Redbud farm participates in two farmers’ markets every week; Elon Community Church Market and Western Wake Farmers’ Market. The first one takes place on Thursday afternoons/early evenings and the latter is on Saturday mornings. I got to experience both markets assisting with harvesting, packaging, set up, selling, and clean up.
Elon’s market is held next to a church and across from Elon University. It consists of around ten or so vendors. There is a man who sells homemade birdhouses, an elderly woman who’s been making pastries for years, two women who photograph monarch butterflies, and a girl crocheting scarves. Of course there were several farm stands selling vegetables as well. The atmosphere was interesting with a mix of college students and elderly church goers. There were several regular customers that Nancy struck up conversations with. On a first name basis with many of them, she knew what they came to the stand for. The director of sustainability at Elon stopped by to pick up her local produce for the week. It was really great to see such a wide variety of people out at the market, caring about local food and local business. I enjoyed the college students asking questions about crops they had never seen before. One girl ran over to Redbud’s stand as we were closing, hoping to grab a few last potatoes to make mashed potatoes for dinner that night. Another student bought a bell pepper, walking away from the stand chomping down on it like an apple.
There was even a showing of “Forks Over Knives” at the library on campus that night!
Western Wake Farmers’ Market was much larger than the one at Elon. There were close to 40 vendors. The market was in a private community, with vendors selling a wide variety of things. I saw pottery, jewelry, ready-made meals, soups, kettle-corn, homemade ginger soda, and even heard live music.
Redbud’s stand; much bigger than the previous market.
The following pictures are some of the organic produce they were selling.
Green beans and arugula. 🙂
The wide variety of potatoes they had for sale.
Lots of spicy peppers!
After attending both markets and seeing both the amount of fresh food available, and demand people had for it, I have confidence in our food system changing for the better. When people vote with their forks on the types of food they want, change can and will occur. Buying local tells the food industry where we want our food to come from and the kind of food we are looking for. It obviously also supports local business, which is great for the local economy. Policies need to change so small farmers can stay in business and continue to provide us with fresh local food.