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Food in the news: More farmers’ market hours

The Salisbury Rowan Farmers’ Market hired Eric Bowen hoping for some changes. The market’s first big change is on the way.

With input from hundreds of customers, vendors are excited to try out a new weekday evening session of the farmers’ market. The new hours are planned to be 4 until 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening. These new hours are in addition to the the market’s hours from last year, from 8 a.m. until noon on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

The Salisbury Rowan Farmers’ Market will be open for all three market sessions  starting April 25.

The new evening market will add another option outside of the typical work day. Many locals have indicated the hours as a significant barrier to becoming regular customers at the market. But then again, there are customers and vendors who prefer Wednesday morning hours, particularly when school is out of session for the summer.

Market vendor Lee Ly, who grows a wide assortment of flowers and other products is especially partial to morning hours. “My flowers just wilt in the warm afternoon sun,” she told Bowen, when he was soliciting feedback from vendors about the new hours. Eagle Produce Farm and Miller Farm will be among the vendors during Wednesday morning hours.

Changing market hours have been a long running debate at farmers’ market board meetings. The final push came from Chase Reynolds, the youngest owner/operator on the farmers’ market board. Reynolds, 35, is an N.C. State graduate who runs Two Pigs Farm, a transitional organic produce, protein and fiber farm with a 100 member community-supported agriculture (CSA) box program.

Recent board member David Correll of Red Barn Market/Correll Farms said, “We’ve been talking about an evening market for at least two years so I’m glad to see it become a reality.” He adds, “A lot of other towns are offering an evening market now, so it’s exciting to see this new opportunity for both local farms and consumers.”
In addition to the new hours, the market is excited be adding a number of new vendors. Those invited include Bame Farms, Third Creek Cottage Gardens, Katie’s Farm, Cherry Hill Farm and Sandy Creek Farm, pending approval from the farmers’ market board.
April is Beer Month

Taps are flowing from the mountains to the coast for the third annual NC Beer Month this April. Proclaimed by Gov. Pat McCrory, NC Beer Month is presented by Visit North Carolina and the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild to celebrate brewer craftsmanship and the destinations that nurture it in the state of Southern beer.

 Travelers and residents are invited to experience craft beer culture with festivals and events, special-edition beers, lodging packages, beer dinners and educational panels. To encourage participants to celebrate safely with a convenient, reliable transportation alternative, NC Beer Month’s Safe Ride Partnership with Uber will provide a free ride up to $20 for first-time users of the mobile app using the promotion code “NCBEER.”

 Highlights include:

  • Banana Dash: Tonic Delivers craft beer market presents Jackson County’s first beer run (April 11 in Sylva). Runners will wear banana suits (provided with registration) in the 0.4-mile race from the state’s most photographed courthouse to Tonic Delivers for a complimentary glass mug filled with a special banana beer, live music and complimentary bananas Foster.
  • Kinston Beer Weekend: Weekend features a beer dinner pairing of Vivian Howard (PBS’s “A Chef’s Life”) with award-winning Mother Earth Brewing, a Brews Cruise and a downtown Barbecue, Oysters and Beer Bash (April 17-18 in Kinston).
  • Barks and Brews Night at Natty Greene’s: Four-legged friends are welcome at this Natty Greene- and Humane Society of the Piedmont-hosted event. Enjoy live music and free dog treats with each purchased pint (April 24 in Greensboro).
  • Hickory Hops: Festival featuring handcrafted North Carolina beer from more than 50 microbreweries and the Carolinas Championship of Beer (April 25 in Hickory).
  • World Beer Festival Raleigh and Brewgaloo: An international beer fest with more than 250 brews to sample (April 11) and a locally focused event featuring North Carolina craft brews, food trucks and entertainment (April 25 in Raleigh).
  • JUGS (Just Us Gals) NC Beer Social at the Glass Jug: Hang out with Katy Creech, full-time manager of the Glass Jug, a counter-pressure growler filling station (April 29 in Durham). Gents are welcome to congregate at the bar.
  • Travel deals: Sweeten stays at hotels, vacation rentals and storied inns such as Jarrett House and Balsam Mountain Inn. Lodging packages are also available in the Raleigh and Charlotte areas.

Craft beer aficionados can enter the Greater Raleigh Brewmaster Experience Sweepstakes for a chance to win a weekend getaway featuring food, music and crafting a 900-gallon batch of beer at Aviator Brewing. Find the sweepstakes entry form on NCBeerMonth.com, which also includes travel tips, event details and other information.

The Uber promotion is available now. Travelers can use the app to request a safe ride in cities across North Carolina, including Asheville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Currently, one in three North Carolinians have access to safe and reliable rides through Uber.

 Follow @NCBeerMonth on Twitter and @NCbrewersguild on Instagram for the latest information and live updates from NC craft beer month events across the state.

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