Cultural Arts & Local Foods Exhibition

What’s a Cultural Arts & Local Foods Exhibition?  Well it’s just one more exciting portion of our Fall Harvest Celebration!  Farm City Week is an annual event here in Union County where we celebrate the Agricultural Heritage of Union County!  The Union County Farmers Market kicks off the week each year with our Fall Harvest Celebration.  This year it’s scheduled on Saturday, September 19th!!  We’ve always celebrated our local small food producers here at the Market and this event has been growing larger each and every year!  We’re bringing back the old time county fair exhibits including Agricultural/Horticultural, Home Economics/Family and Consumer Sciences, and Cultural Arts.  There are many areas to enter within each category.  Be sure to read the link below for more information on each category, the items you can enter and judging criteria!  This is a time to celebrate YOU and YOUR talents here in Union County!  So be sure to spread the word and get your entries in!  Parents there are varying age groups so be sure to enter your kid’s talents as well!


Best of the Backyard BBQ Contest!!

It’s amazing to think we’re about to kick off accepting entries and hosting our 2ND ANNUAL BEST OF THE BACKYARD BBQ CONTEST!  This new addition to last year’s Fall Harvest Celebration became a quick success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all of those in attendance!  Get yourself a team together, church groups, civic organizations, coworkers, families, friends..and print out the packet below to enter!  It’s a flat $50 entry fee for your team regardless of the number of categories you enter.  Categories once again include chicken, pork butt and pork ribs!  Grand Prize is  a $250 Visa Gift Card and of course the trophy that holds all the bragging rights of being the absolute BEST of the Backyard BBQ!  Each category will also be judged and the best chicken, pork butt and pork ribs will be awarded $50 Visa Gift Cards and a trophy declaring them the best in their individual category.   So get your teams together and enter ASAP!  Entries will be accepted up until September 18th as long as space permits!  It’s time to show off your stuff, and share your own amazing BBQ!

Official Rules Best of the Backyard BBQ

Fall Harvest Celebration!!

The Union County Farmers Market will be holding it’s Annual Fall Harvest Celebration on Saturday, September 19th 2015 from 8am until 2pm!  The day’s festivities will be full of exciting events including our 2nd Annual Best of the Backyard BBQ Contest, our 1st annual Cultural Arts and Local Foods Exhibition, along with all the well known activities you’ve come to enjoy over the years.  We’ll have Tractor rides for the kids, antique tractors on display, live music, community fundraisers for various organizations within Union County, community exhibits including Monroe Fire Department Smoke House, WIC, Food & Nutrition, face painting for the kids provided by Forest Hills High School STUCO, Forestry Services, Soil & Water, Master Gardeners, Parks and Recreation, demonstrations of a grist mill and apple press, and the Union County Public Library!  Of course all our vendors will be here with fresh local produce, meats, farm fresh eggs, baked goods, local honey, nursery items, and lots of beautiful locally crafted artisan items.

We hope you will join us for this wonderful family event!  Again we are here from 8am until 2pm, with BBQ judging in the afternoon beginning at 12 noon.  Free samples are offered after judging of each category has commenced.  Get together your friends, family, coworkers, church members and enter a team!  Entry fee is a flat $50 per team regardless of how many categories you enter.  Prizes will be awarded in the form of Visa Gift Cards.  Please see our Best of the Backyard BBQ page for more information and details on how to enter!  The Cultural Arts and Local Foods Exhibition will be bringing back a part of our past.  Join us in celebrating all the old time county fair exhibits including agricultural/horticultural entries, home economics/family consumer sciences (canned goods, baked goods, canned fruits and vegetables, pickles, relishes, salsas, baked goods!!), cultural arts including needlework, clothing, handicrafts, photography, arts, creative writing and a special cultural arts In Remembrance category.  Look for our entry form also posted on our blog page!!

Vendor Bio: Scott Howard

Hello everyone, this week the Friends of the Market would like to introduce you to Scott Howard of Scott Howard Farms. Scott is a Union County native and was raised around farming (both garden and livestock). He also worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist at a local food processing plant.image

Scott describes his produce as “beyond organic”. The eggs he brings to market are from happy, healthy, free-range chickens. He grows all his produce without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers. He uses fertilizer from his livestock and compost in an effort to maintain a sustainable and earth friendly farm.  Although his farming practices are more labor intensive and costly (local insects might get a bite or two), he is committed to providing the best produce possible.

