GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The leaves are falling; the air has cooled. Fall is here. But, the change in seasons doesn’t have to mean an end to fresh local produce.
James Heath, manager of the Pitt County Farmer’s Market, explains: ”You can’t get food this fresh in the grocery market. These are harvested either in the afternoon or early morning and brought to the market.”
Yes, there are still plenty of fruits and vegetables that are being freshly picked here in the East. Greens like collards and cabbage, irish, red, and sweet potatoes, peanuts, and even apples are all fresh and local this time of year. Mary Hardy and her family’s business have been right here at Stand 14 at the Pitt County Farmer’s Market for the past 18 years.
”We make sure that our community gets fresh picked vegetables,” says Hardy, who’s family’s business is based out of Ayden. “We pick them one day and sell them the next day.”
A study done by the Institute of Food Research found that fruits and vegetables can lose up to 45% of their nutritional value by the time they reach the supermarket shelf. In addition to the health benefits, buying local helps farmers and vendors like Hardy.
”My husband had retired and he wanted something extra to do so that’s why we came into vegetables,” says Hardy. “And since then I’ve been enjoying it.”
It’s hard to beat fresh from the farm with a smile. The Pitt County Farmer’s Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from April through December. Click here to find out which fruits and vegetables are now in season.