Fall @ Lola's Local Market & Area Farmers Markets

Local

It’s an old-fashioned adventure with a rustic market, barnyard and tractor rides.

Any visit to Lola’s Local Market in Melissa is an adventure, punctuated by the chance to meet Lola the Pig, who lives behind the sprawling outdoor facility with owner Mona Fleming.

But Lola’s Pumpkin Patch, which runs Tuesdays through Sundays through Nov. 2, is an especially good time to drop in on the quirky venue – part rustic market, part barnyard – when it ramps up the good, old-fashioned, no-frills fun and local artisan food shopping.

Kid-friendly vintage tractors dot the pumpkin patch proper, and chickens scurry about the grounds, unfazed by the buzz of human activity.

For the hayride, neighbor Jim Jake Templin from Anna pulls a hay wagon with his 1958 Allis-Chalmers tractor while keeping up a steady, highly entertaining patter. (Who knew round hay bales were among the wonders of the world? Or that Big Foot was so close by?)

 
The hayride is one of the special weekend activities, which also include pumpkin-painting, pony rides, reptile visits and a couple of food vendors. 

Cooling beverages from McKinney’s pop-up Fresh Mex were a high point on my visit last Saturday: mouthwatering cucumber-limeade and hibiscus-strawberry tea. Fresh Mex will be there Thursdays-Sundays during pumpkin patch days, and Cha Cha’s Shaved Ice will be there daily.

And then there are all the goodies inside the store, where it’s like a treasure hunt. Fleming has an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, some locally grown, like the okra, and some brought in from other areas, like the Tennessee tomatoes. But the jams, jellies (including knee-buckling Reaper Jelly made with hottest-of-hot Carolina Reaper chiles), Mason-jar cake mixes, salsas and Halloween cupcakes are all local, as are Miss Ruth’s colorful, handmade microwave baked potato bags. Fleming also is known for her egg selection, quail to duck.

And if you want to catch Lola the Pig, come early or late. “She comes out early,” Fleming says, “and she comes out later and closes it down.”

Lola’s Pumpkin Patch at Lola’s Local Market is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily Tuesday-Sunday through Nov. 2. 1771 Kever Main, Melissa. 214-404-8353. Parking is $5 per car on Saturdays and Sundays during the Pumpkin Patch run. Most activities are free, except the pony rides.

More about bear jerky: Did you see the bear jerky at Don’s Smokehouse, set up at the State Fair of Texas in the Go Texan Pavilion? The Howe smokehouse (donssmokehouse.com) added it to this year’s jerky lineup. “The bear comes out of Colorado,” says owner Steve Davis, “from a USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] source. It’s farm-raised … and processed humanely. I don’t know anyone doing bear, so that’s what we went with.”

AREA FARMER MARKETS

Dallas Farmers Market: The Shed, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Monday-Thursday. The Market food hall, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (until 8 p.m. Fridays). 1010 S. Pearl Expressway. 214-664-9110. dallasfarmersmarket.org.

Denton Community Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 317 W. Mulberry St. dentoncommunitymarket.com.

Edens Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm: Market days, 9 a.m. to noon first, third and fifth Saturdays through December. 4710 Pioneer Road, Balch Springs. edensorganicfarm.com.

Farmers Branch Market: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Grove at Mustang Crossing, 12700 Denton Drive, Farmers Branch. farmersbranchmarket.com.

Farmers Market of Grapevine: 325 S. Main St. Year-round store: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 520 S. Main. farmersmarketofgrapevine.com

Frisco Fresh Market: Outdoor market 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Main Street at Frisco Street, adjacent to the east side parking lot of Toyota Stadium, Frisco. friscofreshmarket.com.

Frisco Rotary Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 8821 4th St., Frisco. friscorotaryfarmersmarket.com.

Four Seasons Market-Carrollton: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. 2722 N. Josey Lane. fourseasonsmarkets.com.

Historic McKinney Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. Chestnut Square Historic Village, 315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney. 972-562-8790. chestnutsquare.org.

Lakewood Village Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Mockingbird at Abrams, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.

 
Local Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Saturday of the month through June, then September through November. Highland Park Village, Preston Road at Mockingbird Lane, Dallas. Hpvillage.com/LOCAL.

Lola’s Local Market: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Home of Lola the Pig. 1771 Kever Main (off State Highway 5), Melissa. Facebook: Lola’s Local Market.

Mesquite Marketplace: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every second and fourth Saturday. 150 W. Main St. themarketplacedfw.com.

Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Main Street at Cooper, Van Alstyne. Facebook: Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne.

Ridgmar Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. 900 State Highway 183 N. (across from Ridgmar Mall), Fort Worth. 817-246-7525.

Rockwall Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. 101 Rusk St., historic downtown Rockwall square. rockwallfarmersmarket.org.

Rowlett Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. 4000 Main St. villageofrowlettdowntown.com.

West Plano Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Corner of Plano Parkway and Chapel Hill. The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd. Facebook: Red Tent Markets.

White Rock Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Lake Pointe Church, 9150 Garland Road, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.

Courtesy Dallas Morning News | Kim Pierce

Community News | Eric Medders Realty Group

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Lola's Pumpkin Patch at Lola's Local Market in Melissa includes vintage tractors in addition to hundreds of pumpkins.(Kim Pierce)