Household Hazardous Waste Event - November 2009

Last Saturday marked this year's second Household Hazardous Waste Event for Bryan-College Station and the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market was asked to return with our recycling fliers.

Five wonderful volunteers attended the event distributing almost 2000 fliers to the community. A great big THANKS to Bob Moore, Debbie Miller, Jack Miller, Nancy Burford, and Holli Estridge for all your hard work on Saturday.

For more info on our "recycling" program, see our flier below...

Aggies Recycle - 2009 TAMU Recycle Fair

Today, Texas A&M hosted the 2009 Aggies Recycle Fair in Sbisa Plaza, and the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market was there to spread the word about the market and about our recycling program (or more appropriately "reuse" program).

We handed out more than 200 fliers, and spoke individually with lots of students, staff, and faculty about our farmers' market and the benefits of eating local foods, many of which left our booth saying they'd see us on Saturday!

A big thank you to Liz Hughey for hosting the booth with me today. For more info on our recycle/reuse program, see our flier below...

Campus Sustainability Day 2009

Today, the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market hosted the Farmers' Market info booth at the Texas A&M University Campus Sustainability Day 2009. And was I in good company! Next to me were representatives from Edible Aggieland and the Campus Community Garden. And not far away were the Be Green in Bryan group as well as lots of other familiar faces and groups from around the community.

It started out a bit chilly, but I managed to bike over to the event and enjoy four hours of visiting with students, staff, and faculty about the amazing farmers' market we have right here in the Brazos Valley.

A big THANK YOU to the coordinators of the event and for John Borden (of Edible Aggieland) for keeping us entertained as he posed for photos around the community garden veggie display.


October Art Step - Full Farmers' Market a Great Success

Friday night marked the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market second First Friday appearance. We set up in the St. Andrews Episcopal Church parking lot next to Mr. G's Pizza (across from Village Cafe on 26th Street) and there wasn't a better spot to be!

The market, which opened at 5PM, had a slow start, but before long, our 10 vendors were flooded with customers eager to buy local goodies. The Friends of the Market booth stayed busy as well, handing out fliers on our regular days, times, and locations.

A great big thanks not only to the vendors who came out, but to our dedicated "Friends" volunteers: Hugh Stearns, Tanya Miller, and Dave Duchscher. Thanks for making our market a wonderful success this First Friday!


New Business Member - Brazos Natural Foods

A great big welcome to another new Business Member, Brazos Natural Foods. A supporter of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market, BNF carries local foods in the store as well as a wonderful variety of organics. Be sure to check them out!

Thanks, Brazos Natural Foods, for supporting the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market!


New Business Member - Buy Brazos

A great big welcome to the Buy Brazos team, as they become the newest members of the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market. And what a perfect partnership it is as we both seek to increase community awareness on the benefits of buying locally.

For more information, check out the Buy Brazos website here.


Household Hazardous Waste Event

Ready with 1600 fliers about recycling at the market, the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market greeted well over a thousand vehicles at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection event in College Station today.

It was a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about our local farmers' market and volunteers Nancy Burford, Sonya Cooley, David Duchscher, Harvey and Helen Wise, and Tanya Miller joined me at the event. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible.

We've been invited back next time, so be sure to mark your calendar for November 14 or check out the Hazardous Waste Disposal website for more information.

See you next time!


FBVFM In the News

The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market has made the July edition of Brazos Valley Insight Magazine. Checkout page 20 under "Carnivore. Herbivore. Locavore?"

Also, page 21 offers a second short article on the Farmers' Market!


Business Partner Village Foods Makes the News

Friends business partner, Village Foods was featured in the July edition of Texas Co-Op Power. Even better, on page 2 of the two page spread, owner Jim Lewis talks about the farmers' market hosted there at the store every Monday afternoon.

Congratulations to Jim Lewis on his success and a huge thank you for helping us promote the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market.

Look for the latest edition in your mailbox, or visit BTU's website to read it online.


New Business Member - Millican Produce

The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market would like to welcome our newest business member, Millican Produce, home to all those beautiful, and very local, greenhouse tomatoes.

Welcome Tanya and Steve!

First Friday / Art Step Event

Last night, the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market made a grand debut at the bi-annual Art Step event in conjunction with First Fridays in downtown Bryan. Fifteen vendors lined the parking lot between Mr G's Pizza and St. Andrews Episcopal Church on 26th street.

Slow at first, by 6:30, the crowds covered our little market area enthusiastic about our market. What more wonderful an opportunity to spread the word than to show them exactly what we're made of! 

