Helen Brown never knows what she is going to buy when she heads to the Wylie Farmers Market in the parking lot of Wylie United Methodist Church each Wednesday morning.
“It depends what is in season,” she said. “It’s always fresh.”
Brown is one of many people who shop for fresh vegetables, eggs, homemade breads, handmade soaps, grass-fed beef and many other products produced by local and area farmers. The Wylie Farmers Market began this summer and has been so successful that it has continued through the fall.
“Every farmer is satisfied with the customer base,” said Joy Hedges of Slowpoke Farm. “The response has been really good.”
Hedges and her husband Kerry teamed up with the owners of Little Acorn Farm to start the Wylie Farmers Market, which originally was set up in the parking lot of the Wylie Early Childhood Center.
“We were selling at the downtown market,” said Cody Cross of Little Acorn Farms. “We wanted a midweek market, and we wanted to be on the south side of town.”
Cross’ wife Wiepie (Rojas ’09) is a Wylie graduate. Cody said the Wylie Market has been perfect.
“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s all chemical free, and we know all the vendors and feel like it’s a really good source of food. We love supporting local food.”
Once school started back, the market had to find a new home, and Wylie United Methodist Church on Antilley has worked perfectly.
During the summer, the market had as many as 10 different farmers. Through the fall that number has dwindled to five regulars, who offer a vast array of produce. The group is very proud of the fact that all products are chemical free, a fact that also is important to customers.
“That’s the big plus for me,” said shopper Dolores Bachmeyer. “Some people still like to use pesticides. I trust these people.”
Hedges said the Wylie Farmers Market only allows farmers to sell their products and only farmers who are chemical free.
“We are chemical free, and we intend to keep it that way,” she said. “And you have to grow your own stuff. We won’t allow non-farmers.”
Another plus for Bachmeyer is the location. She used to go downtown to the farmer’s market there.
“This one is so much closer to my house,” she said. “It’s so much handier for me.”
Hedges said the market allows shoppers to get to know the farmers who grow the food they are going to eat. She called many of her customers by name and knew what many of them were looking to buy.
“I’ve had a lot of new people whose friends are bringing them,” she said. “But over 50 percent are repeat, maybe 75. People want to know who their farmer is. It’s neat to develop a relationship.”
The Wylie Farmers Market planned to remain open at least through the first frost and maybe longer. Products such as breads soap, local honey, lamb, turkey and other meats can be sold all year round.
The market has a Facebook page where shoppers can see when it will be open and also what items will be available. Search for Wylie Farmers Market. Make sure you do not include an apostrophe in Farmers or you will get the Facebook page for the farmers market in the city of Wylie.
At press time, the local farmers market was open from 8:30-11 a.m. each Wednesday morning with five regular farmers. They included Slowpoke Farm, Oats B Goats, Little Acorn, Nine Springs Garden and Double Mountain Naturals.
Hedges said the market might look at expanding in the future to accommodate working families.
“There’s a lot of people who want us to come in the evening,” she said. “But that’s very hard for farmers. We may look at Saturdays next year.”