Food, Crafts and Friends, Oh My!

Eva Green sits bundled up, surrounded by her handmade baskets at the Durham Farmer’s Market. Her mother taught her the craft of basket weaving.

By Brianna Rolfe
UNC Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE


Locally grown fruits and vegetables, natural soaps and crafts lined the perimeter of The Pavilion at Durham Central Park, Nov. 17.

Every Saturday at 501 Foster St. from 8 a.m. until noon, the Durham Farmer’s Market attracts a crowd of people in search of local foods and crafts. Beginning in December, the times will change 10 a.m. until noon to account for the colder weather.

The vendors filling the park consist of local Durham residents who continue to set up booths every Saturday, year after year. “I have been selling baskets here for 14 or 15 years,” said Eva Green, a local woven basket maker. “I came to the market back when it was over at the old ball park,” she said.

The market used to be located in the parking lot of the Durham Bulls Stadium located on Morris Street.

Green is one of the many vendors at the market who sells items other than locally grown foods.

Green uses all natural dyes for the colors of the reeds she uses to make her baskets. “I use walnuts, onion skins, beets and berries to make the different colors,” said Green.

Green explained the reasons why she decided to begin making baskets and selling them. “My mom taught me how to basket weave as a child,” said Green. She kept up the hobby, which eventually turned into a business for her.

Moon Dance Soaps, a local business, continues to return to the market to sell their goods. Rachel DuBois owns the business, which is located just over the Durham County line in Raleigh. Jennifer Olinger, who managed the booth Nov. 17, said, “ Rachel has owned the business for 10 years where she works out of a two-car garage.”

David Fruchteneicht talks with a customer about his 100 percent beeswax candles. This is the tenth year of selling his goods at the market.

Crafters at the market use natural, organic materials to make their homemade items. “We use natural butters and oils for our soaps,” said Olinger of Moon Dance Soaps. “We try to use organic and local when possible and we use a cold process to make our soaps,” Olinger said.

David Fruchteneicht, another craft vendor at the market, sold candles in the shapes of animals and other assorted objects. Fruchteneicht said, “I have been coming to the market for 10 years.” He, like other vendors, uses organic products to make his candles. “I use pure beeswax poured into molds,” said Fruchteneicht.

Some businesses such as Fruchteneicht’s only sell at the market. “I only sell here and I do it on a smaller scale than some of the other vendors,” said Fruchteneicht.

People browsed through all of the fresh foods and crafts displayed on tables as they walked by. Each of the sellers present at the market explained the processes behind their crafts or spoke about where the foods are grown and how they are grown if asked.

The Durham Farmer’s Market provides an outlet to purchase organic, local foods for people all throughout the community. The market provides a place for urban communities like Northeast Central Durham to have access to healthy, fresh food options, according to the Durham Farmer’s Market website.

All of the produce and foods come from within a 70 mile radius of Durham, according to the website. The goal is to raise awareness of food sustainability and to support local craftsmen and farmers, according to the website.