In recent years, a number of options have cropped up (pun intended) for Houstonians in search of local, organic and sustainable food. Whether fennel from a farmer’s field or small-batch bread, a variety of markets, co-ops and CSAs happen every day of the week in the Bayou City.
Here’s a short list to keep you and yours fed in a healthful, responsible manner, Mondays through Sundays.
Acronym for Community Supported Agriculture, CSAs offer their members fresh produce directly from local farmers — in partial or full shares — typically delivered on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to a set location. Often, farmers will also provide the option to purchase eggs, cheese, meat and prepared meals.
Cleveland, Texas’s Wood Duck Farm, one of many local growers featured on localharvest.org, delivers to 12 different locations from the Woodlands to Seabrook. Local Harvest's website provides a thorough list of CSAs in the Houston area.
Co-ops such as Central City provide members with a number of benefits, including climate-controlled shopping during the scorching Houston summer. Central City’s open market operates similarly to a regular farmers market, with prix fixe fruits, vegetables, and dry goods. Their budget-friendly shares come in a range of options, including a local offering from Gundermann Acres Farm, a fruit share, and three sizes of mixed shares from local and national organic producers.
The holistic and community-minded ethos of the co-op’s board and management finds reflection in their practices: They accept SNAP benefits, buy from small growers in urban areas, and do regular educational outreach in Houston-area schools.
Joni Mitchell would be proud. Those former “paved paradises” turned into parking lots now play host to local veggies and honey, Gulf shrimp and vegan treats, breakfast tacos and gluten-free naan. It’s a reassertion of the natural world on these macadam urban and suburban zones.
Though vendors set up food stands in the metro area every day of the week, weekends feature some major players — like the popular Eastside Urban Harvest Farmers Market with its endless array of stalls — and smaller neighborhood ventures like the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest Farmers Market. In the fall and spring, Bayou City Outdoors leads bike tours of three to five markets on an eight to 12-mile ride.
Many markets, including the popular, lunchtime destination that is the City Hall Farmers Market, operate seasonally, so double-check hours before embarking on your foodie adventure. Others, like Canino Produce, are open year-round, seven days a week.
- Rice University Farmers Market, Rice University, Visitors West Lot, 3:30 to 7 p.m.
- City Hall Farmers Market (resumes Sept. 12), City Hall, 901 Bagby, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Spring Branch Farmers Market, Unitarian Fellowship, 1504 Wirt, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
- Eco Farmers Market–City Centre (resumes Sept. 5), 800 Town and Country, 4 to 8 p.m.
- Urban Harvest Market–Sugar Land Town Square (resumes early fall), 4 to 7 p.m.
- Kingwood Farmers Market, Town Center Park, 3 to 7 p.m.
- Urban Harvest Market–HCC Southwest, 5601 West Loop, 3 to 7 p.m.
- Urban Harvest Market–Eastside, 3000 Richmond, 8 a.m. to noon
- Farmers Market at Clear Lake Shores, 1020 Marina Bay, 8 a.m. to noon
- Garden Oaks/Oak Forest Farmers Market, Wakefield and Gulf, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Kemah Farmers & Open Air Market, 204 FM 2094, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Onion Creek Farmers Market, 3106 White Oak, 8 a.m. to noon
- Pearland Old Townsite Farmers Market, Zylinski Park, 8 a.m. to noon, second and fourth Saturday