Get ready for peaches and pop-up vegan treats at North Texas farmers markets

AP

North Texas peach season is slowly, slowly getting under way. And it’s worth waiting for.

"We got the largest crop of peaches we’ve had in 40 years," says Richard Strange, part of the family that runs peach-centric Ham Orchards near Terrell. The store opens mid-May through Aug. 15.

Peaches are still iffy for this weekend, he says, but by next weekend, there should be plenty. Plus, Ham’s has a new, expanded pick-your-own blackberry patch where the berries still need about a week.

Closer to home, Larken Farms Orchard is bringing its first peaches to White Rock Local Market. The pick-your-own operation is still waiting for its plums and apricots to ripen.

At this point, it’s up to the sun. That’s what speeds ripening. Cloudy days slow it down. But once this year’s crop starts rolling in, get your cobbler and ice cream recipes ready.

At White Rock Local Market, shoppers wait in line for the first peaches of the season from Larken Farms Orchard in Waxahachie.

Arepa TX brings frozen bars, including creamy flan with a streak of dulce de leche. The Barefoot Baker had naturally leavened loaves of wood-fired-oven bread. Alpha Omega Acres made its own crusty, natural bread, even as it specializes in pastured pork. And how about those New York bagels at Bakery Joy? Or the hibiscus meringues from the Swedish Sisters?

So many local farmers and gardeners are bringing their field-fresh greens, onions, broccoli, strawberries, herbs, spinach and more, among them We Over Me Farm from Paul Quinn College, Chandler Family Farm (Mabank) and Highway 19 Produce and Berries (Athens).

Best of all, because this market is scrupulous about vetting farms and ranches, you know that you’re buying from the people who grew or made what they’re selling. Or in the case of Larken, from neighbor Jackie Bailey, who’s handling the table. She has a blackberry farm next door in Waxahachie.

White Rock Local Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Lake Pointe Church, 9150 Garland Road. goodlocalmarket.org.

In addition to its pastured pork, Alpha Omega Acres in Forney brings beautiful rustic loaves to White Rock Local Market.
Pop-Up Vegan Market

While you check out peaches at Larken’s table at White Rock Local Market on Saturday, enjoy the concentration of vegan vendors during the vegan pop-up market.

Among them: 5 Mile Chocolate (single-origin bean-to-bar, made in Oak Cliff), Nature’s Comfort Foods (savory and sweet baked goods), Goat’s Revolt (vegan cheese), Radix Foods (prepared foods including queso and raw desserts) and Down To Earth, a vegan and vegetarian food truck.

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