Ah, spring, with its bright, sunny days, buds and blossoms, gardens and festivals — and for area locavores, foodies and residents who enjoy fresh, locally grown foods and original crafts — the ramping up of activity at the Fayetteville Farmers Market and City Market in downtown Fayetteville.
The Fayetteville Farmers Market operates on a year-round basis from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays on the grounds of the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum at 325 Franklin St. People may purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey and other farm products as well as candles, jewelry, plants and ﬂ owers, pottery, soap, tea and more. But every April, the market kicks-off the new growing season, and Bruce Daws, historic properties manager for the City of Fayetteville, hopes this market season sees even greater growth in the size of both the market and its offerings.
“This will be the market’s third year coming up at the transportation museum,” said Daws. “We are working to build. We are recruiting vendors. We want it to become, especially on Saturday, a destination for people not just to come and buy produce or a piece of art and leave, but also to come and stay.
“We’re adding more so people have the opportunity to eat. From time to time, we’ll have a band playing or music or some other activity on the grounds,” continued Daws. “We’re trying to make it more of a destination for people to come and just hang out.”
And Daws notes that the museum has plenty of space to “grow the market.”
“The vision for the market is to wrap it all the way around the museum. We’ve got the Russell Street side, which is not at all occupied currently. We’ve got the front of the museum, we’ve got the front parking lot and we’ve got a covered shelter on the Russell Street side. We’ve got a lot of room to grow this to its fullest extent property-wise.”
Also located on the grounds of the museum is the City Market, now in its second year. Daws explained that while the focus of the farmers market is on farm products, the City Market’s emphasis is on art and original craft-type materials.”
He noted that all vendors are vetted.
“As far as the crafters,” said Daws, “we want original work. It’s not a ﬂ ea market.”
Daws also stressed that along with the space to grow is ample space for visitors to park.
“Half a block from us is the brand-new parking deck,” Daws said.
The deck rate is just .50/hour until 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Additionally, free hourly parking is available around the museum on Maxwell and Franklin Streets, in front of Pennmark Place Townhouses on Ray Avenue and in unnumbered spaces behind the townhouses, as well as at the two-hour parking lot on the Russell Street side of the museum. Neither the hourly or paid parking is enforced after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
Want to sell your agricultural products or crafts at the markets? Daws encourages prospective vendors to stop by the museum and pick up an application.
“We are growing all the time, and we are recruiting vendors,” he said.
Please note that, according to the Fayetteville Farmers Market website, www.thefayettevillefarmersmarket.com, anyone who wishes to sell prepared foods, baked goods, canned goods, meat, poultry, eggs, seafood or dairy must meet North Carolina Department of Agriculture regulations.
If you want to sell arts, crafts or antiques only, contact Amanda Klinck at AKlinck@ci.fay.nc.us for an application. For more information, please call (910) 433-1457, 433-1458 or 433-1944.
Photo: The Fayetteville Farmers Market, located at the Transportation Museum is open every Wednesday and Saturday morning.