September offers a great opportunity to enjoy both late-summer and early-fall produce at local farmers markets. The state-operated farmers markets in Asheville, Charlotte, Colfax and Raleigh offer a large selection of fresh produce for school lunches, meats and cheeses for tailgating, and wines and specialty products made in North Carolina. You can also find flowers, trees and shrubs for your fall plantings. Many markets have events planned to celebrate Wine and Grape Month, in honor of the state’s fast-growing wine industry. Here are all the events taking place at our markets this month:
Grape Day, State Farmers Market, Raleigh
September is prime time for fresh-market muscadine grapes. Enjoy grapes, jellies and wine during this annual event Friday, Sept. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Seafood Day, State Farmers Market, Raleigh
This is the first-ever Seafood Day at the market. Shoppers can purchase fresh seafood from the North Carolina coast and sample seafood dishes prepared by Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse in Raleigh. Seafood Day is Thursday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
12th Annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival, Robert. G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax
During the Taste Carolina Wine Festival on Saturday, Sept. 13, guests will get to sample a variety of N.C. wines from noon to 6 p.m. All guests will receive a complimentary tasting glass and a program to help find their favorite wineries.
Apple Tasting, WNC Farmers Market, Asheville
Locally grown apples are in plentiful supply this time of year. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the many varieties available at the market on Friday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sweet Potato Day, State Farmers Market, Raleigh
North Carolina is the top sweet potato producer in the nation and the market will be celebrating on Thursday, Sept. 25. Market vendors will offer plenty of sweet potatoes for purchase. Shoppers can sample a sweet potato dessert from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
These are just some of the ways to celebrate the best of local agriculture this September. Be on the lookout for other promotions and special events later this year that will focus on fall products, including pumpkins, collards, pecans and Christmas trees.