Whether you’re hosting your entire family for a full-fledged holiday meal, bringing a dessert to the office party, or making appetizers for New Year’s Eve festivities, remember to check out the great selection of farm-fresh ingredients available at your regional farmers market.
The four state-operated farmers markets in Asheville, Charlotte, Colfax and Raleigh are open year-round, and include fresh produce, meats and cheeses to make your favorite dishes. You’ll also find a great selection of N.C. wines, decadent desserts and specialty products. The markets have you covered for holiday decorations, too, offering locally grown Christmas trees, poinsettias, holiday wreaths and handmade garland. And, if you’re looking for unique crafts and artisan products for that special someone, look no further than your regional farmers market.
Read on to learn about the special offerings at each of the markets this December.
WNC Farmers Market, Asheville – The locally grown, fresh-cut Christmas greenery is rolling in by the truckload. Christmas trees of all sizes, beautiful wreaths and roping are available in abundant supply. Also, you’ll find a good selection of apples, citrus and nuts just in time for the holiday season. The market still has lots of fresh produce available, including tomatoes, greens, turnips, beans, cabbage, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, onions and more. In addition, there are bakery goods, jams, jellies, honey, molasses, cheese, wine, homemade fudge, handcrafted gifts and much more available in the Retail Shoppes.
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, Charlotte – Christmas trees, wreaths and other greenery are available at the market. In addition, you’ll find a good selection of seasonal produce, including greens, sweet potatoes, turnips, cabbage, onions and more. Look for handmade craft items and unique gifts for your holiday gift giving from artisan vendors at the market.
Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax – The Triad market has fresh N.C. apples, collards, turnips, sweet potatoes, pie pumpkins, pecans, peppers, the last of the field tomatoes, N.C. wines, acorn squash, greens, meats, pansies, shrubs, trees and more. N.C. Christmas trees, garland and wreaths are now available. The Market Shoppes will offer produce, baked goods, candy, wines, cheese, seasonal fruit baskets and more.
SPECIAL EVENT: On Dec. 5, the market will host Cheers for Charity. The wine and craft beer tasting event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10, and all proceeds will benefit Out of the Garden Project, a charity that raises money and collects food for the benefit of hungry children in the Piedmont.
State Farmers Market, Raleigh – The State Farmers Market has dozens of Christmas tree, wreath, poinsettia and garland vendors to help you with your holiday decorations. In addition, there are still plenty of fresh N.C. apples; leafy greens like collards, lettuce, kale, mustard greens and turnip greens; sweet potatoes; tomatoes and even tunnel-grown strawberries. In the Market Shoppes, you’ll find a great selection of specialty foods, N.C. wines, crafts, soaps, candles and gifts.
SPECIAL EVENTS: On Dec. 5, the State Farmers Market will host its annual Market Shoppes Open House. This is an opportunity for shoppers to sample products from dozens of vendors in the Market Shoppes and find unique gifts for friends and family. Vendors will be selling products ranging from local cheeses, jams, jellies and wines to cakes, candles, decorative flags and ornaments. In addition, WPTF-AM’s “Weekend Gardener Show” will broadcast from the market to offer winter gardening advice to shoppers.
Market patrons will have a chance to give back to those less fortunate in the community during the State Farmers Market’s Week of Giving, Dec. 5-11. Shoppers can drop off non-perishable food items or monetary donations under a giving tree located in the Market Shoppes. All donations collected will be given to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for distribution to pantries and shelters in Wake and surrounding counties.
On Friday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the market will host Pecan Day. Visitors can enjoy free samples of N.C. pecans and a pecan dessert prepared by the State Farmers Market Restaurant. Farmers will be selling pecans in the Farmers Building, and recipes will be available to take home and try during the holidays.