Category: Seasonality

Adapting for life with COVID- 19

The Market will be CLOSED March 28th, but there’s good news……

We want to thank our customers for continuing to purchase their fresh food from our local Vendors. Many have been able to make home deliveries or set up farm stands for contact-free order pick-ups. We continue to send out a weekly newsletter and it contains links for our vendor pre-orders and special offers from some vendors that include shipping your purchases right to your door. This is unchartered territory for all of us at the Market and we are so proud of the way our Vendors are adapting to serve all of you.

We had a productive week working with the County and City to come up with a plan to reopen the Market in the upcoming weeks. We are in the process of  gathering some new supplies to train staff and vendors. Our expectation is that the process will take us at least one week to work out the details of running a market unlike any other we have had in the last twenty years. The goal of the Market and all of our partners at the City, County and Mayor’s office is to keep everyone safe and healthy so we’ll continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adapt our plans accordingly.

Expecting Beautiful Weather this Saturday

Join us for the last Saturday before Christmas. Many of our farm vendors are bringing lovely handmade items, both to eat and to enjoy in your home. We’ve got hand forged iron work, handmade wooden bowls and cutting boards. There’s colorful pottery and seasonal teas. We have vendors with custom clothing and others with seasonal treats. There will be plenty to choose from and if you can’t find just the right gift on hand, we’ll have Durham Farmers’ Market Gift Certificates at the Info Desk.


Celebrate Tomato Day on July 10 & 13!

If you have been to the farmers’ market in the past few weeks, you have likely been drawn to the colorful displays of heirloom tomatoes. Red, purple, yellow, green, orange, pink – it’s a rainbow! Why are there so many colors and what exactly is an heirloom tomato?

Heirloom is a term used to describe any tomato plant that is openly pollinated by wind or bees and that has been growing for more than 50 years. The seeds have been passed down for generations due to their rich flavors and unique colors, shapes and sizes. Heirlooms have tender skin and an almost-perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. They are also full of vitamins A and C, fiber and minerals that support bone and cardiovascular health.

To understand why heirlooms have a different flavor than hybrids, you have to look at the plant. The more foliage a plant has in relation to its fruit, the better the flavor. Sugar and acid are made in the leaves so a large number of leaves means an abundance of both acid and sugar. Heirlooms yield fewer tomatoes per plant than hybrids, meaning that there is a better ratio of leaves per fruit on each plant. This is one of the reasons you may notice a taste difference between heirloom and hybrid tomatoes.

Each heirloom tomato tells a story. From its bumpy exterior full of deep cracks to it’s luscious, marbled interior, these tomatoes are works of art. In general, the darker the color, the more tart, and the lighter the color, the more sweet. Not sure what tomato to pick? Ask your farmer! Explain what you plan to cook and they can provide you with a recommendation.

Heirloom tomatoes are regional so you may see different varieties depending where your summer travels take you around the state, country or globe. Varieties you will see at the Durham Farmers’ Market include Cherokee Purple, Indigo Apple, Beefsteak, Carneros Pink, Red Zebra, Striped Cavern, Sweet Solano, Pineapple and Green Zebra.

Join us to celebrate the bounty of the summer season and to sample dozens of varieties of heirlooms at our Tomato Day celebration on Wednesday, July 10 from 3-5 pm and Saturday, July 13 from 9-11 am. We hope to see you there and that you continue to experiment with different heirloom varieties with your cooking this summer.

Join us every Wednesday from 3-6 pm & Saturday from 8 am-Noon!

One of the most exciting aspects of shopping at a local farmer’s market is the anticipation seasonal produce. All year long we are able to celebrate the arrival of delicious and unique foods that are not available all the time the way they are in a typical grocery store. The freshness and quality of this produce is undeniable, and shoppers have the opportunity to ask questions to the very farmers who have planted, grown, and harvested it!

