Shortly after we arrived in North Carolina Friday evening, we experienced a southern style thunder-and-lightning storm. There were lightning fireworks and torrential rain on our drive to my sister’s home followed by thunder that seemed to shake the house. I remember these afternoon storms from my childhood but I’m told that lately they have mostly been replaced by drought. I knew the storm wouldn’t last until morning when we had plans to hit the Carrboro Farmers Market before heading to the beach on Sunday morning. Even though there are plenty of produce stands along the coast, this had been a tradition of mine from when I lived in Chapel Hill and I was anxious to check out the local scene.
It didn’t take long for me to spot my personal favorite tomato, the German Johnson, along with many other heirloom varieties — they’re everything I’ve been longing for in a tomato.
All the crops that love heat and nutrient-rich clay soil were there in abundance.
Peppers, eggplant, huge unbelievably sweet blackberries, melons of all kinds and peaches, the kind that practically melt in your mouth.
Unlike our Farmers Markets, there are plenty of old-timers and country folks. Crafts that are traditional in this part of the country such as pottery, hand-milled wood furniture, quilts and hand-woven rugs were also part of the mix.
At the Carrboro Farmers Market, “all items sold are produced by the person selling it and within a 50-mile radius of the market”. They require their members “to sell their own products so customers can ask them directly about how the crop is grown or an item is made”.
After stocking up on all we thought we could fit into the car, I was happy to see that this local market had grown and was such a focus for the community after almost 30 years of providing an outlet for local farmers and craftspeople.