Taari | Coleman
Eating well is an important part of feeling well, maintaining your target weight, and being healthy. The local Farmers Market can offer a variety of choices and prices that might not be available in grocery stores.
One stand in particular stood out: Honeysuckle Farms. Having been a part of the State Farmers Market for the past eight years, Honeysuckle Farms boasts over 45 all organic, loose leaf teas and more than 30 flavors of hot chocolate, including double mocha and pumpkin spice.
It’s still necessary to head to Food Lion for items such as batteries and hygiene products, but the State Farmers Market, located off of Centennial Parkway, features fruits and vegetables of the season, as well as locally made handicrafts and foodstuffs, and three restaurants–The State Farmers Market Restaurant, the Seafood Restaurant, and the Market Grill.
But if you’re going to shop at the Farmers Market, there are a few things you should keep in mind, to save yourself a little heartache down the line.
- Plan Ahead–have a few dishes you want to prepare for the week in mind, maybe check out some recipes online or the ones mentioned earlier in this issue of the Nubian Message. Maybe consider researching what fruits and vegetables are in season so you know what you’re in for when you go. Understand that North Carolina does not have indigenous mangoes before you go.
- Eat Before You Go–shopping hungry is a very easy way to spend more money than you intend to. There are smells wafting through the air that will make your mouth water, and the three restaurants on site will undoubtedly tempt you.
- Don’t Stop at the First Stand–take a good walk through the whole market before you blow your budget. Many stalls offer similar products and some have deals and specials.
- Talk to the Vendors–almost every stall will offer you samples, give you ideas for meals and ways to best prepare their products, and also give you endless information that you can’t find anywhere else, because they’ve cultivated it all with their own hands.
- Only Purchase What You Need–locally grown vegetation is awesome because it lacks preservatives and other chemicals that extend shelf-life. This means the zucchini you purchased on Sunday will most likely be a little slimy by Thursday. Plan on using it Tuesday night at the latest.
- Bring Cash–though almost all of the vendors are able to run credit and debit cards, it’s a bit easier on your bank account and for budgeting purposes to have cash…not to mention how often the Cash Points conveniently placed in the Farmers Market parking lot is conveniently out of order.
- Bring a Jacket–the Farmers Market is navigated best when you’re able to take your time and look everything over with all due consideration. The vast majority of the produce is located outside regardless of the temperature, and you don’t want to make any hasty purchases in the changing weather.
Open seven days a week, the Farmers Market only actually closes one day a year: Christmas.
Fruits Ripe in the Fall: Apples and Tomatoes
Vegetables Ripe in the Fall/Winter: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Turnips, Zucchini, Squash
Fruits/Vegetables On the Way Out of Season: Figs, Raspberries, Pears, Peaches, Grapes, Potatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumber