Spring is one of my favorite times of year in eastern NC. At the coast, we have a brief period of time before the tourists arrive in droves to enjoy our pretty towns and beaches. We get surprise beach days, where the parking is ample and the weather is warm. We rejoin the community that we had to watch from cold glass windows in the winter and we get outside!
Every year my family eagerly awaits the opening of our many local farmers’ markets. We countdown the days until we can visit places such as Lewis Farms and pick strawberries until we collapse at picnic tables with a cone of fresh ice cream. Mmmmmm.....ice cream. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite farmers’ markets and agrarian adventures. To be honest, I will be putting this list on my refrigerator so that I don’t miss visiting any this season. Enjoy!
Poplar Grove Farmers’ Market
Opens April 1st
This farmers’ market is one of my very favorites. It is the perfect place for families. We usually take a long walk on the trails then buy all of our yummy treats. There is a family day scheduled in June. You can find more information about Poplar Grove and their farmers’ market by visiting
Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market
Opens May 16th
The Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market definitely conveys a bit of an island flare. We love to visit this market if there is time in our schedule to take a quick ocean dip or to boogie to the music that is performed at the market. This market also has a large array of crafts made by local artisans. To see the vendor lists, schedules, etc. visit
Riverfront Farmers’ Market (downtown Wilmington, NC)
Opens April 4th
This market is the one that my family visits most frequently due to its proximity to our house. Although it has typically been a bit smaller in offerings than the others in previous years, each year it gets bigger. I hope that this market continues to expand. I love picking up gifts for friends and family at the Riverfront market. From pickled peppers, fresh flowers, to local honey I can always find something that makes for a unique gift. Pickled collard greens anyone?
Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood
Open Year Round
Though Eagle Island is not a farmers’ market it is an amazing place to buy fish, fresh produce, and plants. Eagle Island has a rotating inventory and the best is when they have fresh cakes made by locals in stock. They also serve up a HUGE cup of ice cream for not very huge prices. This place is a true general store. It is the kind of place that I grew up hanging out in with my Pawpaw, and I take my kids here to experience the slower pace of a lot of regulars talking farm out front. Oh, and if oysters is what you want then you might want to bring the pick-up.
Opened March 27th
There are a few different Lewis Farms locations. The one that I visit (and love) is the Gordon Road location. I have more Lewis Farms buckets (you get one to fill when you enter) than I do drinking glasses! This place is kid heaven, and it isn’t too bad for parents either. We go to pick strawberries, though they do sell plants and pre-picked veggies. The berries are very reasonably priced, and picking them yourself makes them taste better, I’m pretty sure. Because the berries are planted in long rows on knee high mounds little kids can only go so far. They have a long row to run, and you are usually the only group in your row. This place became a favorite when I had toddlers. After picking berries heading to the picnic tables to enjoy fresh berry ice cream is the best. Sometimes we drive out to Lewis Farms just for the ice cream, it's that good.
Open year round
Greenlands Farmstore often becomes one of our family stops to or from Oak Island. The farm is located on Midway Road and it opened in 2001. This place has a little bit of everything and you never quite know what you are going to get. There is the farm store which offers everything from jellies to goat’s milk soap. There is the cafe serving up super yummy sandwiches. There are pony rides and a petting farm. My favorite offering (even though I have not had the chance to explore it) is the Homestead and Jr. Homestead Dinners. These are farm fresh dinners that are scheduled two times a month. There are too many awesome things to list (like hayrides for the kids and s'mores). I will definitely be making room in my summer schedule to experience the farm to fork dinner.
There are so many great places in our area for buying (and eating) amazing locally grown farm fresh foods. I will be adding to this list as the season progresses and I have the opportunity to explore more of them. Where should I go? Guide me by commenting on Facebook