Sarah Perry and her team will open the White Rock Local Market on Saturday for its sixth season at the Lakeside Baptist Church. In true spring market fashion, you can expect cold weather greens, greens and more greens. You'll also likely see lots of radishes and other early root vegetables and some of the best eggs you can buy in Dallas.
The neighborhood market has grown considerably since it first overtook the parking lot of the Green Spot in East Dallas, as the Dallas Farmers Market downtown has weathered the turmoil of multiple failed overhaul plans, a change of ownership and now a renovation effort that is finally underway.
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Part of Perry's success, and the success of other small, local farmers markets in the Dallas area, is their focus on local products. Farmers are required to operate within 150 miles of Dallas and grow all the products they're selling themselves, and artisans that offer crafts and other prepared foods must adhere to similar requirements. The restriction makes shopping easy for customers who value local products and want to get to know the people who are handling their food.
The Dallas Farmers Market, by comparison, permits produce dealers to sell products whether they've grown them or not, allowing a wealth of products to be made available (year-round tomatoes and even pineapples) but requires the use of separate stalls, special signs and other potentially confusing controls to help shoppers understand what they're purchasing.
So, no pineapples at this weekend's White Rock Local Market, but no confusion about where their products came from, either. Look for plenty of local farmers, local food artisans, and locally produced crafts as well.
White Rock Local Market, Lakeside Baptist Church, 9150 Garland Road, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., whiterocklocalmarket.org.