Speaking of seasons, spring is here and is one of my favorite times at the market. The air is getting warmer, everything is becoming greener, and we start seeing produce that is only available for a short period every year. Here is a list of some of the great, can’t-miss produce at the market during springtime.

Asparagus: Asparagus can be found at the market from mid March- April depending on weather. It’s one of the three common vegetables in North America that comes from a perennial plant, including rhubarb and artichokes. Amazingly, asparagus spears can grow up to 6 inches or more in one day. This spring favorite can be prepared many ways, but we recommend simply marinating the spears in olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper and grilling for about 5 minutes, making sure to turn the spears every minute or two!

Strawberries: Strawberries are heralded as the first fruit of spring, and are available at the market April- early June, depending on weather. Did you know what they are the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside? For this reason, botanists consider each strawberry seed be its own individual fruit. If you like to rinse strawberries, be sure to wait until right before you plan to eat them. They will keep much longer if they are stored this way. Also, if you know you will eat your strawberries in a day or two, they will be more flavorful left out on the counter than they are after they’ve been in the fridge!

Rhubarb: It is no coincidence that rhubarb is a popular addition to strawberry desserts because they have a very similar growing season and are available at the market at the same time of year. Field-grown rhubarb’s peak season is April and May, and again this always depends on what the weather is like. Be sure to remember that only the stalks of the rhubarb are edible, and the leaves are toxic to humans. Rhubarb stalks can be eaten raw, but also can be used nicely to enhance the flavor of other fruits. It is delicious in pies, cakes, sauces, jams, and more.

Other incredible spring produce available this time of year includes radishes, leeks, arugula, artichokes, snow peas and pea shoots, salad turnips, fennel, bok choy, and broccoli, to name a few!

With our full season hours in swing, you now have more flexibility to find this produce every week. Visit the market on Saturday mornings from 8:00 am-Noon, and on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00-6:00 pm. See you soon!

Celebrate local, pasture-raised meat & seasonal veggies on May 4!

Celebrate the bounty of the Spring season at our first annual Protein Palooza! Thanks to support from Got to Be NC Agriculture, we’re hosting an event to feature our incredible protein vendors, including:

Don’t forget to check out our additional protein vendors, including:

The following restaurants will be whipping up delicious samples featuring local meat and seasonal veggies:

This event is kid-friendly and we encourage everyone to sample the delicious meat and vegetarian side dishes available. For more information, check out the Facebook event. See you there!

Main Season Market open every Saturday from 8:00 am-Noon!

We’re so excited to be back in full swing at the market and look forward to sharing every Saturday morning with you! We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary season this year and have many surprises up our sleeves so be sure to stay up-to-date with the market through our weekly newsletter.

We can’t wait to see you at Durham Central Park every Saturday from 8:00 am-noon!

Join us for the Durham CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, April 7!

This year the Durham Farmers’ Market is walking in the 2019 CROP Hunger Walk!

Every year, 25% of the money raised by the event is distributed between 12 local hunger fighting agencies, including the Durham Farmers’ Market’s Double Bucks program. The CROP Hunger Walk started in collaboration with Church World Services, who receives the remainder of the money raised to help fight hunger worldwide. Church World Services helps communities that are battling hunger by assisting with the planting of fruit trees and constructing of reservoirs and irrigation systems. Locally, Church World Services helps immigrants and refugees access food in their new communities.

The Durham Farmers’ Market is committed to increasing access to fresh, local food to all members of our community. With the help of our generous partners, including the Durham CROP Hunger Walk, we match SNAP/EBT transactions dollar-for-dollar up to $10. This means that if a SNAP customer spends $10, they will receive $20 to spend on fresh produce at the market. The Durham Farmers’ Market also participates in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which provides Seniors and WIC participants with vouchers to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. Through the Double Bucks program, the Durham Farmers’ Market is also able to match FMNP vouchers, dollar for dollar.

