Celebrate the Fourth of July with fresh, local food

By on July 1, 2011

Whether your tailgating before fireworks or hosting a cookout at home, you can find fresh ingredients for your next event at a local farmers market near you. There are no special events planned during the July 4th weekend at the state-operated farmers markets, but there is a cornucopia of local fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses as we enter the peak growing season. The markets in Asheville, Colfax, Charlotte, Raleigh and Lumberton will operate under normal business hours on July 4. Here’s what you can expect to find this weekend:

  • WNC Farmers Market: The newest item in the market is freestone peaches. There also will be an array of squash, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplants, cabbage, cantaloupes and watermelons. In addition, you can pick up some local jams, jellies and honey.
  • Piedmont Triad Farmers Market: The farmers buildings will have a good selection of sweet corn, green beans, peas, cantaloupes and peaches, as well as a smaller selection of watermelons. In the Market Shoppes, you can pick up local pork and Angus beef for your cookout.
  • Charlotte Regional Farmers Market: Beans, corn, tomatoes, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, watermelons and cantaloupes are available in the retail buildings, and there is still a variety of plants for purchase in the Greenery Shed. If you’re looking for something new to slap on the grill, be sure to check out the selection of locally raised goat, ostrich and emu. The Charlotte market is closed Mondays during the year, and also will be closed July 4.
  • State Farmers Market: A large assortment of produce is available at the State Farmers Market, including watermelon, yellow watermelon, cantaloupes, sweet corn, green beans, peas, butter beans, squash and eggplants. You can pick up some blueberries and raspberries for a patriotic dessert or enjoy the growing selection of heirloom and green tomatoes. The market also has plenty of vendors selling plants, flowers, herbs, cacti and cut flowers.
  • Southeastern N.C. Farmers Market: Vendors will have squash, zucchini, potatoes, okra, peas, butter beans, tomatoes, onions, watermelons and cantaloupes. There may be fewer vendors Monday, so plan to visit during the weekend for a greater selection of produce.
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