Visit Charlotte-Area Farmers' Markets & Shop Local
If you miss taking leisurely strolls through your favorite farmers market, don't despair. Here are a few pro-tips to keep in mind while shopping your local markets.
by Heidi Billotto Oct 06, 2020
Charlotteans, along with the rest of the world, are facing a new normal. Your usual weekly activities and daily to-do’s outside of the home have been reevaluated or even postponed. New limitations under the stay-at-home order include only leaving your house for essential activities like shopping for food.
Just as we are all making adjustments to what chefs and restaurants are collectively bringing to the table, area farmers are learning to pivot to continue to be able to sell produce to the public. If you are planning to shop local at a farmers’ market or farm store, be aware that all are initiating new protocols and procedures to keep everyone safe. Here are a few pro tips to keep in mind before shopping at a Charlotte-area farmers’ market.
- Make shopping easier and faster with advance online orders.
- Check market times. If you order ahead, plan to arrive later in the morning for pickup. This will help lighten the load of early morning crowds.
- Be sure to wash your hands before you head out and as often as you can while you shop. Most markets now have hand-washing stations.
- Shoppers will not be allowed to sample products until further notice.
- Bring your own wipes to use once you get back in your car.
- Most markets do not allow animals. Plan to leave your furry friends at home.
Look, Don’t Touch
In most cases farmers are dividing up into teams with one person helping bag the produce and the other collecting money. Your job is to look, and point to what you’d like to purchase.
What to Expect
As you create your shopping list for local buys, keep in mind all that local markets offer — it’s not only produce. A variety of markets also offer a selection of meats, seafood, honey and jams along with fresh baked bread. If you’re looking to spruce up your home, make sure to get a bouquet of fresh flowers. For your yard, you can invest in growing vegetable plants or herbs.
Consider a CSA
Support local farmers and ranchers all year long by considering a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) plan. Once you’ve chosen a plan in advance, you’ll pick up a selection of that week’s local harvest at select locations in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Area Farmers' Markets
Below are the Queen City farmers’ markets that you can shop from during COVID-19.
Catawba Fresh Market
Online Ordering Only
At Catawba Fresh Market, you can choose products, produce and proteins from 31 different South Carolina farms and producers. Offerings are all seasonal and will vary week to week. You can place your orders by Wednesday at 2 p.m. for pickup at one of eight pre-selected locations in York County, SC. Farms and producers range from Lincoln Road Farms to Fishing Creek Creamery. Make your online shopping selections and then select a pickup point.
Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market
1801 Yorkmont Road
Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for vendors in Building B; Saturdays, local farmers in Buildings A, C and E until 1 p.m.
This is Charlotte’s only state-run farmers’ market, one of four state markets in North Carolina. In an effort to practice social distancing, the market has relocated vendors to different buildings. Until further notice, meat and honey vendors will be in building E; farmers with vegetables will be in building A; resale vendors are in building B; and a mix of vendors will be in building C. There will be no flowers, plants or other nonessential items available at the market at this time.
To make every farmer or vendor easier to find, the farmers’ market released this interactive map. Select the market date to see who will be selling on any given day.
Josh’s Farmers’ Market
189 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
At Josh’s Farmers’ Market, look for regional produce along with other delicious eats like breads and dairy, honey, jams, pretzels and chips, plus meat and seafood. Items such as pickling cucumbers run for $1.79/lb; red bell peppers are $1.89/lb; and spinach is $2.59/bunch. Check out Josh’s pre-order drive-thru price list. Text or call in your order to 980.721.6316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kings Drive Farmers’ Market
938 S. Kings Dr.
Reopening April 10
Produce will be available: Friday, 6 a.m.-7p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Flowers and plants will be available: Monday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m.-3 p.m.; Closed on Sunday.
Operated by the Simpson family, this market is home to a wide range of fruits and vegetables for your table, and flowers and plants for your garden. Look for local produce from the Simpson’s farm throughout the summer season. Until further notice, shoppers will be asked to keep six feet apart; cashiers will operate behind protective partitions; and all employees will be wearing gloves. The new adjusted hours will give the market time between shopping days for cleaning and sanitation.
