Saturday, October 10, 2009

Urban Harvest farmer's market on Richmond in Houston

Urban Harvest, an organization that I've written about several times in this blog, manages a really good farmer's market on Richmond Ave in Houston on Saturday mornings. It's behind a building so you might have to poke around a bit to find it. There are a lot of white tents set up in a parking lot, and there's a band usually (and a porta-potty, we discovered today).

It's a lively place on Saturday morning. The weather has finally cooled off in Houston after record-breaking September and October temperatures, so it was fun to go outside and shop. You can make a morning of it: there is fancy coffee, and you can buy cookies and pastries to go with it.

My first stop was the goat cheese stall, because it was my friend Amy's birthday last week and I wanted to get her a present. We got the Greek-style goat cheese. The proprietor showed us pictures of her goats; they are the Nubian type, with long floppy ears.

Next I made a bee-line for the Atkinson booth, where the beautiful greens can be found. I got kale and turnips.

They had okra too. I got that last time, but I didn't this time.

Next I looked for the persimmon man. Urban Harvest sends out an email saying what will be available at the market, so I knew to look for persimmons. They were the Asian type, and they were very beautiful. I tried a sample. They weren't quite as sweet as the American ones I find in TN, but pretty good nevertheless. Maybe they ripen more on the counter.

I also saw many shapes and colors of eggplants; long beans (the Asian kind for stir fry); sunchokes (otherwise known as Jerusalem artichokes); and a nice assortment of mushrooms. This couple was checking out the chanterelles:

There are lots of things at the farmer's market besides vegetables: great-looking bread, including "levain" which I found out means sourdough; goat yogurt, which we sampled and loved; lotion made from goat milk, with different scents such as lemongrass and vanilla; and a whole booth of things made out of lavender.

The most surprising booth we found there was a booth full of a great variety of beautiful orchids, run by Bruce Cameron of Orchid Obsession. It does seem as if he must be obsessed with orchids, because he had more kinds than I have ever seen before in one place.

The farmer's market is a plant and food-lover's paradise on Saturday morning.


  1. I wish they would have more food farmers. I personally am sick of all the people that make food. Seems like that takes away from the point of a "Farmers Market".
    The reason the Orchid guy has so many orchids is because he buys them wholesale and flips them for a profit to unknowing customers. Oh well its still a great market. Can't wait until greens season!!

  2. Yes there are alot of food vendors, but did you know that quite a few of them buy vegetables from the farmers that are at the market and make dishes from them which is actually helping the farmers and the consumer that wants to buy ready made.

  3. As a farmer who is spread thin trying to support multiple area markets, I too would like to see more "food farmers." The hard truth is that America, and more specifically greater Houston, does not have enough people willing to do the very hard, very important job of raising food. This is not a flaw of the market, it is a flaw in our society. Want change? Get out there and grow food.