There Are Lots of Non-Pumpkin Reasons to Get Excited About Dallas' Farmers Markets This Fall

Certainly you've noticed. Every Twitter handle within a three-hour radius of Dallas has published no less than 17 tweets referring to the weather in the last few days. Suddenly, stepping outside is somehow enjoyable -- a foreign concept considering the past three months have felt as hot as the sauna in a Russian bath house.

The cooler weather brings all sorts of new things to our tables. Pumpkins are a big one, though it would be nice if more of us enjoyed the squash in a form that still resembles the vegetable as it was picked from the vine. If even the employees at Starbucks can't tell you what's in a pumpkin spice latte, perhaps it's time to bake your own pumpkin pie. And there's more.

Beets for roasting, cauliflower for purées or frying, greens for sautées, oranges for juicing, pecans for pies, and potatoes for delivering as much brown sugar, marshmallows and butter as possible (sounds like Starbucks?) will all be available at your local farmers market this fall. And there's still more.

The White Rock Local Market is hosting a pie contest on October 19. They're looking for entrants to sign up right now, so go get some lard and start perfecting your flaky crust technique.

In October they're sponsoring a Love your Farmer Day at Good Earth Organic Farm in Celeste. Get out your overalls and pretend you've got what it takes to work the land for a few hours. When you inevitably collapse and determine farming is not for you, give the real deal a hug.

WRLM will continue to host the chef-lead cooking demonstrations. Check out their website to see if demonstrations will be offered on any given weekend.

Downtown at the Dallas Farmers Market, the next round of cooking classes has been released to the public. You've missed the first, but four remain. They seem a good way to hone those kitchen skills before your big performance this Thanksgiving. Each session costs $25 if you pay by the Thursday before the event. Procrastinate and you'll pay $30 at the door. Sign up here for these remaining classes:

September 28 Salsas & Moles: Where Everything Begins Antonio Marquez, Lazaranda

October 5 Main Street Mise en Place: Satisfying Autumn Recipes A. J. Joglekar, Dallas Chop House

October 12 Down Home Cooking with a Twist John Franke, The Ranch at Las Colinas

(5) October 19 Pumpkins: More Than Just Pies and Lattes Patrick Russell, Max's Wine Dive

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