To help celebrate the evening, volunteer Cherry Moore donated another of her beautiful paintings for silent auction which began at the Art Step event and concluded at today's farmers' market. 

Many customers made it a point to come to my booth practically begging us to appear at every First Friday, proof that the evening was a wonderful success. Thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen!


New Business Member - Wilson's Wilderville Farms

The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market would like to welcome our new business member: Wilson's Wilderville Farms!

Molly and Wayne Wilson own "a small, forage-growing farm in the Heart of Central Texas with locations in Wilderville and Cego [and] specialize in Coastal Bermuda square-baled hay for horses and round-baled Sudan hay used for various livestock."

We're glad to have you with us!


Market Vendor - In the News

Brazos Valley Farmers' Market Vice President and vendor Tanya Miller of Millican Produce responded to a recent call for information on how local farmers are weathering the current economic crisis.

The article came out this month in Growing Magazine. Tanya is quoted several times. Check it out:


Way to go Tanya!


FBVFM Needs Your Help!

In only 4 months of activity, the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market volunteer group has grown more quickly that my wildest imagination. We have a lot going on and a steady supply of requests for more.

We've grown to a point where I can no longer manage it alone. We need a core management team (President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, Chairs, etc). None of these positions is officially filled. Please let me know if you would like to be part of this core team. Once I have your names gathered, we'll get together and talk about who can do what jobs, set up committees, and make the initial Officer appointments. I'm currently working on a list of all the "Friends" are doing right now to make it easier for others to start taking over some of my current responsibilities. 

Thanks for your help in making this a thriving organization so early in it's inception. 


Local Woodturner Demonstration

"Friends" volunteer Helen Wise has been working hard over the past few months to arrange for local artisan displays. As a direct result, visitors to the Saturday's Brazos Valley Farmers' Market were treated to a wonderful display by local woodturner Stacie Grange.

To learn more about Stacie's work, visit her blog, Brazos Turnings.

There are many more events upcoming: a local blacksmith and live music. And if you know of anyone who would like to perform or demonstrate their craft at the farmers' market, just let us know.

Thanks Helen for making this happen!

First Fridays in Downtown Bryan

Last night was only one of many First Friday events in downtown Bryan, but this was the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market's first booth appearance. Market vendors John Flynn (What's the Buzz Coffee), Rebecca Kroencke (Scrap Works) and I celebrated the event inside Greta Watkins' The Frame Gallery, talking to a crowded room of people curious about the farmers' market. The evening also included live jazz music, a wonderful display of food, and wine. 

Making the evening extra special, Friends volunteer Cherry Moore donated 3 of her paintings to be auctioned in a silent auction to raise funds for the "Friends" group, money that helps fund our booths and brochures. The auction started at the Frame Gallery and continued into Saturday morning's farmers' market where all three paintings sold!

A big thanks to Rebecca, John, and Cherry for making the evening extra special!


Now accepting memberships and donations through Google Checkout

That's right. The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market is now set up to receive membership dues through Google Checkout, making it easier than ever to support our local farmers' market and educate our community on the benefits of a local diet.

To pay via Google Checkout, select your membership level from the option in the right hand column, click on the "buy now" button, and pay with your credit card. It's that easy to make a difference in the Brazos Valley!

Donations cannot be taken through Google Checkout at this time. If you'd like to make a donation, contact us directly at friends.bvfm@gmail.com or send your donation to:

Friends of Brazos Valley Farmers' Market
c/o HM Duchscher
2303 Kuykendall Circle
Bryan, TX 77808


Jim Hightower to speak at TAMU - We need your help!

Speaker, author, and sustainable agriculture activist, Jim Hightower will be speaking at TAMU on Tuesday, May 5 (5:30-7:30 PM), hosted by the TAMU Association for Social Entrepreneurship. The event will be held on TAMU's west campus (most likely next to the holistic garden, near the local community garden). The evening will also include live music. 

The idea is to make the biggest show we can to represent local food. If you are interested in providing snacks or drinks made with local ingredients, volunteering at one of the booths, or would just like to attend to hear the speech and enjoy the evening, let me know and I'll make sure you get all the details when they are finalized.

College of Education Earth Day Celebration

Earlier today, the TAMU College of Education hosted their Earth Day Celebration at Harrington Tower and what an event! So many wonderful vendors came out and we were swamped with visitors most of the day. Of course, The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market was out with their market info booth and volunteers Brad Roberson, Pilar Gonzales, and I talked non-stop with faculty, staff, and students all interested in our local farmers' market. 

