Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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January 24, 2014

Great place to buy produce

Award-winning Farmer’s Market to reopen February 1

Athens — For those who think the Athens Farmer’s Market is just a spring and summer thing, General Manager D.J. Warren has some good news.

The Market, after taking a break in January, will open Saturday, Feb. 1, with local home-grown and homemade products. During the peak months, the Farmers Market opens each Saturday. In the off-season, the Market opens once a month on the weekend that coincides with First Monday Trades Days in Canton. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to noon.

Warren said the local farmers and growers have made the Market a success, since it was resurrected about three years ago. Warren is also pleased that in December the Athens Farmers Market was named the best place to buy produce in upper East Texas in the annual survey conducted by County Line Magazine.

The Farmers Market in Sulphur Springs was runner up among the voters in the more than 30 counties included in the publication.

The magazine acknowledgment for Farmers Market said visitors will “find chemical-free peaches, gourmet heirloom vegetables and melons, squash, onions, watermelons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, potatoes, fresh breads, sauces, cheeses, desserts, and more.”

“The Farmer’s Market is a great service to our community,” Warren said. “I want the farmers to know how much we appreciate what they are doing.”

Warren said the first Farmers Market of 2014 on Feb. 1 will have a good turnout of vendors. Among those, Serenity Baking Company is expected to be there with ready made foods. Jams and jellies, and fried pies, soaps and honey will also be on display.

  The Texas Man, is also coming, Warren said, with handmade Texas Crafts. Highway 19 will bring fresh granola, baked goods and other items. From the east end of the county, Chandler Family Farms will offer fresh eggs, Warren said.

Farmers Market was a long-standing tradition in Athens beginning when Market Square was created in 1926, on a spot across from the old Henderson County Jail on Larkin Street that now serves as the city parking lot.   

The activity peaked in the 1930s and 1940s, but declined in the post-war years. The Market eventually moved beside City Hall on Pinkerton Street, but closed after a lack of interest.

In July 2010, Farmers Market reopened at the City Parking Lot that sits on the site of the old Market Square. It’s been under Warren’s leadership since 2012.

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