You can find Scott at the Market throughout the week, as well as on Saturdays. He provides free-range eggs as well as a variety of seasonal produce each week.  He will arrange deliveries as well as CSA memberships. You may contact him at 704-624-6493. Make sure to “Like” Scott Howard Farms on Facebook and come say hi to him on Saturday!

Vendor Bio: Zachariah English

This week the Friends of the Market would like to introduce you to Zachariah English of English Cafe. Zachariah operates a small-batch coffee roastery in Concord, NC. Although he has no formal training, he has perfected the art of roasting over the past 9 years. He roasted coffee for his family and friends for years before opting to sell commercially.

image Zachariah believes the key difference between a decent cup of coffee and a fantastic cup lies in the freshness of the beans. He sources green coffee beans directly from farmers, then precisely roasts them to enhance the unique qualities of each variety of bean. English Cafe’s coffee beans are roasted no more than 24 hours before purchase, so you can be assured their coffee is the freshest you can buy. As an added touch, Zachariah personalizes his packaging with a handmade stamp!


This year at the Market, Zachariah is offering cold brew coffee and concentrates in addition to whole coffee beans (Sumatra & Brazilian) and coffee by the cup. Cold brewing reduces the acidity of the final brew and is a fantastic option for those suffering from acid reflux. Cold brews are ideal for iced coffees as well! You will find Zachariah at the Market most Saturdays from 8-12. Like and follow English Cafe’s Facebook page to see which varieties of coffee he currently offers, as well as when he will be at the Market.

While you are at the Market, stop by, say hello, and sample some of English Cafe’s delicious coffee!

UCFM Spring Open House!

The Union County Farmer’s Market is holding it’s 2nd annual Spring Open House on Saturday, May 30th from 8am until 2pm here at 805 Skyway Drive in Monroe.  This is a family friend, fun filled day focusing on local fresh foods.  It’s free to the public so please stop in and join us for the day.  We will have many different activities going on including live music, games for the kids, an antique tractor display, free tractor rides, grist mill demonstration, Union County Parks and Recreation, Union County Soil and Water displaying the no till drill, Sally McNeill from Cooperative Extension with information on food preservation and safety, Union County Master Gardeners with a Q & A session, Monroe Fire Department, Monroe Police Department with car seat safety checks, Forestry Services, Union County Public Library with their summer reading kick off registration, cooking demonstration and LIVE WIXE broadcast.

We hope you’ll stop in and join us for the day!  It will be a great time celebrating all that’s local and fresh in Union County!!


Vendor Bio: Valerie Greene

Hello All,

We at Friends of the Market would like to introduce you to one of the outstanding Union County Farmers’ Market vendors: Valerie Greene of Greene Farm. Valerie is a Union County native and has raised cattle her entire life. She received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from NC State. She and her husband, Mike, own a few herds throughout Union & Anson County.

Valerie Greene

Valerie and her family raise mainly Angus cows, along with some Herefords. Their bulls are either Angus or Angus/Simmental cross. Crossbreeding provides the ability to combine the strengths of the various breeds used to form the cross to create more efficient, well-rounded calves. No hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products are used to raise their quality beef. They practice rotational grazing to provide healthy pastures year round. In the winter, they also provide quality hay, grown and harvested on their farm. Their cattle are supplemented just prior to harvesting with small amounts of natural feed (no corn) to enhance the beef’s flavor and marbling. This creates a delicious, tender product for consumers to enjoy. Their beef is processed at a local state inspected plant where it is dry-aged 2 weeks.


You will recognize Greene Farm’s booth at the market by the beautiful horseshoe art created by Valerie. She repurposes used horseshoes from Mike’s farrier business into unique works of art. You can purchase various cuts of beef, as well as some lovely horseshoe art from Greene Farm each Saturday. Orders can also be placed through their website

Make sure to stop by and introduce yourself to Valerie this Saturday!

