Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local food, farmers markets and farms.
Until just a couple of years ago there was only one farmers market in all of Durham county. As voracious an appetite Durham has for local foods, it seemed an overdue expansion in the farmers market population when South Durham Farmers Market opened in April 2012.
Just weeks before the anticipated opening date two years ago, market planners learned of a zoning issue that would prevent the farmers’ market from operating in the originally planned location. Determined market board members were not deterred by the set back and quickly found a new location, in Greenwood Commons, for their inaugural market season. In its first season the market started with thirty vendors, each located within fifty miles of the market. That was an impressive start for a smaller market.
South Durham Farmers Market continues to impress the importance of locally available food in the community. The market is open each Saturday (year-round) with shorter hours in the Winter. The selection of vendor products remains high even in non-peak seasons, thanks to organic produce from Pine Knot Farms, Fickle Creek Farms meats and eggs, Prodigal Farms goat cheese, Melina’s Fresh Pasta and wholesome baked goods from Ninth Street Bakery. This month the market adds a new feature, a food truck that will incorporate ingredients from the market in the truck’s menu items. They’ve also recently started a Community Cooking Club that helps market shoppers put all that fresh food to good use. I’d keep an eye on this market as it’s future continues to look bright.