Eno River Farmers Market & River Park
I love Farmers Markets. They are one of the best things about living in the Triangle area - we have a bunch of them. And even though this summer heat is oppressive, the good news is that tomatoes are in! So C and I headed out to the Eno River Farmers Market, which is downtown Hillsborough's market, on Saturday.
This market is cute. It is much smaller than some of the other ones around the area, but I was specifically comparing it to Carrboro's Farmers Market. Despite it being smaller, however, there are still plenty of great goods to buy. There are fresh organically grown vegetables and fruits, handpicked flowers, soaps, jams, breads, handmade kids clothing, and local organic meats. So there is a variety of things here. Just not the same diversity or amount.
One nice thing that the Eno River Farmers Market had was live music. There was a woman with a lovely voice, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, singing melodies that were gorgeous under the pavilion.
The Farmers Market also has a kids tent. This weekend the adult-led craft was fairy baskets.
Parking is easy. The Farmers Market does hold events throughout the year. Stayed tuned to their website (see below) for announcements. Next up is the Pepper Festival!
The Farmers Market is held in the Orange County Public Market House. This is right next to the Courthouse in historic Hillsborough. And it also sits in River Park (just keep walking past the pavilion to the grassy fields). So we took a look around the park while we were there.
River Park is where Hillsborough Hog Days was held this year. But now there isn't much there. There are some nice paved trails that walk by the Eno, but the trails are short. They are built to eventually be part of the River Walk trail, which we have mentioned before, that Hillsborough is in the process of constructing.
What River Park does have is a huge meadow and field. This is great for picnicking (tasting your Farmers Market goods!), throwing a ball around or doing other recreational sports while right next door to the Farmers Market.
One interesting thing that River Park did have was a very small reconstruction of the Ocaneechi Village. The Ocaneechi Indians (spelled many ways but also mentioned in the HOST post) originally lived here on the banks of the Eno. At one point Hillsborough had a larger village rebuild up in River Park. But due to vandalism and shady goings-ons of teens, in 2007 the town & the Ocaneechi tribe (which is still active today) reduced its scope significantly. Right now there exists in downtown Hillsborough two huts and a short fence demonstrating what the village was like. There is also some educational information on the tribe posted near here that is interesting reading.
If you are even more interested, the Ocaneechi have a Homeland Project in the works in Mebane. The old village replica that was in Hillsborough has been mostly moved out to the Homeland. As far as I can tell, they are still looking for donations to complete the Project: http://www.occaneechi-saponi.org/homeland_project.html.
In general, the Eno River Farmers Market and River Park aren't huge, and they won't consume a day's worth of activities. But it is local, it is enjoyable, and it might be something different for you and your family. C and I had a good time, got some great tomatoes and fresh bread, and didn't even mind the early morning heat.
Amenities at River Park:
- Event Space,
- Natural Trails,
- Picnic Shelter,
Public Market House
Saturday 8 am - noon
Wednesday 4 - 7 pm
104 Margaret Lane