Raleigh, N.C. — The urban density of the Triangle puts produce shoppers within reach of a range of farmers' markets from the massive State Farmers Market in Raleigh to local options in just about every community. Here are some of the best ways to eat fresh without fighting a crowd.
Carrboro lives up to its crunchy reputation with one of the longer-running farmers markets in the Town Commons. Vendors are available Saturdays and Wednesdays year-round with seasonal foods, flowers and plants. The market guarantees that those who grow it sell it at the Carrboro Farmers Market, so come with your questions for the farmers.
In contrast, the market in Clayton is a start-up. The Clayton Farm and Community Market operates Saturday mornings from April through October at Horne Square on Main Street. They added a Thursday afternoon market just this month! Subscribe to the email newsletter to get a heads-up on new vendors and recipes delivered to your inbox.
In Fayetteville, the farmers market operating Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings on Franklin Street has an insider vibe. This small gem continues to add vendors, with the caveat that all products be grown or produced within a 50-mile radius.
Farther afield but worth a day trip is the Market at Fearrington Village. Here's a way to gobble up some of the raw materials that make the Fearrington House one of the top destination restaurants in the nation. It's also an alternative to the Saturday morning sprint schedule kept by most markets. At Fearrington, shop on Tuesdays after 4 p.m.
Another market that operates outside of the weekend rush is the Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market. The daytime Wednesday hours at the City Plaza fresh spot cater to lunch-hour shoppers and downtown workers. And it's more than a market – each week is an event. From wellness workshops to cooking contests and musical entertainment, there is always something to see at the Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market.
The long North Carolina growing season means most markets operate at least through October, with many offering weekly selections through Thanksgiving and a few (see Carrboro) open year-round. There is plenty of time still to find your favorite!