Farmers' Market · Uncategorized

This Year’s New Farmers’ Market on the Block – South Durham Farmers’ Market

About six months ago, a “blurb” in the Herald-Sun piqued interest among South Durham residents.  There were indications that a group of growers and farmers were organizing to form a new farmers’ market in Durham, hoping to open in the Spring of 2012.  The specific location had not been determined, but the general vicinity would be in South Durham.

Demographic studies seemed to show support for a new farmers’ market in the area (there are approximately 30,000 households within one mile of the new farmers’ market).  Farmers encountered limited capacity to expand or gain entry to existing area markets.  Opening a new farmers’ market presented a solution to reconciling supply with demand for local foods.

Initially, the market’s location was planned for Sutton Station, on Fayetteville Road.  Just weeks before the anticipated opening date of April 14th, market planners learned of a zoning issue that would prevent a farmers’ market from operating in that location (at least until the zoning restrictions are revised).  Determined market board members were not deterred by the set back and quickly found a new location for their inaugural market season in the Greenwood Commons shopping center.   If you’ve ever been to Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse, you’ve been to Greenwood Commons.

This Saturday, April 28th, the South Durham Farmers’ Market will open at 8:00 am.   The location at Greenwood Commons provides ease of access and plenty of free parking.  Though, like many area farmers’ markets, dogs will not be allowed in the market, you might want to schedule an appointment at Ooh La La Pet Spa or Lap it Up so you can enjoy the market while the pooch enjoys some spa time.  😉

The market will host 30 vendors, located within a fifty-mile radius.  The vendors listed on the market’s website reflect a nice blend of produce growers, livestock farmers (some Animal Welfare Approved), prepared foods as well as crafts, eggs, honey and cut flowers and plants.  Something for everyone.  The South Durham Farmers’ Market plans to be a year-round market with hours from 8:00 am to Noon each Saturday (hours may shorten during Winter).

I understand many Woodcroft residents near the originally hoped-for Sutton Station location were disappointed that the market had to find a new “home” (at least for its first year).  Who could fault the residents for wanting such convenient access to fresh produce?  However, the location in Greenwood Commons allows the market to open within the same month as planned initially, bringing another venue for locally sourced foods to the growing appetites of the Triangle sooner, rather than later.

Personally, I’m delighted that this new market will be less than three and one half miles from my home (and that Ninth Street Bakery breads are that much easier to access).  I’m anticipating many Saturday visits to purchase local foods from the market vendors.  And I’m thankful for the continuing expansion of access to local foods for all who call the Triangle home.


7 thoughts on “This Year’s New Farmers’ Market on the Block – South Durham Farmers’ Market

  1. So glad to see a new market opening in South Durham!
    I also attended the community meeting last week, but I had a different interpretation of the statistic on 30,000 people in proximity to the market. It wasn’t clear to me where the center of this circle is, and I don’t believe it was the new market location. Although Parkwood is nearby, the surrounding area is mostly commercial.
    The difficulty the market had in finding a location highlights two important points:
    There are alot more residents in South Durham than downtown Durham. (Even greater density, in certain areas.)
    The city’s zoning ordinance (UDO) is an important tool in regulating sustainable development throughout the city. Much attention has been given to downtown regulations, but more needs to be given to South Durham to enable a greater ‘mix’ of commercial uses.

    1. I was also at the meeting last week, and I believe the 30,000 population was within a one mile radius of the intersection of Highway 54 and Fayetteville Road. I believe that is also the “point” that is used for the 50 mile radius for vendors.

      I can’t wait to see everyboy on Saturday!

  2. Were the people at Woodcroft REALLY raising a stink? It isn’t that much further away and you’d have driven to either place anyways. Quit yer complaining.

    1. Actually, you can walk or bike to Sutton Station along the Tobacco Trail, so yes, were are raising a stink, and yes, we shall continue to complain.

    2. What I heard from residents of Woodcroft and other nearby neighborhoods was frustration that the City’s zoning regulations could not accomodate the preferred location of the farmer’s market. Many of the vendors preferred Sutton Station because it’s walkable and bikeable for so many households==better business!!

  3. I feel this location is more accessible with better parking than Woodcroft. I can see traffic getting backed up coming in and out of Woodcroft with only a 2 lane highway to access it. I hope they keep it here.

    1. Sutton Station has alot of parking. A concern I have with Greenwood Commons is that the market will be set up IN a parking lot, rather than in a plaza or park. I’d like to see the market in a different location–it’s practically in Chatham County.

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