Barbecue, bluegrass and fresh herbs at your state farmers markets

By on April 19, 2012

N.C. strawberries are already available across the state. In addition, you can find greens, sweet potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes, fresh meats and local cheeses at a state-operated farmers market near you. Below, you’ll find our picks for the top three things to do this weekend at the markets.

1. Barbecue Cook-Off and Bluegrass Jam, WNC Farmers Market

The 7th annual Barbecue Cook-Off and Bluegrass Jam, hosted by the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, will feature about 10 barbecue competitors, plus vendors selling everything from pork and fish to turkey legs and hot dogs. On Saturday, the fun continues with performances from five bluegrass bands and an appearance by the Nationwide stock car and simulator. The event runs Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2. Spring Herb Days, State Farmers Market

There is a huge selection of fresh herbs available at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. To celebrate the abundance of herbs, the market will host its Spring Herb Days Friday to Sunday. Fresh and dried herbs will be available for purchase, along with a variety of herbal products including crafts, jams and jellies, body lotions and plants. In addition, specialists will be on hand to offer free advice about growing and using herbs. Spring Herb Days is open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. Pick up a plant, all markets

No matter which state-operated farmers market you go to, you should be able to find a healthy selection of shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials and vegetable plants this time of year. Pick up a vegetable plant to grow at home or flowers to beautify your yard. If you need advice, you’ll find master gardeners at many of the state farmers markets during the growing season. These trained professionals can answer your gardening questions. Saturday, master gardeners will be on hand at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To learn more about the state-operated farmers markets and agricultural centers across North Carolina, click here.

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