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West End Event Will Celebrate Farms And Fun

Paul Brewington, farmer, holding a dozen eggs.
Rosa Parks Farmers Market
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Pack your lawn chair and head to the West End this Saturday for a day of fun and food that will help support local farmers.

It’s a great opportunity to meet, greet, and eat while helping to improve food access in the city’s underserved areas.

While development is brisk on the west side of Charlotte, “food deserts” remain. Farmer Paul Brewington is one of the anchor vendors of the newly established Rosa Parks Farmers Market that serves the area. He’s a vocal proponent for the foods that are still hard to obtain for too many residents. “There is a quite a difference between the taste of fresh produce that is grown locally or a hundred-mile radius; a few hours old versus three to seven days old,” he says.

Zack Wyatt of advocacy group Carolina Farm Trust is one of the event’s organizers. He says, “Communities rise and fall based on food access. We need to break the little bubble we all live in and engage with our communities as a whole.”

Barbecue and side dishes will be available for a donation. At a “pop-up” version of the farmers market, guests can shop for food to take home. Proceeds will help Brewington build a greenhouse and expand his operation.

The day’s activities will be filmed as part of a docu-series Carolina Farm Trust is producing, titled The Farmer That Feeds Us. Microphones will be set up so attendees can share their thoughts.

The event will be hosted by The Historic West End Partners and Johnson C. Smith University. Charlotte band Groove 8 will provide music.

A fundraising “Party with a Purpose” dinner will be held that evening at the historic Wadsworth Estate. Brewington and Durham-based chef Njathi Wa Kabui are collaborating. Find more info here.

The free, community event will take place Saturday, July 8 from noon to 3 pm at 1601 W. Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28216-5547. For more information contact  zack@carolinafarmtrust.org, 704-264-6088.

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Amy Rogers is the author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas and Red Pepper Fudge and Blue Ribbon Biscuits. Her writing has also been featured in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing, the Oxford American, and the Charlotte Observer. She is founding publisher of the award-winning Novello Festival Press. She received a Creative Artist Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, and was the first person to receive the award for non-fiction writing. Her reporting has also won multiple awards from the N.C. Working Press Association. She has been Writer in Residence at the Wildacres Center, and a program presenter at dozens of events, festivals, arts centers, schools, and other venues. Amy Rogers considers herself “Southern by choice,” and is a food and culture commentator for NPR station WFAE.