Beverly Thomas' Veggie Van is stocked with fresh organically grown produce from her farm in Weatherford. Photos courtesy of Beverly Thomas.
July 13, 2015
Sometimes stopping by the farmers market is not an option for busy North Texans. They may live too far from the nearest produce stand or simply run out of time during the weekend. For fresh food produce lovers in the western Metroplex, now the farmers market can come them, thanks to the Veggie Van.
The Veggie Van creator, Beverly Thomas, sustainably farms 35 acres of vegetables and fruit in Weatherford. Now the Cold Springs Farm CSA owner spends part of her week sharing that produce with others, driving the Veggie Van, the first mobile farmer’s market in North Texas.
“I can get my produce to a greater number of people,” said Thomas about her decision to launch the Veggie Van. “Also I can take produce into areas that have few traditional markets.”
Thomas moved to Dallas from Memphis in 1992. After an initial interest in cutting horses in the Weatherford area, she decided that growing and sharing her fresh-grown hand-picked produce to customers was her calling.
Today, her Veggie Van operates 12 months of the year changing its produce selections by season always offering what she describes as “not certified organic, but organically produced” using only organic practices.
Right now, Veggie Van is offering its summer crops from tomatoes to melons to watermelons, squash and a selection of herbs, but at different times during the year it may also stock such items as lentils, root parsley, celery and artichokes.
Above, customers peruse the selection aboard the Veggie Van. Below, pure cane syrup from Cold Springs Farm.
The Veggie Van also offers a variety of other goodies as diverse as fresh farm eggs, pastured pork and poultry, raw honey from Cold Spring Farms and grass-fed beef from Grassy Ridge Natural or grass-fed lamb from Sterling Lamb. And recently it's added Alchemy Pops frozen treats, made from local fruits, vegetables and herbs, to its offerings.
Each week, the Veggie Van makes four public stop at Redentas Garden Center in Arlington, Stir Crazy Baked Goods, the T&P Lofts and Pegaso Mexican Diner, all in Tarrant County.
Thomas says she came up with the idea for the roving vegetable truck after she saw someone else doing it successfully in New York.
“I saw a farmer had done it in New York City years ago and have wanted to do it since then,” she said. “It was just a matter of coming up with the money to do it.”
She operates at the four stops only on Wednesday these days “during the busy growing season,” but the Veggie Van also generally does five to six private deliveries on Wednesdays as well with only one CSA drop, which she says “uses the farmer’s market model.”
The Cold Springs Farm CSA, which has about 20 members, has a drop in the Cultural District of Fort Worth.
The Veggie Van will come to your home where you can shop for a minimum charge of $40 in Parker County and $54 in Tarrant, Hood and Wise counties.
Veggie Van owner Beverly Thomas. Courtesy of Edible DFW.
When the Veggie Van arrives, customers can climb onboard and choose whatever produce is available. Thomas also stops in at restaurants and offices if folks are interested.
What vegetables Thomas doesn’t sell to customers she has also been known to sell to local chefs and restaurants in the area, including Stephan Pyles who has a number of restaurants in Dallas and Blaine Staniford of Grace fame in Fort Worth.
For information on how to find the Veggie Van and when to shop, visit Cold Springs Farms CSA.