This past week has been National Farmers Market Week (August 4th – 10th), a week dedicated to celebrating markets of all sizes in our communities. As stated by the Farmers Market Coalition,
“Now more than ever, farmers markets serve as anchors across American communities, positively influencing community health and wealth. Markets result in more viable regional economies and local farm businesses, increased access to fresh, nutritious food, and stronger social networks that help keep communities healthy.”
You’ll get no argument to that statement from regular market shoppers. We look forward to our weekly visits to the market, chatting with the farmers, admiring the products grown or raised in our communities and conducting the transactions that keep the market economy thriving. I can’t imagine what my community might be like without that resource for connecting.
Yet markets just don’t happen. They require an organizing structure, a manager and volunteers, farmers and consumers, as well as municipal support in many cases. Many of our cities’ centers feature farmers markets prominently, including Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Holly Springs and Apex. Cary has had a farmers market in downtown since 1991. Recently released plans for a downtown park seem to leave no room for the market to continue in its current location. A post on the market’s Facebook page reads, “Wanted: Home for an established Farmers’ Market that allows potential for growth and community gathering. Accepting applications now.” Hopefully, the Cary community will collaborate to find a place for the positively influencing community anchor that is Cary Downtown Farmers Market, so that residents can continue to celebrate their farmers market every week of the year.
So what’s to celebrate at your local farmers’ market this week? Well, let’s take a look:
- To celebrate National Farmers Market Week, the Holly Springs Farmers Market is holding customer appreciation drawings (who needs a lottery when your odds are better at your local farmers market)! It’s simple to enter. Just make your market purchases, then stop by the information tent to sign up for the prizes. Winners will be announced at 12:15 pm, but you don’t need to be present to win. Also, look for tasty market samples from MRS Gourmet Chef Michelle Strom this Saturday.
- On Wednesday, August 14th, head to downtown Raleigh and say “Cheese, please!” The Raleigh Downtown Farmers’ Market hosts a cheese-centric celebration to showcase area cheese makers (Cultured Cow, Goat Cheese Lady and Hillsborough Cheese Company), as well as a grilled cheese cook-off featuring downtown Raleigh chefs from Buku, Busy Bee Cafe, Capital Club 16, Gravy and Kimbap. Shoppers will have a chance to help crown the Market’s “Peoples’ Choice Grilled Cheese Champs”. Tastings will begin at noon and only while supplies last! There is a $2 suggested donation for sampling.
- It’s “National Can it Forward Day” at Durham Farmers Market this Saturday. Expect a canned good swap and a canned good competition. Bring your best home canned item for judges to sample and perhaps you’ll take home a prize! Look for lots of give aways and some raffles too. Then at 10 am, Chef in the Market, Adam Rose from Il Palio at the Siena will be cooking some of his incredible Italian fare for all to enjoy.
Those are the highlights for this National Farmers Market week. 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!