Now that spring has sprung, people are venturing out more to enjoy the lake, parks and all the other wonderful outdoor resources in the area. The arrival of spring also means that Lake Norman’s farmer’s markets are getting underway. And with North Carolina ranked as one of the nation’s top producers of goodies like sweet potatoes, cumbers and strawberries, you can find a bounty of healthy and locally grown produce and vegetables. Below is a listing of regional markets to help get you started. Bon appetit!
The Davidson Farmer's Market
The big daddy of the bunch, the Davidson Farmer's Market is the largest producer-only, year-round market in the area, featuring more than 35 farmers and local producers from within a 100-mile radius. The DFM has everything from organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, free range chicken, eggs, fresh baked goods, fresh cut flowers, herbs and more.
Where: 120 South Main Street, next to Davidson Town Hall.
When: Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Between Nov. and March the market is open every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Huntersville Farmers Market
Sponsored by the Huntersville Parks and Recreation Department, this is a small but growing market. The May 12 kickoff coincides with the "Hello Huntersville" event, which will feature art, music, food vendors and kids rides.
Where: 103 Maxwell Street
When: Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
(Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville and the Huntersville Business Park will host a Tuesday farmer’s market in the hospital parking lot at 10030 Gilead Rd. from May 29 to August 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
The Mooresville Rotary Farmer's Market
The Mooreville Rotary Club has sponsored this market since 1976. It features jewelry makers, baked goods, vegetables, fresh eggs, bread and pottery. Customers looking for more exotic offerings should stop by every other weekend, when Golden India Restaurant and Grocery from Winston-Salem ply their specialty goods.
Where: Historic downtown Mooresville at the corner of Center and Church streets.
When: Starts Sat., May 19. Sat. and Wed. 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Details: Call Brenda Hawkins at (704) 663- 3892.
Josh's Farmer's Market
Josh Graham opened this Mooresville roadside market in 2003, which offers everything from fruits, veggies, shrimp and fresh-cut flowers.
Where: 189 Williamson Rd., Mooresville
When: Mon.–Wed. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m..
Details: Josh Graham at (980) 721-6316 or visit www.facebook.com/joshs-farmers-market.
Statesville Rotary Farmers Market
The Statesville Rotary Club established this market in 1975, and it’s still going strong, with fresh produce from a 15- county area that surrounds Iredell.
Where: At the corner of South Meeting and West Front streets in downtown Statesville adjacent to Statesville Police Department.
When: Starts May 12. Sat. 7 a.m.- 12 p.m.; Mon. 4 p.m.-7 p.m.; Wed. 7 a.m.-12 p.m.
The Evening Farmer's Market
Four local farmers started this market 14 years ago. Today you can find dozens of vendors offering everything from produce, baked good and crafts.
Where: Corner of Water and Center streets at Pecan Park in Statesville.
When: Thurs. 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Sowing and Growing
Also providing the Lake Norman area with fresh produce is a unique organization called Sow Much Good. Based in Huntersville, the group supplies fresh, organic vegetables to local nonprofits and needy families in the region.
Robin Emmons started Sow Much Good in 2008 as a way to help her older brother, Brian, who is mentally ill and at the time was homeless. Emmons found that the agencies helping care for Brain often fed him junk food and canned goods, which jeopardized his health. With less than a quarter of an acre of land at her home, Emmons started growing and delivering fresh zucchini, cucumbers, and eggplants to her brother. This experience convinced Emmons to start Sow Much Good. A former Bank of America global consumer and small-business strategy worker, Emmons left the corporate world of grey cubicles for greener pastures, and hasn't looked back.
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Emmons donated more than 2,500 pounds of food last year to her three main partners, Kings Kitchen, the Charlotte Rescue Mission, and Urban Ministries. And she’s now expanding her operation thanks to an anonymous benefactor who gave Emmons a 5-acre site in Huntersville. In March Emmons built a "hoop house," similar to a greenhouse, which allows her to grow more veggies and produce.
To help spread the word about her mission, Emmons attends events like the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, where she offers tips and demonstrations on organic gardening and cooking.
To volunteer, donate or find out more information about Sow Much Good visit www.sowmuchgood.org.