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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Aggieland Farmers Market brings local produce, products to College Station

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Photo courtesy of Aggieland Coffee

People line up during the Farmers’ Market in College Station, Texas. 

With fresh eggs, produce, meat and baked goods, the Aggieland Farmers Market provides a new venue for College Station residents to get local products. The Aggieland Farmers Market had its first market on Sept. 16 and has since expanded the market from five to 45 approved vendors. 

The Aggieland Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Post Oak Mall parking lot but is working with the City of College Station to move the market to City Hall.  

Co-owner of Hollydew Farm and Secretary of the Aggieland Farmers Market Karen Carter said she works with four other board members to organize and run the farmers market. Carter sells duck, turkey and chicken eggs, turkey, rabbit and pork meat and jarred goods at her booth at the market. 

Carter said she and the board members decided to open the Aggieland Farmers Market to serve College Station residents. 

“We saw that College Station wasn’t really being served by a farmers market because a lot of College Station residents don’t want to drive all the way to Downtown Bryan to that farmers market,” Carter said. “We felt like starting one in College Station would serve those customers.”

The Aggieland Farmers Market Board is focused on selling local farm products. 

“We have a farm focus stated in our by-laws,” Carter said. “We have to be at least 80% farm goods, so we will never have more than 20% of what are called artisan vendors, so that would be not food, not farm products, like jewelry and stuff like that.”

The farmers market brings a local and sustainable way to shop that allows people to get to know their farmers and ranchers and ask them about where their food is coming from, Carter said. 

“One of the things that we love is that we have folks … who are regular customers that come every week,” Carter said. “You get to know them by name, you get to know their kids if they have kids. You don’t get that kind of relationship at a grocery store.”

KD Bar Cattle Company owner and Market Manager Joe Dowling works to ensure that market vendors are following market guidelines such as placing weights on tents and verifying that vendors are selling local farm-raised products. 

“All these vegetables, they are grown locally, there’s no reselling — going and buying in bulk somewhere,” Dowling said. 

Dowling sells grass-finished beef, pasture-raised grass-finished beef and bison at his booth in the market. 

“I can tell you everything about the beef or the bison I sell … same with vegetables, eggs, we can take you out and show you where they come from … and people like knowing that,” Dowling said.

The market allows locals to support local farmers and ranchers personally instead of at the grocery store, Dowling said.  

“People are buying more from you than what your actual product is because you build that relationship with them,” Dowling said. 

Dowling said he hopes the Aggieland Farmers Market becomes a destination for College Station visitors and wishes to expand the market to include live music and food trucks. 

Pickle Your Fancy owner Virginia Cox has been participating in the Aggieland Farmers market since its inception, she said. Cox sells pickled vegetables along with bread and butter, dill and hot pickles. 

“I like the atmosphere, I like the location, it’s very well seen,” Cox said. “I like the atmosphere where it’s not a rigid administration.” 

Cox said she likes selling products at farmers markets because consumers can talk to their producers about the products they are buying. 

“This way, they know where their food’s coming from, they know who made it and because we do offer samples, when you leave you’re gonna leave with something you’ve tried and you know you’re going to like when you take it home,” Cox said. 

Cream and Crumb Baking Company owner Erika Starks started her business two years ago and first participated in the Aggieland Farmers Market on Oct. 14, where she sells specialty cookies with flavors including banana pudding, red velvet, peanut butter cup, apple pie and s’mores. 

Starks said the farmers market is important because it allows vendors to have a space to sell their products and advertise their products to their local community. 

“[People can] express themselves and showcase what they make because people make some great stuff,” Starks said. “It’s hard when you don’t have a storefront or are just starting out to really just get their product in front of people.”

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