"Mother nature just keeps punching us in the gut," says Bobby Bever of Highway 19 Produce in Athens. Just this year he'd slid all his chips to the center of the table to become a full-time farmer, selling to subscribers and a handful of markets. Then the mid-February hard freeze wiped him out.
"We lost everything we had to sell for March markets," he said. "An acre of broccoli, Brussel sprouts and beets, all gone."
Bever pulled together what he could, including jars of jams and pickled produce, which his mom cans with the leftovers after each market. They, along with other producers, bakers and artisans clapped back at mother nature and set up shop to peddle a variety of goods this past weekend.
White Rock Good Local Markets is a nonprofit that organizes producer-only markets, including White Rock Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon (on Garland Road in the parking lot next to Lake Pointe Church). This weekend they also launched the Lakewood Village Farmers Market, which is on Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon at 6434 E. Mockingbird Lane.
Good Local allows only vendors who operate within 150-mile radius of Dallas. Sellers must make or raise their products. Their staff even pays a visit to every farm and ranch to ensure animals are ethically raised and carrots are talked to nicely after being plucked from the earth.
On Saturday there was a great selection of baked goods, vegetables, dairy products, local coffee, tamales and pies. There are also a few jewelry displays, soaps, plants and ceramics.
One baker at the White Rock Market on Saturday, Katrina Bakes Cakes, is going to run a weekly special that coincides with the size of her growing belly (she's pregnant). This week she made croissants. This could be fun to track and gives a visual to bun in the oven (which we officially suggest as her new business name).
Most vendors take either plastic or cash. If we're really on it, we're bringing our own bags. Dogs are welcomed on a short leash.