One of the many benefits of living in Central North Carolina is access to quality foods at your local farmers’ markets. Visiting your local market allows one the chance to taste fruits and vegetables that are at their peak of freshness – no long distance shipping or sitting for weeks in storage. Shopping at your local market provides the opportunity to sample, explore, and be inspired to try produce that may not be a staple in your household, but one that might become a new family favorite. Plus, you get to exchange currency with the local people that actually grow your food! Talking with your farmers about how they like to eat/prepare certain fruit and veggies can provide fresh ideas for your weekly meal prep.
While produce often takes center stage at the market, don’t forget to seek out locally raised proteins such as grass fed beef, pasture-raised pork and chicken, eggs, cheeses, etc. Often, prices for these foods are more reasonable than when purchased at the supermarket.
Produce and proteins aside, a jaunt to your local market is a fun social outing. Bring your friends, family, kids, etc., and make an event of it. Most markets have space for kids to romp around, many have live music, and some have food trucks, craft vendors, and flower and plant vendors as well. Grab a co-worker, neighbor, or family member and plan a visit!
There is probably a market closer to your work or home than you think; here is a list of some local options to get you started. Tip: check websites and Facebook for seasonal hours and special offerings.
501 Foster Street; 8am-noon Saturday; 3-6pm Wednesday
5410 NC Hwy 55 (Greenwood Commons Shopping Center); 8am-noon Saturday
1058 West Club Blvd. (near Stadium 10 movie theatre); 8am-noon Saturday
201 S Estes Drive @University Place; 8am-noon; 3-6pm Tuesday
301 W Main St.; 7am-noon Saturday; 3-6pm Wednesday
430 Waterstone Drive at UNC Healthcare Hillsborough Campus; 8am-noon Saturday
220 N Salem St; 8:30am-12:30pm Saturday
134 W Chatham St; 8am-12:30pm Saturday
City Plaza in 400 block of Fayetteville St; 11am-2pm Wednesday
1201 Agriculture St; 5am-6pm Mon-Sat; 8am-6pm Sunday
Hannah Harvey, MS, RD, LDN