Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

The Inaugural Triad Black Farmers Market

Kim Alexander, left, examines fresh apples from Gabor Farms, with Farmer Hart Womack and N.C. A&T volunteer Alyssa Dunn. Photo by Ivan Saul Cutler / Carolina Peacemaker.

Grandparents Yvonne and Gary Halley with Cayden, 7, and Nathanael, 6. Photo by Ivan Saul Cutler / Carolina Peacemaker.
Greensboro residents converged on the inaugural Triad Black Farmers Market on Sunday, Oct. 15. Crowds began arriving at noon last Sunday, an hour before the market officially opened in the parking lot of the Hayes-Taylor YMCA at 2630 East Florida St.

“The number of people wanting freshly grown foods from Black farmers exceeded our expectations,” said Lolita Wakins, co-convener with Lydia McIntyre of the Triad Black Faith Leaders and Black Farmers Network. Watkins explained that within an hour, most of the farmers sold out of their offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables. “Our objective is to support Black farmers and bring fresh food into our community.”

One area farmer, Courtney Alston Wilson, of the century-old farm, Glow House Agriculture in Randolph County, distributed at no cost more than two tons of vegetables, which included collard greens, peppers and sweet potatoes harvested a few days prior to the market.

Watkins said the organizers are planning another farmers market with more churches and farmers participating in the event, which will be next year.

“We are meeting to assess all aspects,” Watkins explained. She added that the seasoned farmers who participated came by faith from Warren, Randolph and Mongomery Counties not knowing how many customers would come to the new market. “We need to develop and find Black farmers, who are even perhaps younger, in Guilford and Forsyth County to participate in this endeavor.”

The initial group of African American Faith-Based Leaders of Guilford County participating in the Triad Black Faith Leaders and Black Farmers Network includes St. James Presbyterian Church, Positive Direction for Youth and Families, Inc. (Evangel Fellowship Church), Shiloh Baptist Church, St. Phillips AME Zion Church and Poplar Grove AME Church. These churches plan to provide fresh vegetable boxes to food-insecure individuals and families during the holiday season.

Inaugural event organizers include Guilford County MWB/E, N.C. Cooperative Extension Guilford County Center, East Greensboro NOW, and the Tau Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.