Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner?!
This crazy and unprecedented year has gone by so quickly and I'm shocked to find that the beginning of the holiday season is quickly approaching. We've already started to deliver holiday flavors like Salted Caramel Apple Butter and Local Persimmon Marmalade to Weaver Street Market, and I've been receiving emails asking about the availability of gift baskets. It may be that we're all looking ahead to what is typically a more joyful season, and the start of a new year, something we all definitely need right now.
With all that in mind we're starting to prepare and look ahead, so we've set our holiday schedule for the Carrboro Farmer's Market. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, there will not be any annual holiday markets like the Patchwork Market, or the Locally Made Market this year, we'll really miss participating, and having the opportunity to reach a different customer audience.
We will continue to offer a pre-order option for all of our holiday markets that will be published to our website the Sunday before each market date. As in previous years, we will take a winter hiatus from market from Christmas, until Spring 2021. Below is our holiday market schedule.
2020 Carrboro Farmer's Market Holiday Schedule
Saturday, November 7
Saturday, November 21
Tuesday, November 24 - Special Pre-Thanksgiving
Market from 3-5 pm
Saturday, December 5
Saturday, December 19 - the last Carrboro Farmer's Market before Christmas
Where to find our products this holiday season
If you're unable to make it to market, you can always find a selection of our products at all 4 Weaver Street Market locations. The online store on our website has a broad selection of our products available for shipping, and you can also find a list of local retailers that carry our products here.
As you have probably heard, there is currently a shortage of canning jars happening nationwide. You can read more about the shortage here. It has definitely complicated things a bit this fall, as we are still making seasonal products all the way into early December. Our main supplier has notified us that jars will not start shipping again until March of 2021. Partner that with price increases across the board for supplies, ingredient sourcing issues this spring and summer, plus the uncertainty around what our wholesale partners would need, it has been an interesting year to navigate from a production standpoint. We didn't make as many different products as we have in past years, but I feel like going into the holidays we'll be okay, and should have plenty of availability. Our sales have seen a strong increase, especially in online sales, so it is possible that we will run out of things earlier than expected, but we've got our fingers crossed we'll have enough product to make it until the end of the year!
In closing we just want to thank you all for your continued support of our small business through this crazy year. When the pandemic started, and we started to see lock downs, there was a lot of uncertainty for us about what would happen. Thankfully the Carrboro Farmer's Market did an excellent job of navigating the crisis by partnering with experts from UNC and the Orange County Health Department, and were able to find a way to stay open and support the farming community, unlike some other local markets. We were amazed and heartened by the support we saw through online orders and at market, for us, and our fellow market vendors. Thank you so much, your support made a very tough year so much easier to manage. Here's to a new, and hopefully much calmer, healthier and happier year in 2021!
Fall is coming!
Summer is winding down here in the North Carolina Piedmont, but what an epic summer it’s been for fruit! The strawberries were early and had a great run, the blueberries and blackberries were gorgeous and plentiful and we even scored some black raspberries in the NC mountains. I recently talked to one of our peach suppliers, Johnson’s Peaches, and they said they’re expecting to have peaches all the way through October! We’re not quite done yet though, we’re just waiting on the persimmons, so keep an eye for the perennial favorite, Local Persimmon Marmalade in the next few months.
One of the harbingers of fall for us is our annual trip up to the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan to visit family. The Leelanau Peninsula juts out about 30 miles into Lake Michigan and is sometimes referred to as Michigan’s little finger. The microclimate that exists on the peninsula is excellent for growing fruit, especially apples and cherries. So each August when we visit we bring back a little of whatever fruit is available, sometimes it’s black raspberries, maybe even currants or gooseberries, but we ALWAYS bring back apricots and tart cherries. This year is no exception and we’ll have both for sale at our next Carrboro Farmer’s Market on August 26!
Although we had a great year for fruit here in North Carolina, it was a really tough year for farmer’s in Northern Michigan. Most of the crops were several weeks late due to the cool, rainy weather in the early summer. The cherry farmers, in addition to struggling with weather and pests, are also struggling with pricing and trade issues, forcing them to literally dump large portions of this year's harvest. Many of the orchards are going up for sale or going out of business after dealing with these issues over the last 4-5 years, it’s predicted that if these tariff issues are not resolved soon that the Michigan tart cherry industry will cease to exist in as little as 10 years. That’s 75% of the nation’s tart cherry’s a $54million crop! There have been several interesting articles addressing the issue, here’s a recent piece from the Wall Street Journal.
With the abundance of fruit this summer we’ve had the opportunity to experiment with some new flavors. Based on sales and customer feedback it looks like our new Blueberry Honey Butter, Salted Caramel Peach Butter and Strawberry Honeysuckle Jelly will be moving into our regular rotation.
We’re rolling into our busiest time of year for events and markets, we’re really looking forward to events like Pittsboro’s Pepperfest and so many more through the end of the year. We’re also starting to book our holiday markets and already have the Patchwork Market in Durham on the calendar. Here’s a link to our schedule through the holidays, come out and see us at one of these fun events or markets!
Where to Find our Products/Online Store
Did you know that we have an online store? We do, and it’s just been restocked. You can also find our products locally at all 4 Weaver Street Market locations (yes there are 4, the new Raleigh store will open in September!) as well as several other locations throughout the Triangle, here is the latest list!
Check out our 2015 Holiday Newsletter and let us help you get ready for the holidays! Easy gift ideas for everyone, and great food options for your holiday dinner table! http://eepurl.com/bF9Mmrhttp://eepurl.com/bF9Mmr