Farmers Market Season

Farmers Markets provide a perfect opportunity to find local, fresh produce, get outside on the weekends and mingle with your community. Below is a guide to some of the great markets throughout Western North Carolina.

Giving Thanks Where Thanks is Due

By Laura Lauffer

During the Thanksgiving season, we often recognize and appreciate the farmers in our community for the abundance of food on our tables. Three women farmers in the region shared their farming experience during this challenging year, what it means to them to farm as women and how they continued to grow and distribute their goods to the community in the challenging times of COVID.  

Jackson County Farmers Market celebrates 20 years

Back in the 1990s, Karen and Johnny White were in a nomadic phase of life, spending several months traveling the country in search of a place to call home. Time after time, they found themselves most drawn to small towns with vibrant farmers markets. 

Farmers market starting in Cashiers

Locally Grown on the Green farmers market offers local produce 3 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday during the growing season at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road next to the post office.

Planting for a pandemic: Agricultural community navigates through COVID-19 crisis

For farmers and agriculture businesses across Western North Carolina, spring is the time to plan and plant for the green season ahead, but uncertainty cultivated by the COVID-19 crisis is complicating that process, often in devastating ways. 

Haywood farmers market now more accessible to low-income people

out frThe Haywood Historic Farmers Market hopes to open its selection to an even larger portion of the population by exercising its new ability to accept food assistance money from the SNAP program — and use $14,000 worth of grants to make those dollars go further for SNAP users. 

“Everyone deserves the same access to healthy local food, regardless of their circumstances,” said Carol James, a president of the market board. “We are pleased to be able to provide this access to those who use SNAP. Not only does it allow them to buy quality products from their local farmer, it puts them in a setting where they have the opportunity to take advantage of the educational programs at the market.”

Down by the river: Swain farmers market makes a move

fr swainmarketThe Swain County Farmers Market recently enjoyed its final Friday alongside Main Street in Bryson City. After taking a break for the Fourth of July holiday, it will reopen on the other side of the Tuckasegee River.

Growing Season: New farmers markets to bring local focus to Cowee, Maggie Valley

out frThe grassy field is empty and the playground vacant as the sun sheds evening beams across the grounds of Cowee School. But when Susan Ervin looks at the unoccupied asphalt track and pavilion bare of coolers and tablecloths, she sees the busy community scene she’s hoping to experience on the long-awaited May 13. 

It’s the day that will kick off the new Cowee Farmers Market, a goal Ervin and a core group of eight others have been working toward for months. In the empty field of the decommissioned school-turned-community-center, she sees vendors setting up displays of fresh produce, crafts, preserves, meats and plants. She sees a local band playing in the pavilion, tip jar open. She sees children playing on the swing set, teenagers tossing a football around in the field — just people having fun. 

Coffee shop owner launches farmers market sans permit

fr maggiemarketJustin Phillips narrowly avoided a stand-off with Maggie Valley town hall last week, but rest assured, he was ready to go the distance if need be.

Phillips launched a new farmers market last week in a large grassy field beside his coffee shop, Organic Beans Coffee Co., along the main commercial drag of Maggie Valley.

Fresh from the farm: Meat gets a sizzling reception at farmers market

coverBy Paul Clark • Correspondent

Mary McNeil carried her shopping bag around Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market like a kid on Halloween. In went fresh-ground sausage, newly prepared chorizo and a few cuts of meat from animals that spent the summer happily munching Haywood County’s glorious green grass. 

Walking through the market outside the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre on a crisp fall day, McNeil felt good not only about the quality of meat she was buying from a surprisingly large number of meat vendors, but also about what she was doing for the local economy. Buying meat from local farmers helps them keep their land in farms and their families in the pink. 

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