Rowan County Farmers Markets

by | Aug 11, 2021 | Greenspace

Farmers markets are not only places to get fresh produce but are fantastic places to connect to our farmers, local businesses, entrepreneurs, and artisans. I love farmers markets because they are centers for people to meet and enjoy each other’s company and learn about our community. My goal was to visit all four of Rowan County’s farmers markets within a week-long span and let me tell ya, despite the more than summery weather, I had a blast.

Visiting the farmers markets became an amazing networking opportunity and a way to reconvene with familiar faces I saw before the impact of COVID-19. Rowan County’s farmers markets are open at staggered times throughout the week, which allowed me to visit one almost every other day. I visited the markets from Friday, July 30 through Thursday, August 5. Below are the hours of operation between May and September 2021:

If you enjoy summer produce, now is the time to visit. Veggies and fruits available this time of year range from squash, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, corn, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, you name it.

This is an exciting fact because of the importance of the 100-Mile Diet. This means that food is obtainable within a 100-mile radius of us, so if you want to decrease your carbon footprint, a great way to start is by purchasing your foods locally. Ensure that you ask questions about your food’s origin to become an informed customer. Not only will these steps decrease your carbon footprint, but they will improve your overall health and deepen your connection to your food. Read more about the 100- Mile diet here.

I wrote a list of things I wanted to purchase during my visits to the markets:

  • Environmentally friendly cleaning, soap, and skincare products
  • Ingredients for a yummy salad
  • Dinner
  • Dessert(s)… I have a sweet tooth
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers for a friend

Now, I am going to delve into each farmers market experience and let’s see if I get all the things checked off my list.

China Grove Farmers Market

In 96-degree weather, on the hottest day of the year, might I mention, I visited China Grove’s charming market. The vendors were all so pleasant and accommodating.

After looking at the amazing spread of ingredients provided by Miller and Sons Produce, I realized that I was craving a fresh salad and pasta dish chock-full of veggies. I was met with a warm smile and fresh fruits and veg. With sweat rolling down my face, I purchased the following:

  • 2 eggplants,
  • 1 large green pepper,
  • 1 large red pepper,
  • 3 huge tomatoes,
  • 3 jalapenos,
  • 1 yellow onion,
  • 2 zucchinis, and
  • 2 yellow squashes,
  • And 3 jalapenos.

Want to see what I whipped up? Take a look at my cooking video. All of the ingredients I used were collected from the China Grove farmers market aside from the spices, sugar, oil, and garlic.

They had great customer service and produce for an affordable price! Please give them a like on Facebook and stay tuned for their winter produce: lettuce and beets!

Welcomed with a lovely smile and hospitality, I purchased butter lettuce from the Mainstreet Marketplace and Meeting Place booth. If you have not heard of Marketplace and Meeting Place, they are in downtown China Grove. Please take time to check out what they have there by visiting their Facebook Page and website! They bring sustainability and equity to Rowan County to another level.

Hopeful Acres sells absolutely gorgeous, freshly cut flower bouquets, delicious locally sourced beef, fruits, and veggies. I met Stephanie Frisbee previously at the Rowan Arts and Ag Tour at Tranquility Farms. They are a wholesome farm who cares deeply for the community and appreciates local customers. It was at their booth that I selected a bouquet of flowers for my friend. Stephanie mentioned that they should be fully stocked with beef by the end of September. Please take some time to check them out on Facebook!

An organic zucchini bread bakery, Just About the Bread focuses on flavor infusion with a variety of zucchini breads. I chose a loaf of coconut, and it was delicious! Hazjel and Kimberly Courtlandt are such a lovely couple with a great sense of entrepreneurship. It is definitely worth tasting their freshly baked organic zucchini bread! If you scan the QR code, you can easily order from your phone (they also deliver their freshly baked breads)!

