City to unveil farmer’s market designs

HARLINGEN — The Harlingen Farmer’s Market is finally getting a roof over its head.

The city has designed a shelter to cover the market at its future home near City Hall.

At a meeting tomorrow, officials are expected to unveil the designs by Megamorphosis Architecture & Interior Design.

“They’re really awesome,” Kate McSwain, manager of the farmer’s market, said yesterday.

The city is using a $175,000 grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation to fund the project.

McSwain said the shelter will help expand the farmer’s market, covering about 20 parking spaces at the City Hall parking lot in the 100 block of East Tyler Avenue.

For seven years, the farmer’s market has stood at A Street between Jackson and Monroe Avenues, open from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays from October through June.

Today, the farmer’s market draws as many as 500 customers to downtown Harlingen.

Still, too many residents do not know about the farmer’s market, McSwain said.

McSwain said the new location off busy Tyler Avenue is expected to increase the market’s customers.

“People ask, does Harlingen have a farmer’s market?” she said. “Where are you located?”

Now, she said, the market boasts 24 vendors, with five on a waiting list.

But an expanded farmer’s market will draw more vendors at the new location, and that means a wider selection of produce, she said.

“There’s going to be twice as much space than we have at the current site and a lot more parking,” McSwain said.

McSwain said the shelter’s roof will help catch rain water to irrigate landscaping.

On each side of the shelter, she said, rain barrels will store the water.

“It’s a shade roof that’s slanted to catch the rain and provide shelter,” she said.

As part of the project, officials will present plans to install about 10 electrical outlets at the shelter, helping chefs cook up their recipes while performers play live music.

If all goes according to plan, the farmer’s market plans will move to its new location in October, McSwain said.