Saturday, November 30, 2013

Durham Wayfinders Volunteer More Than $1.1 Million of Time

November 30, 2008 was an important day in Durham.  Not only did DPAC, the Durham Performing Arts Center open, but a robust volunteer program launched, too.  To date, The Durham Wayfinders program has donated time from citizens worth more than $1.000.000 - and that number is growing at a faster rate than ever.

The program began as an effort to offer passionate people a chance to help others enjoy Durham at festivals, events, and at venues, like DPAC.  The world-renowned theater was integral in the program's inception.

"With Wayfinders, we created an outlet for interested people to easily register to help at events to provide visitors with excellent customer service," said Shelly Green, the CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau who administers the program.  "It has taken on a life of its own and continues to amaze us with the level of engagement demonstrated by the volunteers. It has served as a model for other places to initiate similar programs," Green added.

Take Karen Burns as a shining example.  Burns has volunteered more than 1400 hours at more than 500 events in her years as a Wayfinder. "I have met many interesting people and have fun participating at all the events and performances in Durham," she said.  Burns has volunteered more hours than any other participant in the program. A total of 17 participants have each donated over 500 hours of time. Currently there are 2563 active participants in the program.

Through October, 2013 a total of 53,613 hours have been donated.  According to Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofit organizations that, among other things, calculates the value of donated time, that time represents a significant value to Durham's stakeholders.  The value of the time is $1,176,027.56. Hours for 2013 were calculated at the 2012 value because Independent Sector has not released its valuation of a volunteer hour for 2013 yet. Their chart is available online.

People can register to be part of the Durham Wayfinders on this website

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hilton Garden Inn Opens As Part of Ninth Street District Development

The Ninth Street District in Durham is where this place shows off its college town charm.  The street is lined with old growth trees, funky shops, restaurants and bars.  Adjacent to the street was a more than 20 acre parcel of land that had been undeveloped for decades.  In the last few years, construction has brought residences and a shopping center, and now a new hotel.

Just in time for the holidays, Hilton Garden Inn has announced the opening of the 128 room Hilton Garden Inn Durham/University Medical Center. The hotel joins more than 65 others in Durham that offer over 8,000 rooms.

The new Hilton Garden Inn Durham/University Medical Center is the second collaboration between The Olympia Companies and SMART Hotels, with the goal of providing exceptional lodging facilities for Duke University and the Duke Medical Center guests. The hotel is managed by Olympia Hotel Management.

Within walking distance to the Ninth Street dining and entertainment district, the Hilton Garden Inn Durham/University Medical Center provides the amenities to ensure guests have everything they need whether traveling for business or pleasure.

The hotel offers guests complimentary Wi-Fi; a 24-hour business center; state-of-the-art fitness center; and an indoor pool.  The Garden Grille and Bar® offers a full cooked-to-order breakfast, dinner, cocktails, and evening room service.  The Pavilion Pantry® is open 24 hours and features a complete selection of salty snacks, sweet treats, cold beverages as well as freshly prepared, frozen and microwaveable packaged items.

Each guest room boasts the brand’s signature Garden Sleep System bed; a spacious and clutter free work desk, with an ergonomic desk chair; and an in-room "hospitality center" with a mini fridge, microwave oven and coffee maker. The hotel also features three meeting rooms offering more than 1,456 square feet of flexible meeting space.

There are four additional hotels either under construction or to begin shortly in Downtown Durham alone.  Read more about them here, and keep track of all hotel construction in Durham here.

For more information on places to stay in Durham visit this website.

Durham History Hub Opens New Exhibit Dec 10

With just six weeks of operation under its belt, the Museum of Durham History's Durham History Hub is making good on its promise to keep displays fresh.

The Museum of Durham History will present a new "Our Bull City" exhibit developed by Duke’s John Hope Franklin Young Scholars Program. The Durham History Hub, located at 500 West Main Street, is home of the Museum of Durham History, the only museum in the heart of downtown.

On Tuesday, December 10, the Hub will open the Young Scholars’ innovative exhibit that weaves the narrative of a Durham teen through the writings of John Hope Franklin, the internationally known historian, author, scholar, and professor. The exhibit will focus on the life stories of Franklin and a fictional Durham teen named Kendrick, who shares experiences similar to Franklin’s. Visitors will be invited to engage in the Young Scholars collaborative writing process by interacting with life-size wood cutouts of the main characters in the book, re-organizing the plot elements, and adding suggestions to help shape this book for young teens. The final version will be published in January 2015 to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Franklin.

The JHF Young Scholars Program, part of Duke’s Center for African and African American Research, introduces high-potential middle schoolers—mostly members of under-represented minorities—to the highest principles and most vivid examples of university research, paving their path toward college.

”After three years of trying to carry on John Hope’s legacy with focused research on plantation workers, freedom crafters, and the Great Migration, the Young Scholars were surprised to discover that few young people had ever heard of John Hope Franklin,” said David Stein, JHFYS program director. “With his 100th birthday coming up, they decided this was a great time to introduce Dr. Franklin to a younger generation.”

“This will be the second exhibit at the Hub to feature teen perspectives on Durham history,” said Katie Spencer, the Museum’s executive director. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the creative and energetic Young Scholars and to partner with them to share the amazing life of John Hope Franklin with the people who walk through our doors.”

The exhibit will be up throughout the holidays, when the Hub will be open for regular Tuesday-through-Saturday hours, 10am to 5pm, on every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Free hot cider and cookies are available every Tuesday and Wednesday in December. The Hub has no admission charge.

Learn more about Durham's great history at www.durham-nc.com.

