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Downtown Raleigh farmer's market


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A Farmer's Market will open outdoors in Moore Square park downtown on July 12 and operate each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the season. The idea is to catch downtown workers on their lunch hours. This market is not being operated by the people with the State Farmers Market, but is sponsored by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. The stated goal is to have products from local growers. The rules require vendors to sell items that they have produced within a 90-mile radius of the market, with a few exceptions (apples from the NC mountains, for example). No second-hand selling. The information I have says the market plans to include La Farm bakery, Chapel Hill Creamery, and pasture-raised meats from area farmers.

I'm excited about having more local items at a Raleigh market and plan to check it out. If the market turns out as promised, I hope Raleighites will support it. There's a large parking deck nearby. Just wanted to let food fans know about this.

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I went downtown today to check it out, and as soon as I arrived, I got a call from our nanny needing my immediate help (she had a flat tire). So, I didn't make it today.

Anyone have a report for us??

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I was there and it was great. The main reason I went was to get some really fresh farmer's cheese from that Creamery (can't remember the name), but she did not have any. Whole Foods sells theirs, but it is just better bought fresh. They had sold out of mozarella, so I bought cheese only described as "raw milk". Had some tonight. Very different, but great. The vendor used to be at the Farmer's Market, but doesn't go there now that they have forced the meat and cheese vendors to the upper building.

Otherwise, there were about 7 farmer's there. They all had what appeared to be very fresh produce. Bought some great blueberries, cantelope, cukes, etc. The blueberries I bought came from "right below Southpoint" and were great....and this is from me, who thinks if blueberries are not from around Burgaw, they are not worth nuttin'. I got there pretty close to 2, which was closing time, so I am not sure whether there were lots of things that were unique that were already gone, but mostly I saw the "regular" items.

I saw Ashley Christiansen at the Lyon Farms tent, which I made a tactical error of going to last, after I had bought quite a bit. But did pick up some GREAT heirloom tomatoes and some strawberry cider which my kids LOVE. Tastes just like drinking a very sweet fresh strawberry. Pretty sweet for me, but as it is not overly processed, I don't mind them drinking it.

I also got a little ground meat from the beef vendor. I have had good luck wtih the meat from Chatham Choice farm that I have gotten at the state farmer's market, but had not been happy with their ground meat, so wanted to try this vendor. Can't remember the name.

Overall, it was good market and a good time. I sent the kids to get ice cream from the cart while I shopped and they ate it and watched the guy playing guitar. It was nice to know the produce was all directly from local farms, which you can never be sure about at the Farmer's Market. It was also fun to be downtown. In addition to Ashley, I also saw the chef from Riviera buying tomatoes.

The kids have already requested that next week, we make a morning of it (Amazing Glaze, lunch, market)

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I headed down there at 11, and I was glad to see a really good turnout. I got great heirloom tomatoes, corn, green beans (sweetest I've had this summer; ate 'em last night), baby Yukon Gold potatoes and fresh garlic. Also got Pheta from the Chapel Hill Creamery booth. I love that stuff. It's cows milk feta, but the Greek government won't let them call it feta. I overheard someone at La Farm breads say they had sold out of one kind of loaf by 11:30. I didn't get a chance to hit the ice cream, but I definitely plan to go back for that.

You know, downtown workers, keep a bottle of olive oil in your desk drawer and you could make lunch off the market (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, bread, YUM).

If the turnout continues, I hope more farmers will sign on.

I'm going to the tomato dinner at Vin tonight, looking forward to other ways to use those heirlooms other than standing over the sink and gnawing them.

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Likewise, the corn and blueberries we bought have been our favorites of the summer. Being there late, I got to hear all the vendors talking to each other and the general consensus was that they all were pretty happy and sold well. They hoped it wasn't a "first time" crowd. I don't think it will be.

Debbie, I hate I am missing the tomato dinner. We are such losers.... when we called only 5:30 and 9:30 seatings were left! Neither are possible for us. We will be at the Mondavi tasting on Monday night though!

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