The Durham Herald: Markets

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

As crops change, farmers look ahead

At this point in the fall, a scene at the Durham Farmers’ Market might look a little something like this: piles of orange, white, and blue pumpkins of all shapes and sizes on one side of the aisle and mountains of assorted greens varieties stacked on farmers tables on the other side of the aisle.


Oct. 18, 2013 @ 10:50 PM

Fall leaves of green

While the leaves on the trees are turning and falling, leaves of another sort are flooding the South Durham Farmers’ Market.


Oct. 12, 2013 @ 11:32 AM

Spice offerings expanding at market this fall

Ginger. Turmeric. Galangal. These are names that you expect to find in the spice aisle, not at a farmers market. 

But over the past couple of years, local farmers have been experimenting with growing these exotic spices. Now, in the fall, alongside the pumpkins, sweet potatoes and greens, you’ll find these three spices in their fresh form at the Durham Farmers’ Market.

Ginger, turmeric and galangal are all closely related and most commonly grown in tropical locations. So, it is natural that these three plants like the moist, humid weather of the southern summer. Because of their tropical origins, they need about 7 months of warm, 80-degree-plus weather to mature enough to harvest and enjoy.

Here in the Piedmont of North Carolina, we almost have that length of warm weather, but not quite. So, local farmers start their plants in the greenhouse in late winter and then move the plants outside when the weather has warmed up. By late September, fresh baby ginger, turmeric and galangal roots are ready to be harvested. Farmers will continue harvesting until we reach the first frost.

Since these are all relatively new items to start showing up at local farmers’ market, you may wonder how to use them. Let’s start with ginger.  The locally grown, fresh ginger isn’t the brown colored ginger you see in the grocery store. It has a lovely ivory and pink color and it doesn’t need to be peeled -- you can use the whole thing.  Because it is freshly dug and hasn’t been cured for storage, it has a higher moisture content and bright gingery flavor. You can use it wherever you enjoy ginger, in soups, stir-frys, juices and sweets. Market customers also have told me that fresh ginger is perfect for making candied ginger.

Turmeric is most often used in Indian and Thai cuisines and is known for its bright orange color. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which has made it a staple in Ayurvedic medicines. To use fresh turmeric, you can slice it up or grate it and add it to curries, stir-frys or soups. Also available at the market are turmeric leaves, which can be used to steam things like fresh fish or vegetables.

Galangal is a little bit less well known than turmeric or ginger. Like the others, it is often found in Thai, Vietnamese or Indonesian cuisines. I’m most familiar with its use in soups such as Tom Kai Gai and Tom Yum, which are often on menus at Vietnamese restaurants. Fresh galangal is also often used in south Indian curries.

 Have fun experimenting with these new spices that local farmers are growing. I’m sure before too long, they will be incorporated into southern cuisine in delicious and innovative ways.

Erin Kauffman is market manager of the Durham Farmers’ Market, which is open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at 501 Foster Street in downtown Durham.


Oct. 06, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

Skincare goes local at the farmers’ market

Farmers’ markets have become one-stop shopping destinations that include not only local fruits and vegetables, but also locally prepared foods, dog treats and even bath products. At the South Durham Farmers’ Market, we have are lucky to have Shorganics and Rolling Hills Soap,  as well as handcrafted goat milk soaps from  Parker Farm & Vineyards.


Sep. 23, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Raising cattle in the bull city

As a lover of both animals and meat, I insist that the meat on my plate originate only from humanely raised animals. That is why I now buy all my beef at the South Durham Farmers’ Market. We have six beef vendors at the market, Bull City Farm, Fickle Creek Farm, Green Button Farm, McAdams Farm, Sassafras Fork Farm and Walters Unlimited, and all six raise grass-fed cattle on pasture without the use of hormones or antibiotics.


Sep. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

On the farm, working like a dog

South Durham Farmers' Market’s Bruno has spent his nine years protecting the lives of others. At all times he remains diligently alert to threats and willing to clash with a hodgepodge of formidable vermin.


Sep. 12, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Learn where food comes from on farm tour

Have you ever wondered how a mushroom grows? Or have you ever been curious what a farmer at the Farmers’ Market is referring to when they talk about a “chicken tractor”? Do want to see what a milking parlor looks like?


Aug. 31, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

Figs a farmers’ market treat in season

Shopping for food at farmers markets has lots of advantages, but one of the best perks is finding foods that aren’t available in grocery stores Figs are one of those foods, and right now, figs are at the height of their short season.


Aug. 26, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Farmers trade tobacco for tomatoes

Most Saturdays, shoppers at the South Durham Farmers’ Market can peruse the eye-catching floral arrangements and a wide array of produce from McAdams Farm, but two decades ago, 40 acres of the McAdams Farm would have been dedicated to a single crop – tobacco.


Aug. 10, 2013 @ 11:52 AM

Market outing can be great family time

Meadow Slavinsky is turning 2 this September, and ever since she began eating solid foods, all the fruits and vegetables she eats at home have come from the South Durham Farmers’ Market.


Aug. 06, 2013 @ 06:40 PM

The market that could

Today, the South Durham Farmers’ Market (SDFM) is a successful community hub that regularly attracts more than 300 shoppers every Saturday morning with a rotating roster of 35 vendors. Just four years ago, however, the SDFM was merely an idea supported by a group of local farmers and community members.


Aug. 03, 2013 @ 10:34 AM

Okra good, but tricky vegetable

People often ask me what is in season at the farmers' market.  Around this time of year, because of its abundance, okra is always near the top of my list.