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Jul 8, 2011 12:08 PM

Who are your Favorite Vendors at the Raleigh Farmer's Market

It's been a real crap shoot every time I go to the Raleigh Farmer's Market. Some good, some quite terrible. Plus, I've found that samples don't always reflect the quality of what they sell.

Who are your favorite vendors? Names would be great, but approximate locations would be helpful. Especially interested in vendors who sell tomatoes, peaches, berries, corn, and herbs.

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  1. I really like the peaches from the vendor at the corner closest to the Farmer's Market Restaurant, just on the other side from the vendors in tents nearest the road. I find that the berries from the vendor right next to them on the same side are the best.

    Devotion corn seems to be everybody's favorite.

    I like the eggs from Rainbow Meadow Farms, they're indoors.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rafeco

      We go a 1/2 pig from Rainbow Meadow Farms for a pig pickin it was very good.

      1. re: chazzer

        I get Rainbow Meadow Farms' products via Papa Spud's and they are indeed good.

        I also really like Mae Farms. They sell meats in the upper enclosed building. Excellent chorizo.

      2. re: rafeco

        Yes, I think I know that peach vendor. I did get some good peaches from them. But what about tomatoes?

        1. re: TerryG

          I agree on the misrepresentation of produce quality at the Raleigh market; I thought it was just me. I guess I just got used to the quality at the Carrboro market. I don't believe there are any good tomatoes at the Raleigh farmer's market. I've tried several vendors and been pretty disappointed. Most of the tomatoes sold are the same ones in the supermarket. Some of them even market 'cherokee' tomatoes, which I believe were not real Cherokee tomatoes; they were tart and mealy and tasted nothing like the ones I've grown myself or at other markets. I think the same peach vendor (name?) had the better heirloom and Cherokee tomatoes. Also, Beth Moore's had a few but even those were not so stellar. The best tomatoes I've gotten in the area are at the Carrboro's farmer's market from a guy with a long grey/white beard. I don't know his name but he tends to have the nicest looking display of produce and has 'mini-cherokee' tomatoes and sungold tomatoes during the tomato peak, which are amazingly good. Since I've been so disappointed with the tomato pickings in Raleigh, I think I am going to try grow my own this year.

      3. Well, we are a king way from tomato and peach season. But I've had bad luck with apples lately. Best vendor for apples -- or even best place in Raleigh NOT at the Famers Market?

        1. I was there in early November...I don't live in Raleigh, but my parents do and I was born there. I was amazed to get good field peas and butterbeans frozen...can't remember the vendors...and pecans.

          It's really upsetting that samples are given from elsewhere. The quality I saw seemed to be great, except that some of the herbs especially and greens were clearly past their prime and some purely rotten. The garlic being sold was discounted at obviously lower quality...and when I asked questions about how long the garlic would last at this particular stand, I was given answers that were realistic.

          Are there any standards/rules at this market? I live in Boston now and we have such a short growing season, but vendors at the "mass farmers markets" have to follow rules, such as only selling stuff from their own farm, and they can't give out samples from elsewhere, or they get booted. One of my brothers insists that all farmers markets have food from all of state, Florida, but the rules are really enforced here in Mass. The winter markets here can have food from out of state, but it has to be clearly marked. Our farms here are much smaller and there is always someone from the farm at the stand. It's a really different situation...we don't get corn until mid July and our tomatoes aren't here until August.

          I'd think it would be in the interest of the market to have clear rules that are enforced. You can't get fresh tomatoes and corn even in NC late in the season!