Shopping at local farmers markets and (virtually) shaking the hands that feed you as you buy from local farmers is a fun and friendly way to help support the economy as you and your family enjoy the best of what each season has to offer.
New Farmers Market Procedures and Protocol
From the onset of the COVID 19 crisis, new, innovative approaches to feeding the public have been popping up every day. Just as we are all making adjustments to what chefs and restaurants are collectively bringing to the table, area farmers are learning to pivot as policies, procedures and guidelines shift on how they are able to sell all the grow, raise and produce to the public.
The good news is that we are able to continue to shop at local area farmers markets and farm stores. With the March Shelter In Place order set for North Carolina by Governor Roy Cooper, the Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services clarified that farmers’ markets and farm stores are included in the essential services classification along with grocery stores.
Many Charlotte area Farmers’ Markets accept SNAP/EBT payments that make it even easier for everyone to eat local. Check individual market websites for details.
Keep Your Distance, Wash Your Hands
If you are planning to shop local at a farmers’ market or local farm store, be aware that all are initiating new protocols and procedures to keep everyone safe. As you shop and wait in lines you’ve never negotiated at a farmers’ market before, remember to be patient and kind. This is uncharted territory for us all, and sometimes, new ways of doing things take more time than anticipated.
If you don’t feel good, or have a cough or cold, stay home and take good care. Don’t go out in public places and that includes local farmers markets and stores. Instead, think about asking a friend to shop local for you.
Likewise, if you know someone who is homebound or unable to get out for any reason – volunteer to lend a hand. We’ll all get through this together.
Your Next Farmers Market Shopping Trip – April 2020
In an effort to flatten the curve, keep us all safe and still shopping local, here is what you will find at most area farmers’ markets. Procedures may vary from location to location.
Make your shopping and pick up easier and faster with order ahead options. Check individual farm websites and links below for order forms and instructions.
- Check market times. If you order ahead, plan to arrive later in the morning for pick up. This will help lighten the load of early morning crowds.
- Be sure to wash your hands before you head out and as often as you can while you shop. Most markets now have set up hand washing stations.
- Farmers’ market shoppers will not be allowed to sample products until further notice.
- Take care to keep a six foot or more social distance (approximately two adult arm lengths – or about th the length of a cow) from others as you shop.
- Plan to shop, then leave for home. You will see people you know, but make a phone date to call them later; you will not be able to gather and chat.
- Pay with cash, check or credit cards, try to avoid paying with coins.
- Because markets are creating distance between tables, your go-to farmers may not be in their regular spots, so be sure to look around.
- Most farm tables now have sanitizer or wipes, use them between stops as you shop.
- Bring your own wipes to use once you get back in your car.
- Most markets do not allow animals. Plan to leave your four-footed friends at home. This is not the time to walk your dog.
Look, Don’t Touch
In most cases farmers are dividing up into teams with one person helping bag the produce and the other collecting money. Your job is to look, and point to what you’d like to purchase. Feel free to ask questions about the product, produce or protein, but please don’t touch the merchandise.
What you will find
As you make out your shopping lists for local buys, keep in mind all local markets offer. The selection keeps getting larger as we move from the spring to summer season. As of the first of April, the harvest is shifting from root veggies and dark leafy greens to early spring hot house tomatoes, a few cucumbers, beets and more. Remember, it’s not all about produce.
Don’t forget the meat. Local ranchers and farmers also raise chicken, quail, duck and the eggs those birds produce, as well as beef, pork, lamb, rabbit and goat. At several area markets, you’ll also find fresh flowers, herb and vegetable plants, fresh seafood, locally roasted coffee, honey, sorghum molasses, salsa, jams and jellies, fresh baked bread, butter, cheese and milk. Generally, markets often host food trucks and coffee vendors, so we can eat and drink local as we shop local, too.
Consider a CSA
To make your farmers’ market shopping even easier, you may consider buying into a CSA plan with one or two of your favorite farmers. This is Community Supported Agriculture and a wonderful way to support local farmers and ranchers all year long. You buy into a plan in advance. Then each week, you pick up a selection of that week’s local harvest. Check with each individual farm or farmer for their CSA guidelines and availability.
Charlotte Area Farmers’ Markets
1801 Yorkmont Road, Charlotte NC
Tues-Sat 8am-5pm ( generally speaking on Saturdays, local farmers are only there till 1 pm)
This is Charlotte’s only state-run farmers market, one of four state markets in North Carolina. Generally speaking, look for local NC farmers to be in Building A; resale vendors and farmers who sell products in addition to their own in Building B; vendors from North and South Carolina in Building C; and plants, herbs and flowers in Building E.
