Urban Harvest Farmers Market - Eastside and City Hall Locations
On any given Saturday morning during any given season and in any conceivable weather locals hone in on one of Houston’s most treasured culinary resources, the farmers market, specifically the Urban Harvest Eastside and City Hall locations (note, this location is only during select months – see UH website for dates). Tables creak under the weight of local produce, plants, and other goods like soap, olive oil, honey, cheese, jams, and bread. Freshly prepared foods from local artisan chefs at booths and food trucks tempt shoppers - especially those with a grumbling tummy in seek of breakfast or lunch. Look for creamy and nutritious kale smoothies from Chef Roy, savory meat pies from Blackbird Foods, and scrumptious vegan baked goods from Sinfull Bakery among numerous other treats and bites.
Most mornings the markets also host live music from local musicians in addition to a chef’s table where a local chef will prepare items on-site using market ingredients for visitors to observe and sample. Such interactions provide a deeper connection for guests and vendors alike and create relationships that merge the line between customer and business. These bonds have a ripple effect that extends well beyond the few hours at market.
Take for example Plant it Forward Farms, which utilizes empty city lots that are unusable for construction and turns them into lush edible landscapes. The land is tended by refugees and allows them a reliable income as they adjust to their new homes. They also gain valuable experience selling their crops to market shoppers, thus broadening their confidence and skill sets. Patrons of the markets appreciate the bounty that is available, especially since living within the confines of a structured city environment can pose a serious threat to growing and harvesting one’s own food. Lack of space and limited access to sunlight (thanks to tall buildings and their long shadows) are just two challenges facing the urban gardener. With vendors like Animal Farm, Bee Wilde Honey, Blue Heron Farm, Billabong Fresh Flower Farm, Garden Dreams, and Wood Duck Farm no one has to rely on their own land for seasonal sustenance or monotony. As Glen Miracle of Laughing Frog Farm once stated, Texas’ exceptional growing conditions make it easy to experiment with new fruits and vegetables. Black radishes, hibiscus buds, unusual squashes, and a rainbow of tomatoes – there’s always something new to entice and delight.