Beginning in the late 19th century, farmers began selling their fresh produce in various locations from their wagons. Around 1900, the intersection of Pearl and Cadiz streets became the hub of a brisk wholesale business. Large quantities of produce were sold along with chickens, pigs, goats, and eggs. As demand for farm-fresh produce and meat grew it was clear that a better-organized system was needed. In 1939, the site of the Dallas Farmers Market was formalized and the first shed established. The site was officially sanctioned as a municipally-owned and operated market in December 1941.
Today, the Dallas Farmers Market features three kinds of sellers: produce dealers, wholesale dealers and local farmers. Monthly yard sales, cooking classes, workshops, and seasonal festivals also take place throughout the year. Floral and garden vendors are located adjacent to the market.
The Dallas Farmers Market is open daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm. A wholesale night market takes place daily from midnight to 7:00am. Saturday has the largest turnout of local farmers. The market consists of 4 sheds:
For several years, the Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee has been in talks with developers. In early December 2013, plans were announced (subject to approval) for mixed-use residential and retail redevelopment of the area. Announced plans include tearing down Sheds 3 & 4, replacing them with retail space and roughly 300 residential units, and converting Shed 2 entirely to retail and a food pavilion. Shed 1, the only property still owned by the city, will house the remaining actual farmer's market, with an expected doubling of the number of stalls available to local farmers.