With all of the recent apartment development news in NoDa, the announcement of a upcoming farmers market was a breath of fresh air. The NoDa Farmers Market, located on 36th Street in the field owned by Johnston Memorial Presbyterian Church, will be a large (36-48 vendors), tailgate-style "producers only" farmers market. This means all produce sold will have been raised/grown within 100 miles of the city, according to market organizers Joey and Scott Linwell, owners of Linwell Farms, an urban farm in the heart of NoDa. They attribute the idea of the market to Eric Williamson of Coldwater Creek Farm.
Vendors will include farms producing fruits, vegetables, meat, natural herb remedies and soaps. Market organizers will inspect participating farms to ensure that 75 percent of what they sell at the market was actually grown and/or produced on the farm.
Scott's business, Janus Real Estate, is the nonprofit market's first sponsor (talk about home grown!), and the couple is hopeful other area businesses will see the added value to the neighborhood and chip in to cover financial costs. The goal for the market, Joey says, is to promote farmers and artisans from Charlotte.
Creative Loafing: Why NoDa for a farmers market?
Joey Linwell: I am actually surprised that NoDa doesn't have a farmers market by this point. Plus, unless you drive to Davidson or Matthews, you won't be able to have a wide variety of fresh locally grown produce and products. We think NoDa is the perfect neighborhood to put in a growers-only farmers market.
Do you have any tips for shoppers when considering the best produce?
Well, I think that is the most important part of our farmers market. It's a growers-only tailgate-style farmers market. I don't think a lot of folks realize when they go to some other farmers markets they are actually purchasing tomatoes and different vegetables out of the same exact fruits and vegetables that you can buy at your local grocery store. Just because it's a farmers market does not mean it was locally grown and/or raised. That's what our goal is. It's as much about the education as it is about keeping our community healthy.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever been asked regarding your own farm/farming?
"Do you grow weed?" "Is it hard?" Oh, and the answer is no, we do not grow weed. As soon as weed becomes legal to grow in the state, I will definitely be farming it. Could you imagine the amount of revenue?