A few weeks ago, after getting several announcements from different artists, I created a news page on my website to feature all the new babies, books published, lectures, receptions and television appearances. It seems fitting I share some news that is more Heights related with you, because apparently I’m a good news magnet.
I suspect that many do not know that the Heights have a new farmers market, the Heights Epicurean Farmers Market. It’s open once a month on the first Saturday of the month and takes place at 1245 Heights Blvd. on the campus of one of the oldest houses of worship in the neighborhood – Grace United Methodist Church.
In my view of the Heights, a farmers market is a must. I happen to be friends with the market coordinator, Doria Goldman, and asked her to tell me a bit about the market.
“There are A LOT of farms in Texas,” Goldman said. “We actually have many choices because of our geographic location. Farmers markets enable the farmers to bring all of their items to market. The big box might only be buying their rice, but a farmer may have an extra-large crop of greens, or they are experimenting with an all-natural skin care crème that would have to go through a number of hoops before it could ever be on grocery store shelves.”
This includes the chemical preservative hoop, which some producers don’t want to jump through at all. This is where Farmers Markets come in! The local market provides a perfect testing ground for new products, and an outlet for overproduction, and natural produce. Not to mention, the integrity factor of standing by your product, literally, and facing the people who will be eating it, or putting it on their body. Farmers markets raise the bar for everyone on what matters most.”
You’ll also find a plethora of related products from free range eggs, teas, coffees, flowers and local honey and even some artisan crafts. Two of the local farms joining the market this weekend are the Last Organic Outpost, which allows anyone who works the farm to eat, and Plant It Forward Farms. The market is open 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every first Saturday at 1245 Heights Blvd. Get all the details on their website: www.heightsepicurean.com.
Art news in the Heights was like a roller coaster in 2015. Well it’s starting off with good news and new neighbors! Ladies and gentlemen, the Heights is getting a tea bar and art gallery! [TEA+ART] is the name and the location, which is now undergoing renovations, is located adjacent to Vietnam Restaurant and behind Heights Glass at 613 1/3 W. 19th St.
This is the brainchild of Lee Q. Garcia, publisher of Texas Tea & Travel magazine, and Tea in Texas, which purveys hand-crafted teas infused with local herbs from Houston area herb farmers.
“For us, tea has always been about community and home,” Garcia said of opening shop in the Heights. “Since starting TEA in TEXAS by blending local herbs with fresh teas in 2010, we’ve yearned to use our experience to create a similar environment for the folks of the Heights.”
Garcia is so serious about keeping it local, she’s moving her residence here, too.
Garcia will host local artists and host regular receptions. She’s getting assistance with artist recommendations from Karen Cruze, whose work will also be featured. Cruze was one of the founders of the soon (and unfortunately) to be closed, 18 Hands gallery. The exhibit space will also be available to lease for events, art classes and as a meeting place.
There’s a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the build out, and yes, there are some really cool perks. Help them out and keep up with the progress here www.teaplusart.com.
Meet Garcia and her tea team at my First Saturday Arts Market this Saturday, open 11 a.m. They can answer your questions, and may have some tea samples to hand out. The market is located at 540 W. 19th St. between Gen’s Antiques and YogaOne Studios.
Cohen is the founder and manager of First Saturday Arts Market. Contact him at ArtValet@gmail.com or visit him on the web at ArtValet.com.