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Funkytonk Farmers Market at NATY

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Color me thrilled that a new farmers market has opened down the street from my house in North Central Austin at the North Austin Trailer Yard (NATY), 1012 W. Anderson Lane. While I love going to the larger Downtown and Cedar Park markets, it’s nice to know there is a market a little closer to home.

The inaugural Funkytonk Farmers Market included four farms, a ranch and several food artisans. Of course, it wouldn’t be a farmers market in Austin without Johnson”s Backyard Garden and I met some charming farmers from Gordon”s Natural Garden outside of Manor.

I was delighted to find lamb, pork, beef and chicken from South Star of Texas. They had a great deal of one pound of each for $32. Bargain!

And, possibly in the score of the day, one gentleman was selling Wendish noodles which are fantastic in soups. You should do yourself a favor and get some.

With the music playing, kids playing on the playground and the trailers serving up food, the Funkytonk Farmers Market is a great place to hang out on a lovely Saturday morning. I can’t wait to go back next week.











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Austin Farmers Market Round-Up

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Pears at the marketI met a guy a couple of years ago who started following me on Twitter. The next time I saw him, he said, “Man, you really like farmers markets.”  I’d say that’s a bit of an understatement – I LOVE farmers markets.

I’ve been hooked ever since my Dad took me to my first market in Amarillo, just a small group of stands, but overflowing with ripe peaches, summer tomatoes and green beans.  I love buying my favorite produce, discovering new meats, cheeses and jams and visiting with the farmers and food artisans. I always learn something new at the market and can’t help but be happy when I leave.

In Austin, we are blessed to have strong markets with quality vendors five days of the week and in all areas of town.  Some are big markets with as many as 60-70 vendors selling hot food and everything from produce to meat to olive oil. Others are neighborhood markets with enough vendors to fill a shopping bag, but not as much variety.  Added to the mix are several farm stands where the farm sells their produce and eggs, and sometimes meat, cheese and other products.

People often ask me about my favorite market and I honestly don’t have one. I go to the SFC Downtown market the most because it is the closest to me and I love having Dai Due for breakfast, but there are vendors at each market that I like to frequent. I enjoy going out to Cedar Park to meet one of my friends and then popping by Noble Sandwiches on the way home.  When I have my niece and nephew in tow, we visit the farms so they can see the chickens and ducks. And some days I just need to go to a farm and be enveloped by the peace of the place. Do not underestimate the power of a farm to relax you.

Following is a list of area markets presented three ways – first alphabetically, then by day of the week and finally by the location.  I encourage you to try a few markets to find your favorite. It might be the one closest to home or it might be the spot near your office. If you haven’t been to a market before, check out my Mastering the Market article for some tips on how to make the most of your trip.

See you at the market!

Market booth


This guide is part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance Austin City Guide. Check out the guide for other lists of great places to visit in Austin.

Austin Farmers Markets and Farm Stands

Barton Creek Farmers Marketback of Barton Creek Square Mall parking at the intersection of S. Loop 1 (Mopac) and S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360), Saturdays 9am to 1pm

Boggy Creek Farm Stand, 3414 Lyons Road, Wednesdays & Saturdays 9am to 1pm

Cedar Park Farmers Market, 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Saturdays 9am to 1pm

Green Gate Farm Stand, 8310 Canoga Ave, Tuesdays 3pm to 6 pm, Fridays & Saturdays 10am to 2pm

Hope Farmers Market, Plaza Saltillo, E. 5th & Comal, Sundays 11am to 3pm

Lone Star Farmers Market at Bee Cave, 12611 Suite 100 Shops Parkway (Shops at the Galleria), Bee Cave, TX, Sundays 10am to 2pm

Mueller Farmers MarketAt the “Browning Hangar” 4550 Mueller Blvd., Sundays 10am to 2pm

Round Rock Farmers Market300 W. University Blvd. Round Rock, Saturdays 9am to noon

SFC Farmers Market Downtown, 400 W. Guadalupe, Republic Square Park, Saturdays, 9am to 1pm

SFC Farmers Market Eas<t, MLK & Miriam / near M Station!, Tuesdays 3 pm to 7 pm

SFC Farmers Market Sunset Valley, 3200 Jones Road at the Toney Burger Center, Saturdays, 9am to 1pm

SFC Farmers Market Triangle, 4600 Lamar, Triangle Park at The Triangle, Wednesdays, 3pm to 7pm

Springdale Farm Stand, 755 Springdale Road, Wednesdays & Saturdays 9am to 1pm






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SFC Farmers Market East Doubles the Money of Low-Income Shoppers

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A few weeks ago, I finally had a chance to pop over to the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers Market – East newest market at the YMCA East Communities Branch at 51st and Highway 183.  I was delighted to find a nice neighborhood market with about a dozen vendors offering produce, eggs, cheese and a few prepared items.