Matthews Community Farmers’ Market
188 N. Trade St., Matthews, NC
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon through November 2020
As the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the Charlotte area, all products, except fish, are grown, raised or produced within 50 miles of Matthews. Until further notice, only 30 shoppers will be allowed in the market at one time. Market vendors that are accepting pre-orders (the list is updated every Thursday) include Ernie’s Smokehouse, Pink Turtle Cookies and Tega Hills Farm. If you are picking up a pre-order, the market requests you arrive after 9:15 a.m.
After COVID-19 is over, look for live music and weekly chef cooking demos. Subscribe to the market newsletter for the most current information and vendor list each week.
Mecklenburg County Market
1515 Harding Place
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Farmer Dale McLaughlin and his family have been selling at the historic Mecklenburg County Market since its inception in 1937 – making it the oldest farmers’ market in North Carolina. In season, most of the produce comes from Dale’s farm. The market is also homebase for Dale’s daughter, Beverly McLaughlin, and her fresh frozen vegan and vegetarian line of products: Beverly’s Gourmet Foods.
The market is currently offering curbside pickup. Call 704.606.1045 to get your order in.
Old Town Farmers’ Market
129 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC
Reopening May 9
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
Nearly a dozen different South Carolina farmers and producers make up this small but mighty farmers-only market set up under pop-up tents in the parking lot of Legal Remedy Brewing. Look for locally grown produce, meat, dairy items, soap and hot sauces.
South End Market at Atherton
235 W. Tremont Ave.
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
This outdoor market in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood (formally Atherton Market) continues to support farmers and producers offering local, sustainable, and responsibly raised produce and proteins, as well as locally sourced artisanal food products and crafts.
From now until further notice, prices will be rounded to the nearest dollar for cash sales. The market asks that customers not use coins to pay for purchases. Although this is an outdoor market, shoppers will be limited to only one patron in each vendor tent at a time. Market customers are also asked to make purchases and depart the market as quickly as possible in order to serve the maximum amount of people possible while the market is open. SNAP and WIC payments are accepted. Many vendors at this producer-only market are accepting advance orders online. Contact each farmer or vendor for details. Get the latest market info by subscribing to the South End Market email newsletter.
Uptown Farmers Market
300 S. Davidson St.
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
May 16-December 12
This producer-only farmers' market is located in the heart of center city Charlotte. Opening for its inaugural year in May 2020, it currently operates with COVID-19 precautions in a socially-distanced footprint with more than 30 vendors. From meat to fish to artisan food, this market has an array of healthy, local food options. Expect weekly live music provided by local artists through a partnership with Communities in Concert. The nonprofit market raises funds for food insecurity through its Community Table Fund. It also partners weekly with Roof Above for produce donations.
At a safer time, the market will offer cooking demonstrations and children's activities. Subscribe to the market's weekly newsletter for the most up-to-date information and vendor listing, here.
Waxhaw Farmers’ Market
27290 Waxhaw Pkwy., Waxhaw, NC
Open Saturdays in April-December; April 11, 10 a.m.-noon; April 18 and 25, 9 a.m.-noon.
As a non-profit grower/producer-only market, the Waxhaw Farmers’ Market heavily relies on the support of local shoppers and community sponsors. In an effort to help protect us all, their team is adding in additional tents to give vendors more space between tables and shoppers more room to keep their distance. Follow the market on Facebook for additional updates related to COVID-19 special procedures as they are put into place.
Winecoff Farmers’ Market
518 Winecoff School Road, Concord, NC
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon; after April 25, 8 a.m.-noon
The Piedmont Farmers’ Market consists of a trio of locations in Cabarrus County, all nestled in between Concord, Kannapolis and Harrisburg. For now only the Winecoff Farmers’ Market is open to serve local shoppers. The downtown Concord and Harrisburg locations are set to reopen in May. Current selections include handcrafted wooden baskets, flavored kettle corn, sweet treats, baked goods, a delicious assortment of Cabarrus County honey, spring veggies, loose leaf teas and fresh seafood, too. For more information, follow the market’s Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter.