Graham Farmers Market sees growth at new location
As the Graham Farmers Market comes to a conclusion for its second year, the local Saturday event closes the books on another successful run.
The Graham Farmers Market contains local vendors which offers goods such as vegetables, fruit, honey, beef, eggs, lotion, fried pies, baked goods, craft goods and more each Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
“We have tried to stay true to the integrity of a farmers market that has locally raised or grown or produced products, whether that is produce, meats and vegetables and things like that, cheeses, or artisan hand-crafted goods,” Graham Farmers Market Board President Phillip Gough said. “So we have been pretty diverse, but we really want to try and focus on these things are handcrafted, they are artisan goods, or they are agriculturally produced goods.”
The market moved to a new location this year at the Old Ag Barn, which made an impact earlier in the summer, he said.
“I think overall it was a good year at a new location,” Gough said. “We moved it to the Old Ag Barn this year and seemed to be visible and it seemed to have pretty steady traffic early on in the summer. I think later on in the summer we saw things kind of die down just a little bit, but overall I think the majority of the vendors would say it was a very successful summer.”
Gough said the event had more vendors on a weekly basis with an average of three to four more a week over last year. He said the overall number of vendors was up over last year and the organization is looking to expand the offerings with the vendors in the coming years.
“The majority of our vendors are pretty local, but we would love to be able to expand to attract more vendors from surrounding counties (like) Archer County, Throckmorton County, Stephens County,” he said. “We had a few from Palo Pinto County that came this year, but we would love to be able to expand our space for vendors for people to know this is an opportunity to come market their goods.”
Gough said the market is important to the community because it shows people the origins of where their food is created and those in the community who are producing the goods.
“There is such a movement with people wanting to know where their food is coming from, they want to help local producers and there are people here locally who are passionate about bringing fresh produce, fresh fruits, fresh meats, all of those things to the consumers and we just want to provide something where people can come and get face-to-face (interactions),” he said. “They can talk to Karen (Pratt) about how she is growing her garden. She is the pickle lady and it is cool to see people asking her about the process of making pickles.”
He said that each and every person behind one of the counters at the market has a story and the interaction at the market allow the community to see those stories through interactions.
“I think for us as vendors, especially those that are producing fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, all that kind of stuff, it is also a way to educate people,” he said. “(…)For so long we walk into a box grocery store, we walk out and we don’t give any thought to where it comes from, what are the livelihoods of the people that are producing this, either on a small scale or a large scale.”
For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 16 edition of The Graham Leader.