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Featured Oral History Project: Carrboro Farmers’ Market

Photo by Ashley Young
Photo by Ashley Young

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market (CFM) in Carrboro, North Carolina, has long been a place where consumers can purchase fresh produce, pastured meat, and homemade prepared foods from local farmers and artisans. Founded in 1979, the CFM is now considered one of the top markets in the South and a model for markets nationwide.

Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm. Photo by Kate Medley.
Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm. Photo by Kate Medley.

The CFM is nestled next to the Carrboro Town Hall, barely a mile from the bustling center of the UNC campus. Having grown out of its original location in the 1990s, today the market spans a converted baseball field, where as many as 65 vendors set up shop on Saturdays year-round, as well as every Wednesday during peak season.

Stanley Hughes of Pine Knot Farm. Photo by Kate Medley.
Stanley Hughes of Pine Knot Farm. Photo by Kate Medley.

Not only are all CFM goods made or grown within a fifty-mile radius, but the market also takes pride in its stipulation that the farmers and artisans themselves be present at the market to sell their goods. Over the years, CFM vendors like Alex and Betsy Hitt have developed long-term friendships and working relationships with their customers, who range from storyteller Carla Shuford to chef Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner, who can often be seen pedaling his bike the handful of blocks between Crook’s and the CFM.

Click here to peruse the 20 oral histories that make up the Carrboro Farmers’ Market oral history project.

— Sara Camp Arnold, Southern Foodways.org

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
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