After the long winter months, there is nothing quite like picking and eating your first strawberry of the season. Strawberries for me always mark the start of spring and the doorway opens to a flood of fresh, local produce. Goodbye frozen and canned vegetables, hello fresh picked! It’s so exciting to mark the new recipes you want to try and get your list ready to visit the farmers market. We are very fortunate to have a variety of fresh produce available right at our fingertips here in the Sandhills with everything from weekly markets to the Sandhills Farm to Table program that living a healthy lifestyle is easy and affordable.
When trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, the best foods are always the less processed foods, giving the body the full nutrients of the fruit or vegetable. With the Sandhills being in an environmentally farm-friendly location, it allows us to bask in the amazing array of produce, meats, cheeses and fruits grown, raised, and produced only minutes from our doorsteps. It’s time to get out your calendar and mark the weekly schedules of the areas farmers markets which feature everything from honey to bread, organic produce to beef. Instead of supporting your local grocery chain, try out supporting your local farmer.
The Moore County Farmers Market has 3 weekly locations in the area, making it convenient for everyone to be able to have access to the best spring has to offer. Mondays you can find the market at FirstHealth (fitness center) in Pinehurst from 2:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. beginning April 15th. Thursday’s market is year round and I located from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Armory Sports Complex on Morganton road. Saturdays produce is in downtown Southern Pines from 8:00 a.m.-Noon at SE Broad & NY Avenue beginning April 20th. A weekly favorite at the market is Our Daily Bread Bakery & Healthy Food, owned by Joel & Kim Wands. Their booth offers fresh-baked breads, granola sweets and vegan soups, sausages, black bean burgers and more. Variety changes weekly, so get there early to make sure you don’t miss out.
Sandhills Farm to table program is a cooperative with the mission statement, “To satisfy local food needs with locally grown and produced foods,” and already has 1250 subscribers in the area. SF2T, as they are known, has many options for becoming involved in the local farming community. A membership to the co-op is $25/annually and will keep you in the loop as to what is fresh, what is coming up, recipes, ideas and how you can get the most out of the local farm scene. This includes the newsletter and ability to buy from their online market. In addition to the membership, the group offers 3 fresh produce boxes weekly or bi-weekly in both a single box , double size box, and the produce and bread box. For the extremely reasonable prices of $22.66 to 41.20 weekly, you can pick up a fresh box full of produce at an array of locations around town. When you sign up, you’ll choose which location is convenient for you and you’ll be sent an email weekly with the box contents so you can choose option 1 or 2 via your account online (the bread box option does not have an alternate box choice weekly). It’s as simple as 1-2-3 and then you only need to pick it up between the posted hours for your location. How fantastic to have all of this fresh produce and someone doing the work for you! The newsletter even includes recipes which you can use to prepare the contents for your family. An extra bonus this season is instead of paying everything up front, SF2T is offering a weekly subscription payment that auto renews each week, allowing you to spread your payments out over the course of the subscription. Now with that being said, there is no excuse not to participate! The new box season begins April 17/18 so don’t delay! Get your fresh produce for the spring or fall set-up today at the Sandhills Farm to Table website and start getting your family ready for good health this season.
Get ready, get set, and go to your local markets. Sign up with Sandhills Farm to Table and get all the best the area has to offer. It’s time to shake off the winter extra pounds and get going with the local farm connection. Neighbors feeding neighbors is what it is all about so keep your dollars local and get the freshest foods the Sandhills farmers have to offer.