Recently my sister and brother dropped by to show off all the wonderful things they’d discovered on a Saturday outing to the Raleigh Farmer’s Market with a group of friends from my sister’s church. I was envious, especially when they talked about the yummy fresh seafood they’d eaten at North Carolina Seafood Restaurant on the grounds.
Thus, despite temperatures in the 90s and North Carolina’s infamous high humidity, my husband and I set off to have our own family outing on Bastille Day, of all days. By the time we made it home later that evening, we had experienced another wonderful adventure and learned several valuable lessons for our next trip to the Raleigh Farmers’ Market, which can’t come quickly enough for either one of us.
Next time, however, we’ll remember the lessons we learned:
1. Wear a hat. Most of the market vendors are set up inside shaded, roofed buildings; however, we made numerous trips to our car and were out in blistering sun more than we were prepared for. Going from one building to the next meant more time in the bright sun.
2. Carry a cooler with frozen ice packets. North Carolina summer heat can be brutal. Temperatures in a parked automobile will wilt, if not cook, plants and produce while you continue exploring vendor offerings.
3. Take a rolling shopping cart with you to hold your purchases. Even a baby stroller will work. All those trips back and forth to your car add up and drain your energy.
4. When you’re sampling those tomatoes or peaches to discover the tastiest, make a written note regarding which stall or table are trying to remember. You’ll simply forget after you get a few steps up the aisle. Write it down.
5. If you’re traveling I-40 the main entrance to the Farmers’ Market is located just off exit #297 onto Wheeler Road. You can spend twenty minutes or the entire afternoon.
6. Make a written list. With so much variety to choose from, you’ll forget that you came to pick up a few sweet peppers or Vidalia onions and remember that you didn’t buy them–after you’re heading down the highway toward home.
7. Try something new. Goats cheese, North Carolina local muscadine wine, natural home-milled soaps, eggplant, butternut squash, farmstead cheese, rabbit or buttermilk. Add to your appreciation of various herbs and spices.
8. Try something green: collards, kale, turnip salad, green beans, kale and roasted corn. Green is in these days, but hasn’t it always been?
9. Don’t buy more than you can use in a week unless you’re planning to cook, can and freeze. My husband would put everything in sight in our cart, only to have it go bad on us or give our booty away before the end of the week.
10. Plan to eat breakfast, lunch or an early dinner at any one of the Raleigh Farmers’ Market Restaurants. The Market Grill serves breakfast and lunch. The Seafood Restaurant has a wide menu of fresh seafood and has a well-deserved reputation for being delicious and reasonably priced.
Raleigh NC Farmers’ Market:
Address: 1201 Agriculture Street, Raleigh, NC 27603
Exit 297 from I-40.
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Raleigh Farmers Market
N.C. Seafood at the Farmers’ Market
N.C. State Farmers’ Market Restaurant
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