Market Fun!

I live in SW Durham, visit the Durham Farmers’ Market weekly and

photo courtesy of Tom Miller

the Carrboro or Chapel Hill Farmers’ Markets at least twice a month. Last week I received an email from Mitra Stricklen about the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s (IFFS) Young Farmer Market opening Saturday May 21st (Mitra is the Coordinator) and knew I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see what it had to offer.

The IFFS offers a Young Farmer Training Program with three sessions per year. They host 10 teenage apprentices on their Tryon farm where the kids learn to seed, transplant, plan and harvest sustainable produce and much more. Last Saturday was the opening day of their weekly market, and those that made it out were not disappointed.

photo courtesy of Tom Miller

The IFFS Young Farmer Market plans to host weekly workshops/chef demonstrations and u-pick harvest options as well as volunteer opportunities. Each week at the market, visitors can “buy delicious fresh produce, meet the apprentices and enjoy a fun farm Saturday.”

photo courtesy of Tom Miller

The market runs 9am-1pm and is located at 4505 Tryon Rd at Dover Farm Rd. Coming from Durham on I40E I took the Gorman St exit, turned right on Gorman and right on Tryon. Dover Farm Rd is about a half mile up the road on the left.

One thing that struck me was the excitement on the kids faces; they were so proud. Proud of their hard work, and proud of selling the bounty of their labor to the public. Watching them, it is clear a team of dedicated young adults are hard at work. To find out more, or apply for the program, you can link to their website here.

The apprentices are interested in selling wholesale to markets, restaurants and catering companies. If interested you can email Mitra to place an order for pick-up. Delivery to Raleigh is available for a small fee. (mitra@foodshuttle.org)

Tom Miller is a talented freelance photographer and an IFFS volunteer who was on-site last week to record the beginning of this new market. He can be reached via email mill2174@bellsouth.net or 919-730-0929.

I drove away from the IFFS market with a smile on my face and my hand reaching for the bag of fresh, sweet, and crispy peas sitting beside me…..nothing like it!

Rather then heading home, I decided it was high time to visit the Saturday Market at Rebus Works and see for myself what I had been hearing about for weeks.

“Rebus Works is a small gallery located in the Boylan Heights neighborhood of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Established in 2003, the gallery is operated by artists for artists, and is committed to exhibiting innovative works of fine art and high craft, presenting both local and national artists.”

The Saturday Market will run every Saturday from 9am-2pm until November 19, 2011.

I was struck by how different the Rebus Works market was to that of others in the area. It is smaller than most, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Not only can you pick up fresh produce, meat and eggs from the various farm vendors, but wander around and you might just find yourself with a new soy based candle, fresh jar of jam or nutbutter, or any number of baked goods, all the while sipping an ice cold beer from Boylan Bridge Brewpub or a freshly made Horchata or Bloody Mary…now that’s what I would refer to as the ultimate “market brunch.”

I walked around, taking it all in, before stumbling upon the Porch Rockin’ tent. It was one of the last vendors, set up towards the back by the garden, and people were lined up to sample several variations of strawberry jams, homemade nutbutters and tiny squares of homemade sandwiches. They were also serving fresh lemonade and Larry’s Beans iced coffee.

Porch Rockin’ owner Liza was selling her Cashew Butter and Strawberry Jam or Pimento Cheese sandwiches, both with the option to order with bacon…it’s true! (insert drool).

After chatting with my friend and owner of Part and Parcel Farm, who insisted if I didn’t have one of Liza’s sandwiches I was crazy, I headed back to the Porch Rockin’ tent and bought the Pimento Cheese and bacon option (of course).

Multi Grain bread, piled high with homemade pimento cheese, topped with several pieces of bacon (no skimping here), sweet pickles and crunchy lettuce. “Love at first bite” comes to mind however cliche that may be, it’s the truth.

You can keep up with what Liza is up to with Porch Rockin’ by following her on facebook, or checking her website for updates.

Oh, and one thing that was intriguing and enlightening to me, and I must give props to The Cookery for this, it was great to learn that Liza is making use of the new Durham kitchen incubator to produce her food. We hear so much about the Food Truck debates in Raleigh, which to me creates an unfortunate divide between the Durham and Raleigh food scene, it gives me hope that we can all work together and find a happy place around the table together.

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