Wow. Carrboro farmers' market is what an outdoor market should be. I'm so impressed, I can barely find the words! I'm so happy I checked it out this morning.
The market is laid out roughly in the shape of a baseball diamond with the paths from home to first base and from third base to home covered by a roof. (That's the first and only time I'll use a baseball-related explanation on this blog.) The rest of the path is lined with individual tents. It's definitely big enough to spend some time strolling around before you decide what to buy.
Central Market will always have a spot in my heart, but this place was pretty dang cool. I saw a few stands specializing in non-food products like beautiful wooden boxes, fresh flowers and glazed pottery, but most stands (I'd say probably 95% of them) sold food. I saw everything from homemade string cheese and local wine to pasture-grazed meats and baked goods. I honestly doubt I've ever seen that much produce at one time before. I saw varieties of peppers I'd never heard of and enough heirloom tomatoes to keep Barbara Kingsolver happy for months. One stand even offered while-you-wait fire-roasted peppers! We took home zucchini, cute orange cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob, garlic, and early-season apples. All the vendors come from North Carolina, and judging from the map, they all work within a 50-mile radius of Carrboro. Pretty cool!
My only complaint is that there were so many stands selling produce that I don't know how a person would ever figure out the best place to buy something he or she buys every week, like tomatoes. In fact, there were so many stands selling tomatoes that I don't know how I'd even keep their prices straight to figure out the best bargain! I guess people just go with a budget and buy what looks good. I suppose I could get used to that.