Samedi Gras at farmers’ market

Feb. 23, 2014 @ 07:51 PM

Next Saturday, the South Durham Farmers’ Market is joining the citywide Mardis Gras celebration. 

We are excited to host the Bulltown Strutters from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a traditional New Orleans brass-band parade. We will be serving free samples of King Cake from the local La Farm Bakery and face painting will be available for kids.

It’s the perfect time for a celebration after the tough winter weather endured by our market vendors and shoppers alike.

Thanks to greenhouses and high tunnels our farmers are plowing through winter, and, luckily, only a couple of our vendors’ high tunnels collapsed under the weight of the wet snowfall from winter storm Pax.

The warm weather this week is a happy contrast and a reminder that spring will soon be here. Already many of the season’s seeds have been planted, and soon the starters will be moved into the fields. In March, we will have greenhouse tomatoes and peppers at market from Brooks Farm. And, the first bouquets of the new season will be arriving soon from Sassafras Fork Farm and Parker Farm & Vineyard. Plus, this March we welcome our first food trucks to market!

If you are planning your own Mardis Gras feast at home, our farmers have several of the ingredients necessary for a delicious jambalaya or gumbo. Green Button Farm makes a spicy Andouille, and you can stock up on chicken from Fickle Creek Farm. After all, Fat Tuesday is all about the feast before the fast.

After starting the party at the farmers’ market on Saturday, I encourage you to partake in the official Durham Mardis Gras celebration. Since its impromptu beginnings in 2011, the local Fat Tuesday carnival has grown larger with each year. It’s a huge event that commences with a parade of costumed revelers that march downtown to the CCB Plaza, at which point partygoers can wander between clubs to listen and dance to a selection of bands. Many of Durham’s finest food trucks will be on hand as well.

Thanks to the Durham community for making local living easy and fun, and thanks to all of our shoppers who stuck out the cold, lean months. We look forward to sharing with you the bounty ahead!

Elizabeth Zander is market manager for the South Durham Farmers’ Market, which in winter is open 9 a.m. noon each Saturday at Greenwood Commons Shopping Center, 5410 NC Highway 55.