SFC East Side Market-6

SFC East Side Market-5
The market is open Tuesdays from 10 am to 1 pm, rain or shine, and offers enough selection that I had no problem filling my market bag with goodies.

Of course, what makes this market special is that it offers the Double Dollar Incentive Program which matches dollar for dollar fruit and vegetable purchases made with SNAP – Lone Star Card, or WIC Lone Star Card cash benefits.  This type of matching program has been wildly successful in other parts of the country as a way to make healthy food available to those with limited incomes.  I’m excited and proud that SFC is the first organization in Texas to offer the program.

SFC East Side Market-3
SFC East Side Market-2

If you find yourself in East Austin on a Tuesday, stop by and support the vendors who are making it easier for all Austinites to eat healthier.

All photos by Sandra Ramos. 

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Holiday Gift Favorites

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My hope for you is that you have finished your holiday shopping, but just in case you are in the same panic as my dear friend who called last night, I thought a last minute list of some of my favorite gifts might be helpful.

For the cook in your life, this was a great year for cookbooks.  Two of my favorites are from Southern ladies who have as much gumption as they do skill in the kitchen.  Basic to Brilliant, Y’all from Virginia Willis includes 150 Southern recipes that she has refined and added a twist to so that you can make a “brilliant” version on those days you want to show off or have company.  Virginia has a patient instructor’s approach so that even the novice cook can easily follow and create an amazing dish with her guidance.


Lisa Fain, also known in the blog world as The Homesick Texan, has created a cookbook of her favorite Texas recipes.  When Lisa moved to New York years ago, she couldn’t find the foods she missed from home and she started making the dishes herself.  This cookbook is the perfect gift for the Texan in your life who is far from home or any Texan who wants to learn to cook the traditional dishes of our heritage.

This year was one of learning for me and Kate Payne’s Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and Kari Underly’s The Art of Beef Cutting have been invaluable in that journey.  The Hip Girl’s Guide has become my go to manual for all of those homemaking techniques that I didn’t learn growing up.  With Kate’s help, I’m becoming a little more DIY and so far I’ve used the guide to salvage a stained bed spread, use and make my own non-toxic cleaning products and cut more of the plastic out of my life.  I can’t wait to tackle canning.
I had the pleasure of seeing Kari Underly butcher at the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival this Spring and became fascinated with the idea of being able to cut my own meat.  Kari’s book shows you how you can move beyond the traditional cuts we always see in the grocery store or restaurants and how to cook them.  It is the perfect gift for anyone who is meat obsessed.

This year I gifted magazines to many of my friends and family.  A subscription to Edible Austin, and yes I’m biased since I write for them, is a great way to share Austin with your friends who have moved away.  My aunt says it is one of the prettiest magazines she’s ever seen and I agree with her.

One of my friends gave me a subscription to Garden + Gun last year, a magazine that celebrates Southern culture,  and it has quickly become my reason to stalk the mailman.  I devour the issues and can’t wait for the next to arrive.  I was happy to share the magazine this year with some of my friends with deep Southern roots.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden has made it easy to give the gift of local food by offering Farmers Market Bucks that can be used to buy produce at their farm stands and CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) Gift Subscriptions with which the recipient can order 4 or more CSA boxes.  Both gifts are a wonderful way to introduce local food to friends or family who aren’t sure where to start.

You still have one more round of farmers markets on Saturday to find last minute stocking stuffers or gift baskets, although I expect all of the markets will be a little smaller with some vendors and farmers taking off early for the holidays. The Downtown and Sunset Valley markets from the Sustainable Food Center are consolidating and will be at Sunset Valley only (by the Berger Center), and the Barton Creek and Cedar Park Farmers Markets will be in full swing.  I did hear a rumor that Santa might be stopping by the Barton Creek Farmers Market.

I recently stopped by Antonelli’s Cheese to put together a quick basket of local goodies for my family from Wichita Falls.  What better way to share the Christmas spirit than with jars of Confituras preserves, Blue Heron Cajeta and CKC Farms feta.

I’m a big fan of the Blue Avocado shopping and storage bags as a stylish way to avoid the plastic bags at the store.  I love my bags – they are pretty, light weight and clean up easily.

If your friends and family are more diners than cooks, gift cards to a local restaurant are an easy way to help them enjoy the holidays.  Check out my SXSW restaurant guide from earlier this year or the Edible Austin website for ideas on locally sourcing restaurants.

And, of course, don’t forget the charitable gifts.  You can invest in our local food system by donating to one of these fine Texas non-profits who are working to end food insecurity and increase the capacity of local farms, food artisans and chefs: Sustainable Food CenterUrban Roots, Capital Area Food BankUrban Harvest and San Antonio Food Bank.   You can’t go wrong by supporting one of these groups.

Go finish your shopping so you can enjoy your holiday!

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