Those in search of vegetables and fruit picked fresh off the vine don’t have to look any farther than the Farmer’s Market held twice weekly in Orange.

Heidi Welch, of Buna has been participating in the Farmer’s Market since it began a few years ago. The market place has changed over the years, but she has continued to participate no matter where it is held. It is currently located in the parking lot in front of Big Lots. The Orange County Farmer’s Market is held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays.

About a dozen farmers, bakers and those with sausage, plants or flowers set up their tables for customers to view their products. The seasonal vegetables this week include yellow squash, potatoes, zucchini, various peppers green beans and much more. But, each week can vary as to what is available.

Welch along with her husband, Walter, grow vegetables and fruits where they grow about everything. They have been doing this for 43 years. Welch also sells her delicious, canned goods from their harvest.

She learned how to can fruits and vegetables from her mother-in-law. She cans relishes, picante sauce, and various jellies such as prickly pear, muscadine and mayhaw. Most of the fruits and vegetables she cans are grown in their garden. However, to make the mayhaw and the strawberry jellies, she purchases the fruit or juice needed to make the yummy treat.

“We eat some and sell the rest,” Welch said.

Welch and her husband pick their vegetables the night before they travel to Orange. She has her regular customers who like what she has to offer and continually come back for more.

Other vendors offer fresh baked goods. They have fresh baked bread, cookies or cinnamon rolls while others have peanut brittle.

Local honey is available and said to be good for allergies.

Julie Chisholm not only sells homemade bread, but also freeze dried foods.

Some people who come to the Farmer’s Market for the food, just may get to hear a story or tips on how to grow good things to eat. Others offer a recipe or two on how to use their product.

One thing is for sure, the fresh vegetables and fruits are always worth the drive not only for the flavor, but for the smile and sincere thanks from the local farmers.


Heidi Welch, of Buna sells some vegetables to Curtis Herrington, of Bridge City, during the Orange County Farmer’s Market on Saturday located in parking lot in front of Big Lots. RECORD PHOTO: Debby Schamber