To make every farmer or vendor an easy find, The state has just released this fun interactive map so you can easily find your favorite vendors. Simply select the market date, to see who will be there selling on any given day. Contact individual vendors for order ahead options.
Online Shopping for fresh produce and product from these South Carolina farms and producers . Order online 24/7. Orders placed by 2pm on Tuesdays for Thursday pick up. Pick up at any one of these locations. Please not the York location is currently closed; and the Charlotte pick up location is for Microsoft employees only.
120 South Main Street; Davidson, NC
Saturdays 9 a.m. – noon
Just outside of Charlotte, this producer-only, year-round market features more than 35 farmers and local producers from within a 100 mile radius. Until late July, the 2020 season for the Davidson market was virtual. Vendors with online stores took advance orders and customers came only for curbside pick-up on Saturdays.
Regular Saturday morning market hours have now resumed for those who’d like to shop onsite, while pre-order options and Saturday curbside pick-up are still options. Fair Share Farm, who comes to the market on Saturdays, still offers a more extensive line of products on their online store and they continue to deliver to Davidson for pick up on Thursday afternoons.
189 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC
Mon-Thurs, 9am-6:30pm; Fri & Sat, 9am-6pm; Sun, 10am-5pm
Josh’s Farmers’ Market is a local family owned farm market offering regional produce throughout the year.
In season, look for locally and regionally sourced & homegrown vegetables. Find Josh’s optional Pre-Order Drive Thru price list here. Text or call in orders to 980-721-6316; email advance orders to firstname.lastname@example.org
188 N. Trade Street, Matthews, NC
Open on Saturdays year round. 8am-Noon, April – November 2020.
This is the largest producer-only farmers’ market in or around Charlotte. All market products, except fish, are grown, raised or produced within 50 miles of Matthews.
When you buy, you buy from the farmer or the farmer’s family. Each of these Matthews Market vendors is accepting pre-orders online. If you are picking up a pre order, the market requests you arrive after 9:15. Currently market shoppers will be limited to 30 at a time, so be prepared to wait to enter, but know the line moves fast. SNAP/EBT accepted with Double Bucks. On the other side of the COVID 19 crisis look for live music and weekly chef cooking demos. Subscribe to the market newsletter for the most current information and vendor list each week.
1515 Harding Place
Mon – Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 7am -3pm; Sun, noon- 5pm
Offering Curbside pick up if you would like. Call 704-606-1045 to place orders look for updates on Facebook
Farmer Dale McLaughlin and his family have been selling at the historic Mecklenburg County market since its inception in 1937.
The Market is the oldest farmers’ market in North Carolina. Lots of local product on the shelves in addition to commercial and local produce. In season, most of the produce at this market comes from Dale McLaughlin’s farm. Mecklenburg County Market is also home base for Dale’s daughter, Beverly McLaughlin, and her Beverly’s Gourmet Foods line of fresh and frozen vegan and vegetarian products.
129 Oakland Ave, at Legal Remedy Brewing in Rock Hill
A small but mighty farmers only market in the parking lot of Legal Remedy Brewing. Look for fresh produce, local meats, and farm fresh products.
2020 Beatties Ford Road
Tuesdays 3-7 p.m., till the end of September
This market is generally held outside but when rainy weather hits, things move inside to the L-shaped building on the property. The market is small, but is the perfect neighborhood stop for fruits and vegetables and is the great midweek place to shop local. SNAP/EBT accepted.
235 W. Tremont Ave, along the tracks parallel to South Blvd.
Since 2010, South End Market (formerly Atherton Market) has been serving Charlotte’s historic South End community and surrounding areas with local, sustainable, responsibly raised produce and proteins, as well as locally sourced artisanal food products and crafts.
SNAP/EBT accepted with Double Bucks. Many vendors are accepting online advance orders – contact each farmer or vendor for details. You’ll find the list of vendors for each week here. Get up-to-date market info by subscribing to the SouthEnd Market email newsletter
300 S. Davidson Street (In the First Baptist Church parking lot)
Saturdays 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., May – December
This is Charlotte’s newest producer-only market, located in the center of the Queen City to actively support regional farmers and local food artisans. You’ll find plenty of parking and lots of space to correctly socially distance on the 4.5-acre site.
As the market grows, look for weekly music offerings, children’s arts and education activities, cooking demos, gardening workshops, and weekly volunteer service opportunities with local nonprofits. Get up-to-date market info, recipes and vendor highlights by subscribing to the market’s weekly email newsletter.
