Thursday, July 28, 2011

Elizabeth Avenue Farmers Market

The great thing about writing about local food is that people start sending you local food ideas, links and information on other markets. Two weeks ago a friend sent me a message about a newly established small farmers market in the Elizabeth neighborhood just east of Uptown Charlotte. Since I love trying out new markets, I headed out on Saturday to the brand new Elizabeth Avenue Farmers Market.

This market is still small with only about five tents set up when I got there at 8:45am. Vendors right now include flowers, a caterer that sells fresh bread, two traditional farmers’ stands with primarily vegetables, local honey, one meat and one fisher vendor. Not being a huge fish eater myself, I have never sampled the fish seller at Atherton Market but when I got to the Elizabeth market, I decided to take the plunge and get some fish. I spoke to the fisherman, Mr. Stone, for some time about his fish and what made them local. Interestingly, all of the fish he sells are caught by bait and line right off the North Carolina coast (with the exception of his giant scallops and shrimp which are net-caught but still off of NC coast). As fish goes, that’s about as local as you’re going to get in Charlotte. I got some of his beautiful shrimp which I sautéed in lemon, garlic from the Lomax Farm and butter from Simply Local for a nice appetizer later in the day.

Produce highlights include a plethora of tomato varieties at the Herron family tent where I purchased the okra and cucumbers for the Lunch post earlier this week.  Mr. Herron’s wife also grows herbs and does small flower arrangements. The tomatoes have been great by themselves (the cherry variety), on sandwiches (heirloom), and the Roma in a mystery recipe I’m excited to share with you in a week or two.

The market is small for now but will grow with demand.  If you know anyone who lives in east Charlotte, Plaza-Midwood, Eastover or Elizabeth, tell them to check out the Elizabeth Avenue Farmers Market on Saturdays!

Elizabeth Avenue Farmers Market
1521 Elizabeth Ave.
Saturdays 8am – 12pm

Note: Due to a new job that will be taking a lot more of my “free” time, I will have to reduce my posts to once per week for a couple weeks. You can always follow me on Twitter (@CLTLocalEats) to see what I’m doing with local food every day.

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