China Grove Farmers Market is a charming place to visit if you want to explore Rowan County and get a sense of our people. Looking at my wish list, I certainly got a decent number of items:

  • Environmentally friendly cleaning, soap, and skincare products
  • Ingredients for a yummy salad (check)
  • Dinner (check)
  • Dessert(s)… I have a sweet tooth
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers for a friend (check)

Next stop: Salisbury/Rowan Farmers Market.

Salisbury/Rowan Farmers Market

On a beautiful Saturday morning, I followed live music to the marketplace. Cotton bag in hand, I was ready to support these local businesses. Compared to China Groves Market, Salisbury/Rowan Farmer’s Market is a bit more crowded.

The first booth that I visited was The Back Country Peddler. I was met with Nancy Gaines’s kind smile. Nancy told me about the Back Country Peddler a bit, and how Janet Pyatt is passionate about producing household herb products. Nancy also mentioned how their reenactments display civilian life during the 18th and 19th centuries. I purchased a homemade Comfrey Salve which is great for cell restoration and aches. Check them out at their website for more information!

The next location I stopped by was the West Rowan High School FFA. The program they have at West Rowan High is unbelievable! Check them out on their Facebook page.

Home Grown with Love has more than exceptional microgreens, seasonal produce, farm fresh eggs, and a fantastic business owner Megan Davidson. Expect to be greeted with kind smiles. Please give them a like on Facebook!

I visited Boho Momma’s booth and was so happy to see such a wide variety of natural hair care products, cleaning products, and more! I purchased a lavender-scented all-purpose cleaner and a Boho Momma lip balm. Please check out this holistic business that focuses on environmental impact and accessible products on Facebook.

Ole Little Red Bird. Check out their crafts on Instagram or Facebook!

I was able to try some samples at the holy cookie dough! booth and ended up purchasing the chocolate chip edible cookie dough. Who doesn’t love cookie dough? Porch pickup is available and please give them a like on Facebook.

Downing Farms had a booth to visit where I spoke with Tim Downing. He mentioned that pesticides and herbicides are not used on their farms which is beneficial to the environment in numerous ways. He also mentioned that Downing Farms does an educational camp for middle schoolers! Downing Farms is based on five different pastures, which are rotated regularly. Tim mentioned that chickens are an important component to the quality of soil for their crops. Chicken feces works as a fantastic fertilizer! It is great to see our local farmers utilizing sustainable practices to cultivate their products and how a farm can be such an advocate for agricultural education. Tim notes that sweet potatoes will be available in the fall. Please give them a like on Facebook!

Mark Heuser’s honey business hits a soft spot for me. JaMegCo, a combination of his children’s names, is a business that focuses on the community, family, and honey! Mark is a spectacular guy and member of Rowan County Beekeepers Association. Local honey is great for your immune system and functions as an antiseptic. Please take some time to meet him at the market, chat for a bit, and buy some local honey!

I purchased soap from Moo Chick Farm and let me tell you, it smells so good that I have already taken a nibble or two. They are great advocates for the environment and a fantastic group of people! Please check them out on Facebook and visit them at the farmer’s market!

Jean Barlow’s Painted Glass Designs featured delicately painted pieces. She has a real knack for her craft, and her booth is worth checking out the next time you stop by the Salisbury/Rowan Market!

Booths that I was unable to visit for long included:

Please take time to check them out as well.

At this point, I already got everything on my list!

  • Environmentally friendly cleaning, soap, and skincare products (check)
  • Ingredients for a yummy salad (check)
  • Dinner (check)
  • Dessert(s)… I have a sweet tooth (check)
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers for a friend (check)

The Salisbury/Rowan Farmers Market is a great place to visit and get a sense of our local businesses. I still wanted to visit two more of Rowan County’s farmers markets. Maybe, to get more desserts! Next stop: Landis Farmers Market.

Landis Farmers Market

While this farmer’s market is smaller than the others, it had a great group and was in a perfect location for passersby.

I got to speak with Mike from Miller Farm which was also at the Salisbury location. Mike spoke of how they had plenty of cantaloupes, tomatoes, and squash! Please give them a like on their Facebook page!

Do you like crafts and jewelry? Slim’s Quarry was an absolute treasure to come across! On October 30th, Landis will have their Boo Bash! There will be Trunk-or-Treat, movies, and vendors including Slim’s Quarry! Please check out Tanya’s Facebook page to learn more about their business.

I purchased a delicious bundt cake and cream horn from Springtime’s Sweet Treats! Please give them a like on Facebook.

I was able to find another dessert for my taste buds and meet some great folks. Although Landis Farmers Market is on the petite side, it is important that we support our local businesses here! Next stop: Kannapolis Farmers Market.

Wrapping it up with Kannapolis Farmers Market

I had never visited downtown Kannapolis, other than to go to a Cannonballer game. So, I was excited to see that the market is in the heart of downtown Kannapolis.

I didn’t really need much more, and honestly needed to save up for a car, but enjoyed the atmosphere where I was able to see new and familiar businesses. There were a few food trucks with ice cream and assorted foods, I grabbed some lemonade from Juicy Lemon and slurped it down while I walked in the summer sun.

I spoke briefly with Zufall Soap Company about their all-natural soaps, Earthly Dressings about their recipes, and said hello to many vendors. Some of the businesses included:

  • Miller & Sons Produce – Rowan County family farm that grows strawberries, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, and more
  • Curt’s Kettle Corn – Variety of flavored popcorn
  • Bingham Farm – Poultry, pork, and eggs
  • Big L’s Blends – Spice blends
  • Boho Mama Natural Living – Cleaners, hand soaps, lip balms
  • Creations by Amanda – Planters, garden designer accessories
  • Earthly Dressings – Sauces and dressings
  • Lousleeves Ninepanel – Cartoon books
  • Moo Chick Farm – Eggs, soap, produce
  • JB Designs – Knit, crochet, sewn items
  • Cook Cattle Farm – Beef, eggs
  • Pretty Baby Naturals – Soaps, lotions
  • Sun Hat Flower Farm – Flowers
  • Juicy Lemon – Fresh squeezed lemonade
  • Maxx’s Desserts – A dessert food truck
  • Matias Rodriguez – Produce, plants
  • Thee Olde Wood Shoppe – Woodcrafts
  • Stevie & Me – Jewelry
  • Laura’s Shed Shop – Jewelry, wood crafts
  • The Gift Fox – Decor, accessories
  • Dani’s Little Dinos – Home decor, accessories

I recommend visiting downtown Kannapolis and the Farmer’s Market because of the open and cultural atmosphere!

Notes to the Reader

  • If you do end up visiting Farmers Markets, remember to be mindful of the space since we are still dealing with COVID-19.
  • I would recommend bringing reusable bags if you wish to go shopping so that we can prevent plastic bag usage!
  • Carpool, or walk to your local farmers market if possible.
  • Really take time to get to know the vendors and people at the market. Establishing a connection with the people that bring us our food is creating a healthy relationship with our diet. It is amazing knowing where your food is coming from and who produced it.
  • Farmers markets are places to be prideful of Rowan County and respectful towards one another.
  • The American Farmers Markets app is a great way to find the farmers market closest to you but is only compatible with Apple products.

About The Author

Madison Kluge

You might see me on the city of Salisbury’s greenways sporting a pair of rainbow roller skates! I officially graduate(d) May 2021 from the Environment & Sustainability program at Catawba College and I have/will soon take on the role as Salisbury’s Sustainability Coordinator. At Catawba, I researched the Emerald Ash Borer for a couple of years, spearheaded campus composting, and became heavily involved with environmental education planning. My goal as a connector is to establish a non-formal greenspace pedagogy with you and navigate the great outdoors by engaging with a variety of local farmers, NPO’s, parks, trails, preserves, educational institutions, and sustainable events. I will also explore available technologies/ apps that enhance our experience of the great outdoors in plant and animal identification and citizen science initiatives. To my fellow nature and environmental enthusiasts: get to know Rowan County better with me in the evolving greenspaces. Let’s get dirt under our nails!