Garden Fresh: Farmer’s Market a hit for consumers, growers

HARLINGEN — Laura Garcia hadn’t visited the farmer’s market in two years.

However, after returning home from a long trip — to Egypt, Thailand, Brazil — she enjoyed her little jaunt Saturday down A Street. The Harlingen Farmer’s Market was alive and well, and she had plenty of marketplaces to compare.

“They didn’t have live music before,” said Garcia, a 1996 graduate of Harlingen High School.

The air was filled with the music of Valles Flying Machine. The conga player sent thumping tropical rhythms into the air.

“If they get a couple of more vendors they’ll be great,” she said.

The Harlingen Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from 3 to 4:30 pm. Kate McSwain, market manager, said the event is held to provide healthy organic foods to consumers. It also offers local growers the chance to sell their goods.

“It’s healthy for them, it’s healthy for us,” McSwain said. “I think it’s awesome.”

About 20 vendors on Saturday sold fresh carrots, citrus, kohlrabi, hummus, tea and other goods. Joyce Salinas strolled across the street toward her table where she and her husband Cruz sold produce.

She had taken a break to do some shopping herself.

“I bought orange marmalade, Brussels sprouts and spring salad,” said Salinas, 58, raising a plastic bag bulging with greens. She clutched the tiny jar of the marmalade.

“I like to talk to other people that are selling,” she said, returning to the table where she sold tomatoes, oranges and grapefruit.

“It’s going really good,” she said with a smile. “We had 22 pints of strawberries that we sold in 15 minutes.”

Baklava and hummus were among the Middle Eastern delights which Seta Hoysepian, 61, and her stepson Andrew Schwiebert presented for sale.

“This is our second year,” said Hoysepian, whose handmade goods were of Armenian origin.

Business had been good, she said, and she was selling very well Saturday.

Garcia, meanwhile, was a bit crestfallen she’d just arrived in time to see shoppers purchase all the purple cauliflower.

From the viewpoint of a seasoned traveler who has visited many marketplaces, it was all about color. Purple was so much more fun.

If You Go

WHEN: 3 – 4:30 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Downtown, North A Street between Jackson and Monroe avenues.