We always set the best intentions for our Sunday mornings, don’t we? You’re going to wake up early. Slowly sip that morning coffee while diving into the latest best-selling novel. Go for that early morning yoga class and run. Well, next thing you know it’s 11am and you wake up to your dog licking your face, some real serious bed head, and an intense desire to be lazy all day. Your local farmers’ market is practically over by the time you get out of bed.
Night owls, have I got an announcement for you: The Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller is now open on Wednesday nights! From 5-8pm, you can shop from over 50 vendors in the “Browning Hangar,” grab some food from the food trucks (though, there’s not a ton of them…), and sit by Mueller Lake. I parked in the structure by the Alamo Drafthouse and walked over. It’s a dollar an hour to park – totally worth it to me.
Once I got there, the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller hooked me up with a sweet “I ‘heart’ TX Farmers” bag and $50 to explore their newest market! Here’s what I found:
- Honey from Two Hives Honey (@twohives). Two Hives Honey is an all-female beekeeping team! They offer tours of their hives, various beekeeping classes, and recently opened a storefront where you can purchase all their products. Honestly, their Urban Honey Bee Hive Tour sounds like a lot of fun (hit me up, Two Hives Honey!). Tara, the owner and founder, was so helpful and knowledgeable. Did you know honey changes colors depending on location and the flowers that the bees visit? Neither did I! I bought their comb honey. I’d never tried comb honey, but I’ve already broken it open to spread on toast with peanut butter. Delicious!
2. Produce from Johnson’s Backyard Garden (@jbgorganic) and Bernhardts Farm (@bernhardtsfarm). I highly recommend you read the whole story behind Johnson’s Backyard Garden, but basically, it started from an East Austin family’s backyard on Holly St. In just three years, JBG has grown from a backyard garden to a 1,000-member community supported agriculture operation (CSA) that spans all over Texas. How cool is that? Bernhardt’s is a sustainable fruit and vegetable farm, locally owned and operated in Elgin, Texas.
3. Sweet treats from OMG Squee (@squeeclub). The second I walked up to OMG Squee, I knew I had to get something. Their pink booth, complete with neon cat sign and self-described ‘kawaii’ macarons, really spoke to me and my style. According to their website, “An excitable gal, OMG Squee Founder, Sarah Lim, regularly fan-girls (aka squees) over cute things. Our flavors are heavily influenced by Sarah’s Texas and Asian American roots, as well as her travels throughout the US and Asia. Seeing all these cute, edible things throughout her travels, it made Sarah sad that these things weren’t available at home to share with her friends. Because when it comes to food, we believe what it looks like, is just as important as it tastes.” They had several Texas-themed macrons, including Willie and armadillos. I ended up grabbing a little rilakkuma-inspired bear.
4. Drinks from Soco Ginger Beer (@socogingerbeer). The original flavor ginger beer is made only with ginger, lemon, organic cane sugar, and sparkling water. I could feel the ginger goodness burning away all the toxins in my body (in the best, ginger-y way!). Pictured below is their original flavor, but, depending on the season, they have a variety of flavors ranging from beet carrot to watermelon.
We’re trying to start a Texas Mesquite Movement to help re-establish culinary use of our local mesquite beans. Mesquite was the primary source of food and medicine for the indigenous peoples of our region, thus it was considered “the tree of life.” We’re working with members of our community to harvest these delicious beans, process them in myriad ways and develop novel products which highlight their uniquely complex flavor.
In 2017, we worked with ranchers and refugees to harvest 1500 pounds of beans. Thanks to a culinary innovation grant from the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, we purchased a hammer mill which is operated at Barton Springs Mill. We use the mill to pulverize whole mesquite beans into a coarse meal or very fine flour. The whole beans and flour are being used by several restaurants in Texas, including Cured, Dai Due, Odd Duck/Sour Duck Market and The Brewer’s Table.
We’ve also been working with local food and beverage producers to develop these delicious products: Cerveza de Mezquite (Jester King Brewery), mesquite cookie crumble ice cream (Lick Honest Ice Creams), mesquite and pecan gelato (Dolce Neve), mesquite porter (Cibolo Creek Brewery), mesquite dirty white chocolate (SRSLY Chocolate), and of course, our own mesquite bread and butter.
6. Flowers from Corona Violeta Farms’ Flower Market (@CoronaVioletaRanch). I had these flowers on my kitchen table all week, and they brought such a beautiful, homey feeling! When I threw them away this morning, I seriously considered driving all the way back to Mueller to get another bouquet.
Overall impressions – there couldn’t be a better location for a farmers’ market. Mueller has SO many fun things for people of all ages and activity styles. I’d recommend grabbing an early dinner or after work happy hour, then walking over to peruse the market.
Thank you so much, Nora and the rest of the Texas Farmers’ Market team for inviting me out! I had an absolute blast and will certainly be returning.