Many people think that buying locally grown foods takes considerably more time, money and effort, but today local farms and growers offer options that make eating green and healthy easier and more enjoyable than ever. Here are just a few local, sustainable, “green” food sources eager to distribute their bounty:
Circle N Dairy ~ 940-372-0343 ~ CircleNDairy.com
Circle N Dairy is a second-generation dairy farm dedicated to the tradition of family farming. Situated in Lindsay, Circle N Dairy keeps their cows pampered to avoid stress, even working with a nutritionist to ensure their health so they provide great-tasting milk. In addition to fresh, raw milk, including chocolate, Circle N Dairy offers raw cream, fresh, range-free eggs, garden-fresh produce, homemade jellies and canned goods.
Helping others to understand where their food comes from and why family farming is important, small groups can call to book an educational tour to experience the farm. As an incentive to experience local, healthy, raw milk, customers receive a free pint of fresh chocolate milk with the first gallon purchase of raw milk.
Georgia’s Farmers Market ~ 972-516-4765 ~ GeorgiasFarmersMarket.com
Georgia’s Farmers Market, in Plano, is a year-round market carrying in-season local fruits and vegetables, fresh coffees, teas, more than 100 varieties of trail mix, honey, bee pollen, jams and jellies, breads and seasonal plants and flowers.
Georgia’s works with local vendors and suppliers to offer only the best quality produce and products, reinforcing the understanding that local means the fruits and vegetables bought from their store were locally grown.
Honey Pot Farm ~ 972-834-4000 ~ Facebook.com/HoneyPotFarm
With more than 40 beehives, the Honey Pot Farm, in McKinney, sells raw, local honey at local venues, taking the opportunity to share with others the benefits of bees, bee pollen and raw, local honey. Honey Pot Farm offers bee pollen, honey and flavored honey sticks.
Bee pollen is packed with 22 amino acids, natural antibiotic factors, 18 enzymes, 27 minerals and around 16 vitamins. Because local, raw honey contains bits of the potent North Texas wildflower pollen, it can help act as an immune system booster and deterrent to allergens.
Lavender Ridge Farm ~ 940-665-6938 ~ LavenderRidgeFarms.com
Lavender Ridge Farms, eight miles east of Gainesville, includes fields of lavender that bloom from mid-May through mid-July, along with a variety of herbs and seasonal crops. Lavender, herbs, zinnias, sunflowers, geraniums and other produce is available for picking during season, providing families the adventure of picking their own while learning about agriculture and farming. The farm provides a basket for gathering and scissors for cutting.
Originally a strawberry and melon farm in the 1920s and 1930s, Lavender Ridge Farms opened in 2006 as a lavender, cut flower and herb farm. The land has been held by the same family for more than 150 years. Lavender Ridge Farms also has a gift shop with wreaths, crafts, herbs, handmade herbal soaps, candles and lavender products. Next to the shop is a café serving traditional and unique menu items like lavender lemonade on the screened-in patio, nestled among tall shady oaks overlooking the lavender field. Visitors enjoy picnicking under the shade trees.
McKinney Farmers Market ~ McKinneyFarmersMarket.com
The Historic McKinney Farmers Market offers visitors the opportunity to shop the old-fashion way by meeting the people that grow the food. More than 30 local vendors offer cheese, local and organic meats, baked goods, olive oil, wine, jams and jellies, sauces, fruits and vegetables. Handmade crafts and toys, along with family entertainment add to the fun and excitement of a local, old-time market.
The McKinney Farmers Market is open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at Chestnut Square (Anthony and McDonald), in McKinney, and Thursdays and Sundays from 3 to 7 p.m., at Adriatic (Virginia Parkway and Adriatic), in West McKinney. Check website to see when seasonal local produce items are available.
Red River Peach Orchard ~ 940-612-2600 ~ RedRiverPeachOrchard.com
Red River Peach Orchard, in Gainesville, is a pick your own opportunity for families to enjoy fresh peaches right off the tree. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the season, visitors can taste the fruit and purchase an assortment of freshly made peach products, including peach jam, peach raspberry BBQ sauce, peach pecan butter, peach salsa, peach ice cream or of course, fresh peaches.
Be sure to call ahead for ripening information. See how a real orchard works while enjoying the fruits of its labor, amidst the shady oak trees and picnic tables.