppers should be able to find a reasonable selection of items this weekend. But more vendors would translate into even more customers in the weeks to come. Market officials have reminded growers that they donít need to be major producers of food items to sell at the farmerís market. Anyone who has tomatoes, onions or apricots left over after eating what they can and then sharing with friends can qualify.

A farmerís market is more than just shopping for groceries; itís also a social event. Supporting this tradition is a good way to keep the community flavor in our county.

Brownwood Bulletin