Ahead in its field
San Antonio has plowed through most of the competition to be named one of the best cities in the country for farmers markets.
Gardens Alive, a supplier of environmentally friendly products for gardeners, places San Antonio at No. 6 on its new list of the best cities for farmers markets. Houston, the only other Texas city to appear in the top 10, lands at No. 3.
To rate the best cities for farmers markets, Gardens Alive looked at data for the 50 largest U.S. cities in seven categories:
- Number of farmers markets.
- Number of organic farmers markets.
- Number of winter markets.
- Number of farmers markets that take credit cards.
- Average temperature difference from 70 degrees.
- Average annual rainfall.
- Walk score.
Gardens Alive didn’t detail how San Antonio or Houston performed in each category, but the Alamo City earned an overall score of 24.4 out of a possible 50. Houston achieved a score of 29.8.
With a score of 42.9, Los Angeles topped the ranking.
“We weren’t surprised to see a [California] city at the top of the list due to the Golden State’s reputation for trends like farm to table, sustainable food sourcing, organic farming, and more,” Gardens Alive says. “We were surprised, however, to see just how far ahead of the pack Los Angeles was.”
The city of San Antonio boasts 19 farmers markets, according to Texas A&M AgriLife. Among them is Pearl Farmers Market, which is one of the top 10 farmers markets in the country as determined by USA Today 10Best. Pearl Farmers Market, held each Saturday and Sunday, ranks fifth.
“While you’re shopping for local produce, meats, and cheeses, you can listen to the sounds of live music or watch a cooking demo for ideas on how to use your fresh ingredients,” 10Best says of the Pearl market.
Texas A&M AgriLife lists 12 farmers markets in the city of Houston. One of them is the Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market.
“Sparking a wave of similar markets around the greater Houston area, this market launched with a mere seven vendors in 2004. Today, it hosts more than 90 merchants, making it one of the largest in the state,” CultureMap reported in April.
Across the country, more than 8,600 farmers markets are registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Visiting farmers markets is an inspiring way to fully realize the value of fresh, locally grown produce,” Gardens Alive observes. “It allows us to get to know the people who grow our food and see exactly where that food comes from. However, we learned that not every city makes it easy to experience the myriad benefits of farmers market trips.”