Homegrown Holiday: Northwest San Antonio Farmers’ Markets are Worth the Trip

Duane Lunde and Lauren DeGaetano of Johnson's Backyard Garden at the Ripe Market at Éilan in San Antonio, Texas
Duane Lunde and Lauren DeGaetano of Johnson’s Backyard Garden at the Ripe Market at Éilan in San Antonio, Texas

In addition to blogging and writing books, I’m a freelance writer. (Actually, I used to be a managing editor for an awesome regional magazine, but that’s a whole other story.) The following article originally appeared in a neighborhood publication owned by The Boerne Star in November 2013.

Within the last few years, farmers’ markets along the Bexar and Kendall county line have sprung up like mushrooms after rain. What once was an area sorely lacking local produce options is now replete with them.

Each of these new markets has a markedly different vibe, however, ranging from casual mom-and-pop operations to the curated market presented on the elegant promenade at Éilan.

It goes without saying that a robust and vibrant farmers’ market culture is great news for home cooks. As you plan your holiday meals this year, you can incorporate seasonal offerings such as fresh greens, squash, carrots, and potatoes into your menus. In so doing you enjoy the fruits of Central Texas soil while contributing to the local economy.

The following markets are situated along the IH-10 corridor between Loop 1604 and Boerne. Note that options vary weekly and that the best selection is to be had at the start of the day.

Saturday Morning Markets

Hill Country Farmers Market (Leon Springs)
8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
HillCountryFarmersMarket.org

Located on the grounds of the Leon Spring Baptist Church (24133 Boerne Stage Road), this pop-up weekly market is the oldest in the area and projects a traditional “roadside produce stand” vibe. It is one of four markets operated in north San Antonio by Hill Country Farmers Market Association, a group of local farmers and artisanal food and product makers who have worked for many years to expand consumer options. The Leon Springs market and the Sunday-morning event at the Rim (see below) are both operated year ‘round.

The Farmers Market at The Cibolo
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Cibolo.org

Situated on the grounds of the historic Herff Farm in Boerne and coordinated by the Cibolo Nature Center, the pleasant, rustic atmosphere of this market under shady live oaks is worth a trip. In addition to offering homegrown produce and baked goods, the market hosts a demonstration garden to inspire families to break ground and cultivate their own food. The market is open every Saturday throughout the year, and the market promotes upcoming special events via their Facebook page, Facebook.com/FarmersMarketAtTheCibolo.

Sunday Morning Markets

Hill Country Farmers Market (The Rim)
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
HillCountryFarmersMarket.org

The sister market to the one held at Leon Springs Baptist, the market at The Rim typically features more vendors and a wider array of fresh food and lifestyle product choices. As with the group’s Saturday market, the vibe is folksy and down-home, with vendors mingling cheerfully with regulars. It’s situated behind The Bass Pro Shop near the end of Vance Jackson, with signs placed prominently along the IH-10 frontage road to help direct traffic.

Ripe at Éilan
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Facebook.com/RipeFarmersMarket

After several preview events staged over the summer, San Antonio’s northwest side’s newest market became a weekly to-do back in September. Located on the grounds of the upscale Éilan development, Ripe is curated by Paula Disbrowe, an Austin-based cookbook writer and a former editor for Southern Living magazine. Disbrowe brings with her several Austin-area vendors, including the acclaimed Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Local food trucks are on-hand, too, and there are activities for children and live music. At press time, plans were in the works for end-of-year special events featuring Stephen Pyles of Sustenio and other notable foodie favorites. For more details on the market’s upcoming special events, see the Ripe Facebook page.

***

Interested in hiring someone to do freelance writing (print or online media, Central Texas and beyond)? Contact me.

Advertisements