Courtney Spear, market manager for Davidson Farmers Market, said that the number of vendors averages around 35, but attendance is growing. She said that they could have more vendors, but are careful about which vendors they let in.
“We like to add interesting things with a good balance of proteins and vegetables, so that we don’t over saturate the market, but still provide people with healthy choices,” said Spear.
“This is a producer-only market. They have to be growers, makers or bakers and they must be local, within 100 miles of Davidson,” she said. The market also provides education on the benefits of local produce and healthy eating to those who visit.
As you make your way around the town hall to the parking lot between Main Street and Jackson Street, you first smell the strawberries and the aroma of fresh baked bread. Your eyes are treated to a palette of color from all the items for sale – including fresh flowers, honey and handmade soaps – as your ears fill with the music wafting through the air.
New this year is the wine tasting by Dover Vineyards out of Concord. It may seem out of the ordinary to taste wine first thing in the morning, but Spear feels it is a good fit in the college town. The Kimchi Pot, out of Mooresville, is another new vendor this year.
Kimchi, a Korean mixture of fermenting cabbage and spices, is not widely known in this area. On May 16 Jennifer Hetrick was making kimchi pancakes for the customers to sample at her tent when Davidson resident Erin Cortez stopped by for a taste.
“I have used it (kimchi) in soups and such, but this is a different way of preparing it. I didn’t know it was that versatile,” said Cortez.
Some produce such as tomatoes and cucumber were still being grown in greenhouses, but the asparagus, lettuce, squash, strawberries and the zucchini were coming in from the field. Spear said tomatoes are her favorite, but prefers those grown in the field. “Everybody is waiting for the field-grown produce, which has a richer, bolder taste,” she said, adding the tomatoes and cucumber would be coming from the fields soon.
In addition to weekly music, there will be other special events. “Our next big event will be on June 27 when we have the Chef’s Breakfast,” Spear said. “Five or six local area chefs will use foods found at the farmer’s market to make breakfast, allowing the crowds to taste what each chef has to offer.”
Every third Saturday, the Under The Tree Band – Mike Ellis on mandolin, Karl Plank on fiddle and Brian Blaney on guitar – plays music. Ellis said, “I hear they have music every week, but the third Saturday is the best.”
Another new vendor is Rowland’s Row Farm, a USDA-certified organic farm out of Gold Hill. Less than two hours after the market opened, Joe Rowland was drawing a line through some of the items listed for sale on his chalkboard. “You need to get here early, because I sell out quick,” said Rowland.
With the growing crowds, this is a recurring theme: You need to get here early for the best selection.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The Davidson Farmer’s Market, beside the Davidson Town Hall, between Main Street and Jackson streets, is 8 a.m.-noon every Saturday throughout the year. Details: www.davidsonfarmersmarket.org.
Other area markets
Downtown Mooresville Farmers Market is 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, seasonally, at the corner of Church Street and East Iredell Avenue. Details: www.facebook.com (search for Downtown Mooresville Farmers Market).
Huntersville Growers’ Market is 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, seasonally, at Huntersville Elementary, 200 Gilead Road. Details: www.huntersville.org/Departments/ParksRecreation/GrowersMarket.aspx.