Hopefully, you’ve already sent in your taxes and now can enjoy a relaxing weekend with the family. There’s no better way to spend time with your loved ones, pick up some fresh food and get to know the farmers and ranchers who contribute so much to North Carolina’s economy than with a trip to a farmers market. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services manages five markets across the state. Each market hosts a variety of activities throughout the year, but here are four things you don’t want to miss this weekend:
1. Greenhouse Veggie Day
Today, the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market will host a celebration of greenhouse vegetables from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring the whole office to enjoy a free greenhouse tomato sandwich, and purchase other greenhouse vegetables and fresh produce while you are there. Tomato sandwiches will be passed out in Farmers Building Two. Also, check out the market’s newest vendor, who will be selling koi.
2. Easter Egg Hunt
Come back to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Sunday, and bring the kids for the WKZL Easter Egg Hunt. The annual event starts at 1 p.m. and will feature appearances by the Easter Bunny, as well as Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and her friends. No registration is required, but visitors are asked to bring their own baskets. The market also has a large selection of fresh-cut flowers, vegetable plants and shrubs. NOTE: The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, but has been moved to Sunday due to inclement weather.
3. Antique Tractor Show
Tractor enthusiasts from the Stumptown Tractor Club in Huntersville will be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on Saturday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Club members will display antique tractors and farm equipment they have restored and be on hand to discuss their projects. This is a great event for children interested in agriculture, history or engineering. While at the farmers market, make sure to pick up some fresh produce, including N.C. asparagus, which makes its seasonal debut this weekend in Charlotte.
4. N.C. Strawberries
And speaking of seasonal debuts, N.C. strawberries have started appearing in farmers markets across the state. The State Farmers Market in Raleigh is expected to have a good selection of strawberries this weekend. You also can find a limited supply of strawberries at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market and Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. More will be available in the coming weeks. You can search for strawberry farms and pick-your-own farms on the department’s website at www.ncfarmfresh.com.