High Grocery Store Prices Mean More Revenue For Local Farmer's Market - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/19/08 - Tyler

High Grocery Store Prices Mean More Revenue For Local Farmer's Market

The time is right for fresh, home-grown veggies and fruit.  East Texas farmers set-up early Saturday morning for the opening day of Tyler's famous Farmers Market, and it turns out rising gas and grocery prices are actually turning into good business for local farmers.

From those famous Noonday onions to green tomatoes, farmers were selling-out early, Saturday. 

"We've sold out of squash and peppers, and we've actually almost sold out of onions, have a few left," said East Texas farmer Jessica Buckley.  "We got some watermelon, got one left."  As gas continues to climb at an alarming rate, so do prices on the grocery isle.

"Almost $2 for a cantaloupe, and that's outrageous," said shopper Diane Yousef.  "It makes it real hard for people trying to give their kids nutritional stuff."  That's one reason more customers said they'll buy from local farmers this season.  Farmers, however, also have to deal with those record-high fuel costs.

"They have to use diesel in the tractors, so that's the highest price gas out there," said shopper John Brigance.  Still, farmers say they're able to sell fresher produce at a cheaper price. In fact, they were worried the gas prices might keep customers away.

"We were concerned about gas prices and whether people would come out today, but they've come out, so we've been good," said local farmer JoAn Lowery.  "We've been blessed."

"They're cheaper than the store, and the home-grown veggies are a lot better usually," said Brigance.  It's looking like a good season.  Farmers said by mid-June peaches and berries will be out, and tomatoes may be ripe as early as next week.

The Tyler Farmers' Market is open though the last week of August.  It's located at the East Texas Fair Grounds and is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com  

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