Saturdays are better at the Farmers’ Market

Sidy Toure from Red Hibiscus Cafe, showS off some of his handmade crafts at the Durham Farmers' Market. (Staff photo by Arielle Cummings)


 

Saturday! The day that everyone looks forward to. What better way to enjoy a relaxing Saturday morning, than at the Durham Farmers’ Market?

The market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. April through November and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. December through March. The market also offers a mid-week market, mid-April – mid-October, Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. at 501 Foster St in Durham.

The Durham Farmers’ Market mission is to bring people together to revel in the unique food and culture of downtown Durham. The market not only provides access to fresh food for the community, but is also a place where consumers can find amazing art and crafts.

“We Wanted to make sure that everyone in our Community has access to natural food resources,” said Mary Yost the Durham Farmers’ Market Manager.

In other words, this is not your ordinary farmer’s market. In fact, the Durham Farmers’ Market is so committed to making sure that all families have access to fresh food that they have started accepting SNAP.

“We wanted people in the Durham community to have access to accessible and affordable goods,” said Mary Yost.

SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a federal nutrition program that offers low income individuals and families nutrition assistance.

Beaded jewelry from the Red Hibiscus Cafe collection. (Staff photo by Arielle Cummings)

The market started accepting SNAP/EBT in 2014. The system goes as follows: you have to first decide how much to spend at the market. Then you go to the information table, located at the center of the pavilion, and tell the staff member how much you want to spend. The staff member will swipe your card and give you a wooden token/s that are equivalent to $1.

The Market has even gone as far as to match what you spend. It’s called Double Bucks’. With Double Bucks’, for every $10 a SNAP customer spends, they will receive $20 worth of tokens to spend on fresh produce.

And don’t worry, people don’t have to use all of the tokens in one day; they can save the tokens and spend them on another day at the market. The tokens never expire.

The Durham Farmers’ Market has been serving the Durham community since 1999, and with more than 65 vendors selling everything from fresh food to art, any visitor is bound to have a fun Saturday morning.

Imagine this: walking down Foster Street at 9:30 in the morning, and before heading straight into the pavilion to buy some fresh food, you have a little taste of liquid sunshine from Romanztea.  Or maybe instead of some sweat tea, have a taste of some organic ginger lemonade from E. Clement Swan, creator of Motherland, an organic and vegan healthy foods retailer.

Kia Eason of Eason Designs shows a customer some of her jewelry. (Staff photo by Arielle Cummings)

Sipping on a nice ice-cold beverage while walking down Foster Street, people can see arts and crafts galore. That first step into the Durham Craft Market where everything from pottery to jewelry to fashionable clothing are right at your fingertips.

You could just stop over at Geek Chic Fashion, and take a look at Lysandra Weber’s collection of “Geeky” fashion.  Webber started geek chic fashion for women who have busy lives, but want to look good and feel comfortable. Geek Chic Fashion offers stylish jersey skirts and tops that are comfortable, versatile and chic. Webber’s clothing allows your wardrobe to go from work to Play, without even having to go home to change.

You may even go see N.C. Central University Alumni Kia Eason, owner of Eason Designs and talk to her about her hand crafted jewelry. Eason love for jewelry goes back as far as kindergarten.  Eason makes every unique piece of jewelry as if she was making it to add to her personal collection.

“I guess… in case it doesn’t sell I can keep it for myself” said Eason.

Although that’s not the case.

Eason has been with the Durham Craft Market from the start and has enjoyed all the different people that she meets at the Craft Market.

Clothing from the bstill designer Johnny Brown. (Staff photo by Arielle Cummings)

Speaking of Alumni, once you have had your fill of the Crafts Market, feel free to stop by the Art and Food Market, located on Foster Street, and see Johnny Brown.  Brown, the creator of Bstill clothing, who graduated from NCCU has started his own business. Selling clothing that is all about being true to who you are and the things that make you unique. Brown has created apparel for the creative and forward- thinking individual.

Just imagine you have four hours to go to not only Romanztea or Geek Chic Fashion, but over 65 other venders as well. So don’t ponder on what you are going to do Saturday, instead think about grabbing your friends and enjoying a food, music, fun filled day at the Durham Farmers’ Market.

 

Arielle Cummings is a senior journalism major at N.C. Central University, serving this fall as a writer-photographer for the Durham VOICE.