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market Pre-Thanksgiving Market

Put on your galoshes and grab a rain coat because the Durham Farmers' Market will be OPEN TOMORROW afternoon, from 2:00-5:00pm, for a special Pre-Thanksgiving (and this year, Pre-Hanukkah!) Market! About 25 vendors will come together under the Pavilion with the freshest, local vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods and artisan foods for your holiday meals! Check out the list below to find out which vendors you can expect at Market tomorrow.

Tomorrow, during the Market, local cooking instructor Russ Lane will be blending Thanksgiving and Hanukkah by demonstrating how to make sweet potato and root vegetable latkes! He'll also whip up several seasonal sauces to eat with them. The demo starts at 2pm, stop by for a taste and a recipe. Also, if you have any last minute cooking questions, Russ will be happy to help you!

Because of the holiday(s) this week, the Market will be CLOSED this Saturday (Nov. 30). This is the one Saturday during the year that we are closed. So, spend Small Business Saturday shopping at all the other great local businesses Durham has to offer! The following Saturday, December 7th, the Market will OPEN again with our winter hours of 10am-Noon. Remember, Market will be open EVERY Saturday this winter, no matter what the weather!
 
Vendors coming to Market on Tuesday...

Vegetables
Abanitu Farms
Bluebird Meadows
Ever Laughter Farm
Hurtgen Meadows Farm
Lil Farm
Lyon Farm
Maple Spring Gardens
Roberson Creek Farm
Root Down Farm
Speckled Bird Farm
Sunset Farm
Waterdog Farm

Meats, Eggs, Cheeses
Celebrity Dairy
Chapel Hill Creamery
Fickle Creek Farm
Little Tree Farm
Meadow Lane Farm
Spain Farm

Bakeries
Chicken Bridge Bakery
Imagine That Gluten Free
Loaf
Scratch Baking

Artisan Foods and Alcohol
Benjamin Vineyards & Winery
Farmer's Daugher
Fullsteam Brewery
Melina's Fresh Pasta
Tempeh Girl

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Recipe of the Week
This year, 9 Triangle Farmers' Markets got together to promote our special Pre-Thanksgiving Market. We have put together a large resource of Thanksgiving Recipes. Check them out here: Triangle Farmers Markets Recipes

Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES: CELERY, DRIED BEANS, PARSNIPS, POPCORN, Acorn Squash, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choi, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower (White, Orange, Purple & Romanesco), Chinese Cabbage, Cress, Collards, Dandelion Greens, Daikon Radish, Delicata Squash, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Fennel, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley), Frisee, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mache, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radicchio, Radishes, Salad Mix, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Tat Soi, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turmeric, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash, and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Duck, Beef, Chicken, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
FLOWERS: HOLIDAY GREENERY, Asian Lilies, Cabbage Flower, DRIED Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Pasta, Tempeh, Creamed Honey, Cornmeal,  Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Gluten Free Baked Goods, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves,
CRAFTS: Goats Milk Soap, Calendula Salve, Woodwork
Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

South Durham Farmers' Market Open Tuesday for Thanksgiving Market

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market Thanksgiving Market

  • Open Tuesday 3-6:30 pm Greenwood Commons 5410 HWY 55 Durham, NC 27713
  • Guest Chef: Elizabeth Turnbull with local sweet potato chips & dip.
  • Music: Nolan Smock
  • In season: Sweet Potatoes, brussel sprouts, kale, squash, root vegetables


Thank You
Thank you for supporting the SDFM You have made our market a local gem.

Thanks for trying all the new vegetables at Bushy Tail
And stocking up on staples like curly kale.

And for stopping by Green Button for your Sunday bacon
We know some Saturday mornings it can be hard to awaken.

For visiting Sassafras Fork for meat from their goats
And for trying to remember your reusable totes.

For always wanting more Down 2 Earth greens
And planning lots of meals with 4M Farm’s beans.

For spreading the word about Two Chick’s sauerkrauts
And buying big bags of Pine Knot’s Brussels sprouts.

Thanks for choosing Ninth Street’s local wheat bread
And if you want one of their cookies, just go ahead.

For seasoning your turkeys with S&H bundles of spice
And for saying Prodigal’s cheeses are more than just nice.

Thanks for buying every egg a Bull City hen lays
And for shopping the bounty of Dig It’s displays.

Thanks for making stir fry with Fickle Creek’s tatsoi
We hope that all your local meals bring you great joy.

Thank you for grazing on Open Door’s salad
And for reading this far into our ballad.

Thank you for telling all your friends about the local living
From all of us at the market, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

  • Eductation: Rhonda Sherman on Vermicomposting
  • Guest Chef: Derek Treuer with latkes
  • Music by Jennifer Marhoul & sons
  • In Season: Squash, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, eggs and more

Thankful, Not Wasteful
The gravy is flowing, the guests are pouring in the front door, and the garbage needs to be emptied again. With all the decorations, packaging and food scraps, cooking a beautiful feast for family and friends sure does generate a lot of trash. During the holiday season, we generate an additional 5 million tons of waste in the United States, but with a little planning and effort, you can significantly reduce your waste-line.

Decreasing garbage starts with shrinking the amount of potential waste you bring into the house. Fortunately, one of the benefits of farmers’ market shopping is that you have increased control over the packaging. By shopping with a cloth bag or basket and reusing small paper and plastic bags for produce items like potatoes and greens, you will not only be using fewer resources, but you will also have less to throw away at home. You can further reduce waste by returning the packaging we do have at the market, like jars and egg cartons, to the farmers for reuse.

Once you return from the market, make sure to properly prep and store all produce, meats and breads to ensure lasting freshness and reduced spoilage. For instance, as I wrote in the Herald Sun last month, vegetables that tend to dry out, like greens, should be placed in a sealed plastic bag to protect against the moisture sapping refrigerator air.

