August 10, 2020
Best bets to score big with local produce, product and proteins are at Charlotte area farmers markets and farm stores. We are fortunate in Mecklenburg County to be surrounded by communities that are home to a variety of local farms. Additionally, the Queen City is home to scores of local producers, all offering ways for us to eat and drink local.
Farmers markets provide a central hub in neighborhoods across the city for growers, farmers and producers to sell the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors. There is nothing like getting fresh just-picked produce or products in season from a local farmer. It’s important to know how and where your food was grown, caught or raised. And, as you eat in season, it makes you feel good to know you are supporting the local economy at the same time.
Produce is divine, but don’t forget meat, beverages and condiments. Local ranchers and farmers raise chicken, quail, duck and the eggs those birds produce, as well as beef, pork, lamb, rabbit and goat. Look for fresh flowers, herb and vegetable plants, seafood from the coast, locally roasted coffee, honey, jams and jellies, fresh baked bread, butter, cheese, milk and ice cream!
Many Charlotte-area farmers markets accept SNAP/EBT payments that make it even easier for everyone to eat local. Several area markets double the benefits for bonus bucks. Check individual market websites and social media feeds for details.
This year, with COVID restrictions and safety measures in place, the process has become a bit more complicated. Farmers, producers and market organizers need our help in following the rules. Before you go shop, be aware. New protocols and procedures to keep everyone safe, keep changing from market to market, week to week. But, wherever you are, North Carolina’s “Three Ws” always apply:
Wait. We all still need to keep about 6 feet away from others. It’s not hard. Be kind and patient and simply wait your turn.
Wash your hands. Area farmers markets either have hand washing stations set up or sanitizer available. Use it.
And, most importantly, wear a mask.
If you love shopping and eating local, then consider a CSA:
Community Supported Agriculture is a wonderful way to support local farmers and ranchers all year long. If you are keen to support Charlotte’s local farming community, now is the time to consider buying into a CSA plan with one or two of your favorite farmers. You buy a plan in advance and each week you can pick up a selection of that week’s local harvest. Check with each individual farm or farmer for their CSA guidelines and availability.
Meantime, you’ll find lots of roadside markets and farm stands popping up across town this time of year. Switch it up from week to week to check out all the local harvest that’s available and find the places you like the best. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites to get you started.
1801 Yorkmont Road, Charlotte NC
Tuesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Note: most farmers in Bldg. A are only there till 1 p.m. on Saturdays)
This is Charlotte’s only state-run farmers market, one of four state markets in North Carolina. Generally speaking, look for local NC farmers to be in Building A; resale vendors and farmers who sell products in addition to their own in Building B; vendors from North and South Carolina in Building C; and plants, herbs and flowers in Building E.
120 South Main Street; Davidson, NC (between Main & Jackson streets, next to Town Hall).
Saturdays 9 a.m. – noon
Just outside of Charlotte, this producer-only, year-round market features more than 35 farmers and local producers from within a 100 mile radius. Until late July, the 2020 season for the Davidson market was virtual. Vendors with online stores took advance orders and customers came only for curbside pick-up on Saturdays.
Regular Saturday morning market hours have now resumed for those who’d like to shop onsite, while pre-order options and Saturday curbside pick-up are still options. Fair Share Farm, who comes to the market on Saturdays, still offers a more extensive line of products on their online store and they continue to deliver to Davidson for pick up on Thursday afternoons.
1515 Harding Place
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6pm; Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5 p.m.
This market is the oldest farmers market in North Carolina. Lots of local products are available, in addition to commercial and local produce. Farmer Dale McLaughlin and his family have been selling at the historic Mecklenburg County market since its inception in 1937. In season, most of the produce at this market comes from Dale McLaughlin’s farm. Mecklenburg County Market is also home base for Dale’s daughter, Beverly McLaughlin, Beverly’s Gourmet Foods, her line of fresh and frozen vegan and vegetarian products.
188 N. Trade Street, Matthews, NC
Open on Saturdays year round 8 a.m. – Noon, April – November 2020.
This is the largest producer-only farmers market in or around Charlotte. All market products, except fish, are grown, raised or produced within 50 miles of Matthews. When you buy, you buy from the farmer or the farmer’s family. Each of these Matthews Market vendors accept pre-orders online. If you are picking up an order, the market requests you arrive after 9:15 a.m.
The number of shoppers allowed in the market area at any one time is limited, so be prepared to wait, but know the line moves fast. SNAP/EBT is accepted with Double Bucks.
Subscribe to the market newsletter for the most current information and vendor list each week.
129 Oakland Ave, at Legal Remedy Brewing in Rock Hill
Saturdays 8 a.m. – noon.
This small but mighty farmers-only market is located in the parking lot of Legal Remedy Brewing. Look for fresh produce, local meats, and farm fresh products. Follow the market on Facebook for weekly updates.
2020 Beatties Ford Road
Tuesdays 3-7 p.m., till the end of September
This market is generally held outside but when rainy weather hits, things move inside to the L-shaped building on the property. It’s the perfect neighborhood market for fruits and vegetables and is the great midweek place to shop local. SNAP/EBT accepted. Follow the market on Facebook for more info.
300 S. Davidson Street (In the First Baptist Church parking lot)
Saturdays 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., May – December
This is Charlotte’s newest producer-only market, located in the center of the Queen City to actively support regional farmers and local food artisans. You’ll find plenty of parking and lots of space to correctly socially distance on the 4.5-acre site.
As the market grows, look for weekly music offerings, children’s arts and education activities, cooking demos, gardening workshops, and weekly volunteer service opportunities with local nonprofits. Get up-to-date market info, recipes and vendor highlights by subscribing to the market’s weekly email newsletter.
27290 Waxhaw Parkway
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – noon
The Waxhaw Farmers Market is a non-profit grower/producer-only market established to provide a venue for local farmers and vendors to sell farm fresh produce and specialty items to the Waxhaw area. Now enjoying new digs for the 2020 season. No pets please.
Subscribe to the market’s weekly email newsletter or follow their social media for the most up-to-date info on vendors and events.
225 E. Iredell Ave. at Liberty Park
Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, now through Sept. 5
Liberty Park provides a beautiful setting for this producers-only market where you will find fresh produce, meat, flowers, dog treats, eggs, nut butters and dairy, jewelry, cloth masks, and more. Follow the market on its Facebook events page for weekly updates.
235 W. Tremont Ave (along the tracks which run parallel to South Blvd)
Saturdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Since 2010, South End Market (formerly Atherton Market) has been serving Charlotte’s historic South End community and surrounding areas with local, sustainable, responsibly raised produce and proteins, as well as locally sourced artisanal food products and crafts.
SNAP/EBT accepted with Double Bucks. Many vendors are accepting online advance orders– contact each farmer or vendor for details. You’ll find the list of vendors for each week here. Get up-to-date market info by subscribing to the SouthEnd Market email newsletter.
Heidi Billotto is a Charlotte-based food, restaurant and travel writer. For more info check out local food-related posts at HeidiBillottoFood.com.
In this article
- Beatties Ford Road
- Beverly McLaughlin
- Brewington Farms
- Cannizzaro Famiglia
- charlotte farmers markets
- Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
- Dale McLaughlin
- Fair Share Farms
- Farmers Markets
- Heidi Billotto
- Legal Remedy Brewing
- Matthews Community
- Mecklenburg County
- Melanie Cannizzaro-Tritten
- Mooresville Farmers Market
- New Town Farms
- north carolina
- Old Town
- Old Town Farmers Market
- paul brewington
- Rock Hill
- Rosa Parks
- Sam Koenigsberg
- shop local
- South End