This Saturday will mark the official seasonal opening of the summer Farmer’s Market at Chestnut Square. If you’ve been by during the winter market, the summer market is when the courtyard in front of the Wilmeth Schoolhouse fills with fresh fruits, vegetables, and fungi (there’s usually a mushroom salesman) offered by local farmers and producers.
The Chestnut Square Farmer’s Market is a great family friendly event to experience here in McKinney. Some of the things that you can usually (as in always) find there include produce (of course), grass fed meat suppliers, cakes, pies, breads, peppers, tamales, olive oil, local honey, plants, craft soaps and lotions, jewelry, artisans spinning yarn, artisans whittling wood … I think you get the picture. Chestnut Square is also home to two goats who are popular with the kids (gratuitous pun not intended but serendipitously accepted) and Chester, the resident cat, whose recently published book is beautifully illustrated with recognizable drawings of the grounds and the Director, Mrs. Cindy Johnson. There is usually some form of live entertainment scheduled, be it a musical band or a magic show provided by the local magic shop, Main Street Magic & Fun Company. On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, the McKinney trolley offers tours of the Historic District in air conditioned comfort. Those tours leave out at 11AM and are packed with information, lasting an hour to an hour and a half long. (The driver will also drop you off at the downtown square if you ask).
Here are some special things to look for on opening day:
- Bud Rager, “The Singing Sun of a Gun”, will be performing on the porch of the Taylor Inn from 9 AM till 11 AM.
- “Bugs and Weather & How to Garden Through Them Naturally “ – This 10 AM class will be offered outside of Dixie’s Store by Jeremiah Hammer, local heirloom vegetable gardener and sustainability expert. He will be demonstrating how to make inexpensive (and natural) pesticides/herbicides, how bugs can help your garden, and tips on how to garden successfully in our extreme weather conditions.
- Stagecoach rides in an authentic Butterfield stagecoach (think Wells Fargo logo) for $4 a person. You can find the stagecoach at the corner of Chestnut and Anthony Streets.
- “Plant a Seed” Kid’s Activity – 9 AM to 12PM at Wilmeth Schoolhouse, sponsored by Primrose Schools of Eldorado and Stonebrooke, kids will plant a seed to take home and watch grow.
- Book Readings – 9, 10, and 11 AM – Chester will be doing readings of his book inside the Wilmeth Schoolhouse. (Well, he’ll be there. I don’t know if he’ll actually be doing the reading. My bet’s actually on Mrs. Johnson.)
- Coloring Contest – 9 AM to 12 PM at Dixie’s General Store, kids can enter the Chester coloring contest for the opportunity to win a Chester book and a stuffed toy animal that looks like Chester.
- The new year’s supply of the canvas McKinney Farmer Market shopping bags are in and available for sale. They will sell out of these so now is the time to get more.
Beginning April 11th, the Adriatica location will begin meeting each Thursday from 3 PM to 7 PM (or until they sell out). It is not as big as the market in Chestnut Square right now, but it is growing. Find them there at 6851 Virginia Parkway (the corner of Virginia Parkway and Adriatic Parkway).
For more information about Chestnut Square, the Farmer’s Market, or Chester, please check out these links:
Until next time,