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Triad farmers markets are bursting with nature’s bounty

by Brian Clarey

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Bushels of produce grown at Dodge Lodge Farms — and some that isn’t — anchor the wares at the Greensboro Downtown Farmers Market. (photo by Brian Clarey)

The North Carolina Piedmont Triad holds one of the most fertile (pun!) agricultural industries in the nation — and I’m not just talking tobacco. Area farmers coax scads of enviable produce from the rich red clay, and the next couple of weeks will see an explosion of fresh fruits and vegetables that hit their peak. Yes, strawberry season is winding down, but between now and late July, the bulk of North Carolina agricultural products come into season: Locally grown green beans, butter beans, blueberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, cukes, eggplant, okra, peaches, field peas, peppers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and watermelon will all be available at area farmers markets in the coming weeks.

For your consideration, here is a partial list of the Triad’s better farmers markets, where fresh and local produce almost always cost less than at the grocery store.

Asheboro Farmers Market; 123 S. Church St., Asheboro; 336-626- 1240; Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays 6 a.m.-noon. Downtown Asheboro’s farmers market pays strict attention to the origins of the goods, disallowing anything that comes from more than 50 miles away.

Downtown City Market; 6 th and Cherry streets, Winston-Salem; www.dwsp.org; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (May-October) Located right in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, this cityowned market is perfect for a quick lunchtime shopping spree or healthy-ingredient run before going home to cook dinner. And because it’s set up in the old City Market building, it is rife with historical significance.

Greensboro Downtown Farm Market; 505 N. Greene St., Greensboro; Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Farmer Mike Causey ran afoul of the rules at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market before opening his own concern near Fisher Park in November 2009. Most of the produce comes from his own Dodge Lodge Farm, but because he is not bound by co-op rules he can sell Florida citrus, South Carolina peaches and those misbegotten blueberries that caused the fracas in the first place.

Greensboro

Farmers Curb Market; 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro; 336.373.2402; www.greensboro-nc.gov; Saturdays 6 a.m.–noon Wednesdays 7 a.m.–1 p.m. (May-December)

The Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, run by the city, hosts an impressive array of local foods, special events, crafts, artwork, flowers and baked goods in the shadow of the old War Memorial Stadium in the Aycock Historic District.

High Point Farmers Market; 600 N. Hamilton St., High Point; www.high-point.net/pr/fmkt.cfm; sunrise to mid-morning (June 23-Oct. 20) This market, in the parking lot of a senior center, is operated by the city of High Point and is the only one whose hours are described by words instead of concrete times. I like that.

King Farmers Market; 446 S. Main St., King; 336.593.8179; www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/M10181; Saturdays 8 a.m.-10 a.m., Wednesdays 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (May-October) “We grow what we sell” is the motto of the King Farmers Market, which means that everything you see in this American Legion hall was grown by the person selling it to you. This market is also unique in that it accepts nutrition vouchers.

Krankie’s Farmers Market; 211 E, 3 rd St., Winston-Salem; www.krankiescoffee.com; Tuesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Located outside of am artistic co-op coffee house, Krankie’s Market subscribes to an aesthetic: “To increase the availability of locally and sustainably grown food.” To that end, they maintain strict rules about purveyors enforced by market organizers. They also throw in offbeat events like Ride Your Bike to Market Day. And there’s great coffee on site.

Piedmont Triad Farmers Market; 2914 Sandy Ridge Road, Colfax; 336.605.9157; www.ncagr.gov; Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

One of five farmers markets owned by the state of North Carolina, and the biggest in the Triad, PTFM boasts more than 20,000 square feet of retail space offering not only produce sold by the people who grew it, but the AB Seed & Co., the Moose Caf’ and lots of local meat, grains and art.

Winston Salem Retail Farmers Market; 421 W. 27th St.; 336-727- 2236; Saturdays 6 a.m.-1 p.m.

This sizable market, held once a week at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, has been known by area chefs for years as the place to get large quantities of anything grown in the area. Definitely a great spot for tomatoes.

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