KELLER — The Keller Farmers Market kicked off a new season Saturday offering fresh produce from local farmers, meats, eggs, wine, tamales, baked goods and more.More than 1,100 people attended opening day at the market at Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Pkwy. The market hours are from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday from May to late October.Other items available were artisan bread, chips, salsa, pasta, pickles, jellies and jams. Honey, fertilizer, sprouts, desserts, prepared foods, coffee, pet products and crafts were also for sale at the market. Vendors at the market sell only Texas-made products and original art items.This season, the market opened with four produce farmers, compared to opening with only two last season.Market Manager Patricia Eltiste said additional farmers will join the market as their harvests are ready.“Assuming the weather holds and those who have committed are able to attend, we should have 10 produce farmers during peak production season,” Eltiste said.The growth of offerings at the market this year is eclectic, she said.“Not only have we been able to add more produce farmers, but we've added additional vendors of similar offerings, such as another honey vendor and another meat vendor and vendors with new offerings, like Frank's ‘Rocket Fuel’ Fertilizer and Sassy Sprouts,” Eltiste said.Eltiste said some vendors are expanding product lines and bringing them to market, such as body products, breads and jams and jellies being brought by D-Bar Farms and enchiladas by Mother Shucker's Tamales.Finley Farms, of Lipan, will start the season by bringing tomatoes, green onions, strawberries, collard greens, sweet potatoes and new potatoes. Later in the season Finley will have peaches.“We’ve got a lot more peach trees this year, so we expecting more peaches,” Betty Finley said. “The first crop, if the weather holds up, could be ready at the end of May.”Finley said several varieties are planted so peach crops will be harvested every couple of weeks all summer.“The best ones are ready in June, July and August,” she said.Besides fresh produce, market goers can enjoy live music, chef demonstrations, health and wellness workshops and other community minded activities.“This season we're going to expand the number of cooking demonstrations we offer in an effort to include more local chefs and diversify the types of cooking, such as a canning demonstration and more ethnic foods,” Eltiste said. “As we secure the new chefs we'll post them on our website and Facebook page.”Eltiste said unlike prior seasons, the market already has booked the music calendar for the 26 weeks.Opening day included a market sponsored Seed Plant, cooking demonstration by the chefs of FnG Eats and community booths with members of Friends of Keller Library and Greyhounds Unlimited. Music was performed by The Bo Brothers.“It's amazing the talent in the area, and we're looking forward to bringing more of it to market to complement the overall food and locally produced foundation on which we're building the market,” Eltiste said.
Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1