Special Market Date!

It’s inevitable that you will create some food waste, such as peeled potato skins, broccoli stems and plate scraps. If you have a yard, consider composting: it is easy, inexpensive and will eventually provide you with an excellent source of nutrients for your garden. If you don’t have a yard, then you can still compost with vermicomposting or a subscription service like Compost Now. Tomorrow, Rhonda Sherman, an Extension Solid Waste Specialist, will be at the market to show shoppers how they can vermicompost, while she creates a bin for the South Durham Farmers’ Market!

And, of course, don’t forget to recycle! Durham Country has an excellent single-stream recycling program, so that you don’t even have to sort your recyclables.

I hope these tips will help you have a more sustainable holiday. After all, Thanksgiving is more than a day of excess; it is a time set aside to appreciate our good fortune, our community and the local harvest.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pizzeria Toro Owners Use Disaster to Feed Hungry Kids

Not even a fire can keep Pizzeria Toro from giving back to the Durham community that helped make it a successful business.

The Toro Dreams Of… series, community dinners hosted by Pizzeria Toro and The Cookery, will debut Monday evening, November 25 at The Cookery.

The dinners, which are slated to continue twice a month until Pizzeria Toro is able to re-open from the fire damage caused to their building in early November, will each showcase a different meal theme, with 100% of the proceeds going to a charitable cause. November 25th’s event is Toro Dreams of Spaghetti, and monies earned from sales of the $25 tickets, as well as bar sales, will be donated to the PORCH-Durham Backpack Buddies Program. Tickets can be purchased at online from Pizzeria Toro and The Cookery websites beginning at 5:00 pm today, and all guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations along with their ticket.

Toro Dreams of Spaghetti will be a traditional family-style three course dinner of handmade spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread and dessert. Guests have the opportunity to purchase hand crafted cocktails, wine and craft beer at The Cookery’s Front Room bar (with all bar proceeds being donated to PORCHDurham), and will be welcomed at the end of the meal to enjoy hot cocoa fireside on the outdoor patio.

“For us, our staff and even for many of our customers Pizzeria Toro is a second home. To lose that even temporarily, has left a void,” said Jay Owens, who owns Pizzeria Toro with his partners, Gray Brooks and Cara Stacy. “This is our opportunity to gather great people together for a greater cause and get back to something we love, feeding people.”

For Triangle locals, these events are also an opportunity to enjoy fare from Pizzeria Toro’s talented chefs, in a new setting, while also contributing to locals in need. Backpack Buddies, a hunger relief program sponsored by the Interfaith Food Shuttle and supported by PORCH-Durham, collects food to fill 448 backpacks for each weekend of the school year, allowing children who might not otherwise eat to have a weekend’s supply of nourishment.

“Opening up our doors for fun and casual, yet community-focused dinners with such a talented group is exciting,” said Rochelle Johnson, who owns The Cookery with her husband, Nick Hawthorne-Johnson. “Nick and I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with the Toro crew – the mission driven series is exactly what The Cookery loves to be a part of.”

When the pizzeria’s owners learned that the fire damage in their restaurant at Downtown Durham’s 105 East Chapel Hill Street building might keep them closed for a couple months, they knew that taking a break was not an option.

“This is an opportunity for us to give back to a community that has given so much to us,” said owner Cara Stacy.

Learn more about great restaurants an food events at www.durham-nc.com.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Durham's Second Liquor Producer Launches Product

Durham continues to grow as a major US food destination, and two entrepreneurs have chosen it to launch Mystic Bourbon Liqueur, a new specialty beverage company here. Mystic is second only to The Brother's Vilgalys who make Krupnikas in Durham.

Mystic began as a way for company founders Jonathan Blitz and Michael Sinclair to pursue their passion for fine spirits. “We both love bourbon,” said Blitz. Sinclair, a former professional brewer, had discovered a unique and easy-to-drink Scotch liqueur when he was tracing his family’s roots on the coast of Scotland.

The pair decided to bring a version of the product to market. With his wife, Sinclair refined the recipe instead using American bourbon whiskey, and incorporating more exotic botanicals.  “I knew they had created something really special, and I immediately wanted to share it with everyone,” Blitz said of his first taste of the result.

Blitz and Sinclair, who named their venture Barrister & Brewer after their professions, knew they needed help to get the business rolling. Luckily, they found a friend and mentor in Rimas Vilgalys at The Brothers Vilgalys Spirits Company in Durham. Vilgalys had a licensed facility, experience in obtaining approvals for the formulation and labeling of a new liquor, and he was happy to help. “Durham has been a great place for me to get started, so I wanted to pay that forward and help get Mystic off the ground,” Vilgalys said.

"Durham is such a vibrant start up community, and its food scene is just about the worst kept secret on earth," said Sam Poley, a retired chef who works for Durham's marketing agency. "Food entrepreneurs find a pretty welcoming crowd in Durham," Poley added.


Blitz and Sinclair have been humbled by the reception Triangle-wide, but apparently Durham has given them an exceptional welcome. "Frankly, we're kind of blown away by the reception in Durham. AlI I have to do is go into a restaurant and tell them I have a new, locally-made spirit, and they make a few minutes to speak with me. They are also usually willing to work with us to arrange a tasting so their customers can try it, too. That doesn't happen everywhere. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and helpful," Blitz said.

Blitz and Sinclair got their recipe federally approved, and the North Carolina ABC Commission indicated an interest in carrying the product in the state warehouse.  “We’re working full-time to keep the ABC Stores in the Triangle stocked,” said Sinclair.  The two are already working on approval for interstate sales, as well. “Now we’re working on building and audience by getting people to try it. We’d love for people to contact us on our Facebook page to give us ideas,” Blitz said.  The company’s Facebook page will be where they announce tasting events, too. The product is currently available in Durham, Franklin, Onslow, Orange and some Wake county ABC stores.


