Vendor tents lined the lush green yard of Carrboro Town Commons on Aug. 12, while a musician performed soulful songs to a bustling crowd at the National Farmers Market Week celebration.
At the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, days like this are frequent.
Run by farmers and artisans since its establishment in 1979, the market requires business owners to grow or produce their goods within a 50-mile radius of Carrboro, live within that distance and be on-site to sell.
The market consists of 75 vendors, including guest vendors who are reconsidered on a yearly basis. Most are farmers, and some have occupied the same space for years — something market manager Maggie Funkhouser believes is important for business.
“Having a permanent space is really important for customers to be able to find you,” Funkhouser said. “So moving around week to week is not ideal for cultivating your relationships with your shoppers and that sort of thing.”
Craft artisans are invited to the market to showcase their work, which typically includes what Funkhouser refers to as “heritage farm crafts” — goods made from woodworking, welding, quilting and similar processes.
Some vendors, such as Graham Family Farm, sell these types of crafts along with their produce.
The Pittsboro farm has been a vendor at the Saturday market for 40 years. They are known for their hand-crafted woodworking items such as picnic tables, coat hangers and their most popular item, the cedar chest.
“That was our main thing for years,” Louis Graham, who runs the farm with his wife and children, said. “I mean, I’m known as the cedar guy. People say, ‘Oh my God, as soon as I got out of the car I could smell your place,’ but for me, I can’t smell cedar anymore.”