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 NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates five regional farmers market across our state, one of which is the State Farmers Market found on Agriculture Street, south and west of downtown Raleigh.
Open seven days a week, year round, this market is found among a complex of buildings, shops, restaurants and terminals, selling retail products to consumers and wholesale to grocery stores, restaurants, institutions and roadside markets. Retail market shoppers head directly to the Farmers Building, a 30,000 square foot pavilion for North Carolina farmers to sell fresh produce, plants, and other specialty items produced on local farms. At one end of the Farmers Building a selection of baked goods, honey and fresh cut flowers are available from vendors. Plants are available starting in March and seasonal fruits and vegetables are sold throughout the growing season. Very near the Farmers Building one finds the enclosed Market Shoppes where meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods and prepared foods are sold. Hungry yet? That’s when shoppers head to the State Farmers Market Restaurant or Seafood Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The State Farmers Market features seasonal produce through promotions like Strawberry Day in May, Blueberry Day in June, Peach Day and Watermelon Day in July, Grape Day and Sweet Potato Day in September, Apple Day in October, Pecan Day and Colossal Collard Day in November (find the complete list of promotional days here and note that the schedule is tentative). One of the most popular days is Crawfish Day each June, where lines form early and supply quickly dwindles (In other words, don’t even think about sleeping in on Crawfish Day or you’ll miss out).
You can keep up with the latest in seasonal produce and special promotions at the State Farmers Market Facebook page.