Visit farmers markets early to avoid crowds, heat

By on July 22, 2011

A visitor enjoys smaller crowds on a weekday trip to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax.

Visiting one of the five state-operated farmers markets can make for a great family outing on the weekends, but a short weekday trip to the markets can be just as much fun. Not only will you find a similar selection of local food, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the market without the weekend crowds. Take the opportunity to talk with vendors and learn more about their local farms.

For those waiting to visit this weekend, here’s what you can expect to find across the state:

  • Southeastern N.C. Farmers Market: Saturday is Peach Day at the Lumberton farmers market. Visitors can enjoy free samples of N.C. peaches and cool off with homemade peach ice cream while supplies last. The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • WNC Farmers Market: The WNC Farmers Market will host the Master Gardeners Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July is the perfect time to take plant cuttings for evergreen shrubs. Stop by to learn how to take a proper cutting and have your plant-related questions answered by the knowledgeable volunteers.
  • Charlotte Regional Farmers Market: There is no special event happening this weekend, but the farmers have a solid crop of summer fruits and vegetables available. You can find corn, blackberries, blueberries, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, okra, watermelons and cantaloupes. Also, there’s a large selection of tomatoes in the market right now, so swing by to take advantage of affordable prices.
  • Piedmont Triad Farmers Market: Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes. That’s what you’ll find at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market this weekend. There’s also a good selection of sweet corn, watermelons and cantaloupes available.
  • State Farmers Market: It’s a good time of year for melons, tomatoes and peppers. Enjoy a selection of small and large watermelons, cantaloupes and sprite melons at the market. Vendors also have Roma, slicing, yellow, green and heirloom tomatoes. There’s also a large selection of peppers, including green, yellow, red, orange, jalapeno, cayenne and banana peppers. In addition, you can find peaches, figs, sweet corn, blueberries, blackberries, eggplants, squash, okra and red potatoes.
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