Victoria Farmers Market expands to include salsa, baked goods and honey


May 4, 2009 at 12:04 a.m.
Updated May 5, 2009 at 12:05 a.m.

Noah Thompson, Victoria Farmer's Market manager and vice president, gets ready for the market's opening Saturday.

Noah Thompson, Victoria Farmer's Market manager and vice president, gets ready for the market's opening Saturday.

Crossroads residents looking for fresh produce will have one more place to look starting this week.

The Victoria Farmer's Market opens Saturday.

Located in front of the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center at 2805 N. Navarro St., the market offers locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

This year's market will probably bring about 18 growers, said Noah Thompson, the market's manager and vice president.

Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

This year's market will include the seasonal fruits and vegetables it always brings, but will also bring new items, Thompson said.

Cakes, pies, pastries and jams come into the mix this time around, Thompson said, as well as canned salsas and pickles, country eggs and honey.

Those selling baked goods must be licensed by the health department, Thompson said, explaining that most vendors already have certified kitchens.

Fresh cut flowers are a possibility this year, but haven't been confirmed.

"It's not going to all be there on opening day, but it's just whatever is seasonal," he said.

The market is a good outlet for farmers who sell produce from their homes, said Kenneth Hanslik, a local producer and president of the Victoria Farmer's Market board.

Hanslik said that, when he has a surplus of fruits and vegetables, he takes it to the market.

"It may be really crazy for a couple of hours because you're covered with customers," he said, "but you can move a lot of produce in a little time."

Hanslik said he has plenty of onions available, but might not make it out to the market on opening day. He prefers to have a variety of produce when he goes out there.

There are benefits to buying from local growers, Thompson said.

The products are fresh and are high quality, he said.

"We pick it one day and sell it the next," Thompson said. "It hasn't been frozen or kept in warehouses for a month before you get around to it."

And, he added, it's always good to give back to the local growers.

"They've got to make a living too," he said with a chuckle.

With scares like swine flu, Hanslik said, consumers might feel more comfortable knowing their food came from somewhere nearby.

"It's something I'm sure people keep in mind," he said.



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