For Shannon Harvey, global relations assistant at UNC Global, the market is more than a place to get produce every week — it’s where she and her husband got married.
“We were new here, so we invited everyone that we knew and said just come down to the farmers’ market,” she said. “We just set up in the middle and had a little ceremony.”
The market has played a big role in other local families’ lives too.
Pam Oakley, a third-generation farmer from Chatham County and a vendor at the market, said her family has been there since the start.
“My mother actually worked with the federal government to get small farmers’ markets started way back in the ‘70s,” Oakley said. “Back when it was first proposed to use this land there was some controversy, if you want to call it that, because of the expensive land that it was.”
The market’s story began in 1977, when a group of farmers worked with the North Carolina Agricultural Marketing Project and the town of Carrboro to establish the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Farmers’ Market on Roberson Street. The market moved to its current location in 1996.
Oakley and her mother sell flowers, fruits, vegetables and hand-painted vases at their stand, Grandma’s Garden.
“My grandmother, she was again one of the original sellers and she was probably the first, or one of the first ones, that started selling flowers,” Oakley said. “I ventured out a little bit with the vases.”