Farmers Market Opens at N.C. Research Campus

Extension events highlight market’s third season

The sweet smells and flavors of locally-grown fruits and vegetables return to downtown Kannapolis on Thursday, May 20, as the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market kicks off its third year. The 2010 market, located in the parking lot across from the Amtrak station on Main Street, will be open on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. until September 30.

N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market Vendor Directory

The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market offers visitors weekly educational opportunities as they shop for fresh fruits, vegetables and other items. N.C. Cooperative Extension staff from Cabarrus and Rowan counties will host events throughout the 2010 market season. Market visitors can sample tasty treats, perfect the produce-canning process, race cars made from vegetables and discover delicious fruit and vegetable recipes from The Produce Lady.

N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market –
Events in May & June 2010

May 20 – Where Do Plants Get Their Food?
Join Heather Jones, 4-H agent with Cabarrus County, and team up as plant detectives to find out how plants use water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to make food. Visitors can make their own “Soil Sam,” a homemade Chia Pet.

May 27 – Learning & Living Local Foods
Do you know where your food comes from and who is growing it? Find out more about the Cabarrus County local food movement and the beginning farmer program at the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord with Debbie Bost, Extension director, Cabarrus County.

June 3 – Sensational Seeds
Watch basil seeds germinate in your hand! Market visitors will make their very own seed necklace while learning about what seeds need to grow. Visit Sara Drake, 4-H agent with Rowan County, to find out what 4-H has to offer youth. The 4-H program is the youth component of N.C. Cooperative Extension.

June 10 – Preserving Nature’s Bounty
Enjoy summer flavors all year! Receive the latest food preservation information from Pam Outen, Extension family and consumer sciences agent, Cabarrus County. Bring your dial-gauge pressure canner lid to have it tested for free. Visitors can also sample dehydrated fruit and fresh jelly.

June 17 – I Bought It, Now How Do I Cook It?
Take a step on the wild side and explore new fruits and vegetables with Toi Degree, Extension family and consumer sciences agent, Rowan County.

June 24 – Second Annual Zucchini 500
Children, start your imaginations! It’s racin’ time again as the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market hosts the Zucchini 500 for the second year. Children can create a race car from a zucchini – a la pinewood derby – and compete in prize categories, including most nutritious, best NASCAR theme and the fastest car. This year’s event will be coordinated by Armor Insurance Services, Inc.

July 1 – Fresh Produce: Nutritious and Delicious
Anita Ford, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus County, discusses the health benefits of fruits and vegetables that can be found at the farmers market. She will share tips to incorporate fresh produce into a daily diet and information on nutrition programs offered in Cabarrus County.

July 8 – Tomato Taste Test
Treat your taste buds to a variety of tomatoes. Compare the flavors of locally grown tomatoes as Toi Degree, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Rowan County, discusses the qualities and health benefits in this delicious and nutritious fruit.

July 15 – Taste Test: Carrot and Raisin Salad
Market visitors can please their palates with fresh, crisp carrot and raisin salad samples. Elena Papadatos, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus County, will prepare this refreshing seasonal dish and share the recipe for all to enjoy.

July 22 – The Science of Nutrition – Measuring Nutrients with a Refractometer
Learn how to measure the nutrients in foods at this year’s farmers market. Join Carl Pless, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus County, as he demonstrates a refractometer, an instrument for measuring the dissolved solids content of fruits and vegetables.

July 29 – Tasty Tips from The Produce Lady
The Produce Lady prepares a lush tomato salad for market visitors and shares tips on using fresh produce available from the vendors. The Produce Lady, Brenda Sutton, director of N.C. Cooperative Extension in Rockingham County, was recently featured in The Produce News and is online at www.theproducelady.org.

August 5 – Salsa Sizzle
Summer sizzles with delicious salsa made from locally grown tomatoes for all to enjoy. Join Pam Outen, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus County, to sample the fresh salsa and learn how to prepare it at home.

August 12 – Recycling the Rain
Water is our most precious resource. Learn how to recycle and reuse rain water as Darrell Blackwelder, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Rowan County, explains how to set up and use rain barrels. Visitors can place orders for rain barrels at the farmers market.

August 19 – Test Your Soil with Extension Master Gardeners
Any farmer or backyard gardener that’s serious about success will have their soil tested. Here’s a chance to pick up soil tests and forms. David Goforth, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus County, will be available to answer questions about lawns and soil.

August 26 – Fun with 4-H
The 4-H program helps more than 6 million young people across America learn leadership, citizenship and life skills. Heather Jones, 4-H agent in Cabarrus County, will be on hand at the farmers market to discuss the program and offer fun and games in addition to informational materials.

Last year’s market featured local foods, crafts and plants from more than 20 vendors. The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market is a joint effort of Castle & Cooke; Piedmont Farmers Market, an organization of local farmers who sponsor several Cabarrus County farmers markets; and N.C. State University at the Research Campus.

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