A Famers' Market in Plano? Nah, Don't Be Silly.

Categories: Food News

Kari Gates, long-time Plano resident and purveyor of Spring Creek Organic Farm, lobbied for almost a year to persuade her city to change ordinances that essentially prevent farmers' markets from operating successfully there.

It didn't work.

Monday night, the Plano City Council discussed long-awaited amendments to Plano's health code and how they relate to farmers' markets. (They relate chiefly by making running a farmers market in Plano cost prohibitive.)

See also:
- City of Plano Pushes Back on Farmers' Market

While Gates was urging the council to embrace markets, Brian Collins, Plano's director of environmental health for Plano, was busily polishing and updating the old ordinances for the council's consideration. As he spoke to the council, it quickly became clear that Monday was not Gates' night. Collins fired off a dire warning about food-borne illnesses that can lead to "chronic kidney failure, brain damage and the possibility of death." And that was just his opener.

Gates was hoping the council would take more time and reconsider several key issues. For example, she wanted to city to broaden its definition of acceptable produce to include more than just fruits and vegetables. Otherwise participation in the market is a no-go for many vendors.

She also wanted the city to reconsider the way it classifies farmers markets as food establishments, which means they must be built to pricey restaurant standards and include mechanical refrigeration on site -- also expensive.

The council went along with Collins' suggestions to the contrary.

There was one glimmer of hope for market fans. The council called for a special commission to investigate a wee bit more the prospects of a farmers markets, which will probably result in more sad pictures from the Dallas Farmers Market being passed around Plano's council chamber.

More meetings. More agendas. More minutes. More work for Gates. After the meeting she said she's "committed to the crazy idea of starting an awesome farmers market in my city, three miles from my farm."

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I will continue to do my shopping in McKinney or Frisco.....Plano doesn't want our tax dollars!


Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Farmer's markets are flourishing all over the United States.  People from Plano hop 121 to McKinney and shop our Farmer's market every week.   It is getting so crowded that you can hardly walk there.  For a Conservative area who I am sure voted for Romney and friends, why the obsession with government regulation when you don't believe in it?  'Tiz a puzzlement!

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

This Collins fella' sounds like Plano's answer to Dwight Shrute.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Jeezus, you can pretty much die from eating anything no matter where you buy it.  What a fucking joke


Collins needs to wake up and smell the sausage over at the Owens Spring Creek Farm pretty sure there have been no incidents of kidney failure or brain damage. but that's comparing apples to sausages.

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