December 4, 2014
Farmers’ Market set to arrive in Murphy next spring
Collin County Farmers’ Market to operate at Municipal Complex
MURPHY (December 4, 2014) As further evidence of Murphy’s long-held commitment to nature, the environment and organic development, the Collin County Farmers' Market has announced a move to the City, says City Manager James Fisher.
“The City of Murphy has a strong commitment to preserving the gifts of nature,” he said. “Residents appreciate parkland, open space and clean air. The Council is also heavily invested in providing resources for a clean and healthy environment. We’ve shown that economic and community progress can go hand-in-hand with good stewardship of our natural world.”
Starting next spring, the farmers’ market will call Murphy’s Municipal Complex home, as vendors of fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, and other locally- and area-grown crops and produce will be setting up shop every Saturday morning.
“Supporting the local farming community and providing educational opportunities for residents through the farmers’ market is solidly within our pledge to be good stewards of the land and its yield,” he added.
The Collin County Farmers’ Market has been operating in Plano for the past two years, but has decided to set up in Murphy, taking advantage of the outdoor layout of the spacious complex grounds. With easy access to heavily-traveled FM544 and with the soon-to-be-completed reconstruction of North Murphy Road, both vendors and customers will find it convenient to patronize the market.
Kari Gates, president and founder of the market, is a long-time proponent of creating linkages between those who grow, cultivate and harvest natural, organic produce and those who seek to improve their nutrition by utilizing these for cooking, eating and sharing.
“We created the market as a 501(c) 3 non-profit Community Development Corporation,” she said. “Our mission is to support local farmers as well as educate our community about healthy eating and environmental stewardship. We want to create a welcoming place for the community to gather with their neighbors and take advantage of the area’s plentiful resources.”
The Corporation fully supports the concept of “No Farms No Food” which forms the basis for the American Farmland Trust.
An all-volunteer staff serves as liaison between the grower and the consumer, providing additional emphasis on community gardens, children's programs and creating a way for residents to express their interest in natural growth strategies.
“We did not really have to look long to find a city that embraced and shared our ideals,” she said.
Murphy has developed an award-winning reputation as an area leader in enhancing its natural surroundings, creating parks, trails and open spaces that complement the lay of Maxwell Creek and the surrounding landscape. Keep Murphy Beautiful has been cited by state and regional organizations for its recycling program, tree-planting initiatives, development of nature gardens and litter control.
In 2008, residents overwhelming passed a Bond Program that highlighted parks, outdoor recreation and trails. Murphy Central Park, an urban outdoor amphitheater, was recently completed and dedicated. The City has also been cited with a Tree City USA designation.
Fisher says the farmers’ market is a natural extension of that commitment. “We feel like this is something that has the Murphy feel,” he said. “The Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and the Council have provided unquestioned support and have exhibited unwavering leadership in our pro-nature efforts.”
Plans call for the market to open from April to October on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will be solicited to assist with various aspects of the market and its programming. In the past, the market has hosted events such as Cinco de Mayo, a back-to-school breakfast, Father's Day programs, Old Fashioned Summertime Fun and others that feature vendor products.
Classes have also been offered on composting, drip irrigation, solar power, nutrition counseling and more. Gates says the partnership with Murphy plays very handily into these special events. “The City’s experience with special events will definitely be a very big plus,” she said.
In its brief history, the Collin County Farmers’ Market has won a number of prestigious recognitions on the state and national level, reaching the top five in Texas and top 35 in the nation both years.
More information on vendor spots and hours of operation will be available in the near future.