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Photo report State Farmers Market Raleigh, North Carolina

The Farmers Market still plays a prominent role in the United States. Last week I visited the State Farmers Market of Raleigh, the largest in the state of North Carolina. The Farmers Market in Raleigh has a consumer and a wholesale section. In 2013, the market was visited by 4.8 million people. The market is open seven days a week. You could find 30,000 people walking around the Farmers Market on any given Saturday. Restaurants and retailers buy there, but many families and schools also treat a visit to the Farmers Market as a day out.

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The consumer market only has farmers from North Carolina. Farmers rent a unit per day or week. Others (twelve out of a hundred) are there year-round. Remarkably, nearly all farmers have a wide range of products, often with one main product. The market's organizers try to maintain a balance in the products on offer. For instance, there's a waiting list for growers of pumpkins, strawberries and Christmas trees. The wholesalers at the Farmers Market also offer a wide range of imported fruit. Special events are held, such as a 'Pumpkin Night' and 'Strawberry Day'.

Owner Ronnie Yokeley of R&H Produce is one of the wholesalers at the market. Potatoes, apples and oranges are his main products, but he also imports bananas, pineapple, melons, grapes and stonefruit

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There was a particularly large supply of local new-crop sweet potatoes, pumpkins and apples. In addition, there was a wide range of local fruit and open field vegetables. For instance, you see a lot of Collards (marrow-stem kale), a product that you don't see at all in the Netherlands. Unlike retailers in the area, the supply of organic produce at the market was very limited. One of the reasons for this was, according to the manager of the market, that the farmers at the market represent a significant acreage, and not many organic farmers have this kind of capacity.

This Farmers Market has been in existence since 1955, and is managed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. All in all, the market has an area of 30 hectares, a large part of which is indoors. In restaurants at the Farmers Market, products from the market are served. Opening hours are from Monday until Saturday from 5 am until 8 pm, and on Sunday between 8 am and 6 pm.

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For more information:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture Street
Raleigh (North Carolina) 27603
Tel: 919-733-7414
Fax: 919-733-9932
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