Last Saturday I made it back to Durham Farmers’ Market, enticed by the allure of rhubarb. Chef Katie Coleman of Durham Spirits Co. was present this past weekend, sharing rhubarb’s finer points as she demonstrated how to make a ginger-rhubarb chutney. Earlier in the week, I found this recipe for a rhubarb sparkler and the week’s warmer temps have been simply divine for porch sittin’ while sippin’.
Winter’s mild chill is quickly becoming a distant memory as we anticipate the upcoming Spring market season. Many of our local favorite markets will begin opening at earlier hours Saturday mornings, with mid-week markets returning shortly thereafter. I suppose you could make an argument that our switch to Daylight Saving Time preps us for getting up just a bit earlier on a Saturday to enjoy the early morning market shopping frenzy. 😉
This season, we will benefit from at least one new market, the South Durham Farmers’ Market. Initially, this market’s location was planned for Sutton Station on Fayetteville Street, in S. Durham, but a last-minute discovery regarding a zoning issue has the market organizers seeking out alternatives. The organizers still hope for an opening day of April 14th (hours would be 8 am to noon on Saturdays) or as close to that date as possible. In addition, the location will remain somewhere in South Durham, and will be open year-round. The market’s website should be up soon (perhaps this weekend). In the meantime you can find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to learn more about their progress and their vendors.
Wondering when your favorite local market will reopen (or open earlier) this Spring? Well, wonder no more – here’s a “short” list, for your farmers’ market shopping convenience:
- Apex Farmers’ Market returns to downtown Apex (220 N Salem St.) on Saturday, April 7th (9 am to 2 pm).
- Carrboro Farmers’ Market starts earlier Saturday hours at 7 am beginning April 7th, and Wednesday afternoon market returns on April 11th (3:30 to 6:30 pm).
- Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market hours expand to begin at 8 am on March 31st. Look for Tuesday afternoon markets to return in May.
- Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market in Pittsboro returns for its second season on Saturday, April 14th, 8 am to Noon.
- Clayton Farm & Community Market will return to the Clayton Town Square on Main Street April 14th, 9 am to 2 pm.
- Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market has a new location, back in downtown at the corner of Academy St. and Kildaire Farm Rd/Dry St, and reopens Saturday, April 7th (8 am to 12:30 pm).
- Durham Farmers’ Market will return to early Saturday morning hours (8 am to noon) on April 7th and Wednesday afternoon hours (3:30 – 6:30 pm) on April 18th.
- Eno River Farmers’ Market in downtown Hillsborough begins its Spring season hours (8 am to noon) on Saturday, April 7th.
- Growers Market of Fuquay-Varina resumes for the 2012 season on April 21st, with a grand opening planned for May 5th (9 am to 2 pm). Find this market in downtown Fuquay at the corner of N. Main & Academy Streets.
- Holly Springs Farmers’ Market in downtown Holly Springs on Main Street will reopen May 5th (Saturdays, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm) and celebrates its sixth season.
- Hillsborough Farmers’ Market in another part of Hillsborough will start early hours (8 am to noon) on Saturday, April 7th.
- Midtown Farmers’ Market at North Hills in Raleigh will reopen for its fifth season on April 21st (8 am to noon).
- North Raleigh Farmers’ Market, found in Falls River Town Center, restarts Spring hours on Saturday, April 7th opening at 8 am to noon. Wednesday afternoon market hours will be 3 – 6 pm.
- Raleigh Downtown Farmers’ Market, on Fayetteville Street’s City Plaza, returns Wednesday, April 25th for mid-day market hours 10 am to 2 pm.
- Southern Village Farmers’ Market, located in the square at Southern Village in Chapel Hill, will resume Thursday afternoon markets (3:30 – 6:30 pm) on May 3rd.
- The second year for The Saturday Market in downtown Raleigh will kick off on May 5th (9 am to 2 pm).
- The Saxapahaw Farmers’ Market season will start up with Saturdays in Saxapahaw, the first Saturday in May (the 5th), and takes place in the evening 5 – 8 pm.
- Wake Forest Farmers’ Market begins Spring hours at 8 am to noon on Saturday, April 7th.
- Western Wake Farmers’ Market resumes its earlier hours (8 am to noon) on Saturday, April 7th as well.
As you can see, April’s going to be a rather busy month and I, for one, can’t wait!
What else is coming in April? Why, the Piedmont Farm Tour of course, April 28th & 29th! Tickets are $25 (in advance, available online now) for a car load filled with your family and friends. Tour all of the 40 farms you care to over the weekend. Soon, buttons and brochures should be available at Weaver Street locations. One of the best ways to get a close up view of the farm tour is to volunteer. Volunteers get a free t-shirt and the chance to tour farms for free on their off day. To volunteer, just sign up here. If you have the time, and the slightest interest, I highly recommend volunteering (and sign up early, so you get your first pick of farms/days). Not only did I meet some of the nicest folks during last fall’s tour, along with the free t-shirt, the generous farmers I worked with sent us home with a jar of home-grown, home canned jam and fresh-baked bread.
Farmers feed you well. Let’s make sure we remember to thank them when we’re at the markets this weekend. And thanks to you all too, for keeping it local!