Life at The Corner Farmer’s Market in Greensboro, NC
Underneath a ball cap, young Charlie Ellison makes his way across the busy farmer’s market to the Kuska Wiñasun Homestead booth and looks over the free range heritage turkeys and avocado-sized goose eggs for sale. Gazing across the table, the boy scans the hand-painted sign that reads, “Ask Us About How We Raise Our Ducks” along with the literature of their pot-belly pigs.
The fifth grader, from Allen Jay Prep Academy, hands his money to Emma and Jason, the farm owners from Stokes County who operate the booth. Charlie gets his usual order, taking advantage of the vendor discount, and then makes his way back to his booth.
Every Saturday morning, the corner belongs to the people of the The Corner Farmers Market. Sitting diagonally from FishBones, the modest market is made up a few dozen booths, each with it’s own smiling face and interesting story.
In addition to the duck homestead, there are handmade soaps such as the “Fungus Amungus” from Donna’s Delights and stuffed pickles from Ms. Linda’s Pimento and Cheese. And, before you consider correcting Ms. Linda, she’ll quickly remind you that’s Pimento and Cheese, not just Pimento Cheese, as she hands you a pickle and pimento [and] cheese sample slider.
Then there’s Susan Elliot’s Kombucha tea, made up of flavors like raspberry and basil-pom. Coltrane Farms host an assortment of naturally raised, black Angus beef and antibiotic-free chicken, along some recently added seafood. In center stage, Shelby Drabot sells her handmade accents, wall art, and mini crochets known as The Cuddly Cactus.
In front of the patio to Sticks and Stones, Dal Maso provides authentic pastas and homemade fettuccine. For the sweet tooth, Tarheel Bakery offers homemade pies, and for the romantic, there are fresh cut flowers from Wildwood Farms.
For those seeking traditional market items, such as corn bread mix, beet pickles, onions, potatoes and more, consider stopping by Mike Faucette’s stand, a farmer since he could “reach the tractor peddles.” Another veteran, Stephen Johnson, who also organizes the event, invites visitors to try his fresh soda bread, herbs, apple products, and local lettuces.
Stephen, owner of nursery and market garden Elam Gardens, has been operating the event for three years. “Our main intent is to encourage younger people to start their own careers as a small business owners,” boasts the farmer as he adjusts his soda bread. “There are no fees. We just ask for people to contribute.”
The organizer’s ambitions are coming true as more and more young people attend and participate in the weekly event.
Allison Royal, creator of the vegan-friendly Wallflour Baker, believes in providing wholesome, organic goods, for everyone to enjoy. Next to Allison’s booth, young Carmen Hendrick brings homemade sweets each week. Working the market for over a year, Carmen bakes cupcakes while many of her classmates are sleeping in.
Last but certainly not least, Charlie Ellison stands behind the lemonade stand that his dad helped him build. Armed with two styles of lemonade, he stands behind the bright blue stand, smiling behind homemade lemonades and a donation jar.
Connected with Reelin’ For Research, the 11-year-old has been operating the Lemonade stand since 2013 to raise money for cancer research.
With over $3,000 raised, Charlie, along with the friends and family who support his substantial ambitions, has set a goal to raise $5,000 for cancer research. Every Saturday, the adolescent spends his mornings taking donations in exchange for muffins and lemonade to raise money for a great cause.
If you’re in Greensboro next weekend, rather than wandering down those same old grocery aisles, considering stopping by The Corner Farmers Market for fresh greens, a few indulgent treats, and some of Charlie’s Lemonade.