Backyard Travel: The Durham Farmer’s Market

After a big post about our Romania/Hungary trip, I thought maybe I should talk a little about exploring closer to home. This summer, we took a quick trip over to Durham (that’s one town over from us) with a couple of friends to explore our own backyard. It made for a really wonderful, memorable day, even though we didn’t go anywhere exotic. We started at one of my favorite places: the Durham Farmer’s Market:

Here’s the thing about the farmer’s market: Scratch Bakery, also known as the best place on earth, sells their buttermilk doughnut muffin in a little stand at the market. On this auspicious day, I got the very last one. Which means my morning started off just right!

One of my favorite things to photograph at farmer’s markets is the flower stands:

After checking out the flower stand, we moved on to the pottery (have I talked about my love of handmade pottery on this blog? No? It’s one of my favorite things in the world. To me, since I never progressed beyond the basic pinch pot and those coil pots we made in third grade, pottery is like alchemy, with clay).

Right next to the market is the Garden of Eatin’, a community edible plants project:

Another exciting thing about the Durham farmer’s market is all of the awesome food trucks. Like this one:

Post farmer’s market, we cooled off at the brewery and sampled some pints:

Fullsteam makes an awesome sweet potato lager, and an equally amazing basil cask ale. Local microbrews made from local ingredients – it’s like my brewery soulmate. My classmates and I had a blast!

After pints, we headed over to Guglhupf, a German style restaurant and bakery that my friend Laurie (pictured above, center) highly recommended. She was right, the place is DELICIOUS. I had an omelette that almost changed my life (made with some of the same local foods sold at the farmer’s market).

Local food, local beer, local crafts – sort of a perfect minified day. But we weren’t quite ready to pack it in yet. Finally, we headed back to Chapel Hill, to an antique store near our home, created out of two old tobacco baron’s mansions, disassembled and trucked from Durham to Chapel Hill and converted into one big structure (and it’s pink! how weird and cool is our town?):

Inside the mansiony antique store, there’s lots of stuff we can’t afford. Nor should we. The fun is in exploring, not buying. There’s also this cool indoor grotto/courtyard. I’m entirely enamored of it. If I had one in my house, I would have breakfast in it every day:

My husband had fun with the local wildlife (the grounds at and around the antique store are full of statuary):

And that’s the image I’ll leave you with, because it makes me laugh. Planning your own backyard adventure? My best advice is to grab a couple of friends, make a list of all the places you’ve been meaning to check out in your town but haven’t had the chance yet, grab a map, plot a route, and pick a sunny day to go out and explore!


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