NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler: Farmers Markets

spring

When the weather heats up, consumers will find more and more offerings at their local farmers market. In June and July, markets are getting into the peak of season, when you will find lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are four state-operated markets in North Carolina. They are in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. But there are also more than 200 local farmers markets across the state. By shopping local, you are not only supporting your local farmers, but you are also supporting your community.

  • We talk about farmers markets quite a bit, but the peak of the market season is here. In June and July, you see the biggest variety of fresh fruits and vegetables on the market. From blueberries and blackberries to watermelons and zucchini.
  • You’ll also find peaches, peppers and plums, and squash, sweet corn and sweet potatoes. And, you know if it’s summer, you have to have tomatoes, and the markets offer all different varities of tomatoes for a delicious tomato sandwich.
  • We have four state-operated markets. In Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.
  • But there are also more than 200 local markets across the state, meaning shoppers have access to the freshest products available.
  • And, yes, freshness IS something that you can taste.
  • Local farmers markets are community gathering places, with some markets even hosting special events and activities.
  • I encourage you to shop at your local farmers markets. Not only are you supporting your local farmers, but you are supporting your community, too.
  • We have a few special events coming up at our markets.
  • At the Western NC Farmers Market, we have a blackberry tasting July 6, Peach Day July 13 and Watermelon Day July 27.
  • At the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Greensboro, we have Peach Day July 13, Watermelon Day July 20 and Bluegrass Day Sept. 16.
  • And at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, we have Peach Day July 12, Watermelon Day July 26 and Honeybee Day Aug. 11.
  • In addition to tasting these fruits and vegetables, you also can pick up recipes at some of these events and ask farmers for tips on preparation and picking the product that suits your needs.
  • I am proud of the opportunities that farmers markets offers to consumers and farmers.
  • Shoppers can locate a market near them through our NCFarmFresh website. Go to ncfarmfresh.com and click on the link for farmers markets.
  • Shop local and support North Carolina farmers.