Don’t Forget Our Fall Festival – Saturday, September 20th

Make sure to mark your calendars!  We’re coming up on our Fall Festival here at the Union County Farmers Market.  Please join us on Saturday, September 20th from 8am until 2pm for a fun day filled with activities for the entire family.  You will of course find all the wonderful vendors you’ve become acquainted with this season and they will have a variety of fresh fall produce, meats, eggs, cheese, honey, baked goods and lots of beautifully hand crafted artisan items.

We will have exhibits from Forestry Services, Soil & Water, Parks & Recreation will be here with games for the kids and information on the County’s public parks, Master Gardner’s will be in with a display on fall gardening, Union County Hospice will be selling raffle tickets as a fundraising event, Sally McNeill will be here displaying information on food safety – focusing specifically on freezing and once a month meal planning, Forest Hill High School’s student council will be painting pumpkins with children, Union County Public Library will be here registering patrons for new library cards, providing books for checkout, and we’ll have volunteers with a story time period.  The Antique Tractor Club will be here with a display of antique tractors and they will be providing tractor rides!  There will be an apple press on site if patrons decide to have any North Carolina apples that they purchase pressed into juice.  We’ll also have a working grist mill on site.  We have a wonderful variety of music scheduled for the entire event including Mr. Thomas Cureton, Ms. Mae Little with Mr. Walter Covington, Benton Heights Elementary Dorian Strings ensemble, Mr. Brian Howard, and Mr. Joe Rape.

This year we will also be featuring the Best of the Best Backyard Barbeque Contest!  Residents of Union County are encourage to enter this amateur barbeque competition and compete for the title of Best Amateur BBQ!  Here’s a chance for regular folks to enter into a competition that’s friendly and focused on the great tasting barbeque found in our own backyards!  Contact 704-283-3626 to register, or email  There are three categories to compete in.  Pork Boston Butt, Pork Ribs (any style) and Chicken.  Entry fees are $25 per category and teams may enter as many categories as they choose.  There will be trophies and cash prizes awarded!  Cash prizes will be determined by the number of registrations.

We will be sure to update our blog with any new information as the event gets closer!

4H Photo Auction

Earlier this year the Union County Farmers Market had the privilege of sponsoring a photo contest for the Union County 4-H Youth Development Club.  The contest challenged the 4-H Club members to enter photographs they themselves took of a farming related object/s or scene.  The contest was broken down into four age based categories and cash prizes were awarded to the winners.  Listed below are the four first place winners photos which are available to be bid upon here on this blog entry.  Proceeds from the auction will support Farmers Market programming.

Bids will be in $1 increments, and must include the name of the photo with the bid amount.  Bidding will be open until Midnight September 5th.  Winning bids will be able to pick up their photograph the week of September 13th, during Market operating hours.

*Bidding will only take place here on this blog, by leaving a comment with the amount of the bid and the name of the photograph being bid upon.  This contest will be advertised on the Union County Farmers Market Monroe NC Facebook Page as well as the Union County 4-H Youth Development Facebook Page.

Congratulations to all the winners of our contest!

First Place Winner Age 5-8 years old:

Miles Medlin

Photo Titled “Farm Fresh”

First Place Winner Age 9-12

Victoria Bernash

Photo Titled “Sweet Red”

First Place Winner Age 13-15

Madeline Carico

Photo Titled “Chickens”

First Place Winner Age 16-18

James Bernash

Photo Titled “Through the Grapevine”

**Union County Farmers Market retains rights to all photographs entered into this contest and may use them in the future in either print or digital format.

Fall Festival Scheduled for September 20th

We are pleased to announce our Fall Festival has been scheduled for September 20th, 2014.  The Fall Festival is the kick off for Farm City week and will be a day full of fun activities for the entire family.  From pumpkins, to mums, North Carolina apples, tractor rides, and our very first Best of the Backyard BBQ competition!  We’ll have three categories to enter, including pork ribs, Pork Boston Butt, and chicken.  Bring your grills, set up in our field, grill away and we’ll have judging to choose the best of each category and overall best bbq!  Look for more details starting next week posted both here and on our Facebook Page!