A special thanks to Pilar and Brad for hosting the booth! Today was a real success and I couldn't have done it without you!

Friends on Facebook

The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market now has a group page on Facebook. Check it out!


Have a question about the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market? Feel free to leave a comment on this post or email us directly. 

In the meantime, here are the answers to our most common questions: 

Q: Is the "Friends" of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market different from the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market itself?

A: The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market is a completely autonomous group from the market with it's own board/management, separate funding, and different (although at times overlapping) volunteers. The "Friends" group's purpose is to support and promote the market in things such as booths at local festivals and fairs for which the market itself doesn't have the volunteer base. It is at these booth locations that we distribute free literature on a wide range of topics like the benefits of a local diet, where and when our Farmers' Market meets, and shopping tips/recycling ideas for the market.

Q: Is my donation tax deductible?

A: Unfortunately, no. We are a brand new organization and have not yet applied for the 501(c)3 status with the IRS. However, know that your donations and membership fees are going towards printing valuable educational brochures that promote the market and encourage people to eat locally.

Q: Where do I send my donation?

A: Donations can be mailed to:

Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market
c/o HM Duchscher
2303 Kuykendall Circle
Bryan TX 77808


New Business Member - Texas Enterprise Bank

A special welcome to Franklin Patterson of Texas Enterprise Bank, our newest business member. Thank you, Franklin, for your support!

UPDATE: Texas Enterprise Bank is now The Bank and Trust. Thanks for your continued support!


TAMU Health Fair

It was beautiful day to be outdoors and the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market was asked to enjoy it as part of the TAMU Health Fair. I had a chance to reach out to quite a few people interested in eating locally encouraging them to visit our farmers' market. 

I keep telling the farmers, "if you grow it, they will come." Well, they've done their part to provide an amazing harvest week after week, and I think that after this fair we'll have a few more regulars at the market to enjoy that harvest. 

Yeah for local!


TAMU Residence Life Energy Challenge

Today's TAMU Residence Life Energy Challenge marked the "Friends" very first non-market festival booth. Armed with our brand new banner (doesn't it look great on our table), volunteers Brad Roberson and Betsy "Boots" McCann reached out to students in Rudder Plaza, telling them about the wonderful world of local food and (of course), the best place in town to find all that fresh, local food - The Brazos Valley Farmers' Market. 

A special thanks to Brad and Boots for braving the cold day to share our message. Go local!


Welcome Stearns Design-Build

Wonderful news! The Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market has added a new business membership. Everyone give a warm welcome to Stearns Design-Build! Thanks, Hugh for your support!


Local artisans scheduled for market demonstrations

"Friends" volunteer Helen Wise has been working with local musicians, woodworkers, blacksmiths, and painters to enhance our Saturday market experience. 

Be sure to join us Saturday April 25, when local woodworker Stacie Grange demonstrates her wonderful talent while you shop for the freshest produce in the Brazos Valley. 

And this is just the first of many special art events. May will feature a blacksmith, and we are also working with "Friends" volunteer and local artist Cherry Moore, to offer painting demonstrations later this spring. 

What a great time to be at the market! Be sure to spread the word about this event and let Helen know if there are others in our community who might like to participate. 

Thanks, Helen, for all the hard work that makes this possible!


Join Us!

Is market day your favorite day of the week?

Do you invite your friends and family to join you because you can't contain your enthusiasm for the good food and community interaction that the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market provides?

Chances are, you're just who we're looking for! We're excited about local food and are spreading the word throughout the Brazos Valley. Join us!

How Do I Become a "Friend?"

Complete an Application:

The first step to becoming a "Friend" of the market is to complete a membership application. Annual membership fees ensure a solid base from which to fund the many activities promoted by the group - like fundraising events, booths at festivals and fairs, educational brochures, and much more!

Membership Levels:
  • Market Friend level ($10) - You'll receive updates from FBVFM officers with the latest information on upcoming events, fundraising activities, and opportunities to volunteer. You'll also be invited to our bi-monthly volunteer meetings as well as the annual meeting where we'll go over the annual report and have the opportunity to vote for officers and directors.

  • Market Vendor level ($0) - You'll receive the same benefits as "Market Friend" but there is no charge to vendors in good standing with the BVFM.

  • Couples Discount level ($15) - You'll receive the same benefits as "Market Friend" but at a reduced rate for couples.

