The farmers’ market scene in Dallas, surprisingly, is a little lacking. For a city with such a reputation as a foodshed, Dallas’ farmers’ markets are a little more hit-and-miss. There are several excellent neighborhood markets, but many of them only operate on the weekends. If you find yourself with a craving for fresh okra or the perfect heirloom tomato on a Wednesday, you’ve got to head to the Dallas Farmers Market, just a quick walk away from Downtown.
The Dallas Farmers Market, the oldest in the area, is currently in a major time of transition. Formerly owned by the city, the Market was purchased by a private company last year, and is undergoing massive renovations. Before the renovations began, ther market consisted of three covered sheds. One housed restaurants, meat purveyors, and other vendors. Another was a place for large-scale produce distributors to sell directly to consumers. The final, and least populated shed, was for local farmers.
Now, there is only one. “The Shed,” as it has since been christened, is open five days a week. Most vendors only come on the weekends, when the crowds are much thicker. Even though there are fewer farmers than ever at this point in the history of the Dallas Farmers Market, the quality has improved dramatically. There are no more containers of Del Monte tomatoes or Driscoll’s strawberries — only locally grown, fresh-picked produce.
And what is there is truly impressive. Piles of vibrant green beans, perfectly-ripe peaches, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, and plenty more interesting finds are still very much on offer at the Dallas Farmers Market.
Amy McCarthy is Paste’s Assistant Food Editor. She enjoys pickling everything she can find at the farmers’ market. Find her on Twitter @aemccarthy.