In 2016, the Avon Farmers Market had a banner year with more than 25 vendors lined up every week in the large grassy yard next to the Avon Beach Klub.
It was the highest number of vendors since the market was first established in 2010 in Buxton, and the summertime market was a big success locally, with many residences making weekly shopping trips to stock up on fresh produce, goodies, and a few splurge purchases of jewelry, homemade crafts and artworks.
But while 2016 was a big year, 2017 promises to be even larger and more tempting than ever before.
“We have 40 vendors signed up for this year – that’s 13 more vendors than 2016,” says Market Manager Susan Meyers. “And the diversity is great! We’ve got people from here on Hatteras Island, and a few from Manteo or Currituck, that come all the way down for the market.”
Shoppers can expect to see old stand-bys that have been at the market for years – including the fresh veggie stands of Coastal Farmers Cooperative and C and J Produce in Rodanthe – but there are also some new additions that will inspire anyone to get up early on a Tuesday morning.
“We’ve got some bread makers and a honey vendor for 2017, the Hatteras Saltworks people are here again, and we’re getting some homemade baked Greek goodies from Ocracoke which are reason enough to come down,” says Susan.
On early Tuesday morning, June 13, Susan was at the market bright and early to help the vendors set up for the inaugural market day, and it was clearly an impressive spread.
“Right now, I’m looking at fresh maters, fresh squash, apples, nectarines, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon…” she says. “And it’s only 8:30 a.m., but it’s already busy here at the market.”
Indeed, walking through the market is like strolling through a mini-outdoor mall that’s stocked with nothing but local goodies, and it’s a pretty impressive sight.
Tables stuffed with delicate seashells stand side-by-side with small tents that are lined with eye-catching coastal prints. Sea glass jewelry sparkles in the open sun, drawing the eye of more than one shopper, while the produce stand is packed with pints of berries, and bins of veggies.
By 10:30 a.m., the market is crowded with visitors and locals alike, and the long aisle of tents and tables extends from the edge of Pangea Tavern all the way to N.C. Highway 12.
It’s a great indication of things to come, and next week’s farmers market promises to be even more enticing. “We had some vendors who couldn’t make it this week, so next Tuesday it will be even [bigger],” says Susan.
The farmers market is certainly a great experience for the smiling crowds of attendees, but it’s also good for the local vendors and the community as well.
“Heading to [the market] is a great way to buy local, keep the money local, and support the island,” says Susan. “Plus, you get local flavor – and nothing beats local flavor, and local knowledge!”
“Everyone should come by on their way to the beach, get a cup of coffee and a few nibbles, and have a look around,” says Meyer. “There is certainly plenty to see.”
How to Join in the Fun
The Avon Farmers Market is held every Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. through September 5th in front of the Beach Klub in the center of Avon.
For more information on the Avon Farmers Market and its sponsor, the nonprofit organization Coastal Harvesters Inc., visit http://www.coastalharvesters.org/.