Carrboro farmers' market

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.

South Estes farmers' market

Yesterday I finally visited my first North Carolina farmers' market! South Estes farmers' market is held every Tuesday and Saturday in the parking lot of A Southern Season, and it reminded me of the West Reading farmers' market back in PA. There were about 15 or 20 tents set up, and vendors sold a wide range of wares, from vegetables and pastry to flowers and compost materials. I didn't see anything that wasn't locally-produced.

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I took home a half-dozen eggs, some beautiful tomatoes, and my favorite find of the day, a sumptuous orange marmalade roll. Mmmmm.

Vegetarian restaurants in the Triangle

I just stumbled onto the Triangle Vegetarian Society's list of vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the area. The list gives an overall rating for each included restaurant, as well as a breakdown of the overall score, based on quality of food, variety of choices, "vegetarian sensitivity," price, and service. I've already tried some other sites geared towards vegetarian dining, but it's nice to have a resource as local as this.