San Marcos Farmer's Market creates community relationships

Special to the Star
Hugh Simmons buys carrots Jan. 31 from Elizabeth Gillis of River Bottom Farms at the San Marcos Farmers Market

Students and San Marcos residents gather every Tuesday and Saturday to stock up on fresh produce at the local farmer’s market in The Square.

The market runs on Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendors include farmers, producers, gardeners, craftsmen and other community organizations.

Ellie Gillis, River Bottom Farms salesperson, said customers must have an environment where they can create personal relationships with vendors and their neighbors while they shop.

“You need to know who your community is, and that is what the market does,” Gillis said. “That is what is different about a market versus going to the store. You can supply yourself with the things you need with the community around you.”

Brandy Dumalet, Becky Sosa and Deana Pinales are San Marcos residents who started a shop with other parents called Mothering at the Market.

The three women met through a Facebook group that serves as a support network for mothers in the community The mothers balance parenthood by participating in the market, selling handmade personal crafts such as picture frames, scarves and hats.

Dumalet said the market is a great opportunity for the community to bond.

“It is just wonderful for the community to come together and support each other without necessarily having to go to a bar,” Dumalet said.

The farmer’s market has been open for two years and is continuing to expand alongside the growth of the city.

Kevin Adams, staff member, said a farmer’s market is essential to the city and its residents.

“Human beings need a relationship with the land itself,” Adams said. “You can’t have local agriculture without a local farmer’s market.”

Adams said downtown San Marcos has not always had something to suit everyone.

“For decades downtown was nothing beyond bars and law offices,” Adams said. “Having this here creates a nice public venue that’s not really clique-oriented or demographically separated in any way.”