In 2018, the Durham Farmers’ Market expanded the Double Bucks program offering a cash match incentive. The market now matches up to $10 in cash for SNAP recipients who are out of benefits for the month, WIC recipients, and community members who live in Section 8 housing or a housing authority site. In 2019, the market’s goal is to eliminate the $10 matching cap and offer dollar-for-dollar matching to all food program participants.

Please support the Durham CROP Walk by making a donation! And don’t forget to join our team. We cannot wait to walk alongside you!

Savor the season with winter produce!

I absolutely love winter veggies at the Durham Farmers’ Market! The variety of greens can be used for salads, stir fry, and sandwiches. Roasted sweet potatoes are a delicious staple in my weekly meals and can be used to make tasty pies or even muffins.

What I really enjoy during the winter is taking these veggies and making warming and satisfying recipes that I can have in the fridge and eat during the week. This way, I know that I am eating something that is both good for me and will warm me up after a cold morning outside. These enchiladas have sweet potatoes and kale in them, both easy to find on Saturday at the market! My family and I can usually finish these off in a couple of days but they freeze well if you want to make an extra batch to have as a freezer meal for busier days.

Winter veggies also lend themselves well to preparing ahead of time and making harvest bowls throughout the week. Think roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes on top of a bed of rice with a tasty dressing. The combinations are endless!

One of the best recipes I have tested this winter has been an amazing pad thai recipe. This recipe replaces noodles with veggies and is a wonderful representation of so many tasty veggies that are grown by the fabulous farmers at the Durham Farmers’ Market!

We always love to talk about food and recipes at the market. Our farmers are experts on preparing everything from collard greens to bison meat chili and enjoy sharing their recipes and getting to know YOU, our loyal market customers. We look forward to meeting you and talking about food soon!

Join us for the Winter Market every Saturday from 10 am-noon!

The Winter Market season is upon us!

It’s a common misconception that fresh produce does not thrive in the Piedmont during the Winter. The reality is that tasty, fresh veggies grow during our cold months. Collard greens, sweet potatoes, cabbage, kale and spinach are just a few of the nutritious veggies that can be found at the Winter Market every Saturday from 10 am-Noon. Not only do all of these veggies grow no more than 70 miles away from Durham Central Park, but they are also nature’s way of providing our bodies with the nutrients it needs to fight typical cold weather illnesses. Round out your shopping trip with local meats, cheese, fresh bread and so much more, including locally made chocolate!

As a reminder, the Durham Farmers’ Market Food Programs run throughout the entire year! We accept SNAP and offer cash matching for customers that participate in SNAP or WIC. And don’t forget about the Double Bucks program, which matches SNAP and cash matching transactions up to $10. Want to learn more? The Durham Farmers’ Market Food Programs were recently featured on Healthy Durham 20/20’s website.

Bundle up and we’ll see you at the market!

Make it an all-local Thanksgiving this year!

Join us on Saturday, November 17 from 8 am-12 pm and Tuesday, November 20 from 3-5 pm to pick up everything you need for Thanksgiving!

Our farmers will have sweet potatoes, salad greens, broccoli, turnips, radishes, winter squashes, beets and much more. Several vendors are taking pre-orders for locally raised turkeys and ducks, and there is also a wide selection of chicken, pork, beef and lamb. Do not forget homemade artisan breads, pies, cakes, goat and cow cheeses and homemade granola, jams, jellies, pickles and hot sauces. Shopping at the Durham Farmers’ Market guarantees that you will have the freshest, locally and sustainably grown foods available in the Triangle area!

Also, the Durham Farmers’ Market is proud to accept SNAP/EBT and offer Double Bucks, which matches SNAP/EBT transactions up to $10 and cash transactions for WIC customers, SNAP customers who are out of benefits for the month, and community members who live in Section 8 housing. The market wants to ensure that fresh, sustainably grown food is available to all community members and that everyone has the opportunity to eat local this holiday season.

We can’t wait to see you at the market with full bags of seasonal food for your Thanksgiving feasts!