Take the Kids: Pick up some fresh peaches and more at State Farmers Market
Posted August 13, 2020 8:47 p.m. EDT
Since March, my family has done nearly all of our shopping online, picking up groceries curbside or having them delivered to our home. In fact, I've been inside only one store since March — a drugstore to pick up a prescription.
But, as spring turned to summer, the fresh veggies and fruits at the State Farmers Market began to call to me. As we waited for the crops to ripen in our backyard garden, I knew the market would be teaming with tomatoes, peaches, peppers, eggplants and more right now.
So a trip to the market where we load up on fresh produce in the open-air, outdoor market has become a big excursion at my house. These days, there's no lingering like there once was. We've been regulars at the market for nearly 20 years. Instead, we're in and out in record time, strategically planning our purchases before we go.
During the pandemic, the market has remained open and made substantial changes to its operations to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- No longer do you walk through the middle of the market. Instead, they've developed a one-way traffic pattern that weaves in and out from under the covered space. You can do a lot of your shopping along the edge of of the building.
- Hand sanitizing stations and signs that remind people to social distance are spread across the market.
- A few vendors have set up Plexiglass barriers between the cashier and the shopper.
North Carolina requires that we wear face coverings inside and outside when social distancing isn't possible and at retail businesses. My family always wears a mask as we shop — even if we are far away from other people, and I'm glad to see that the majority of shoppers also are wearing masks. Unfortunately, many of the vendors aren't wearing masks. While we're there, we typically shop only from vendors who are wearing masks and are still able to pick up a good variety of produce. (Shout out to Sugarloaf Orchards, which sells delicious peaches and where the employee is always wearing a mask.)
If you go:
For best selection for retail shoppers, go 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. To avoid crowds, plan your trip on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We usually go during the early afternoon on those days and have never run into a crowd.
Make sure you have cash before you go or plan to go to the ATM at the market. Some vendors accept credit cards, but many only accept cash.
The market's website has more information about what's open, including links to details about its popular restaurants. The market is at 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. Check our earlier post for information about other markets across the region.