Porch Culture Coffee at the downtown market in 2013
All produce at food coalition markets is grown within 75 miles of Tyler
Art will be a part of the Saturday market again in 2014
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
A new farmers market is going to make an appearance in South Tyler in May: The Rose City Farmers Market.
The market will serve folks in East Texas who want to have access to not only fresh produce, but also art, live music, crafts, and local coffee, and will offer an extended season, unusual in many farmers markets.
"We decided we wanted to trade from May through November, instead of the typical season of May through July," said Carmen Sosa, director of the East Texas Community Food Coalition.
The coalition was involved in the farmers market at the fairgrounds in 2013, but wanted a market site they were able to lease through November, which they could not do at the fairgrounds.
Cathy Grote, with the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market, says that the farmers there at the fairgrounds are content to end their market days in July, saying not as much produce is available during the fall to offer their customers. She also said that the fairgrounds market will continue in 2014, which was confirmed by John Sykes with the East Texas State Fairgrounds.
"The institution of the Farmers Market at the East Texas State Fairgrounds will go on. It is alive and well and will be here in May 2014 with our farmers," Sykes said. Those who have traded there under the pavilion for years will be glad to know that they can continue to do so.
As for Rose City Farmers Market's location?
"We have found a wonderful location after scouting all over town. We have established a relationship with the owner and the chef at Juls. We had been talking to them about a farm-to fork-initiative ... bringing local ingredients to their menu," Sosa said.
"The relationship between the food coalition and Juls just blossomed, and they have offered up space at their restaurant. We've been discussing it for a couple of months and have decided to go for it." She also noted that Juls will be buying from the farmers who sell there, as well, and will be serving up the flavorful, fresh fruits and vegetables in the restaurant.
The location of the new Rose City Farmers Market is on the grounds of Juls, located at 7212 Old Jacksonville Highway just south of Three Lakes Parkway, and offers some new benefits for customers.
Sosa said it will be an open air market, with farmers using shaded canopies to set up their stalls as in most farmers markets. However, they will also have a nice rest area for pets, and dogs are allowed on the patio at Juls, as well. Juls' Chef Philipp Norsetter will do cooking demonstrations, and there will be child-friendly activities each Saturday.
For the customers, Tyler's own True Vine Brewery beer, as well as mimosas and Bloody Marys, will be available on the patio by the lake. There is a treed area for shade, and plentiful parking for easy access. On Saturdays, live music will be a part of the market, too, as well as art, handmade items, and local favorite, Porch Culture Coffee.
The farmers who decide to trade there will be able to accept debit cards, credit cards, SNAP, and farmers market vouchers for WIC, making purchasing their great products accessible to everyone.
Sosa wants to make it clear that customers north of Front Street are not being forgotten by the food coalition; they plan to host micro-markets around town throughout the year in various neighborhoods.
The food coalition launched their first micro-market last year at Douglas Elementary, which went over well with people at the school, as well as neighbors.
"We are hoping to have an ongoing schedule, consistently throughout the season, of bringing micro-markets to different neighborhoods in underserved areas of Tyler," Sosa said. She cited hospitals, schools, and clinics as locations that are being scouted for these markets.
The Rose City Farmers Market will launch at Juls on Saturday, May 3, and will be open from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m ever Saturday and Tuesday. Tuesday market day will offer the produce without the music, art and children's activities that the weekend offers.
The East Texas State Fairgrounds also launches Saturday, May 3. It is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Saturday from the first week of May through the last Saturday in July.
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