27290 Waxhaw Parkway
Open Saturdays 9am-noon.
The Waxhaw Farmers’ Market is a non-profit grower/producer only market established to provide a venue for local farmers and vendors to sell farm-fresh produce and specialty items to the Waxhaw area. No pets please. Subscribe to the market’s weekly email newsletter or follow their social media for the most up-to-date info on vendors and events.
Open on Saturdays, 9am – noon; and after April 25, the market will transition to summer hours and open at 8 am every Saturday. The market is located at 518 Winecoff School Road. Sign up for the market’s email newsletter for week to week information.
Make Farm Stores your Go-To During the Week
Many area farms have farm stores or stands where you can stop by any day of the week to shop for fresh local product. Since we’ve all had to pivot in light of current COVID19 conditions, many farms that never offered at the farm pick up, now do. Here is a short list to start. Come back often to look for updates. If you know of a farm or farmer selling during the week from the farm, let me know and I’ll be delighted to add in that information here.
Certified organic fruits and vegetables; pasture raised pork. Now offering pre-orders through an ONLINE STORE from Wednesdays at 6am through Thursdays at 10pm. Choose from pick-ups at Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market or A Way of Life Farm at 856 Brooks Rd Bostic, NC 28018 on Saturdays. $20 minimum order. Sign up for the farms weekly email newsletter via the link on their website for weekly updates and availability lists. CSAs and the opportunity for farm apprenticeships are available.
As many of you know, I teach quarterly On the Farm Classes with my friends at Proffitt and look forward to the time we can do that again. I’m delighted to share the news that Shelley and the team will have their certified organic grass fed beef available again after a long winter before they were able to harvest.
To get on their list – text your email to 704-751-6455 so you can receive their newsletter with all the order and pick up info. To prevent humans sharing space there will be no shopping inside the store. Call in your orders and they will be waiting for you when you come to the farm to pick them up.
New Town Farms focuses on the craft of growing vegetables on the five acre family farm, and has diversified to include Pastured poultry, pastured laying hens, and Heritage breed, free range hogs. Shop from them every Saturday morning at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market. To make safe shopping even easier, New Town just started an online Farm store which opens each Thursday morning for Saturday morning pick up at the Matthews market. Subscribe to New Town Farm’s weekly email here.
The farm store at Barbee Farms in located at 1000 Shelton Road in Concord, NC, Just off of I-85. The farm store is open Thursday & Friday, noon-5:30pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. Customers are invited to come in to shop or order online for pick up. The Barbee’s also sell at the Davidson Farmers market, now by online order only. Simply, shop from this list of available product, indicating exact amounts needed and email the order to info@BarbeeFarms.net. Pick up is only available during farm store hours.
You’ll find Tega Hills Farm at the Matthews Community Market on Saturday mornings and at the farm the rest of the week. The farm store and farm are on Zoar Road in Ft. Mill, open Monday – Friday for hydroponic lettuces, microgreens and assorted seasonal produce. You can order ahead for market or arrange for farm store pick up here.
In Conover: 425 Conover Blvd. W, Conover, NC 28613
Sun-Fri: 10-7; Sat: 9-7
In Lincolnton: 317 E Main St., Lincolnton, NC 28092
Sun-Fri: 10-8; Sat: 9-8
You’ll also find Burton Farms at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market on Saturdays in Charlotte in Building A. Look for all your seasonal favorites – tomatoes, broccoli, cukes, berries soon and more. At the stores lots of jams and jellies, condiments, etc.
Windcrest is also at the Matthews Community Market on Saturdays, is open during the week by appointment for certified organic produce. If you’ve a mind to spend your new found “free” time digging in the garden, Windcrest can help you with vegetable seedlings and organic gardening supplies. You can now order online from Windcrest for market pickup as well. Here is the link… You’ll notice that Mary Roberts is also offering proteins from her neighbors at Dry Fork Creek Farm in Monroe, if you are on the lookout for local pork and beef.
If you are looking for local strawberries, asparagus and other south Carolina produce, raw milk and SC cheeses, you can get them at the Bush n Vine farm store at 1650 Filbert Hwy. in York, SC. The farm store is open 8 am – 6 pm weekdays and 8am -5 pm on Saturdays.
Bush n Vine also has a farm stand in Rock Hill at 1662 Ebenezer Rd. Stand hours are 10 am-4 pm, Monday – Friday and 10 am -3pm on Saturdays.
