It’s a busy time of year for fruit and vegetable growers and you can find the efforts of their hard work at farmers markets, roadside stands and grocery stores. There’s no reason not to shop local.
If consumers are looking for local produce, I can assure you it is out there. We are hitting a peak time for North Carolina produce and I encourage shoppers to buy local to take advantage of the freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables available.
Because these commodities are not being shipped from long distances, shoppers are likely buying products on the same day they are picked. That is freshness that you can taste.
Consumers can even find heirloom varieties of tomatoes, watermelons and apples at some markets.
Farmers markets and roadside stands are buzzing with activity. I have also seen local fruits and vegetables in grocery stores.
A quick pass through the State Farmers Market in Raleigh recently turned up plenty of peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons and peppers in many varieties, tomatoes, okra, corn, greens, fresh-cut flowers and so much more.
Just this past week, we posted some photos on our Facebook page of great looking corn, okra, tomatoes and peppers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market near Greensboro.
These are just two of the four farmers markets we operate across the state – the other two are in Asheville and Charlotte. But there are also around 200 community markets across the state, plus many on-farm and roadside stands selling fresh produce.
You can find local markets by going to our Got To Be N.C. website at www.gottobeNC.com. And then just click on the Farmers Market link.
You can also use the VisitNCFarms app to find farms with onsite markets or use the trip feature to create an itinerary of where you will be traveling and farms and activities to see along the way.
Our Marketing Division has also been working with grocery store chains to stock local products, including fresh produce and specialty products. Some stores have large promotional signs noting local products, some have special North Carolina sections or an aisle cart with North Carolina products.
Whether listeners are grilling out, hosting an outdoor get together or cooking for the week, make sure you add fresh North Carolina products to the menu.