FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Those who work in the concrete and steel of Downtown Fort Worth have something new to discuss: Banana peppers and cucumbers; round zucchini and fresh garlic.
For the first time in decades, there is an open-air farmer’s market accessible to downtown workers and residents. On Tuesday, 10 vendors sold vegetables, fruits, bread and flowers.
And outside of a municipal court building where the most common question might be, “How do you plead?” there were vendors asking, “Would you like any cucumbers?”
“It’s awesome,” said Jordan Kline, who made a point to visit the market on its first day open for business. “There’s an abundance of produce. Lots of tomatoes and peaches and all the summer vegetables.”
Growers were stunned by the huge turnout when they set up a market at the site for Earth Day. And that success led to what will now become a weekly market, every Tuesday, until at least the end of summer.
“People are hungry for good, fresh produce,” said John Doak, a Hood County peach grower. “You can’t buy good peaches in the grocery store tree ripened.”
A farmer’s market opened in a building on the fringe of downtown years ago. It failed. What the growers learned is there’s a hunger for wholesome, local produce –– if it’s convenient.
“I live so far away it’s hard to stop on the way home,” said one shopper who only identified herself as Diana. “And I like the produce. It’s fresh. And I like to support the local growers.”
“Yeah, we just about sold out,” Doak said just an hour and a half into the day. “We had sixteen of these half-bushels and we just got what’s left on the table over there.”
“People are coming down from the office building which is fantastic,” said Madison Hickman, who was there to answer people’s questions about the market. “They’re saying their bosses are letting them come down, which is great.”
Now the farmers say the conditions are ripe to grow a big agriculture business in the heart of Downtown Fort Worth.