“It’s amazing how willing people are to try something new and local, and how fast their friends become customers as well,” Blitz added.  “We feel really lucky that people are enjoying the product. We’re going to make sure that we keep the same quality in every bottle.”


Check out the Durham Stuff website for other products made in Durham - a site on which Mystic will appear soon.


American Tobacco Holiday Ice Rink Opens Today

Entrepreneurs turning double axles, rival companies besting each other’s Besti squats and thousands enjoying icy fun are just some of the possibilities in Durham at American Tobacco’s newest can’t-miss attraction: The Ice Factory.

American Tobacco and the Carolina Hurricanes will launch the seasonal ice skating rink on Nov. 15 by transforming the historic campus’ new basketball arena The Cage. Dates, hours and other information below.

“The Canes know the importance of a good teammate and we are happy to partner with American Tobacco to bring the Ice Factory to the center of Durham’s holiday celebration,” says Doug Warf, vice president of marketing, Carolina Hurricanes.  

The new ice rink complements American Tobacco’s already popular holiday celebration including the Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge, Trosa Tree Lot, holiday train rides through Diamond View Park and American Tobacco’s annual Tower Lighting sponsored by University Ford & Kia.

“Each holiday season, our goal is to welcome as many people as possible to American Tobacco,” says Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “This year we’re expecting tens of thousands of guests to come to the campus for ice skating, singing, dancing, celebrating, community, philanthropy, theater and so much more as we kick off the campus’ 10th anniversary celebration in 2014.”

Below is a timeline of some holiday-oriented events at the American Tobacco Historic District:

The Ice Factory at The Cage - November 16 - January 30

  • Tuesday-Thursday: 4-9 pm
  • Friday: 4-11 pm
  • Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm
  • Sunday: Noon-5 pm
  • Closed Mondays
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • $10.00 per person/per session
Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge and American Tobacco Tower Lighting Schedule - Friday, December 6

  • Tower Lighting Program: 6-7 pm
  • Triangle Tree Challenge Lights and Voting Begins: 7-8 pm
    • Voting for Trees continues through December 20
    • Trees on Display through January 3
Special FREE Kids Programming @ The Trosa Tree Lot

  • Saturday, November 30: 1-3 pm
    • Ride the Train through Diamond View Park
  • Saturday, December 7: 1-3 pm
    • Ride the Train through Diamond View Park
    • Make a Holiday craft with the Scrap Exchange
  • Saturday, December 14: 1-3 pm
    • Ride the Train through Diamond View Park
    • Make a Holiday craft with the Scrap Exchange
Learn about more great things to do in Durham with the Durham Event Calendar.

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any other state in the country. In fact, in 1995, the sweet potato was officially designated as State Vegetable of North Carolina. Right now, sweet potatoes are in season and, because they store well, will be available at the farmers' market all winter long!

I used to think (please remember, I'm from north of North Carolina) that sweet potatoes were fairly uninspiring and un-versatile. I remember, as a child, eating huge hunks of baked sweet potatoes or a sticky, sweet mess of "candied yams" with a thick marshmallow topping. Having lived in North Carolina for lots of years now, I have learned that, not only are they delicious and nutritious, but also they are a actually a very versatile vegetable and can be used in lots of ways. I look forward to trying new ways to cook with them every year!

Last night, I had dinner at my parents house. My dad made Portuguese Kale Soup which is a really hearty winter soup that includes lots of kale, carrots, garlic, and potatoes. This is a pretty standard recipe in my parents house and because it is so packed with vegetables, my parents used to make this healthy soup when my sister and I got sick. This time, as he was making the soup, he went to the pantry to grab some potatoes and when he opened the door, found only a couple of sweet potatoes. So, because sweet potatoes are in season and my mom had gotten a bunch at the farmers' market, he decided to use them instead. It was an delicious substitution! It changed the color and the flavor of the broth in an excellent way. As we were enjoying this version, my dad declared that, in the future, he'll be using a combination of potatoes and sweet potatoes when he makes this soup.

In my experimentation with sweet potatoes, I have found that another good way to cook them is to roast them in the oven with coconut oil. My mom told me about this method, she loves combination of the flavor of the two. Below is a recipe from the New York Times which goes through the method how how to do it. But, according to my mother, just sweet potatoes, coconut oil and salt is enough! She says when she uses fresh sweet potatoes from the farmers' market, there is no need to add extra sugar.
Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

And finally, I recently learned a great tip for peeling sweet potatoes. The shape of sweet potatoes at the farmers' market can vary greatly. Our farmers grow lots of different varieties of sweet potatoes and their farms have many different types of soil which can have an effect of the shape of the tuber. Because of the variation in size and shape, peeling can be difficult. So, the way to get around that is to slice your sweet potatoes into rounds and then simply peel the round instead of having the deal with all of the nooks and crannies.

I hope that you are enjoying this year's crop as much as I am! If you have any great recipes for cooking sweet potatoes that you would like to share, please send them to me and I'll put them in the newsletter this fall and winter.

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Upcoming Events
Saturday November 23rd, 10am - Chef in the Market! Amy Tornquist & Matt Lardie from Watts Grocery will be cooking and sampling some Thanksgiving-y dishes!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2-5pm - PRE-THANKSGIVING MARKET! This year we'll be holding another special Market for you to stock up on the freshest, local food for your holiday meal. If you are looking for a local turkey, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders to holiday birds!
 
Saturday, November 30th - MARKET CLOSED. This is the one Saturday during the year when the Market closes. Have no fear! We'll be open all winter!
 