Underwood Farms in Lawndale, NC
For beef, pork and raw milk. check out , just outside of Shelby and on Saturday mornings at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. If you would rather shop at the farm store during the week, they are open by appointment on Mondays and Fridays. Call for product availability and pick up times 704-477-4312.
Another wonderful resource for local proteins including chicken, pork, rabbit and lamb. The also sell local honey and Ashe County Cheeses. Shop local with them on Saturday mornings at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market or order ahead and pick up at the farm Sunday-Thursday from 11am – 7 pm. Call 704-718-8795 for product availability, to place your order and to arrange for on the farm pick up.
Rocky River Farm in Monroe, NC
Looking for Local Beef, Pork, eggs, honey, Sweets Elderberry Syrup, Olive Crate EVOO and vinegar? Rocky River Farm can hook you up, but shopping is by appointment only. Just give farmer Greg Stephens a call at 704-256-0203 or order online for farm pick up here.
Loving these loaves
If its bread you crave, pick up from my friends bread bakers extraordinaire, Jaymin and Tanner at Verdant Bread. They sell each Saturday morning at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market and you can place orders ahead. These delicious breads have become a favorite of ours! They are all baked with ancient and locally sourced grains, I know you will love them too.
The English Muffins make great burger buns and the whole loaves come to you unsliced so your morning French toast or your evening’s Bruschetta can be as thick as you’d like.
Verdant is also available during the week at the Common Market on Monroe Road Tuesday – Friday. The bakery offers bread subscriptions and curbside pick up – call them for details. They also offer HOME DELIVERY on Fridays for anyone within a 10 mile radius of the bakery in the 28205 zip code. And If you live in Davidson, they send orders to the Pickled Peach every Wednesday and Friday.
Eat Local and Drink Local. All Of The Farm at Dover Vineyard’s seasonal produce from Dover Vineyard’s Vineyard Garden can be purchased at their Farm Stand, located beside the vineyard at 3600 Concord Parkway S., in Concord NC. Tuesday-Friday, 11-6pm. Saturday 9-12. Dover Vineyard’s exceptional wines may also be purchased by preorder and appointment.
Fading D Farm in Salisbury, NC
North Carolina’s only Water Buffalo farm and cheese making operation is located in Salisbury, NC. At Fading D Farm, they make fresh buffalo mozzarella on a week to week basis. They also carry water buffalo meat, gelato, cultured butter. The farm store is open Saturday morning 9-12. Call to order and for directions, 980-330-8189
Steve Young and his team at Coddle Creek Farms in Mooresville, NC, just north of Charlotte, have their farm store is open Wednesday through Saturday 10am till 6pm. For the time being they will also be open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3-6pm, But Steve suggests you call first – 704-402-8885 just to make sure. You can also order from the store and shop for products online.
On Saturday mornings, you’ll find Coddle Creek at the South End Farmers Market at Atherton, and the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market.
At the store and at their local market booths, look for Coddle Creek Farm honey, nut butters, Amish jams, local pickles, grass fed beef, local milk, Ashe County cheese, local elderberry syrup, baked goods from our bakery and more GotToBeNC products.
While Bluebird Farm doesn’t have a farm store, they are not offering online ordering for pick up in Charlotte at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. Order their pasture raised pork, beef , eggs and vegetables, online and your order will be waiting for you at the market.
Street Fare Farm offers GMO free pasture raised eggs, seasonal produce, gourmet mushrooms and microgreens. Order available produce online and pick up at the farm located at 6601 US Highway 601 S, in Concord on Saturdays from 8 am. Street Fare also sells at the Winecoff Market in Concord on Saturdays from 8am-noon.
If you are on the search for local herbal teas, look no further that Strong Bird Farm in Monroe, NC. Order online and teas are shipped directly to your door.
If you (and your friends) would like to order in bulk
Check out MeatSuite.com , a website where you can find local farms selling pasture-raised meat in bulk quantities. You can search by location, species, and farm practices. All farm profiles contain contact information and pricing. Use MeatSuite to find farmers across North Carolina, and connect with your farmer to make your purchase.
Grocerants, the next new thing
Local product such as cheese, eggs, honey, pasta sauces, Windy Hills Farm pork, condiments, coffee, wine and more; as well as a variety of prepared heat and serve food stuffs are available for pre order and curb side pick up at all three locations of Pasta & Provisions. And now they are also offering delivery – call for details. On Providence Road at 704-364-2622; on Park Road at 980-938-6433; and at Mint Street at 980-201-9153.
Stay tuned for more listings soon…