City Hall Farmers Market Caters To Downtown Working Population

It's almost spring time and that means fresh produce for downtown as the City Hall Farmers Market opens. After the market at Discovery Green shut down about a year and a half ago, the city hall market has been downtown's only place for fresh fruit and vegetables.


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“You said they are four for the Brussels sprouts?”

“Ah, yes.”

Theresa Atkinson has been a farmer for more than 40 years. Every Wednesday she drives down from the family farm in Spring to sell vegetables, and strawberries, at the market in front of City Hall. She says Houstonians appreciate her fresh produce.

“Yes, they rather have it fresh straight from the garden, is right. We pick it straight out of our garden and bring it straight here, and it’s real fresh.”

Christine Jung works at an office building just across from City Hall. She says she eats lunch here every week when the market is open.

“It’s fresh, it’s supporting local restaurants, it’s something different, it’s fun to come outside and see the light of the day for a bit.”

The City Hall market is not your typical farmers market, in that most vendors actually sell prepared food — and not necessarily with a “farm” connection. And it’s a lunchtime market, open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday. The city’s director of sustainability, Laura Spanjian, says the location and time is what makes the City Hall market different from the failed farmers market at Discovery Green.

“I think the location was difficult and it was on a Sunday, which is not maybe a traditional farmers market day – I think a lot of people think of farmers markets on Saturday or during the week.”

She says the City Hall Farmers Market attracts a couple of thousand customers each week, mostly downtown employees but also families from surrounding neighborhoods.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says the market helps to bring the community together.

“People come together and start talking, people who would never otherwise meet each other, people coming out of city hall, people coming out of 611 Walker, people coming out of the Shell building.”

The City Hall Farmers Market will be open until June for the spring and again from September to December in the fall.