Out-of-the-ordinary bounty is ripe for discovery year-round at the San Marcos Farmer’s Market. Summer brings peaches, blackberries, heirloom tomatoes and exotic squashes, and winter brings root vegetables and greens galore.
Along with seasonal produce, you can find yard eggs, grass-fed meats, tamales, honeys, locally roasted coffees, salsas and jams, hand-crafted soaps, jewelry, crafts and garden plants from local growers and purveyors.
Downtown—on San Antonio Street between LBJ and Guadalupe—between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m on Saturdays, you will find dozens of vendors and live music. The market is also open on Tuesdays between 3p.m. and 6 p.m. at 312 E. Hopkins Street in the parking lot at The Hitch: A Mobile Eatery.
Some of our favorite vendors include:
Emadi Acres Farm: Derek Emadi belongs to a new breed of impassioned farmers who have given up other careers to become stewards of the earth. Derek, a former special education teacher, and his wife, Kelly Emadi, have a 10-acre parcel near Lockhart that includes more than an acre of vegetables and a pastured poultry operation. Keeping the chickens “rotationally grazed” makes for better eggs and better soil, he said. Since he’s still basically a one-person operation (Kelly works for a local school district), he’s focused on improving as a “market garden,” making the most of a manageable space. With one glimpse of his beautiful squash and carrots, it’s easy to see he’s on the right track.
Caskey Orchards: Cliff and Sylvia Caskey’s small family orchard in Hays County, just four miles from San Marcos, specializes in sweet, tree-ripened freestone peaches—typically harvested from mid-May to mid-August. Along with peaches, they also grow plums, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears, figs and pecans. Throughout the year they sell their own line of salsas and jams.
The Caskeys are not hobbyists as Cliff, who is retired, was a Texas Agricultural Extension Service agent and a horticulturalist for the city of San Marcos.
Redbud Roasters: Founded in 2010 by Austin and Mary Van Zant, Redbud sells premium fair trade, organic and shade-grown Arabica sourced from Costa Rica, Bolivia, Sumatra, Ethiopia Harrar, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Nicaragua (regular + decaf), El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico (regular + decaf). Each batch is roasted on site in their San Marcos shop at 169 S. LBJ Drive. They also sell direct trade teas from China and locally grown herbal teas.
Skip Rock Ranch: Brothers Scott and Lee Wilbeck come from a long line of Texas ranchers and farmers. In 2012, they launched a farm-to-table company, raising grass-fed Angus beef with an emphasis on great genetics, humane handling and proper nutrition. Just like their father and grandfather did in the 1950s, the brothers process their meat at a nearby, small-town butcher shop—which is part of their low-stress handling, as riding to market excites the livestock, affecting the flavor of the meat.
The Gardener’s Feast (Tamale Addiction): Founded in 2009, this family-owned, healthy food company from Austin sells frozen, organic masa tamales wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves. Aside from being delicious, they won’t bust your diet: no gluten, lard, preservatives, food additives or trans-fat oils.
As you can tell, the San Marcos Farmer’s Market has a lot to offer. So head downtown and check it out for yourself!
Photo Credit: Derek Emadi