In the market for markets?

I love farmers markets. I look for them anywhere I travel, because they provide such a slice of local life along with the food. When I visited Normandy several years ago, I spent the morning in a market in Bayeux that takes over a municipal parking lot once a week. Strings of garlic, sheaves of flowers and cheese – such cheese! – shared space with fresh crabs the size of a VW Beetle and melons with all the perfumes of Araby. At the end of one aisle, children played with rabbits that were not destined to be family pets. Yes, the French take freshness seriously.

I am delighted to see more markets popping up all over the Triangle and North Carolina, especially the ones that focus strongly on local food. Some markets, such as the Carrboro Farmers Market, restrict participation to food produced within 50 miles of the market and sold by the producers, not purchased and resold.

The Growing Small Farms site for the Chatham County office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension has a good list of markets. Find them and visit them. If you don’t care about the much-bandied-about carbon footprint, the food will just taste better, and you’ll get to know the person who grew it. Not to mention that the money you spend (not necessarily more that you’d pay in a supermarket) will stay in the community. Most markets, if not already open, will open in April.

While we’re talking farms, the annual Piedmont Farm Tour, sponsored by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, will be April 24-25. Dozens of small farms in Orange, Chatham and other counties will be open for tours (a great time for kids). The CFSA is also a great resource for farmers markets and CSAs (community supported agriculture farms).

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3 Responses to “In the market for markets?”

  • Comment from Jessica

    I dont usually comment, but after reading through so much info I had to say thanks

  • Comment from Mary Anne

    It’s that time of year to sign up for CSAs and I would highly recommend that folks consider this option. For my family, it has proven a great way to explore new veggies and new ways to cook them. It also has helped us get to know some local farmers and reconnect with what it takes to put food on our table. The whole experience takes me back to the days when I was growing up and what was on the table was what we helped pick over the weekend. Give it a try!

  • Comment from Debbie

    You are so right, Mary Anne! I have signed up for a CSA for the second year, and exploring the boxes of goodies last year was how I started this blog. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association also has a list of CSAs. – Debbie Moose

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