RALEIGH — The State Farmers Market is known for delicious eateries, seafood and fresh produce, but holiday shoppers will be happy to know it also has Thanksgiving turkeys and a fresh selection of Christmas trees.
“The State Farmers Market is open year-round, and the holidays are one of the best times to visit,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I think consumers will be pleased, and a little surprised at the volume and variety of local products available this time of year in North Carolina.”
North Carolina is second in the nation for production of live Christmas trees, and many local tree growers will have offerings in place at the market by Nov. 22. In addition to trees, homemade wreaths, garlands and holiday table decorations will also be available for purchase.
In 2018, more than $2 billion was spent purchasing around 32.8 million live trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, a 5 million trees increase over 2017. The association expects prices to rise roughly 4% this year to an average price of $81. The rise in price is in part due to a smaller supply from tree farms impacted by bad weather conditions and from disease issues.
For those wanting to support local businesses and farmers, the Raleigh Farmers Market is the original “shop local” spot. Whether you are looking for plants, sweets, wines, baked goods or handmade crafts, the Market Shoppes have you covered. WPTF’s Weekend Gardener radio show will be broadcasting live from the market on Dec. 7 during the Market Shoppes annual holiday shopping kick off.
All of December has been designated as the Month of Giving at the market and patrons can help out with donations to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. On Dec. 13, the market will celebrate locally grown pecans with Pecan Day, featuring free pecan dessert samples and recipes to try at home.
The Raleigh Farmers Market, considered to be one the country’s most modern farmer’s markets, covers 75 acres, and admission is free. A wide variety of specialty shops, restaurants and garden center are found on the campus, along with produce, meats, and other agricultural products from around the state.
The State Farmers Market is open year-round, seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about the market, directions and events, visit statefarmersmarket.org.