Like the cycle of the moon, berry season will soon be transitioning with strawberries waning and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries waxing (but not in a waxed fruit sense, nor “wax on. wax off.” way either). I’m not quite ready to say farewell to strawberries so I’ve been socking away the sweetest Camarosas in the freezer and have plans to make popsicles and infused liquor of some sort to satisfy cravings I know will strike later this summer. I’m skipping canning for this year but there’s no shortage of strawberry jams from market vendors to keep my pantry stocked. I’ll fondly bid adieu to strawberry season knowing berries of different hues are coming in season.
What else is in season? Almost everything now… or will be very soon… as soon as the rain subsides and the sun returns. And there’s one very special seasonal celebration coming up this weekend that’s especially exciting for me (and many, many others). Read all the details below in this week’s market update.
- In Hillsborough, the second Saturday of the month is Family Fun Day and a chance for kids to have some extra fun at Eno River Farmers’ Market. Special activities for the kids include a Decorate Your Own Cupcake, Children’s Crafts with Megan Rowell, Music by Robison Lee Earle and a Children’s Craft Market (all events run between 9am-12pm).
- Things might seem a bit aromatic (in a good way, really) at Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market as they celebrate Garlic and Onion Festival. Matt Lardie of Green Eats blog will be doing a cooking demo. Market shoppers can participate in a garlic and onion-facts scavenger hunt and possibly a few other games with chances to win prizes. Sounds like a fun way to learn more about these widely used, but often misunderstood vegetables, doesn’t it?
- This Saturday is Dairy Day at Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market in Pittsboro. Lindley Farms plans to bring a dairy cow and calf to market so shoppers can learn to milk and try to help the market manager make butter. The cow and calf are expected to arrive around 10:30. Until then, visitors can enjoy entertainment by the Bucket Brothers while browsing market vendors.
- And finally, it’s one of my favorite days at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh – Crawfish Day!!! Raised in earthen ponds, NC crawfish season runs from the end of May to mid-July. Last year, crawfish growers raised about 9,000 pounds. Growers will start selling at 10 AM and continue until they are sold out, which took less than two hours last year (so get there early!). Live crawfish are $6 per pound and cooked are $7 per pound (prepared with a Cajun seasoning). There is a 5-pound minimum purchase for live crawfish and a 1-pound minimum for cooked crawfish. There is also a 25-pound limit per person and no pre-orders please.
This Sunday food and farm fans will flock to the annual Farm to Fork Picnic in Hurdle Mills (just a bit north of Hillsborough). The farm and restaurant pairings have been announced (all 34 of them) and tickets may still be available! If you’re looking for easy transportation to/from the event, The Bridge Bus will take picnic-ers from Durham out to the farm in Hurdle Mills and back (learn more here).
That’s the farmers’ market news for this week folks. Remember, you can always find hours of operation and more market info on the Triangle Localista Farmers’ Market Map and Calendar whenever you like. As always, thanks for keeping it local!