Saturday December 7th - WINTER HOURS BEGIN! This Saturday, the Market will switch to our Winter Hours and will be open weekly from 10am-Noon. We'll be open rain, snow, sleet or shine! And you'll get to meet some new vendors too!

Fresh this Week
FRUITS: Asian Persimmons, Scuppernong & Muscadine Grapes, 
VEGETABLES: RADICCHIO, SPINACH, Acorn Squash, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choi, Butterbeans, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards, Daikon, Delicata Squash, Fennel, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sorrel, Parsley), Frisee, Galangal, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, October Beans, Peppers, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Pumpkins, Purple Hull Peas, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Spaghetti Squash, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Tat Soi, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turmeric, Turnips, Turnop Greens, Winter Squash, and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Rabbit, Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses. 
PLANTS: Bedding, House, and Flower Plants. 
FLOWERS: Mixed Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Raw and Creamed Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool 
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...
Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week at the Market

  • Open Saturday 8am-Noon at Greenwood Commons 5410 Hwy 55
  • Education by Bull City Homebrew
  • In Season: cabbage, butternut squash, turnips, broccoli, rainbow chard, kale, yams, peppers and more!

The Perfect Meal Begins at SDFM
Our favorite time of year is coming up fast!  That time when elastic waistbands become de rigueur and leftovers are the newest culinary art form. And, we bet y'all are as excited as we are to share your local pride with family and friends. Below, we have listed our essential Thanksgiving ingredients, but don't feel like you have to wait until the big day to start enjoying these local treats.

Turkey 
Green Button Farm and Fickle Creek Farm are still taking orders for their pasture-raised heritage turkeys; these birds are prized for their intense flavor!  While you are at market, grab pork sausages from Walters Unlimited for cornbread and sausage stuffing or give guests options with roasts from Bull City Farms.

Eggs
Be they in Aunt Louise's famous cranberry casserole, deviled, or in pecan pie, eggs are the workhorses of a great family meal. Shorter, cooler days mean fewer eggs at market, so be sure to either arrive early on Saturday or reserve them for pickup at Tuesday’s Thanksgiving Market.

Special Market Date!



Collards and Greens
This is the perfect time of year to show your family that it IS easy being green. Cool nights have made our leafy vegetables tender and sweet. Many of our farmers have tables laden high with heaps of greens; Bushy Tail Farm and Dig It Farm have especially lovely mixes available right now.

Potatoes
At Thanksgiving, you can get away with multiple starchy veggies for both the main course and dessert. Luckily, SDFM has potatoes in just about every color (white, pink, blue, and sweet orange) ready to mash, roast, scallop, candy, bake or fry.

Cheese
Are you the person the family culinary gene skipped, but you still want to bring something fancy to the party? Prodigal Farm and Hillsborough Cheese Company have you covered with their wide selection of specialty cheeses, which are just the thing for creating a delicious cheese board. Add some thinly sliced and toasted local wheat bread from Ninth Street Bakery and bon app├ętit!

Lettuce
Fall brings crispy, spicy lettuces to balance the rich foods we crave when the weather is cool. We love Open Door Farm's lettuce with a simple Dijon vinaigrette and sliced green apples.

Desserts
Mommo's Sweet Potato Pie, people. Regular, low sugar, and gluten-free. Last year, Mika sold out in half an hour. This year she's bringing reinforcements, but it is best to reserve yours now. You've been warned.

Shopping Tip!   Don't wait for the Thanksgiving Market to gobble up all your goodies! Many ingredients will stay fresh if you buy them at market the Saturday before.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Durham-based Barley Labs Named Top Four Finalist for Superbowl Commercial

Don't be surprised if, while watching the Super Bowl with friends and devouring a tasty snack from a local restaurant or enjoying a sip of local beer, a TV ad for a Durham start-up rolls across the screen. For those wanting to see such an ad, well that's gonna take a little voting.  Once a day, every day until December 1.
Barley, Chief Inspiration Officer and
VP of Quality Control at Barley Labs in Durham

In other words, there's not much time!

Barley Labs LLC, a Durham-based small business that creates all-natural dog treats out of recycled barley from a Fullsteam Brewery, is in the Top Four of Intuit’s Small Business Big Game contest sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks.

“Being in the Top Four means possibility,” said Theresa Chu, co-owner of Barley Labs. “We started Barley Labs with the dream that we would be able to make a living doing what we loved and what we’re passionate about. Now that dream feels like a real possibility thanks to the Intuit Small Business Big Game contest.” Barley Labs fans can vote once a day from Nov. 11 through Dec. 1. 



“We’re still in awe that we were selected out of the almost 15,000 companies that entered the contest,” said Scott Beaudry, co-owner of Barley Labs. “We couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity to share our story and our business with dog and beer lovers across the country.”
Chu and Beaudry launched Barley Labs in September 2012, selling their beer-grain dog treats online and through local retailers. Beaudry came up with the idea shortly after his love for beer turned into an avid home brewing hobby.
"It seemed like such a waste to just toss all the leftover grain from the process," said Beaudry. "I did some research and found I could take that barley and turn it into dog treats. It only seemed fair that if I was making treats for myself, I might as well make some for my dog, too."
Barley Labs works with other local small businesses to create their dog treats. Fullsteam Brewery supplies the barley they use, and Cultured Cow Creamery supplies the cheddar for their cheese treats. Both companies are based in Durham. 
“Our local community is incredible,” said Chu. “From the support we've had from Fullsteam to the local retailers that added our bags to their shelves and the customers who trusted us to provide yummy treats for their dogs—we couldn't be more grateful.”
Chu and Beaudry’s dog Barley, who is also listed as the Chief Inspiration Officer and VP of Quality Control for Barley Labs, influenced another major aspect of the business.
"We adopted Barley in 2009 from an animal shelter, and she has given us so much love and joy ever since,” said Beaudry. "Currently, we donate 10 cents from every bag sold to a local shelter in Durham, but one of our major goals as we grow is to be able to expand that support to even more shelters in our area and across the country so that animals can find their forever homes. We hope Intuit’s Small Business Big Game contest helps us do just that.”+
To join the Small Business Big Game social conversation, share on Facebook and Twitter using #TeamSmallBiz. Full rules are available at online.
Durham is an entrepreneurial place. Learn more about its great start-up scene...and, in case you missed it above, vote for Barley here.

