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At the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market June 23

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market will host GrazeFest, a celebration of grass-fed and pasture-raised farm foods, on Wednesday June 23 from 10am – 2pm.  The market, located each week at City Plaza on the 400 block of Fayetteville Street, invites food lovers of all ages to enjoy festivities that showcase North Carolina’s harvest of beef, lamb, pork, poultry, cheeses, eggs, milk and other dairy products.   The event features a chef demonstration by Sarig Agasi of Zely & Ritz, an ice-cream eating contest with Lumpy’s Ice Cream, and bluegrass music by Old Habits. Portia McKnight of Chapel Hill Creamery will show aspiring cheese-makers how to stretch mozzarella using milk from her Jersey cows raised down the road in Orange County.   Festival goers can purchase a grass-fed lunch prepared by market farmer Coon Rock Farm.  They will be serving grilled bratwurst from pasture raised heritage breeds for $5 per sandwich.  At 11:30 am, kids are invited to a special EGGstravaganza with egg relays, veggie trivia, veggie charades, and a market scavenger hunt.

While at the market, customers can visit the information booth and sign up for a free raffle where they can win a copy of The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, or 4 flex tickets including a parking pass to a North Carolina Symphony’s Summerfest concert of choice ($90).  All meat lovers are invited to pick up a free copy of “The Great News about Grass,”  an informative publication offering tips for making the most of pasture-raised foods and showcasing great recipes.

Schedule of Events

Coon Rock Farm sausage sandwiches will be for sale during the market.

  • 10 am                                Market Opens
  • 10:30 am-11:15 am        Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
  • 11:15 am-11:30 am         Mozzarella Stretching Demonstration, Portia McKnight, Chapel Hill Creamery
  • 11:30 am-12:00 pm       Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
  • 11:30 am                          EGGstravaganza
  • 12:00 pm-12:30 pm      Chef Demonstration, Sarig Agasi, Zely & Ritz
  • 12:30 pm-1 pm               Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
  • 1:00 pm-1:15 pm            Lumpy’s Ice Cream Eating Contest
  • 1:15 pm-1:45 pm             Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
  • 2 pm                                  Market Closes

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market is hosting GRAZEFESTsm to bring together food lovers of all ages to sample local foods from the region’s most dedicated small-scale farmers and to help raise awareness of the health, environmental, animal-welfare, and culinary benefits of allowing farm animals to roam on pasture and eat what nature intended.

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market, a program of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), strives to be a guiding force in shaping the environmental, social and financial health of downtown by bringing the highest quality local growers and food artisans together to the Raleigh Community.  The farmers market contributes to the sustainability and success of downtown by serving as a community gathering place, a vehicle for a regional economy, and a center for fresh, local, and healthy food.

Shop at the Market for farm fresh fruits and vegetables, pork, beef, poultry, seafood, cheeses, jams and jellies, eggs, baked goods, plant starts, flowers, and more! Find a bounty of fresh, sustainably-grown produce and artisan food each Wednesday from April 28 through October 27 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm.  Connect with your community farmers and choose local—it’s the healthiest and most nutritious way to eat.  For more information, visit

About Grazfest The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market is one of many organizations across the nation to hold a Grazefest event this year. GRAZEFEST began in 2004 as a national grassroots campaign to promote the diverse flavors and unique farming and ranching techniques of small-scale family farmers who are dedicating their lives to finding humane and environmentally responsible alternatives to large-scale “factory farms.” Grass-based farming has gained favor with animal welfare advocates, wildlife preservationists, environmentalists, health and nutrition experts, and social justice advocates who view these unique farming and ranching techniques as critical to the health and well-being of farm animals and the farmers who work the land. It has also captured the attention of food enthusiasts and professional chefs, who embrace the unique flavors and outstanding quality of the beef, pork, lamb, bison, goat, poultry, milk, and cheeses that come from animals raised on well-managed pastures.

Special Thanks to: The market is a program produced by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and is made possible by the generous support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market would also like to thank Curtis Media as their media sponsor.

About the Downtown Raleigh Alliance: The Alliance is the official nonprofit organization designated to manage and promote downtown as a regional center of commerce, tourism, and livability. Through its dedicated Board of Directors and professional staff, the Alliance team provides a comprehensive array of programs designed to build on the strengths of the downtown business district. The programs are categorized into five main areas: Clean & Safe Ambassadors, Marketing & Events, Economic Development, City Plaza Management, and Advocacy. The Alliance was created in 1996 by a coalition of community advocates, corporate leaders, and government officials. Our website is

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2 Responses

  1. I would like to know if the produce is ORGANIC? When you say grass fed and pasture raised…….it CAN be misleading to those of us that prefer only Organic. Thank you. :)

  2. Hi Cheryl,
    Thanks so much for your question. In order to use the word “organic,” a farmer must be certified by the USDA. The use of the word is strictly regulated, and there many costs involved in certification.

    Many small farmers who sell directly to their customers at farmers markets, roadside stands, and through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture- harvest share programs), often use growing methods consistent with organic certification practices, but choose not to certify. They have a relationship with their customers, and they are available to answer any questions directly and in great detail about their growing practices. The need for third party verification can be greater when the product is sold through a secondary distributor, like a grocery store, where no one is available to answer their questions. This is, in fact, one of the best parts about a farmers market- you can ask the person who grew your food how exactly they did it!

    It is also important to mention that there is a spectrum of growing practices- rather than a black and white divide between organic and conventional. Ask your farmer to tell you more!

    Grazefest is an event to celebrate and educate food lovers about meats, cheeses, eggs, and dairy products that were raised sustainably. We will have lots of educational material available, so you can learn more about these terms, and get to know the farmers who are raising animals in these ways. The nonprofit group, Animal Welfare Approved, will also be present and helpful to answer your questions. We hope you will join us! For more information