When it comes to natural deliciousness, I find nothing compares to fresh-off-the-farm fruits and vegetables picked at their prime season for harvest. The fewer days from the farm to the dinner plate, the better foods taste and the more flavor and nutrition they add to my favorite recipes. And that makes eating healthier a pleasure!
Hereâs my grocery list, courtesy of Farm Flavor, for whatâs in season this fall from local Texas farms, and the best months to eat â or can or freeze â your fill:
- Apples: September and October
- Beets: Year Round
- Broccoli: October, November, and December
- Pumpkins: September, October, and November
- Raspberries: September and October
- Spinach: October, November and December
- Summer vegetables: through October
- Sweet corn: through September
- Tomatoes: September, October, and November
- Winter squash: September and October
To get the pick of the season, I like shopping for the freshest produce at area farmers markets. There are seasonal markets held in communities across Dallas-Fort Worth. Check out this list to find one near you.
920 South Harwood St., Dallas, TX 75201 â (214) 664-9110
A Dallas institution since 1941, recent updates have improved parking and created two venues for shopping.
- The Market is an indoor food hall and artisanal vendor market open seven days a week, Saturday to Thursday, 11 am â 7 pm; and Friday, 11 am â 8 pm.
- The Shed is an open-air pavilion featuring fresh produce, dairy and other products from local farmers. Itâs open: Friday, 10 a.m. â 3 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. â 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. â 5 p.m.
SOUTHERN DALLAS REGION/GRAND PRAIRIE/MANSFIELD
GLM has three locations open March to December, the original White Rock Market and two new locations in South Dallas, with local vendors offering naturally raised meats, eggs, seasonal produce, flowers, herbs, artisan foods and crafts. All GLM locations accept the Lone Star Card, allowing SNAP program participants to purchase fresh produce, meat and eggs. (Lone Star participants, stop by the Info Booth to purchase GLM tokens before you shop.)
- Tyler Street Market in Oak Cliff (909 W. 9th Street, Dallas, TX 75208), open Saturdays, 8 a.m. â 1 p.m.
- Paul Quinn Market in South Dallas (3837 Simpson Stuart Road, Dallas, TX 75241), open Thursdays, 3 p.m. â 7 p.m.
- White Rock Market (9150 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218), open Saturdays, 8 a.m. â 1 p.m.
703 E. Broad St. (corner of Walnut Creek Dr.), Mansfield, TX 76063
The Mansfield market has been in continuous operation since 2004 offering local and organic produce, locally raised meats, artisanal foods including tamales, jams and jellies, as well as jewelry, home crafts, gardening classes, and more. Check the website events page for the weekly listing of vendors, classes, and live music entertainment.
- Open: April to October, Saturdays, 8 a.m. â 1 p.m.
120 W. Main St., Grand Prairie, TX 75050 â (972) 237-4599
Locally grown fruits and vegetables are featured alongside a variety of artisanal baked goods, salsas, dips, relishes, honey, and handcrafted soaps, candles, and more.
- Open April to mid-December, Saturdays, 8 a.m. â 1 p.m.
Cottonâs Produce Market
4200 Broadway Blvd., Garland, TX 75043 â (972) 240-8810
Cottonâs is a family-owned, seasonal market thatâs been in business in the Garland area for over 40 years. They bring in fresh produce from the Dallas Farmers Market each morning, and also sell eggs, nuts, seeds, jams, jellies, and some Watkins natural products. They donât have a website, but check out the Facebook page created by enthusiastic customers.
- Open: March to December (call for dates).
- Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6:30 a.m. â 5:30 p.m., closed Sundays
3312 North Central Expressway, Plano, TX 75074 â (972) 422-2500
Fairview Farms offers a three-in-one experience featuring Aliâs Farm Fresh Produce, Cuellarâs Fajita Ranch restaurant serving up fresh Tex-Mex specialties, and Amigos Pottery home and garden store.
- Aliâs offers seasonal produce, flowers and plants, and some artisanal foods.
- Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. â 6 p.m., closed Mondays
Four Seasons Markets set up in parking lots on different days of the week at varying locations. Vendors may alternate at locations, but thereâs always a selection of fresh produce, meats, eggs, honey, jams, jellies, tamales, as well as jewelry and home crafts to explore.
- Campbell Farmers Market (NTX Event Center), 677 W. Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080
- Open: Saturdays, 10 a.m. â 3 p.m.
Other Four Season venues (check website for list of locations, dates, and times):
- East Dallas – Casa Linda Plaza
- Carrollton – First Baptist Church Hebron, Trinity Valley Shopping Center
- Flower Mound – Parker Square
- Irving – Art Center, Heritage Crossing Shopping Center
- Highland Village – Highland Village Town Center
GO STRAIGHT TO THE SOURCE
Then there are those beautiful fall days when itâs just worth it to pack up the kids and drive a few extra miles for a real, back-to-the-soil experience. Following are a few local farms within about an hourâs drive of the Dallas. Be sure to call ahead to arrange your visit or farm tour.
14255 Old Denton Road, Roanoke, TX 76262 â (817) 439-3202
From mid-September to October, you can pick your own apples from six varieties growing at Henrietta Creek Orchard. They also offer field trips, tours, and educational programs for groups.
- Open: call for times, fees, waiver form, and other information.
7241 FM1387, Midlothian, TX â (214) 770-9769
Along with a seasonal inventory of naturally grown fruits and vegetables from heirloom tomatoes to squash, melons, peppers, strawberries, and pumpkins, the farm has a peach orchard and raises free-range chickens, goats, and honey bees. Before you go, you can check seasonal inventory and make purchases online for pick up at the farm. (Sorry, no deliveries.)
- Open: Mid-March to mid-November, Saturdays, 9 am â 5 pm.
4710 Pioneer Rd., Balch Springs, TX 75180 â (214) 348-3336
Edenâs is a working Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model farm and organic garden center providing natural products for local growers and ranchers. From April through the first Saturday in December, they host Dallas Countyâs first and only All Clean (using natural and organic growing methods) Farmerâs Market onsite featuring fresh produce and locally grown meats. The market accepts the Lone Star/SNAP program card for the purchase of fresh produce, meats, and eggs.
- Garden Shop and Farmerâs Market Open: April to the first Saturday in December, 1, 3, and 5 Saturdayâs only, 9 a.m. â noon.
- Weekday farm tours are by appointment only.
Well, hope to see you around the markets this fall. Iâll be the one stuffing my SUV full of pumpkins, apples, and tomatoes for canning my homemade salsa.
Save some apples and pumpkins and check out these seasonal fall recipe: blogs.