The Farmer's Market: A Home-Grown Solution

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

You've heard about the tomato recall, the beef beat down, or maybe you even remember the spinach scare.

It almost makes you wonder: what food is safe these days? A home-grown alternative is quickly becoming a solution for many in the Brazos Valley.

For the past 45 years, Lois Vaughn has picked, snipped and gathered fruits and vegetables from her own family garden.

"We helped supply the food for the family. Then, we had our own family," Vaughn said. "We always wanted to know what we ate."

Knowing, for example, what kind of fertilizer was used, or if any pesticides or sprays made it onto these herbs before they made it into her mouth.

"When you buy something in the store -- say with the tomato thing going around right now -- you just don't know how the tomatoes were handled," Vaughn said.

Each week, Lois packs up her love for fresh food and sharing it with others. She's not alone.

"We had that tomato scare a while back and I'm still doing very well. Our sales are very high right now," tomato producer Tanya Miller says.

Miller says business is not only good, it's almost too good.

"We just can't grow enough. Our supply doesn't meet our demand," Miller said. "So that's why we are going to start adding green houses."

Tanya says she has seen not only seen a jump in the number of people interested in her produce, but also more people looking at buying local

"The stuff you get in the grocery store is once again picked like this and shipped far distances like Canada and Mexico," Miller said.

Tanya's stuff travels just a few miles to the local farmer's market. That's where she and Lois Vaughn offer some of the best home-grown foods the Brazos Valley has to offer.

"You can have that one. It's all for you," Vaughn tells a customer.

For about the same cost of the foods you'll see in the supermarket, Lois and Tanya say the foods at the Farmers' Market also come with a freshness guarantee.

If the Farmers' Market sounds like something you want to check out here's some opportunities for you. On Wednesdays, they're up and running at College Station Central Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday's you can find them in Bryan at the corner of Texas Avenue and William J. Bryan from 8 a.m. until noon.

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