No matter how hard I try, I never seem to get to the farmers market as often as I would like. And I’m a food writer by profession.
I was thinking about what might inspire me to venture out to more markets more often and came up with the idea for this calendar. Many of the Triangle farmers markets host special events throughout the year – strawberry days, tomato tastings, pepper celebrations and even crawfish boils and grilled meat tastings.
I’ve highlighted some of those special events below, along with a list of all the Triangle farmers’ markets, to inspire me – and you – to visit and shop at the markets more often. More events and details can be found on the individual markets’ websites.
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May 12: The State Farmers Market in Raleigh is hosting its annual strawberry day, which includes a dessert recipe contest. You can enter the contest by dropping off a dessert from 8-10 a.m. May 12. Details: nando.com/strawberrycontest. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., there will be free samples of strawberry ice cream served at the market.
May 14: Both locations of Western Wake Farmers’ Market in Cary are celebrating strawberries with a chef’s cooking demonstration, live music and an education tent staffed by Wake County Extension Master Gardeners.
June 4: The month starts with one of my favorite events: Crawfish Day at the State Farmers Market, where people line up to buy live or cooked crawfish. They usually sell out quickly, so get there before it starts at 10 a.m. Plus, the Holly Springs Farmers Market is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration with a “Taste of Holly Springs” where local restaurants will be serving free food samples.
June 11: The Apex Farmers Market is hosting a blueberry festival with a Kiwanis blueberry pancake breakfast. Plates cost $6; children age 3 and under eat free. Details: apexkiwanis.org/Page/28925
June 18: The Wake Forest Farmers Market is hosting a Turning of the Seasons craft event with demonstrations by potters, woodworkers and fiber artists.
June 24: The Holly Springs Farmers Market is hosting a breakfast food truck rodeo. The Eno River Farmers’ Market is hosting a Thrill of the Grill event with vendors serving samples of grilled meats and vegetables.
June 29: The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market is hosting a Cheese Please! event where chefs will compete to create the best grilled cheese sandwich. The American Meltdown food truck will be selling sandwiches.
July 16:The Carrboro Farmers’ Market hosts its annual Tomato Day with dozens of tomato samples, live music, children’s activities and a raffle. Both locations of the Western Wake Farmers Market are also hosting a Tomato Day celebration with a chef’s cooking demonstration, samples and an education tent staffed by Wake County Extension Master Gardeners.
July 23: The Eno River Farmers’ Market will host its Tomato Fest, where customers can sample a large variety of tomatoes and vote for their favorite. The Durham Farmers’ Market also will celebrate with tomato tastings at this Saturday market and on July 27.
July 28: This is a great day to take the children to the State Farmers Market for Watermelon Day. Farmers will compete to see who grew the largest watermelon.
Aug. 8: The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market hosts its annual Honey Buzztival event to celebrate local honey and beekeepers. Raleigh’s Crank Arm Brewing will provide a beer tasting.
Sept. 24: The Carrboro Farmers’ Market is hosting its annual The People’s Peppers event with samples of raw and roasted peppers as well as pepper dishes. Shoppers can vote on their favorite. The Durham Farmers’ Market is hosting its second annual pepper roast.
Sept. 28: The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market will celebrate the last day of the market with bluegrass music to coincide with the annual International Bluegrass Music Association festivities.
Oct. 29: Many markets will have Halloween festivities, including the Durham Farmers’ Market, where shoppers choose the best costume worn by the vendors.
Nov. 19: The Durham Farmers’ Market is hosting its Collard Cook-off, where chefs are challenged to make delicious collard dishes.
Nov. 22: Do not forget that many of the Triangle farmers markets are open on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. In recent years, they have used this website to promote pre-Thanksgiving markets: trianglefarmersmarkets.wordpress.com
Markets by county
Apex Farmers Market
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 220 N. Salem St., Apex, apexfarmersmarket.com
Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 135 W. Chatham St., Cary, caryfarmersmarket.com
Growers Market of Fuquay-Varina
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-noon. Saturdays, Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce, 121 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina, growers-market.org
Holly Springs Farmers Market
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 128 S. Main St., Holly Springs, goo.gl/xwK6hh
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle Tryon Road Farm Stand
Noon-6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 4505 Tryon Road, Raleigh, nando.com/1bn
Knightdale Farmers Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Knightdale Station Park, 810 N. First Ave., Knightdale, goo.gl/RXrIEl
Midtown Farmers’ Market
8 a.m.- noon Saturdays, North Hills Raleigh, 4150 Main St., Raleigh, northhillsraleigh.com
Plantation Point Farmers Market
9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Plantation Point Shopping Center, 6250 Plantation Center Drive, Suite 107, Raleigh, plantationpointfarmersmarket.com
Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, 400 block Fayetteville St., Raleigh (City Plaza), RaleighEatLocal.com
State Farmers Market
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Sundays, 1240 Farmers Market Drive, Raleigh. statefarmersmarket.org
The Saturday Market at Rebus Works
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 301-2 Kinsey St., Raleigh, rebusworks.us/thesaturdaymarket/
Wake Forest Farmers Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 405 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest, wakeforestfarmersmarket.org
WakeMed Farmers Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, 3000 New Bern Ave., Raleigh (free parking in the P1 parking deck for market patrons), goo.gl/DpGHtY
Western Wake Farmers’ Market at Carpenter Village
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 101 Gathering Park Circle, Cary, wwfm.ag
Western Wake Farmers’ Market at UNC Wellness Center
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 350 Stonecroft Lane, Cary, wwfm.ag
Zebulon Farm Fresh Market
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, Zebulon Municipal Complex, 1003 N. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, goo.gl/4gLjgk
Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 480 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro, chathammillsfarmersmarket.com
Fearrington Farmers Market
4-6 p.m. Tuesdays, East Camden, Fearrington Village, fearringtonfarmersmarket.com
Pittsboro Farmers’ Market
3-6 p.m. Thursdays, 287 East St., Pittsboro, pittsborofarmersmarket.org
Siler City Farmers’ Market
1-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 118 W. Second St., Siler City, silercityfarmersmarket.com.
Durham Farmers’ Market
3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, (3-6 p.m. starting June 1) 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., Durham, durhamfarmersmarket.com
Durham Roots Farmers Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Northgate Mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham, northgatemall.com/durham-roots-farmers-market/
South Durham Farmers Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 5410 N.C. 55, Durham, southdurhamfarmersmarket.org
Franklin County Farmers Market
9 a.m.-until sold out, Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m.-until sold out, Saturdays, 103 S. Bickett Blvd., Louisburg, goo.gl/Fj4tEB
Clayton Farm and Community Market
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 348 E. Main St., Clayton, (Horne Square), cfcmnc.org
Sanford Farmers’ Market
9 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Depot Park, 106 Charlotte Ave., Sanford, sanfordfarmersmarket.weebly.com
Carrboro Farmers’ Market
3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro, carrborofarmersmarket.com
Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market
3-6 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, University Mall parking lot, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, thechapelhillfarmersmarket.com
Eno River Farmers’ Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 144 E. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, enoriverfarmersmarket.com
Hillsborough Farmers Market
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 115 Oakdale Drive, Hillsborough, hillsboroughfarmersmarket.org
Southern Village Farmer’s Market
3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays, 400 Market St., Chapel Hill (Southern Village), southernvillage.com/farmers-market/
Vance County Regional Farmers Market
7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays, 210 Southpark Drive, Henderson, vancecounty.org/residents/farmers-market/