Not Your Average Farmers' Market

With an increasing number of options for local food purchasing crowding the field – more farmers’ markets, new home delivery services, retailers and grocery stores, and more – it’s sometimes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

In this leap year, as we approach the unique day of February 29, we’d like to take this opportunity to share a few reasons why our SFC Farmers’ Markets are so unique.

Mary Lightsey, Lightsey Farms

1. Producer-only – this is Rule #1.

Seriously – this is the first rule listed in our market policy, and is strictly enforced to ensure that customers are buying directly from farmers and ranchers and that local producers can avoid contending with peddlers and importers.


2. Mission driven

Our markets are rooted in SFC’s mission that emphasizes “strengthening our local food system.” The connection between farmers and customers is vital to that mission.


3. Food Access

Another element of the SFC mission is that we improve access to nutritious and affordable food. Our SNAP, WIC, and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program ensure that folks can use their benefits to support local farmers, and SFC’s Double Dollar Incentive Program helps families’ food dollars stretch further.


4. Farm Direct connections

In addition to sales through farmers’ markets, vendors at SFC markets also have access to sales channels though the SFC Farm Direct program – Farm to Work, Farm to Cafeteria, Farm to School, and Farm to Family.


5. Educational programs

From our weekly Taste the Place sampling table to composing classes provided by City of Austin, plus information from our other programs – Grow Local and The Happy Kitchen – and from a wide variety of community partners – all of these help SFC fulfill that educational purpose.


6. Family fun

More than just a shopping trip, excursions to SFC Farmers’ Markets offer the opportunity to hear great local music, meet with friends, and let the kids enjoy our children’s activities, like Kid’s Kitchen Chef Club, Imagination Playground at our SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley or the playground generously provided by Austin Parks Foundation at our Downtown market.

Those are just some of the reasons that SFC Farmers’ Markets are unique. Why do you like the SFC Farmers’ Markets?

Please share this list – and add your own ideas!