"Cue for a Cause" Nov 19 at Dickey's Barbecue Pit for NAMI Durham

Durham is a food town, for sure.  It is also home to people deeply passionate about helping others, and often food is the focal point of such efforts.  Last January, The Original Q Shack donated thousands of dollars to support NAMI in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy.

NAMI is continuing the effort to use food as the focal point for building awareness, as well as an opportunity to raise funds. “’Cue For A Cause,” is this coming Tuesday, November 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm at Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, 5318 New Hope Commons Dr.
The Durham location of this national operation will donate a percentage of its sales from the event to NAMI Durham, a local non-profit providing free advocacy, education, and support to community-members affected by mental illness.

Dorothy Smith, President of NAMI Durham, observed that “Unfortunately, it’s all too easy, as we look at the world around us, to see the stunning costs of a mental health care system that is terribly underfunded. Hopefully, folks will come out and support NAMI Durham in its ongoing efforts to improve both the quality and quantity of mental health care services available throughout our community. No donation is required and everyone’s got to eat somewhere that night, so please come out, have a great meal with us, and help make our community a healthier and happier place to live!” Learn more about NAMI online.

Durham is a great community that loves its food so much it built a website to tell the world that #DurhamIsTastiest, and uses that hashtag, along with #DurhamFood to show the world the great dishes Durham diners are enjoying.


Friday, November 8, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers Market

TOMORROW AT MARKET
Last week, I briefly talked about how the frost turns certain vegetables sweeter. I knew that it was a often talked about phenomenon and I have even tasted it, but I didn't know the science behind the sweetness. This week, I took some time to delve a little bit deeper into that topic.
 
Old ladies, experienced farmers, and seed catalogs all say that certain varieties of in the Brassica family (Kale, Collards, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage to name a few) are "sweeter after the frost". Author Steve Solomon explains in his book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades that the sweetness in the vegetables is a physiological response to cold weather. He says, crops like kale and collards "increase the amount of sugars and other substances in their cells. This sugar solution acts like an anti-freeze." The increased sugars protect the plant and delight the eater!

Carrots and other root vegetables also benefit from increased sweetness with the frost. Unlike the greens which produce extra sugars, carrots convert their starches into sugars for a similar protective effect. In his book Four Season Harvest, author Eliot Coleman says "the effect of cold temperatures on root sweetness turns normal carrots into 'candy' carrots".

In an email interchange that I had with Norm Budnitz from Four Leaf Farm, he helped to explain the science behind the increased sugars and the anti-freeze effect. Norm told me that as the sugar increases in the plants, it helps to "lower the freezing point of the water in the cells". He goes on to say that, "when the outside temperature dips below 32F, the water [in the plants] stays liquid and the cells don't burst." He also used the analogy of sea water to help explain the protective effect that the increased sugars which are in solution with the water molecules has in these plants. He said that "sea water, full of dissolved salt, freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water".

As the weather gets colder and more frosts occur, try and take a mental note of how the flavor of vegetables change in response to the weather! It is fascinating to me how many factors change the flavor of the foods that we eat - soil, elevation, geology, water, temperature. Every single farm that sells their vegetables, meats and other goods has slightly different conditions on their farms and the vegetables and meats pick up these flavors, the terroir. It certainly makes eating locally grown foods exciting and a constant learning experience. The Durham Farmers' Market has maintained it commitment to offering you great, local foods for the past 15 years and we will keep doing it for many, many years to come!

With wintertime around the corner, the Market will soon be changing to Winter Hours. Below is are some important dates to remember as the winter comes...
 
2013 FALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, November 26th, 2-5pm - PRE-THANKSGIVING MARKET! This year we'll be holding another special Market for you to stock up on the freshest, local food for your holiday meal. If you are looking for a local turkey, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders to holiday birds!
 
Saturday, November 30th - MARKET CLOSED. This is the one Saturday during the year when the Market closes. Have no fear! We'll be open all winter!
 
Saturday December 7th - WINTER HOURS BEGIN! This Saturday, the Market will switch to our Winter Hours and will be open weekly from 10am-Noon. We'll be open rain, snow, sleet or shine! And you'll get to meet some new vendors too!

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
Follow DFM on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Upcoming Events
Saturday Novmeber 9th, 9am - Noon - Storytelling! Local storyteller Cynthia Raxter will be spinning tales for all ages! She'll be telling stories about Thanksgiving on the farm on Sassafras Mountain.

Saturday November 23rd, 10am - Chef in the Market! Amy Tornquist & Matt Lardie from Watts Grocery will be cooking and sampling some Thanksgiving-y dishes!

