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.
The name may change, the location may shift, but Chapel Hill Farmers Market never wavers in quality, seasonal produce selection and community focus. Established in 2008 by The Farmers of Orange, all of the farmers and artisans found at the market live within sixty miles of Chapel Hill. In addition to the diverse product selection available year round, the market hosts special events including craft fairs, an Annual Pie Competition, Fresh Chef Challenge and the opportunity to sample dozens of tomato varieties at their peak on Tomato Day. Making sure customers eat well is a priority at Chapel Hill Farmers Market.
The market will begin its seventh season March 29th (8 am to Noon) in a new location, moving from the east side of University Mall to the west side (near Wells Fargo, along Estes Drive). With the new season comes the return of favorite vendors like Coon Rock Farm, Dancing Pine Farms, Hillsborough Cheese Co., Timberwood Organics, Locals Seafood, Big Bundts & More and Carrboro Coffee Roasters, as well as new vendors. Dig It Farm, South Wind Produce, Mystery Brewing Company and Loaf will join the market this season.
In addition to making sure cooks have fresh ingredients for their creations, the market aims to make certain they have the knowledge and skills to prepare meals. Dorette Snover of C’est si Bon Cooking School will become the Market Chef in Residence this season, performing regular cooking demonstrations using vendor ingredients (and supplying customers with recipe cards to take home). Chatham Sharpening Services will be at market this year as well, to provide expert knife and tool sharpening services.
The market welcomes a new manager in Ali Rudel. Ali’s passion for local food pairs quite nicely with the farmers desire to see the market grow and become a destination not just for local food but for community too. This year look for family-oriented activities in partnership with Kidzu Children’s Museum and half-hour yoga/storytelling classes on Saturdays (for kids ages 4-7) led by market vendor Danielle White of Chocolatay Confections, furthering the market’s community focus.
Take a few moments to browse the redesigned Chapel Hill Farmers Market website (and sign up for their informative newsletter), like the market’s Facebook page and follow along on Twitter to stay current on the latest market happenings.