The new Hampstead Farmers Market is held on Thursdays at Ironclad Golf.
Red, yellow and pink flowers emerge from canning jars. Herbs and vegetable plants wave in the light breeze. Honey glows golden as the sunlight passes through the bottles. Fresh oysters, seafood and pastured raised meats await the grill.
For folks in the Hampstead-Holly Ridge-Surf City area, a new farmers market means fresh produce and products every Thursday from 4 to 7 pm at Ironclad Golf. The Hampstead Farmers Market is held in the new Shaka Taco Beer Garden. Folks are invited to shop the market, drink a cold beer and dance along to live music. Kids and leashed dogs are invited to join in. The ever-fresh Shaka Taco full menu is available until 9 pm. The Hampstead Farmer’s Market is the only Thursday evening market in the area; other markets are Wednesdays or Saturdays.
A shared belief in sustainable agriculture and the best quality products led a group of local farmers to create the Hampstead Farmers Market.
“We believe that we are borrowing the land from our future generations,” says Casey Glover, owner of Green Drop Farms, a local native plants and herb farm. “We have the desire to leave it better than we found it. Sustainable, regenerative agriculture focuses on best practices for soil health, water quality, nutrient inputs, conservation of land, and even wildlife habitat.”
Cody Leutgens and Steve Christian, co-owners of Shaka Taco, were interested in hosting a farmers’ market even before the new taco/beer garden facility was open at Ironclad Golf late last fall. Their new space, about the size of a football field, offers live music and games for kids in addition to the beer garden and a restaurant area serving the same high-quality menus as the original Shaka Taco in Surf City.
“We want this space to be a community space,” he says, waving to the gathering of people shopping the market, eating and drinking as the band sets up on the stage. “I love having all this here.”
Farms and producers at the market include Changin Ways, Green Drop, Farmasea, Lizzy Lou Family Farm, Lotus Haven Hives, Paradise Flower Farm, NSea Oysters, Organic Underworld, Raw Salsa, Red-Tailed Farm, Red Beard Farm, Small Craft Island Coffee by Sugar Island, Surf City Crab, Sunrise Gardens, TerraVita Farms and Wholesome Farm.
Glover wanted to bring local food closer to her neighbors. “Cody and Steve loved the idea of hosting the market, so the vision grew from there. I worked with other local farmers and once we had their support, the idea really started to flourish. The local farming community is just that, a community.”
Glover explains that farmers support one another through mutual understanding of the value of bringing quality goods to the consumer all the while supporting the local ecosystem and land. “All follow some types of sustainable practices that fit each farm or producer, including no-till farming, rotational grazing, reduced/no use of synthetic inputs as far as chemical fertilizers, pesticide and herbicide use,” she says.
The Hampstead Farmers Market, funded by the farmers through vendor fees, plans to grow thoughtfully through the season to keep members successful in sales and for customers to have a wide range of products, Casey adds.
Want to go?
Hampstead Farmers Market
Thursdays, 4 to 7 pm
Shaka’s Backyard Beer Garden & Music Space Shaka Taco
Ironclad Golf, 2368 Country Club Drive, Hampstead
Facebook: Hampstead Farmers Market