University City

Highland Creek opens new farmers market

Highland Creek, the large subdivision that straddles the Mecklenburg/Cabarrus county line with 4,300 homes and about 15,000 inhabitants, now has a farmer’s market of its own.

This spring, resident Ed Price asked Erin Flynn, activities director for Highland Creek, if the neighborhood could start a farmers market. With a few hours work, they gained permission from the Homeowners Association Board and started planning for an April 19 debut.

They consulted with Courtney Spear, market manager with the Davidson Farmers Market, about the logistics and started looking for local vendors. The first market drew more than 400 customers to the location in Christenbury Park.

The market is open to the public every Wednesday with 11 to 16 vendors from North and South Carolina. Vendors offer a variety of local, fresh vegetables, dairy products, meats, honey, baked goods, crafts and homemade frozen empanadas.

Resident Vickie Davis, 56, came to the market for her first time June 18 and said she had purchased something from each vendor as she made her way down the line of tents.

“It’s been really nice, they all give free samples, so you have a snack along the way and leave with dinner in the bag,” said Davis as she bought a pound of organically grown carrots and two dozen fresh eggs from Hoffman Heritage & Heirlooms, an organic farm in Lincolnton.

“Best collard greens on the planet,” shouted Kizito Wademi, owner of KW Collards from Charlotte, as customers approached. When some would veer away, he said, ‘You don’t like collards? I’m going to change your mind, you haven’t tasted my collards,” as he held out a free sample.

His no-meat-or-animal-fat, full-flavor collards have no preservatives, and usually one taste wins over the skeptics, he said. Alexandra Simmons, 31, from the neighboring Skybrook subdivision in Huntersville said, “I am not a huge collard fan,” before trying them. After she tasted them, she said, “I am shocked there is no meat in this.”

“All natural is a big plus and that they are precooked is fantastic,” said Simmons as she bought collards for the first time in her life. When asked how he makes the collards taste like there is meat cooked in them, Wademi smiles and says, “that’s my secret.”