Farm fresh eggs, vegetables and breads! Oh my! Those are just a few of the products you can look forward to finding at the Abilene Farmer’s Market. My little family headed to check it out last week. You can easily find the Farmer’s Market across from Frontier Texas on North 1st Street. We were greeted with amazing smells and smiling faces everywhere we turned. These farming families work hard to bring their very best goods to the market. You can feel their pride and friendliness in the air.
I was surprised about how much our three-year old, Baker, enjoyed looking at each booth. First up, he led us over to visit with Mimi of Mimi’s Kitchen. Each week Mimi wakes up at 1 A.M. on market days to bake fresh bread and cinnamon rolls. Baker picked out a jar of homemade apricot jam. Mimi sells out fast so I would highly recommend ordering ahead of time. Next up we surveyed all of the vegetables. There are lots of different options, and since it is dependent on crops, the variety changes weekly. There were tables overflowing with zucchini, squash and assorted onions. We ventured over to a table full of produce from Clyde, Texas. We love zucchini and did want to miss an opportunity to grab some.
We stopped by Slow Poke Farms, and I was impressed with their selection. You can find everything from cherry tomatoes to grass-fed beef. They had delicious homemade cookies, and occasionally they have pies! Excuse me while I wipe my watering mouth! They are also one of the options to pick up fresh eggs. You can even grab duck eggs from their farm. We saw about three other booths that carried free range eggs all for around $5 a dozen. We have been purchasing fresh eggs for about six months now, and I don’t think I can ever buy from a grocery store again! At the opposite end of the market you can find Chrane Ranch. They had kale, feta, baked goods and a variety of meats. Make sure you check out their Facebook page too. I love the darling pictures they post of their tiny ranch hands.
There are too many vendors to name, but the rest of the market is amazing too. There were homemade soaps, jams, and vegetables galore. The market is also completely shaded which is a big deal in this summer heat! It’s a good idea to bring your own bag to carry around all your purchases. We spent about 30 minutes taking it all in, but at this point Baker was on a mission to find honey. We found B&B Pure Honey from Winters, Texas. Baker picked out a little honey bear to take home and we were set. I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday. You can visit the farmers market, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 7 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Here are some ideas to make this a fun outing for your family:
-Give each child $5 (or a set amount) and allow them to spend it however they choose. They can learn the importance of money and counting. With any luck they might even pick up a few budgeting skills along the way. You will be supporting local farmers and giving your kids valuable life experiences.
-If you have a more specific shopping list, assign different products to each child like a scavenger hunt. They would enjoy tracking down each item and reporting it to you.
-Divide up into family teams, and each pick a part of a meal to make using only goods found from the farmer’s market. One group could make the side dishes, and the other group could handle the main course. Maybe it would inspire a young chef in your family. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? You could even allow the winning chefs to skip out on clean up.
-Challenge your children to learn more about one of the farmers. If they are younger you could give them a list of questions to ask. You can use this opportunity to teach your kids how to talk to adults and practice their communication skills.
Overall, it was a fun and inexpensive family adventure, and we had the best time enjoying the morning. We hope you will take some time to support your local farmers.
If you would like to see a lineup of local events for this week, you can head to my personal blog, The Butlers’ Quarters.