Monday, September 16, 2013 , Updated 7:00 a.m., September 21, 2013
McKinney farmers market named No. 1 in Texas
It's No. 7 in the country, according to American Farmland Trust.
MCKINNEY Judging by the crowds of people circulating Chestnut Square on Saturday, it's no surprise that its farmers market has been ranked as the best in Texas in American Farmland Trust's "Love my Farmers Market" competition.
The Historic McKinney Farmers Market won with 973 votes, beating the Lone Star Market in Bee Cave and the Collin County Farmers Market at Fairview Farms in Plano. The first-place designation placed it at No. 7 in the nation.
"It feels great to be recognized by our customers," said Cindy Johnson, executive director of the Heritage Guild of Collin County and Chestnut Square Historic Village. "We've participated in the contest for the last three years, and the comments the customers leave when they vote are the best part. It's very fulfilling to hear how much the market means to people."
To celebrate the ranking, the market will host Taste of the Farmers Market, an event that came to be after two Chestnut Square volunteers were flipping through the farmers market cookbook.
"There were so many recipes that they wanted to taste that they came up with the idea of having a Taste of the Farmers Market event at the farmers market," she said.
The event will be held September 21 in the pergola by Dixie's Store at Chestnut Square. Tickets are $5 and allow participants a chance to taste 10 recipes chosen from the cookbook. Tasting begins at 9 a.m., and ticket holders will receive a $2 discount on the cookbook.
"I love the grilled portabella caps on page 4. When you use Rosa Family Farms goat cheese on them, they're to die for," Johnson said. "Another favorite is the McKinney Farmers Market Pinto Beans on page 33. I have to disclose that it's my recipe and we eat it at our house every Monday when pinto beans, purple hull peas and cream peas are in season. For me, one of the unexpected recipes was Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas on page 35. I didn't know how good oven roasted cauliflower could be."
The cookbook not only provides some insight to what local farmers are cooking for dinner, but enables readers to take a look around the farm, Johnson said.
"Many vendors donated recipes for the cookbook and, something that made the cookbook really unique, they opened their gates to L.C. Tobey who photographed their farms and ranches," she said. "The inside covers are filled with pictures of the farms and ranches of the vendors who come to the market. It's really cool to see the animals, plants and farmers."
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