The open forum of a marketplace provides a refreshing getaway from shopping aisles. Each venue offers a unique setting that may include activities for children, live entertainment, and an array of foods. The curious shopper discovers she has direct access to fresh and locally grown fruits, herbs, flowers, and vegetables, dairy-based products, proteins, homemade goodies, and artisan-based, handmade crafts. In addition, the welcoming man or woman behind the table provides a small sampling of popular items. Whether you are a first-timer or repeat customer, take the time to introduce yourself, ask questions, and inquire if owners receive visitors or have a farm store. Most likely, the answer is “Yes” or “It’s coming soon!”
Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Market
Turning into the parking lot off 27th Street brings to mind a festival or fair of fun and unexpected encounters! Locals arrive Saturday mornings between 6:00 AM and 1:00 PM with the same expectation of excitement. The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Market, the oldest farmer’s market in town, continues to host a variety of vendors who are passionate about their products, offering quality and personalized customer service. You’ll find both homegrown and handmade products. Perhaps you are already part of the Saura Creek Farm 10-month Box Program and receive a weekly supply of produce, or purchase fresh trout twice annually. If so, you already know Sumpter and Madison Smith, first-generation no-till regenerative farmers running a four-acre bio-intensive vegetable farm in Westfield, with a large-scale aquaponics system.
Meeting Sumpter and Madison Smith
Approaching the tables promoting Saura Creek Farms, SCF, you’ll meet a passionate couple who define why small-scale farming is profitable and promotes an active lifestyle. Together, they traveled in search of the perfect state to grow fruits and vegetables. Colorado? Montana? Yet, they found a diverse climate of flora and fauna in northern North Carolina while having ten-mile access to walking and hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, the river, and Saura creek! Madison says, “I walk our land, bending, stretching, pulling weeds, and getting my hands in the soil. We’re living the best life, preserving and connecting with the natural land.”
Saura Creek Farm
Complementing the fields of fruits and vegetables is an impressive closed-loop aquaponics system, which uses geothermal and hydroelectric energy to maintain fragile temperatures. In their elongated water-based grow beds, lettuce varieties, such as oak leaf, buttercrunch, and spinach, thrive, maturing two to three weeks earlier in summer and five weeks during the winter season. Fish waste is the reason for each plant’s nutrients and success! Every six months, a new batch of fingerling trout begin the cycle in a self-sufficient operation. Sumpter seeks to assimilate his trouts’ feeding regime by raising their natural proteins found in the wild, such as mealworms, crickets, and other insects.
As pollution enters the streams, rivers, and oceans, fish consume levels of mercury through a process of bioaccumulation. On the other hand, trout raised in an aquaponics tank until mature have “mercury-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and radiation-free” labeling. Twice annually, SCF offers an open invitation to purchase their mature, fattened trout, in early October and May. It’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Don’t wait! E-mail SCF today!
A Produce Box and Deliveries
Madison writes, “Our weekly Box Program is an easy way to bring fresh, nutrient-dense seasonal vegetables to your home! And, the offering changes almost weekly throughout the seasons.” Boxes come in two sizes, depending on a family’s size and personal needs. SCF offers flexibility to weekly orders, offering customers the chance to view online and select additional items. Our order window opens every Monday at 8 AM and closes each Friday at 5 PM. Our pre-pay system is safe and reliable, as easy as online grocery shopping!” Each order is hand-washed and packed, ready for a scheduled pick-up at one of three locations—Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and King.
In need of fresh produce before Thanksgiving? Saura Creek Farm delivers! Just imagine adding homegrown arugula, baby kale, beets, broccoli, carrots, microgreens, onions, and Swiss chard to your favorite holiday recipes! Sumpter and Madison will drive boxed goodies to your home for free, up to 25 miles from the farm. Reach out to www.sauracreekfarm.com and sign up!
Saura Creek Farm offers volunteer and tour dates for visitations. Check the website for available dates!
Next Month: Sassafras Family Farm