  • Community Supporter level ($30) - You'll receive all of the above benefits, plus recognition in our newsletter and on the website.

  • Business Partner level ($50) - You'll receive all of the above benefits, plus a link/your logo on this website and the opportunity to advertise through our fundraising activities.
Membership applications can be obtained by contacting us at friends.bvfm@gmail.com. Even better, we can now accept membership dues via Google Checkout. Just select your membership level in the right hand column, click on the "buy now" button, and pay with your credit card. As soon as we receive your payment, we'll contact you to obtain the contact information we need for our membership records.

Get Involved:

As a member, you'll receive periodic updates from FBVFM officers with the latest information on upcoming events, fundraising activities, and opportunities to volunteer. You can also keep your eye on our Upcoming Events page for the most updated information on volunteer opportunities.

It's that easy, so become a "Friend" today!


Village Foods Grand Opening

Another very successful special event for the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers Market. We had 10 vendors participate in the festivities which launched the grand opening of the new Village Foods. 

"Friends" volunteers Pilar Gonzales, Brad Roberson, and Dave Duchscher did a fabulous job promoting the market, handing out more than a hundred market fliers, and giving me a chance to meet with vendors, and give a few of our customers some special attention. After a meeting with me last week, Molly Ward, owner of Square One in downtown Bryan, stopped by the market so that I could introduce her to our local producers. Square One is in the process of going local. They are already using Tanya's Millican Produce tomatoes but are in the process of updating their menus with additional local foods. Way to go local, Square One!

There are plenty more opportunities to volunteer for upcoming event booths. Be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page for more info and let me know if you'd like to volunteer. 

See you next time!


Messina Hof Birthday Bash

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day for an outdoor birthday party and winery owners Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo couldn't have picked a better weekend. Hundreds of well wishers from all over the state came in to help Paul celebrate his special day and the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market was there to add to the festivities. 

Messina Hof owners Paul and Merrill, are familiar faces at our weekly farmers' market. And in addition to a winery and a bed and breakfast, the Bonarrigos own an on-site restaurant that serves a wonderful 80% local fare! Go local!

Sixteen vendors set up shop just in front of the store/wine tasting room where visitors talked, sipped wine, nibbled on appetizers, and (thankfully) shopped to their hearts content picking up local foods and crafts.

Pilar Gonzales and I were there to man the informational booth. We had a chance to talk to a few locals about the market and upcoming events, hand out quite a few fliers on our market and the benefits of eating locally, and we even had a potential new vendor approach us about applying. Success! 

This was our first "special event" this year (and the first that was coordinated by "Friends") and I was pleased that it did so well. Hopefully there will be many more special events and celebrations in our farmers' market future. 

In additional to our regular market days, we have many more special events coming up. If you're interested in helping me host a booth, check out our Upcoming Events page, then email me to let me know you'd like to participate.

Hope to see you at our next event!


Upcoming Events

One of the primary goals of the FBVFM is to host a booth at every festival and fair in town, but we also try to provide an informational booth at our regularly scheduled farmers' markets. Both are great opportunities to spread the good news about our growing market as well as the amazing benefits of a local diet. Here's a list of both regular and special upcoming events:


Winter Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 18, 2010 (8:00-12:00)

Time for our annual Winter Holiday Celebration. We'll need volunteers to help man the info booth, the kids activity booth, and the raffle booth. Email Nancy to sign up.


Farmers' Market
  • Saturdays (8AM - 12PM) in the Brazos County Health Department parking lot in Bryan

Interested in manning a booth at one of these events? Help make our booth a great success and spread the good news about eating locally in the BCS by volunteering today!



Welcome to the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers Market blog site!

Our mission is two-fold: 1) to spread the good news about the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market and the wonderful benefits of eating a local diet; and 2) to increase community involvement in our market through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

I am currently hosting an informational booth every Saturday at our regularly scheduled Brazos Valley Farmers Market from 8AM - 12 PM in the Health Department Parking Lot (corner of Texas Ave and William J. Bryan Pkwy). Already, I've had the opportunity to meet new people, sign up new market vendors, and distribute informational brochures on the benefits of a local diet. Both vendors and customers are excited about the amazing potential of "Friends" and have offered support and endless ideas on ways to promote the market in our community.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Brazos Valley Farmers Market is growing - not only is it a wonderful source of fresh, local food, it's a community event where friends and family gather. But so many in our community don't yet know we exist. We'd like to change that. We're full of ideas and enthusiasm, but we need your help. Join the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market by contacting me today, and help make a difference in our community.