As we get closer to Valentine’s Day, love and that special desperation that comes from trying to find the perfect gift for your sweetheart is in the air.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or removed a few of the traditional options, the weekly Brownsville Farmers’ Market offers a great place to get your last-minute gifts and treats while supporting more than 40 local vendors and businesses. From jewelry and art vendors to farms, bakeries, and food vendors-there’s a little bit of everything.
“It is a place to shop, but it’s also a weekend outing. You can come out and really have an experience. You can have a cup of coffee, listen to music and maybe get some exercise — not just walking, but we have yoga and Zumba —and it’s like a whole morning event. You can meet with your friends and grab some nice pastries and sit on the corner and watch everybody pass by,” said manager Thania Ugalde-Parra.
If you want to create a romantic dinner for two, the market’s local produce, meat and dairy vendors have you covered. Whether you want fresh carrots and greens or local organic beef or pork, you can easily pick up the ingredients to show off your skills in the kitchen for your celebration.
As an added bonus True Food Market’s booth stocks a variety of cheeses from Thompson Dairy Farms like chevre or aged gouda, which is certainly the way to any cheese lover’s heart. Between those and some homemade jams, sauces and fresh bread at the Market you can whip up one heck of a cheese board for a cozy night in.
Even vegans have a chance to grab some of those hard-to-find dessert options courtesy of Vegangela, a local 100% vegan bakery booth specializing in cupcakes, brownies and cinnamon swirls.
Outside of making good Valentine’s gifts, buying from local food and produce vendors helps out a section of the community that has been particularly hard hit by how COVID-19 has changed the norms of daily life.
“Most of these people have had a really hard couple of months because of COVID-19. The restaurants aren’t buying the same and they don’t have that much income from their clients as they normally would. So by shopping local you are also helping them survive this pandemic. You are helping our community survive this pandemic,” said Ugalde-Parra.
But most importantly let’s not forget your true love this holiday — your pets. Businesses like Bow Wow Healthy Dog Treats, Stella’s Bakery and Happy Tails Pet Accessories offer special Valentine’s-themed treats and a range of toys and accessories for that special furry friend. While they might not know it’s a holiday, they’ll certainly be glad to help you dispose of any goodies.
For most of us Valentine’s Day isn’t just about showing our appreciation to our significant other, there are all kinds of love out there and the holiday is perfect for showing the people in your life how much they mean to you in whatever way you choose.
“Valentine’s Day is not just about your significant other. It can be your pet, or your mom, your grandpa or your best friend. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your love interest, it can be a different type of love,” said Ugalde-Parra.
The Brownsville Farmers’ Market is open each Saturday, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.,. For more information you can visit the Markets Facebook page or www.brownsvillewellnesscoalition.com/farmers-market.