What’s been going on!
Forty springs means a lot of produce and flowers have passed through the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. Yes this year is the Market’s 40th season! It is sometimes hard to imagine that a group of farmers could consistently organize themselves and set up every Saturday for that many years and do it so well. Now Peregrine Farm hasn’t been there from the beginning, we are only in our 33rd year, but we can completely appreciate the effort that has gone into starting and building the institution that the Carrboro Market is.
For those who don’t remember, our first 17 years were in the parking lot on Roberson St. behind the Armadillo Grill. That location was just leased from Carr Mill and when they decided they might sell it we worked closely with the Town to find a new permanent home for what had become an essential element in the fabric of the Town of Carrboro. We knew that we needed to stay near Downtown but a location could be hard to find. Fortunately the old ball field next to Town Hall (which used to be the elementary school) was available to become a town park. It took nearly eight years from the first discussions, through design meetings, to fund raising efforts and finally construction before we moved to the Town Commons in 1996.
I was President of the market Board leading up to and during the move and we were ecstatic with our new permanent home. It was a tight fit as we had grown to an 80 space market but working with the Town it all worked out. 23 years later I am once again President of the board as we prepare to move back into the newly renovated market space after 5 long winter months. The improvements are vast. One of the biggest goals was to improve the drainage and grass so that it does not become a muddy moonscape after rains. They have buried huge drain pipes and graded in such a way to catch all the water. The grassed areas under where vendor’s trucks and displays will be have been reinforced with a special grid to hopefully prevent wear and tear. New water permeable walkways, a bathroom building, new playground and market storage building, new lighting and electrical hookups for the vendors that need power. Refurbished shelters and gazebo to make it all more usable for special events both for the Market and other Town events. It will be awesome!
Technically the construction is done this week but we cannot move onto the new grass until April 14th so that it has adequate time to become solidly rooted and can take truck traffic. Until then the good news is that the new parking lots will be open as well as the bathroom building. We will be able to park some vendors in the south side parking lot and near the playground but will probably still have a few folks in the main parking lot next to Town Hall.
Just as our amazing customers and market supporters followed us from Roberson Street to the Town Commons 23 years ago, we have been equally proud and appreciative of how they have been flexible and unfazed during this renovation chaos! It is only a short time now and just in time for the blooming of the spring market. Join us next week April 7th for the official ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m.
Picture of the Week
The ground breaking for building the Town Commons in 1995, Alex on the left was 15 😉
What’s going to be at the market?
Last 9:00 market this week. Next week, April 7th we open at 7:00 a.m.!
For Easter lots of Ranunculus in orange, yellow and reds. Anemones continue on with their delicate blues, pinks and reds.
Little Gem lettuce is back for the spring! And more of Radishes too.
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you. Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie
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