Mark your calendars!! TUESDAY NOVEMBER 26th - Pre-Thanksgiving Market, 2-5pm! Stock up with your local needs for your holiday meal. Also, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders for Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Fresh this Week....
FRUITS: Persimmons - Native & Asian Varietues, Scuppernong & Muscadine Grapes,
VEGETABLES: SPINACH, TURNIP GREENS, MUSTARD GREENS, TAT SOI, CABBAGE, Acorn Squash, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choi, Butterbeans, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards, Daikon, Delicata Squash, Fennel, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sorrel, Parsley), Frisee, Galangal, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, October Beans, Peppers, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Pumpkins, Purple Hull Peas, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Spaghetti Squash, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turmeric, Turnips, Winter Squash, Zucchini, and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Rabbit, Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit, Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
PLANTS: Bedding, House, and Flower Plants.
FLOWERS: Mixed Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Raw and Creamed Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week at the Market

  • Open 8am-Noon o Saturdays in Greenwood Commons, 5410 Hwy 55
  • Education: Johanna Schaaper on planting gardens for the Monarch butterfly
  • Music: Kaitlin Payne
  • Fresh this Week: Carrots, Cabbage, Turnips, Green Onions, Kale, Radishes, Sweet Potatoes and more.

We Need Your Feedback!
It is time for the Second Annual SDFM Customer Survey! We are a young farmers' market, and we need your feedback to help us meet the needs of our community. The survey should only take ten minutes to complete. From everyone at SDFM, thanks for your continued support!

Special Market Date!

Get it While it's Hot: Ginger
The point at which a fruit or vegetable is harvested makes all the difference in its flavor, and this holds especially true with baby ginger root.

The last few weeks you might have noticed the beautiful creamy colored pink-tipped roots overflowing the basket on Sassafras Fork Farm’s table. This root looks substantially different from the brown, thick-skinned ginger available at your local grocery store. This is because baby ginger is harvested 3-4 months earlier than the mature ginger at the store, and while it still possesses heat, the young'un doesn't require any peeling.

The tenderness of baby ginger lends the root especially well to pickling and candying. In fact, this weekend Two Chicks Farms will be bringing jars of sweet and spicy pickled carrots n’ ginger to the market. To satisfy a sweet tooth, you can easily make candied ginger, which has the benefit of preserving your ginger for weeks to come.

To ensure a ready supply of local baby ginger, stock up now. This is the last week Sassafras Fork has ginger, and S&H Farm will have your ginger needs covered for just a little while longer. Whatever roots you can’t use immediately, just place in a zip-lock bag and freeze. You will thank your past self when you are munching on extra zesty gingerbread in December, sipping hot teas in January, and spooning Thai soup in February.

Also, fresh ginger will certainly help you celebrate the obscure, but no less awesome Cook Something Bold Day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sustainable Agriculture Conference Nov 15-17

It was just last April when Durham earned the title Tastiest Town in the South from Southern Living magazine, and it's a pretty well-known fact that Durham has great food.  Now, that food scene is attracting some of foods most forward thinking folks; local and sustainable agriculture experts will soon be converging on Durham to share tips, tricks and wisdom.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s 28th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, happening in Durham, NC at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel Nov. 15-17, 2013, will feature over 70 food and farm workshops, farm tours by bus, hands-on intensives, and locally sourced, organic meals.

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is one of the oldest and largest conferences of its kind in the U.S.  The 2011 Conference, also held in Durham, brought together more than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, foodies, and agriculture professionals to learn about the latest in sustainable farming methods, community gardening, cooking with local ingredients, and food policy activism.

“The local and sustainable food scene across the Carolinas is positively electric and the momentum continues to grow.  The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is at the heart of the local food and farming movement,” says Roland McReynolds, CFSA’s Executive Director.  He adds, “As always, we put our ideals on your plate with incredible, organic food supplied by local farmers at all of the conference meals, including the not-to-be-missed Local Foods Feast.”

This year’s conference boasts exciting tracks devoted to growing organic produce, pastured livestock, soils, beginning farmers, foodies, policy, and a ‘You Make It - Outdoors and Hands-on’ track.  The Conference features renowned speakers, such as fermentation guru, Sandor Katz, Rodale Institute’s Jeff Moyer, Growing for Market magazine’s Lynn Byczynski, author and food systems expert, Phillip Ackerman-Leist, and Michael Bush, author of The Practical Beekeeper.

Some of the more innovative and unique presentations at this year’s Conference include growing cut flowers, soldier fly production, raising goats, urban orcharding, hands-on farm hacking, mob grazing, farm to restaurant table, raising rabbits, lazy beekeeping, and permaculture.  In addition, classes on basic farm planning, marketing and management will give beginning farmers the skills they need to be successful.  This year, for the first time, the conference features “Big Ideas” talks in which top speakers will discuss provocative subjects, such as Climate Change and Farming, Faith and Agriculture, and Healthy Food Access.

The Friday, Nov. 15 Pre-conference features hands-on, intensive workshops on organic production, pastured poultry, food safety, mushrooms, food policy and foodsheds, and permaculture.  A very special intensive taught by Sandor Katz will teach participants the secrets of fermentation.  There will also be half-day bus tours to some of the most beautiful and successful sustainable farms and gardens in the Piedmont.
One of the highlights of the event is the Local Food Feast and Keynote, to be held on Nov. 15 starting at 6:30 PM.  This magical meal is made with only the best in-season, sustainably grown ingredients supplied by local farms.  This year’s keynote speaker is Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible” and the newly released, The Art of Fermentation.  Katz is also the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, an exploration of America’s underground food movements. Sandor is a much sought-after speaker and thought-leader.  He lives on a farm in Tennessee.

For a complete list of conference offerings or to register for the conference, pre-conference intensives or tours, or the Local Food Feast, all of which are open to the public, please visit them online

Learn more about agritourism in Durham.

