History of the Harlingen Farmers Market
December 12, 2009
Harlingen Farmers Market (HFM), founded by Michael Mascha and Donna Navarro, began with a few local vendors at El Mercado.
September 2011 to 2016
With the support of the City of Harlingen, the market relocated to a Downtown location on “A” Street, between Monroe and Jackson. The market grew from a few vendors to over 20 vendors and all vendors, are from within a 50-mile radius from the City. Today, there are a variety of fruit and vegetable vendors growing their products using sustainable practices and organic principles. Plus, we have a good amount of value-added product vendors at the market.
In order to expand services, HFM officially became a 401C Non-Profit entity. A Board of Directors now helps guide the rapidly expanding growth of the market. A market manager, Kate McSwain, officially took over the reins from Michael Mascha and Donna Navarro and has helped developed a program to improve the market and increase the number of vendors and shoppers. The HFM's non-profit status allowed for fund raising events to fund weekly musicians, introduce monthly chef demonstrations, as well as provide children’s activities. HFM has collaborated with other non-profits within the city and region to promote and to emphasize healthy lifestyle initiatives within the community and region. These initiatives are a large part of the City's Healthy Harlingen Committee efforts.
With more vendors, more services and more shoppers, HFM basically outgrew its “A” Street location. While looking for alternative locations, the Healthy Harlingen Lifestyle Committee was applying for a Legacy Foundation grant and asked HFM to collaborate by providing a HFM “wish list”. As a result, the Legacy Foundation awarded the committee a grant that included $135,000 earmarked for the benefit of HFM for the covered roof area of the new HFM location.
In October 2017, HFM relocated to its new location at 2nd St. and Tyler by City Hall. Weekdays, the parking area will serve as a parking lot for City Hall, and each Saturday it will be home to HFM. This is a permanent off-street site with a shade roof thanks in part to the grant from the Legacy Foundation and to the City of Harlingen in partnership with HFM.
New Home – “2nd and Tyler” with over 30 vendors
Many of our original vendors from 2010 are still members of our market. Today with local vegetables and fruits grown using sustainable practices and organic principles, the market also offers goats milk cheese, soap, honey, bee pollen jams, jellies, salsas, preserves, breads, organic ice cream, sorbets, granola, Thai and Mediterranean foods to go, olive oil tamales, grassfed beef, wild caught gulf shrimp, kombucha, chocolate made from bean to bar, fresh flowers, fresh and dried herbs and many other treats.
Our Market Calendar
Harlingen Farmers Market is open mid-October through mid-June every Saturday. We are closed from mid June to mid October due to a lack of produce from the heat and to allow our farmers time to plant their crops beginning in late August. Our hours are 3:00pm - 4:30pm. Many of our vendors begin their day at the morning McAllen or Brownsville farmers markets and then travel to Harlingen for the afternoon. By having 2 markets to sell at each Saturday, the vendors can boost their weekly sales which is a great thing!
Founders of HFM
Pictured L to R:
Mayor Chris Boswell