Farmer’s Market off to big start — again

HARLINGEN — Dee Ogle had just picked up a bundle of radishes.

“We are really looking for more vegetables,” said Ogle, 62, as she browsed through the different vendors at the Harlingen Farmer’s Market at Tyler Avenue and Second Street.

The market began its 11th season Saturday with vendors offering fresh eggs, meat, flowers, vegetables and other goods. Kate McSwain, manager of the market, was delighted by the turnout.

“It’s going great,” McSwain said. “Everybody’s wearing their masks, pretty much social distancing, all of our vendors have returned, there are like 20 vendors. There’s more and more produce.”

Some of the more curious attractions included homemade dog treats and handmade jewelry. CD&J Mini Ranch from San Benito had fresh cuts from miniature cattle.

“We have grass-fed beef,” said Cynthia Cook, who owns the ranch along with her husband David.

“We raise Kunekune pigs,” she said, lifting tops of ice chests to reveal plastic bags of meat.

“The animals are smaller so the cuts are smaller,” she said. “We have freeze dried parsley and freeze dried cherry tomatoes.”

Brenda De Leon had just purchased a bouquet of fresh flowers.

“They are beautiful, actually they are freshly grown locally,” she said. “I can smell the fresh basil. We always come to the Farmer’s Market and get some fruit. We come and enjoy some fresh air, as much as we can with the masks.”

Her husband Chris had picked up some Vietnamese spring rolls.

“We got some star fruit, some lemons …”

“And taffy puffs,” said his daughter Natalya, 9.

She hadn’t gotten any of those yet. Was she going to?

“Yes!” she said emphatically.

A world of chocolate awaited visitors at a table operated by Arlette Bojorquez and her mother Pamela, who own Raw Xocolatl of Brownsville. At their table at the Market, they sold a broad range of delights.

“We are chocolate makers,” said Pamela Bojorquez. “We transport chocolate from Mexico …”

“We also buy some from here,” added Arlette. “We have cacao nips, it’s the raw form of chocolate and it comes out really bitter. We add different flavors so you can enjoy it.”

They also sold tubes of almond butter which caught the eye of Debbie Cox.

“Every time I come they have something different,” said Cox, 65.