A Harvest of Local Produce and Civic Pride
Matthews Community Farmers Market is run by farmers for farmers. The guiding mission for the organization has always emphasized support for local agriculture and the revitalization of the city’s downtown area. With these twin goals firmly in focus since its inception in 1991, the Matthews Community Farmers Market has fulfilled the important role of providing Matthews and the surrounding area with an enduring sense of community.
The Largest Producer-Only Farmers Market in the Charlotte Metro Region
All vendors at the Matthews Community Farmers Market must reside within a 50-mile radius of Matthews, with the exception of North Carolina fishermen who land on the North Carolina coast. Vendors must also be the original producer of the goods they offer; no reselling of products is allowed.
In keeping with its original mission statement, market operations are overseen by a board of directors whose members must be local growers. While the majority of market vendors are local farmers, Matthews Community Farmers Market does consider applications from local food artisans and creators of unique farm crafts.
The market has grown significantly over the past 28 years. Originally, the market hosted a few local farmers concerned about preserving Matthews’ strong historical connection to agriculture; it has now developed into the largest, most diverse, producer-only farmers market in the Charlotte metro region, with more than 50 vendors represented, offering direct-from-the-producer food that is grown, raised or made within 50 miles of Matthews.
A Unique Shopping and Community Gathering Experience
Market Manager Paulette Wilkes stresses the market’s role in providing valuable information to the community.
“We play a part in educating people about biodiversity. … Many of our growers use organic growing methods which are clean and self-sustaining.”
In addition to vendors who sell native pollinator- and bird-friendly plants, the market hosts beekeepers selling local honey. Year-round accessibility to fresh, local, seasonal produce and the ability to meet its producer is a unique opportunity.
Expect more than a plethora of fresh food choices when you visit Matthews Community Farmers Market, as it has grown to include numerous amenities including live music, food trucks and a full-service coffee shop, all of which merge to make the market a premier source for fresh produce and a favorite gathering spot for the community as an established center of activity in Matthews on Saturday mornings.
Planning to Go?
Matthews Community Farmers Market is located in downtown Matthews at 188 N. Trade St. (at the intersection of E. John and Trade, adjacent to Renfrow Hardware). The market’s main season runs from mid-April to November (open Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon), and the winter market season runs from December through March (open Saturdays 8–10 a.m.). For more information on the market, vendors, recipes and events, visit MatthewsFarmersMarket.com.
Fresh Ricotta with English Pea Pesto
+1 cup fresh English peas
+1/2 cup basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
+1/2 cup mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
+1/4 cup grated Parmesan
+1 clove garlic
+1/4 cup olive oil
+Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
+1 pound fresh ricotta
+Flaky sea salt
+Toast and vegetables to garnish
1. In a food processor, combine peas, basil and mint leaves, Parmesan and garlic. Pulse puree until coarsely chopped. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture and continue to blend until you have a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Spread the ricotta on a plate and swirl the pesto into the ricotta. Garnish with basil, mint, olive oil, pepper and flaky sea salt. Serve with toasted bread, fresh hothouse tomatoes, sliced radishes, kohlrabi, baby carrots, broccoli or any other crisp spring favorites you prefer.