As one of more than 100 local farmers in the Triangle who sell directly to consumers, he’s also part of a growing trend.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2007’s and 2012 Censuses, the number of Orange County farms that sell straight to consumers has increased by 54 percent since 2007.
“The area is constantly growing,” Ray said. “There’s a high demand for sure.”
Ray has been selling locally at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market for the past six years. He said he is meeting new growers all the time and seeing an increase in the variety of products.
“We’ve been able to keep growing and keep expanding,” he said. “Every year we’ve been doing a little more. We seem like we can keep growing.”
Ray isn’t alone. Direct-to-consumer sales across the county are up 108 percent since 2007.
Board of Aldermen member Bethany Chaney said Orange County has been making an effort over the past couple of years to grow the local agricultural sector.
“In Orange County, it’s been a really big focus of a lot of work at the county level, and in Carrboro specifically,” Chaney said. “Our farmers’ market is renowned across the state and it’s something that has taken years and years to build, and to grow and sustain.”