I suspect that this Saturday will be one of the best farmers’ markets shopping days of the season. Why? Because it’s a holiday weekend, and some people travel out-of-town. Just maybe the market crowds will be a bit smaller. Plus, this is peak season for summer produce: melons, berries, peaches, corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers, to name a few. Smaller crowds + abundant selection of fresh, local produce = a lot of good food going in that reusable shopping bag and coming home with me (or you)! I could be wrong about the crowds, but I’d lay good odds on the selection of local produce being prime.
I’m planning to celebrate some food independence (thanks to all the terrific local farmers in the Triangle) on the 4th, using potatoes from my CSA for a potato salad, field grown heirloom tomato on the Angus burger (beef from Wilkerson Farms), a cantaloupe and blackberry compote for dessert, and cucumber aguas frescas to drink. Gosh, now I can’t wait for Monday to come around (and I don’t type kind words about Mondays often)! I find when eating seasonally from local sources, my meals burst with flavor. I’ll gladly wait for next year’s NC strawberry crop (in lieu of the lack luster berries shipped in from across country, or sometimes from other countries) and savor the flavor. At present, I’m relishing tomato sandwiches, knowing in a few week’s time, I’ll be anticipating the first pumpkins and baking the first pumpkin bread of the season. It’s quite liberating, to feel free of grocery store produce aisles, yet bound to local farms and the seasons.
Let’s take a look at festivities at some of the area farmers’ market this Saturday… in no particular order:
Carrboro Farmers’ Market – While feasting at Farm to Fork last Sunday, I made a mental note of the restaurants and farmers represented, and that many of them have ties to Carrboro Farmers’ Market. We sampled treats from Acme, Elaine’s, Toast, Neal’s Deli, Lantern, Il Palio, and so many more. Then it dawned on me that I haven’t been to this market in quite some time. I plan to rectify that matter early tomorrow morning. I’m hoping to start my morning off with a little something tasty from Sari Sari Sweets, then heading right to Chapel Hill Creamery’s booth for fresh cheese, before browsing the produce vendors for the perfect melon and tomato. And this just in… Congrats to Carrboro Farmers’ Market for being named one (of six) “great markets” by Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine!
Western Wake Farmers’ Market – “No Worries” provides the musical background to your market shopping for tasty items at Western Wake Farmers’ Market, during the Peach Day Celebration. Have you ever grilled peaches? Stop in the Kalawi Farms tent to buy some peaches and try a couple on the grill (and be sure to compliment Kalawi on their nice write-up in Our State magazine). By the way, Western Wake Farmers’ Market has made a proposal to the Town of Cary, to secure a permanent location, not far from the present location. Ask for more information, and how you can voice your support for the proposal, at the market information booth.
The Saturday Market – Quickly becoming a favorite market of many Raleigh downtowners, The Saturday Market has fresh, local produce, and much more. Food trucks have been known to make an appearance (Bulkogi is scheduled for this Saturday), and beer vendors are ready to serve shoppers a cold one. Porch Rockin’ is even throwing a little ice cream party. Isn’t that sweet? For a little peace of mind, one can participate in the donation-based yoga class found inside Rebus Works (where it’s cooler, and bug free). Prepared food vendors are in abundance at this market, as is cheese from Calico Farmstead and NC seafood from Locals Seafood, in addition to the produce vendors, and crafters. In short, nothing’s lacking at The Saturday Market.
Midtown Farmers’ Market – Come hungry to this market in North Hills, because Tarheel Foodie will be cookin’ up a bunch of tasty treats from market produce. Her latest Facebook updates listed a frozen cucumber cooler, a sungold tomato pasta salad, roasted eggplant hummus, and zucchini lemon cookies. There will be a watermelon eating contest, games and activities for the kids, as well as a bike parade! Lots of fun times and good food for the whole family.
Eno River Farmers’ Market – Before you head off to The Festival for the Eno, check out the “Thrill of the Grill”, where vendors offer their fresh produce and meats hot, right off the grill! Stop in to taste Rogers Cattle Company Angus beef, grilled produce from Hurtgen Meadows, and/or pick up some hotdogs from Fickle Creek Farm. If you can’t make it to Eno River Farmers’ Market this week, mark July 16th on your calendar with a big tomato, for Tomato Fest.
Happy Independence Day, Triangle! Be safe and we’ll see you at the farmers’ market!