Farmers’ market season 2012 is upon us. This is our 5th farmers’ market season, and it’s safe to say we have learned a lot (and made some painful decisions) from that first season that seems so long ago. Here’s our plans for the upcoming season:
Duke University Farmers’ Market: Fridays, 11 AM – 2 PM. We will be returning for our 5th season of Fridays beginning Friday, April 27. Duke is the only market we’ve served since the very beginning of our existence as a company, and we’re pleased to continue to serve the Duke community. Duke is a special market for us for another reason, too – Duke is one of Jim’s Alma Maters (Fuqua School of Business, 2001). The nature of the Duke market is a little different than others we serve. Sponsored by their Live for Life program, the main goal of the Duke program is to get people eating healthier food. As such, there is less emphasis on origin, and some of the produce is more “regional” than local. The upside is that you will see more variety, earlier in the season, than you will at other local markets, and typically it’s coming from Florida or Georgia. You also will NOT see sugary items (pies, cakes, etc.). The Duke market is nestled in the Medical campus and parking can be a challenge (it really is designed for staff, although the public is welcome). The theme for the 2012 market is Local Food, Global Flavors, and the market has published a recipe book to go with the theme – download it HERE. The video below is old (2008) but see if there’s anyone you recognize at about the 40-second mark.
Western Wake Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 8 AM – 12 PM. The regular season starts this Saturday, April 7th. We have served the Western Wake Farmers’ Market since its inception, and are proud to continue that tradition into the 4th season. WWFM is our “home market”, since we are residents of West Cary, and we are proud of this market because it’s well on it’s way to being a World Class market in every respect. One of the things that sets WWFM apart is that it’s a *customer run* market (the norm is vendor-run, or government-run). It’s easy to see the customer-centric practices, such as strategic admission of desirable vendors mid-season (most markets would wait until the next admission cycle which is typically annually), and the diverse food-centric nature (i.e., there are hardly any crafts at this market) of the vendor offerings. We will be starting this season at the same location (Carpenter Village), although plans are in the works for a permanent home as Carpenter Village will be developed in the near future – stay tuned! Note that you can also follow @WWFM on Twitter. Their Facebook page is HERE.
The Saturday Market: We started mid-season last year, the first for the eclectic Saturday Market in the Boylan Heights neighborhood of Raleigh. Tucked away in a parking lot behind Rebus Works, this little neighborhood gem is one of Jim’s favorites for its diversity and culture. It’s also about the longest local market, running from 9 AM till 2 PM each Saturday, and the new season starts Saturday, May 5th. The Saturday Market’s Facebook page is HERE, and you can follow their Twitter stream HERE.
The Holly Springs Farmers’ Market: Saturdays, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. The 6th season for the Holly Springs Market starts Saturday, May 5th, but it’s our first one with them. We hadn’t considered applying to this market, but in January they called us and asked if we would come. After reviewing the traffic data provided by the market manager, and talking to some customer who live down there, we decided that it would be worth a shot this season. The Holly Springs Market Facebook page is HERE, and their Twitter feed is HERE but is obviously in a state of benign neglect.
We all have our own reasons for being farmers’ market patrons. Whether it be because you want to feed your family better food, support your local economy, find unusual items not carried by supermarkets, or a host of others, please make it a point to patronize your local market(s) regularly this season. We’ll see you there, with hot coffee, iced coffee, and freshly roasted beans.