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Jul 13, 2007

Hoping for Prepared Foods at the Durham Farmer's Market

My friend Yvette shared this letter that she sent to the Durham Farmer's Market, and I volunteered to reprint it here as a local editorial.

Hello Durham Farmer's Market,

We are proud to live in Durham and have such a vibrant and living farmer's market to support, which in turn supports us with healthy produce, beautiful plants, tasty treats.

Our family loves to travel and we love farmer's markets, so no wonder the market is always our first destination in a new city or country.  We have been to some amazing ones, and find that what makes a good market great include variety of farm fresh items, some prepared food for sustenance and to top it all off, music to keeps your toes tapping.

The only ingredient we find missing at our Durham Farmer's Market is prepared food.  We love when a local restaurant sets up with samples and recipes using market ingredients, but we'd be happy to purchase food and hang out, listen to music and meet friends.

In our travels, we've enjoyed a variety of tasty eats at local farm market's:

  • Home-made tacos, hand-crafted breads at the Dublin's Temple Bar Bio Market (also a great muesli and granola vendor)
  • Made to order crepes at the Noordermarket (Bio) in Amsterdam
  • Mexican, South-American, Caribbean cuisine and more at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market in California (also with pony rides and pony ride protesters)
  • Vegan burritos at the Organic Farmer's Market in Berkeley, Calf.

I understand that the Durham Farmer's Market may be going for a more traditional "farm market" sensibility, it is also a community gathering place and could be the best place to go for a meal in Durham if we allowed it to be.  I don't in any way mean to take away from all the hard work and integrity of the farmer's that sell there, they are of course the reason we attend the market year round.

Adding chefs and delicious food to the mix creates a vitality and symbiosis that make buying local and preparing fresh food exciting!  What to do with all those zucchinis?  Ask a chef!  Have some vendors as regulars selling prepared food (even 1 or 2 would be great); and sometimes having chefs or restaurants do a special appearance would also be wonderful.

Yvette Yasui

01:58 AM in Editorial | Permalink


But But But...I've had sample food from restaurants at the Durham Farmer's market! They do have them come in! (I don't know how often, but last week there was a "tomato-testing" at 9:30 a.m. I went home before it happened, but it sounded cool)

And there ARE vendors selling prepared food. Mostly light, breakfasty food, but maybe that's because the market is in the mornings. In fact, last weekend I went to the market sans prior coffee so I could get some there. I could have had a variety of muffins, fried pies, cheese straws, and more.

But she's right. It's hardly a meal.

Posted by: Stew | Jul 17, 2007 7:38:03 AM

Oh, and Marianne can back me up on the restaurants actually having samples. I was with her when that happened! (My n of going to the DFM = 3 so far, with one day of restaurant samples, 3 of prepared foods and 1 of tomato testing)

Posted by: Stew | Jul 17, 2007 7:39:57 AM

They do have some sort of limit on the number of non-farmed-type product booths. A friend of mine ran into that when she wanted to sell bread there. The separate craft market also (I think) has such a limitation. Maybe what we need is a separate handmade food market. :)

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas | Jul 17, 2007 9:26:06 AM