Friday, November 1, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

TOMORROW AT MARKET
It's official, the summer growing season is over! The heavy frost that most of the area experienced last weekend, killed off the last of the summer, non-hardy crops. When I say "non-hardy", I mean the crops that can't withstand the frosts, for instance tomatoes, basil, zucchini, eggplant, etc. But, there are LOTS of vegetables that survive and thrive with colder weather and frosty nights and mornings! For instance farmers say (and eaters agree) that carrots and collards both get better when they are "kissed by the frost". Both seem to get sweeter as the weather gets colder. I don't know the chemistry behind this, but I think it has to do with the sugars in the crops becoming concentrated during the cold night. Don't quote me on that, though. For the rest of the fall and winter, there will be lots of greens, root vegetables and storage crops!

One fall/winter crop that has made an early appearance is Brussels sprouts! Usually, Brussels sprouts don't make their first appearance until the week of Thanksgiving. Farmers have told me that this summer and fall's growing conditions have been particularly good for Brussels. The weather this summer, when the plants were started, wasn't as oppressively hot and humid as usual and the fall has been slightly cooler than normal. Brussels sprouts need a longer period of cool weather in order to fully mature. So, it's looking like this year will be a good year for Brussels sprouts!!

Even though the nights are cooler and more frosts are ahead, there are still some farmers that will have a limited amount of summer time crops. As usual, farmers are innovative and always thinking of new ways to extend the seasons. Some of them are still growing tomatoes, green beans and peppers in greenhouses and they will continue to be a small supply of these things for the next few months.

With wintertime around the corner, the Market will soon be changing to Winter Hours. Below is are some important dates to remember as the winter comes...

2013 FALL SCHEDULE
Tuesday, November 26th, 2-5pm - PRE-THANKSGIVING MARKET! This year we'll be holding another special Market for you to stock up on the freshest, local food for your holiday meal. If you are looking for a local turkey, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders to holiday birds!

Saturday, November 30th - MARKET CLOSED. This is the one Saturday during the year when the Market closes. Have no fear! We'll be open all winter!

Saturday December 7th - WINTER HOURS BEGIN! This Saturday, the Market will switch to our Winter Hours and will be open weekly from 10am-Noon. We'll be open rain, snow, sleet or shine! And you'll get to meet some new vendors too!

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
Follow DFM on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Upcoming Events
Saturday November 23rd, 10am - Chef in the Market! Amy Tornquist & Matt Lardie from Watts Grocery will be cooking and sampling some Thanksgiving-y dishes!

Mark your calendars!! TUESDAY NOVEMBER 26th - Pre-Thanksgiving Market, 2-5pm! Stock up with your local needs for your holiday meal. Also, Fickle Creek Farm is now taking orders for Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Fresh this Week....
FRUITS: Persimmons - Native & Asian Varietues, Scuppernong & Muscadine Grapes, Raspberries, Asian Pears
VEGETABLES: PEANUTS, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CARROTS, FENNEL, DAIKON RADISH, WATERMELON RADISH,  Acorn Squash, Arugula, Beets, Bitter Gourd, Broccoli, Bok Choi, Butterbeans, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards, Cucumbers, Delicata Squash, Edamame, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Basil, Catnip, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sorrel, Parsley, Roselle), Eggplant, Frisee, Galangal, Green Beans, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabil, Lambs Quarter, Lettuce, Malabar Spinach, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, October Beans, Peppers, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Pumpkins, Purple Hull Peas, Radishes, Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Spaghetti Squash, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Turmeric, Turnips, Zucchini, and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Rabbit, Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
PLANTS: Bedding, House, and Flower Plants.
FLOWERS: Tuberose, Celosia, Gomphrena, Dahlia, Zinnia, Mixed Bouquets
SPECIALTY ITEMS: RAW HONEY, creamed Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week at the Farmers' Market

  • 8am-Noon at Greenwood Commons 5410 Highway 55 Durham, NC 27713
  • Education by Kelly McMullen on GMos
  • Music by Victoria Petermann on guitar with vocals
  • In season: squash, carrots, potatoes, greens, radishes, onions, garlic, broccoli and more!

The Farmers' Plot
While we may be enjoying the fruits of the autumn harvest and are ready to let our clocks fall back this weekend, farmers are springing ahead, preparing now for crops that won’t be realized until April or later. They have been busy all October restoring their soil, planting fruits and vegetables for overwintering and sowing cover crops.  And, all this work needs to get done before the ground begins to frost regularly.

The land has been providing nutrients all spring and summer to feed the hungry tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other ravenous warm weather plants. In order to do it all over again next year, the tilth of the soil needs to be restored. Our farmers are adding lots of mulched organic matter consisting of shredded vegetation, manure, compost and even fallen leaves. Mulch enriches the soil with nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, increases soil moisture and creates a hospitable environment for beneficial microbes. As they mulch, the farmers are rebuilding and tidying their raised beds, making sure the soil is not too compact and remains properly aerated.

 Once their rows are ready, farmers plant crops that can overwinter, ensuring that they will have fruits and vegetables ready for market in early spring. Down 2 Earth and Vollmer Farm have already been energetically planting their strawberries for next year. Our floral vendors, like Sassafras Fork and McAdams, are also occupied with spring planning. They must inter their flowering bulbs before the ground is too hard for the bulb to develop a root system. Parker Farm & Vineyard and Open Door Farm are doing the same with their garlic cloves and onions.

And, if there are any unoccupied beds, our farmers have already seeded them with cover crops like clover, rye and oats, which have by now germinated. Cover crops are sometimes intended for consumption, but more often they simply make the nitrogen in the soil more accessible, prevent erosion and reduce weed takeover. Once the farmer is ready to plant again, the cover crop is raked back into the earth, providing one last service as it decomposes and further enriches the soil.

After all this hard work, our farmers still get up early on Saturday and come to market. At least they too will get an extra hour of sleep this weekend.