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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the Prowl: The Umbrella Market in Greenville, NC

The Umbrella Market is about as convenient as farmer's markets get for Greenville time and location wise. Not only can you find some good local produce for the right price, but you can also shop around for some interesting antiques and bake goods while downing a refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade, some iced jasmine tea down the street, or a cold beer from the Duck-Rabbit Brewery.

Location: Downtown Greenville, NC
Hours: 5-8 PM every Wednesday through September

Produce Round-Up
The selection at the Umbrella Market is actually pretty decent for what it's worth. If you are shopping for some kitchen essentials for your weekly cooking, you should still be able to pick up some what you need for a good cost. Here's the round-up:

Tomatoes - Daily
Peppers - Daily
Yellow/Green Zucchini - Daily
Sweet Potatoes - Occasional
Grape Tomatoes - Daily
Corn - Occasional/Daily
Blueberries - Daily
Blackberries - Occasional
Grapes - Occasional
Green/Yellow Bell Peppers - Daily
Melons (watermelon and cantaloupe mostly) - Occasional/Daily
Basil - Rare
Local Jam(s) - Daily
Eggplant - Daily
Onions - Occasional/Daily

Along with the produce, there is also a seafood vendor that regularly comes in with fish and shellfish at around $7-9 a pound. The Nooherooka Natural truck also makes regular appearances with grass-fed (looks like ground mostly) beef for sale. Produce wise, you'll usually find some good deals here and there. One of the best I got was a couple of humongous bell peppers - green and yellow - for a dollar. A little better then the $3-4 I might be forced to pay at the store! Most vendors are willing to bargain if you are into that, but most of their deals are generally sound as is.

The Umbrella Market is pretty ideal for students stuck in the vicinity for Summer or early Fall classes, along with the professors and locals in the area that are generally too busy to hit up other markets in and out of town at those extra early hours. If you are in it for the produce, you definitely want to try to hit the 5-6 PM time before what you likely want is gone. Aside from produce shopping, there's a lot of fun little shopping to do along with a few tables for kids as well if you've got them. This past week featured an art table for kids to get creative. You can also usually find some food to chow on as well, with Sup Dogs doing their usual thing and a few bakers providing extra eats on the side. On occasions, there are also some special vendors that provide a unique item or two. A couple weeks back a pasta vendor made her way through town featuring artisan pasta from afar. Kinda neat.

Down the street you'll also find Sojourner and Tipsy Teapot getting into the act with a few stands of their own. Sojourner generally features a small sale out front which includes a variety of tea if you are looking for something a little more exotic. Tipsy for now only seems to have a small, though somewhat exotic clothing vendor, but it at least is certainly a nice place to stop and get out of the heat momentarily. Definitely hope to see more vendors in there in the future to add to the Umbrella Market scene, because there's plenty of space to fill. Overall though, the Umbrella Market is a nice, convenient time to pick up some much needed produce and have a little fun in the sun.

You can find out all the details about the market at


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