Farmers, Markets and Festivals Bring Plenty of Food and Fun to Guests
Over the past few years the terms “culinary tourism,” “gastronomads,” and “farm to table” are heard often in the Upper East Side of Texas as people continue to embrace the need for fresh produce for better nutrition and tastier food.
Farmers, city leaders, and volunteers are working together to bring not just great produce to guests, but an experience.
These markets and festivals often have live music, sell wine, baked breads, honey, flowers, cheeses, have demonstrations and workshops, pottery and pasta-making, culinary sampling, and more in addition to the quality produce the region is known for like peaches, blueberries, blackberries, squash, tomatoes, okra, peas, onions, and more.
Many are held in historic downtown areas where the experience is enhanced by retail shopping, restaurants, and activities for kids and adults alike.
Larger festivals with produce themes keep a variety of activities going with contests and sometimes carnivals, street dances, and more.
Here are a few markets and festivals to visit this summer:
Full Quiver Farms. Kemp. Tuesday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-Noon. Full working farm with a store offering milk, cheeses and spreads, yogurt, eggs, grass-fed beef and more. 6238 FM 3396. www.fullquiverfarmstexas.com.
The Waldo Way Dairy Farm. Mineola. Milk, yogurt, cream, butter, and artisan cheese. 395 CR 2482. 903.258.4829, 903.245.9673.
Saturdays, May 3 – August 2
Mineola Farmers Market. Mineola. 7 a.m. Pavilion west of the depot on Front Street. www.mineolamainstreet.com.
Saturdays, Through October
Winnsboro Farmers Market. Winnsboro. 8 a.m. – Noon. Downtown, Market Street. 903.629.3332.winnsborofarmersmarket.com.
Athens. 8 a.m. – Noon. 212 N. Palestine just off the downtown square. 903.944.8516. www.atxfm.com.
Paris Farmers Market. 8 a.m. – Noon. Market Square. 903.784.9293
Sulphur Springs Sunrise Farmers Market. Sulphur Springs. 6 - 10 a.m. Downtown Square Park, 903.885.7541. sulphurspringsfarmersmarket.com.
Sulphur Springs Celebration Market. Sulphur Springs. 6 - 10 p.m. Downtown Square Park, 903.885.7541. www.sulphurspringsfarmersmarket.com.
Saturdays, Through November 22
Historic Longview Farmers Market. 7:30-11:30 a.m. Cotton Street between High and Center. 903.746.2708. www.historiclongviewfarmersmarket.com.
Saturdays, Year Round
Nacogdoches Farmers Market. 8 a.m. – Noon. Downtown. 936.559.2507. www.nacogdochesfarmersmarket.com.
Wednesdays, Through October
Nacogdoches Farmers Market. 2-6 p.m. Downtown. 936.559.2507. www.nacogdochesfarmersmarket.com.
May 1 – June 30
The Berry Patch. Hughes Springs. Self-pick blackberries (or already picked) and other pre-picked produce. 14353 FM 130. 430.342.2687. www.facebook.com/pages/The-Berry-Patch/380952081944489
May 1 – July 31
Echo Springs Blueberry Farm. Brownsboro. Blackberries, blueberries, honey, local produce, available for parties, picnics and school tours. 7235 FM 607. 903.852.3779. www.echospringsblueberryfarm.com.
June 1 – July 31
Blueberry Hill Farms. Edom. Since 1982, provides a wide variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and indoor market with honey, jams, jellies, crafts and more. Blackberries are available throughout June. Blueberries may be available around July 4. This year premiers the Donut Robut making blueberry cake donuts. Check website for days and times. 10268 FM 314. 903.853.6175. www.blueberryhillfarms.com.
Texas Blueberry Farm. Avinger. Fresh blueberries, but fresh frozen available for sale throughout the year and environment is toddler friendly. 533 County Rd. 1650. 903.562.1013. www.texasblueberryfarm.com
June 8 – July 12
Moss Springs Berry Farm. New Boston. Blackberries. Pre or Self-Picked. Cash only. 1529 FM 2149 West. 903.826.3164.
June 13 - 14
25th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival. Nacogdoches. Sponsored by Brookshire Brothers, local activities surrounding the blueberry harvest time begin May 21. 200 East Main. 936.560.5533. www.tbf.nacogdoches.org.
June 13 - 21
Hopkins County Dairy Festival & State Championship Ice Cream Freeze Off. Sulphur Springs. Week-long salute to the dairy industry in an old-fashioned county fair atmosphere. Events include the ice cream freeze-off (June 14) at Civic Center, as well as a milking contest, street dance, parade, kid’s events & musical entertainment. Friday evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with a hot air balloon media flight. 903.885-6515.www.hopkinscountydairyfestival.com.
July 10 - 12
25th Annual WHAT-A-Melon Festival. Center. WHAT-A-Melon Pet show, Miss WHAT-A-Melon Pageant, Seed Spittin’ Contest, largest watermelon contest, carnival rides, arts & crafts, food vendors, live entertainment. Historic Downtown Center Square. 100 Courthouse Square. 936-598-5651. www.shelbycountychamber.com.
July 26 – 28
Naples Watermelon Festival and Rodeo. Naples. Parade, bands, crafts, entertainment, street dance and more. 112 Hilltop Dr. 903.897.2037. www.city-of-naples-texas.com/
August 1 – September 30
O’Farrell Country Vineyards & Winery. Atlanta . Self-pick muscadine grapes and wines made from muscadines, peaches, plums, blackberries and blueberries. 7152 FM 995. 903.846.2054. www.ofarrellvineyard.com.