Farmers’ Market Needs Farmers

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT –  For the last several years, local businessman Chris Ramirez has offered his property in downtown Crockett to any local farmer, grower, knitter or other producer to come out during Saturdays and take advantage of the crowds in town to sale their wares. 

In all those years, other than one local farmer from Grapeland, he hasn’t had many takers. Unfortunate, he said, since it’s a free spot for anyone with local crops, honey, homemade goods and other local crafts and skills. 

While those who have taken advantage of the great space during the tourist summer season usually sell out within the first couple of hours, Ramirez is still puzzled by the lack of participation, given the number of independent growers and artisans in the county. 

“It’s crazy,” Ramirez said. “Because it’s free and we get so many people coming through interested in buying our great local products, not to mention other locals wanting them, too.”

The market is held every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until the goods run out, which isn’t very long. Once the watermelons come, Ramirez buys hundreds himself to sell outside his shop, C&C Antiques and Resale Emporium, located at 107 North Fourth Street in Crockett. 

While there’s no cost involved, Ramirez asks anyone interested in selling to come and see him before they set up. 

“I want you to come by and visit with me. I want to see who you are. I want to know what you have and I want to make sure that we’re not doing anything illegal,” Ramirez noted. 

With the growing number of smaller producers of vegetables, poultry, honey, quilts and knickknacks of all kinds – even someone with a litter of critters might find a captive market at the strategic location. 

Some in the county may not be familiar, but Fourth Street in one of the main entry and exit points for people traveling through the area, as the US 19/287 brings all of the Houston area people into Houston County, running from Lovelady to Grapeland. Saturdays, downtown Crockett is usually packed with everything from first-time tourists, to families visiting the area, to bikers and hobbyists of all kinds. City-slickers looking for more natural foods will flock to local markets, where they can find fresh-from-the-earth produce, never packaged and never processed. 

The market usually runs until sometime in June or July, when the heat and lack of rain leaves the produce sold out for the year, although other goods can still be sold, later in the season. 

For Ramirez, it all started as a way to help neighbors capture the attention of some of the people coming through the area and promote some of our great farmers, gardeners, ranchers, sewers, and other artisans in the county. He is happy to let people sell for free – some of those folks might buy an antique or two with their tomatoes – a win-win for all involved. 

If you find yourself overstocked with some of our great local greens and veggies, or you make blankets, birdhouses, honey – whatever it may be – you might be able to sell some of that to appreciative people passing through the area each weekend. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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