Summer lasts 93 days. During that time, produce season peaks for squash, green beans, butter beans, field peas, blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, okra, peaches, peppers, watermelon… just to name a few. It hardly seems right that all those wonderful fruits and vegetables have only a 93-day +/- window of opportunity at our local farmers markets. Oh well. All the more reason to spend every Saturday (or weekday afternoon) shopping for the fresh local goods we’re so lucky to have available.
Besides all that lovely produce selection, there are quite a few fun activities and events happening this week at some of our local farmers markets:
- Eno River Farmers Market wants us to experience the “Thrill of the Grill” this Saturday. At the market pavilion expect to find a variety of delicious grilled samples – meats, veggies and more. Children’s activities this week include fun with Megan Rowell (9 am-12 pm), a bounce house (8 am-12 pm) and “Kids at the Market Cooking Club” with Chef Nick Stewart (10 am). Also, listen for music by The Percolators (9 am-12 pm) and enjoy a hearty meal from Blue Sky Dining food truck (8 am-12 pm).
- The popular Fresh Chef Competition returns at Chapel Hill Farmers Market tomorrow. Beginning at 9:30 am, five amateur chefs go head to head, racing the clock to prepare dishes using ingredients found at market. A panel of expert judges will choose the winner (judging starts at 11 am). Go out to market to cheer on the chefs, taste their creations, and join the fun (while getting your weekly market shopping finished).
- Holly Springs Farmers Market is celebrating one of the great vegetables of summer, squash, this Saturday. Perfect timing too, squash is near its peak, when the flavor is best. Make sure you stop by the market information tent to see if you’re an instant winner in the Summer Squash Give Away. In addition, the kids should have a lot of fun at the Squish Squash Contest.
- Cary Downtown Farmers Market celebrates Summer Solstice replete with a summer produce harvest to be envied. But what’s summer without ice cream? Look for a special ice cream truck guest appearance at the market this weekend too (between 9-11:30 am). The special musical guest will be Westwood Back Porch String Band and Chef Alyssa Campo will prepare tasty samples for market shoppers. While in downtown Cary, why not stop by the 9th Annual Ritmo Latino Festival (12-7 pm), a free family festival that showcases Latino music, dance and arts.
- The Durham County Beekeepers will be at Durham Farmers Market this Saturday, with a demonstration hive and information about beekeeping and the honey harvest. Did you know that Durham Farmers Market was chosen to participate in the “Discover You Can – Learn Make Share” canning education program? Well, they were and this summer they’ve planned several special canning demos (remaining demo schedule below). Look for the information table at market for more details, as well as coupons, raffles and other giveaways.
- Saturday June 29, 9 am – Kosher Dill Pickles
- Saturday July 13, 9 am – Blueberry Jam
- Wednesday July 24, 3:30 pm – Peach Jam
- Wednesday August 14, 3:30 pm – Zesty Salsa
- Saturday August 31, 9 am – Tomato Salsa
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!