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'An important part of the community': Carrboro celebrates farmers market

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Patrons of the Carrboro Farmers Market talk to vendors on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

The Carrboro Farmers' Market celebrated the 24th annual National Farmers Market Week from Aug. 6 through 12.

The week of celebration was started by the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to helping communities by strengthening farmers markets.

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market — which is held on the Carrboro Town Commons — was spearheaded in 1977 by a graduate student at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. It was originally called the North Carolina Agricultural Marketing Project. Now, the market is hosted every Saturday morning year-round, and every Wednesday afternoon from April to November.

“It is such an important part of the community,” Jenna Monk, owner and operator of Monk’s Produce and Provisions, said. “It's a really great place to get, obviously, fresh fruit, and also meet your local farmer and get to know people who are making the things that we consume and learn how they're making it."

On Aug. 9 and 12, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market presented a “mini museum” of the market’s history in the gazebo. Local musicians performed at the celebration, and Carrboro’s WCOM 103.5 FM radio station broadcasted the event live.

“I love the farmers market, I love this place,” Ann Marie Thornton, an owner of James Creek Orchards, said. “I think it's a great time to kind of honor that, and just celebrate being part of a local community, growing and eating together.” 

Vendors at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market sell not only fresh produce but also goods like cheese, soap, pottery and furniture. 

“A lot of the same people that care about where their food comes from care about putting that food on handmade things that are unique,” Joe Sink, the owner of Joe Sink Pottery, said. “They cost a little bit more, but they know where it's made.” 

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market requires that all vendors live within 50 miles of the market. According to the market's website, the average distance is 25 miles.

The market also accepts food stamp services, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Purchases made by electronic benefit transfer cards are matched dollar-for-dollar.

“I think a lot of people associate food with being cheap, but really what that means is that the price of food in our country has so long been subsidized by other people's labor or government subsidies,” Monk said. “And I think it's really valuable that we have that conversation as a community, like why my potatoes are more expensive than what you see at the supermarket. It's because I pay a living wage.”

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market’s mission, according to its website, is to create an innovative market to support local farmers and artisans, bringing the benefits of local food to the community.

“From my perspective, it’s a really important place because I've been able to meet friends and other makers and see who is making what, and how people have been able to innovate and run their businesses more sustainably,” Monk said. “Also, it's a great opportunity to meld cultures and meet people that I otherwise wouldn't meet — we have a pretty diverse group of farmers.”

@LolaOliverio

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 


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