For many, this weekend will include at least one family meal. Make sure to plan a trip to a local farmers market to pick up fresh ingredients for your family meals. The department manages markets in Asheville, Colfax, Charlotte, Raleigh and Lumberton. You also can search for local farmers markets near you at www.ncafarmfresh.com. If you go to a state farmers market this weekend, here are some of the special events you don’t want to miss.
1. Growing in the Mountains
One of the largest horticultural events in the state is coming to the WNC Farmers Market. The free event will feature vendors selling locally grown annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, trees and shrubs. The event is sponsored by Blue Ridge Horticulture Association and runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday.
2. Master Gardener Plant Clinics
Whether you’re having trouble identifying a harmful insect, or can’t decide what type of flower to plant in your backyard, a Master Gardener can offer free advice to solve your problem. This weekend, the N.C. State University Master Gardeners Program will be on hand at the WNC Farmers Market Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Master Gardeners of Mecklenburg County will be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring their questions and problem plants with them to the market.
3. Easter Hunt
The Southeastern North Carolina Farmers Market in Lumberton is kicking off its market season with an Easter egg hunt Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. The first hunt is for children, ages 2-5, and starts at 10 a.m. The second hunt, for ages 6-10, will start at 11 a.m. Children also can participate in a sidewalk-chalk drawing contest.
4. Craft Fair
In addition to the Easter hunt, families can enjoy a craft fair at the Southeastern North Carolina Farmers Market. Vendors will have a variety of homemade crafts for sale. The craft fair runs Saturday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
And, don’t forget the variety of fresh produce, meats and cheeses available this year. N.C. strawberries are now in season at most markets. You also can find fresh asparagus, greens, sweet potatoes and more.