Farmers markets open

Bobby Lawrence, left, and Peggy Chubb were open for business Tuesday on the first day of the Temple Farmers Market, 121 Montpark Road at West Temple Park. The market is also held on Thursdays.

Four vendors showed up Tuesday for the first Farmers Market of the season in Temple.

It’s early in the growing season but there was a good selection of squash, potatoes, onions and other locally grown produce.

“The tomatoes are mainly from Comanche County,” Daniel Lara, vendor and market manager, said. Lara and his wife, Monica, run D&M Gardens in Heidenheimer.

Locally grown tomatoes will probably start showing up in a couple of weeks, Lara said.

Lara’s had a large box of Texas 1015 onions ready of sale.

Lara’s brother will occasionally stop by and pick a couple of sweet onions.

“He doesn’t typically like onions, but he likes onion rings and these are just the right size,” Lara said.

In Texas, farmers are hesitant to complain about rain, because you never know when the spigot is going to be turned off, but there’s been a bit too much of late.

Lara said he’s had to replant three times in the part of his garden that floods.

The top of the garden is doing great.

Lara worries that if there aren’t some prolonged periods of sun, the tomatoes won’t turn red.

The Temple market is open 7 a.m. to about noon or until the vendors have sold out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Look for the tents at West Temple Park, 121 Montpark Road, adjacent to Temple Fire Station No. 7.

On Tuesday the tents were up in the park’s parking lot. The normal site of the market hasn’t been mowed and was wet.

“I was afraid to drive the trucks in and have it start raining again and everybody getting stuck,” he said.

The Belton Farmers Market is 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the corner of Central Avenue and Penelope Street.

Belton Market Days are held the third Saturday of the month. When the Belton event is canceled because of weather, like this past weekend, it hurts the Farmers Market growers, because people assume the farmers market is closed as well, Lara said.

“We had about six vendors there on Saturday,” he said.

Lara’s daughter, Dia Jurado, was selling the produce, eggs and honey from Larry Jez’s farm, 3 miles east of Temple.

Jez has been ill and Lara suggested that he hire his daughter to sell his produce. Jez has participated in the Temple Farmers Market for about 8 years.

Juardo grew up working in her father’s garden.

Rosemary Rhodes was representing Sister Jams. Rhodes owns the business with her sister, Janice Lehmann.

On Tuesday, she had a wide assortment of flavors — blueberry, strawberry, cranberry pepper and jalapeno plum and others. There were individual size pecan pies and miniature chocolate Bundt cakes.

“We usually have more of variety of cakes, such as lemon and strawberry,” Rhodes said. “I didn’t know how many people would be out here today.”

Sister Jams is represented at other markets in the area, including special events in Gatesville, she said.

Bobby Lawrence and Peggy Chubb have been longtime participants in the farmers market.

Lawrence and Chubb have several plots of land in the Temple Community Garden.

On Tuesday, they had the usual; squash, including yellow crookneck, zucchini and pattipan; red potatoes; purple onions and sweet onions; and cabbage.

“I’ve planted 118 tomatoes,” Lawrence said.

As the weather warms different produce will show up, along with fruits.