Where to Buy Locally Grown Produce
If you do not or cannot grow your own food and you enjoy eating fresh food, at some point you realize just how important it is to sustain our local growers, harvesters and fresh food distributors. While a catch phrase like Farm to Table sounds like a simple concept, the reality is a bit more challenging and is much more involved than this slightly romantic notion. In reality, the local food entrepreneur needs many hands, a good dose of brains, just the right weather and an adventuresome spirit.
Getting that fresh, local food to your table still takes many steps. The crop must be harvested and the highly perishable product presented to you for retail purchase. Fortunately, many local farms sell directly from stands by the side of the road, while others carry their commodities to local farm markets where you can support multiple businesses in one clean-eating swoop. Wherever you choose to buy, your money directly supports local producers and their families.
A drive along U.S. 158 through Currituck County will reveal numerous farm markets right along the roadside. Stop by for fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits plus many other locally made food products and baked goods. A few are also off the beaten path; you’ll have to see these out but they’re worth it.
Coinjock Creek Farms: Most of our local growers are just a short drive away from the beach, and one hidden jewel is Coinjock Creek Farms in Maple. Head straight to the farm or do your shopping at the Downtown Waterfront Market on South Water Street in Elizabeth City, every Saturday through October from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Directions: At the Barco intersection with N.C. 168, take N.C. 168 north 3 miles. Turn left onto Maple Road (post office on the left, pink shed in the curve). They are half- mile on the right. Look for the sign. 180 Maple Road, Maple, North Carolina. coinjockcreek.com
The Egg Place: Fresh brown eggs from happy free range hens. With a tagline like that, how could you not want to try these eggs? Donna and Ronnie Keene of Maple have set up the perfect home environment for their flock of fowl and they invite folks to contact them and then swing by for a dozen or more. Fresh flowers, rain barrels, pussy willow branches, flower seeds from their gardens and homemade bath soaks, scrubs and soap are also available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (252) 453-4850 to arrange a time to pick up your treats. Like them on facebook.
Roberts Ridge: Pick up more ears of corn than you will know what to do with from family-owned and -operated Roberts Ridge Farm Market. They are only open from mid-June until the first week in August. It’s located at the intersection of U.S. 158 and Indiantown Road (the one at the blinking light). 501 N. Indiantown Rd., Shawboro.252-336-2691.
Seaside Farm Market
A complete selection of local, in-season produce, locally made jams, sauces, cheeses and fresh herbs. They also carry local seafood, wine and beer. 787 Sunset Blvd., Timbuck II, Corolla, 252-453-8285, seasidefarmmarket.com
Kill Devil Hills
This produce stand offers local fruits and vegetables plus some of the other produce that’s not local but sometimes necessary (avocados, pineapple, etc). They also sell local honey, eggs and baked goods. 3105 N. Croatan Hwy., milepost 5.5, Kill Devil Hills
OBX Farmer’s Market
Open seasonally, from June through August, the Pierces only sell North Carolina–grown produce and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 pm. 2424 S. Croatan Hwy., South Beach Plaza, milepost 10.5, Nags Head. 252-480-5779
Nags Head Produce
Next to Austin’s Seafood Market, Nags Head Produce offers a variety of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables plus a variety of jam and jellies and seasonings. 3711 S. Croatan Hwy., milepost 12.5, Nags Head.
Manteo Farmers’ Market
The Manteo Market is a farmers’ type market selling home grown, home baked and home made products. Held every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until noon, the market is located in downtown Manteo at George Washington Creef Park, adjacent to the Maritime Museum. You’ll find locally made jams, jellies, produce, sea salt, gourmet popsicles, handcrafts and more. 205 Fernando Street, Manteo
Coastal Harvesters’ Market
Hatteras Farmers Market for Coastal Harvesters, a local food nonprofit, is held on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Beach Klub in Avon, just south of the Avon Pier on N.C. 12. Coastal Harvesters, Inc. sponsors the market and is dedicated to making fresh, local foods available to Outer Banks communities. Local crafts are also prominently displayed.
Sticky Bottom Produce
If you are heading to Hatteras Village, or maybe you need to catch a ferry to Ocracoke, stop by and support the good folks at Sticky Bottom Produce. Open since 2010 as part of the Lee Robinson General Store family business, the produce stand is named after its location, a place locals refer to as Sticky Bottom. Local produce, homemade fig preserves and seasonal treats are available just until fall. 58372 Highway 12, Hatteras, 252-986-1037
Keep a lookout for pick-your-own blueberry farms in Currituck County, Tyrrell County or Hyde County. Now is the time to pick fresh ripe blueberries. Be sure to pick enough to last you through the winter as blueberries freeze well.
What’s Fresh & Local Right Now
Seafood: Brown Shrimp, Blue Crabs, Clams, Sea Mullet, Pompano, Tuna, Wahoo, Flounder
Produce: Watermelon, Cantaloupes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Butter Beans, Mattamuskeet Sweet Onions, Squash, Eggplant