From Farm to Campus: Tasty Finds at the Duke Farmers Market

Visit the Duke Farmers Market every Thursday for fresh, local produce and goods

The Ducketts had never tried oyster mushrooms before. Their plans for preparing them were not yet formed.

A dairy fresh sign rests next to a carton of eggs and a vendor selling goods from South Mountain Creamery
South Mountain Creamery sells fresh dairy products and eggs at the Duke Farmers Market. Photo by Travis Stanley

“We’re going to have to look up some recipes because I’ve never had an oyster mushroom that I know of,” David Duckett said.

Clarence DuBois, co-owner of Gabor Farms, had some ideas. As he told another customer, they could simply sauté the mushrooms with a little garlic. But he cautioned that the stems had to be sauteed a little longer because “they’re a little bit tougher.”

That kind of personal interaction is what keeps DuBois coming back with Gabor Farms, which specializes in mushrooms of all varieties.

“I really love the energy,” DuBois said. “I see the same faces – the same nurses, doctors, aides – and just for them to say, ‘Hey, I'm glad you came back,’ means a lot.”

Brian Zelanko, Health Promotion Manager for LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, likes that vendors like Gabor Farms “offer fruits and veggies that are delicious, healthy and local.”

Megan Griffin can vouch for the delicious part. She was standing in line at the Lyon Farms stand when she couldn’t help but take a bite of one of the strawberries from the pint she was about to buy.

People line up to buy fresh vegetables from Lyon Farms at Duke Farmers Market
Lyon Farms is known for its delicious berry selection, and is one of the more popular stands at Duke Farmers Market. Photo by Travis Stanley

 “They’re really good; really sweet,” she said.

“You can tell just by looking at them, it’s totally different than what you’d get in the grocery store,” colleague Jeannie Sparks added.

Both Clinical Research Coordinators for the Duke BioRepository & Precision Pathology Center stop by the Duke Farmers Market whenever they’re available during market hours. This time, colleagues Emily Shaheen and Parker Shoaf accompanied them, and they all scooped up some of the strawberries that sweetly scented the air.

“They’re not going to make it home,” Griffin said, laughing, as she continued snacking on the strawberry.

“I think I’m going to change and get a bigger basket so that I can bring some home,” Sparks said.

Share pictures of your finds or scenes from the Duke Farmers Market by tagging Working@Duke on social media and using #HealthyDuke or send your photo to, for a chance at an insulated grocery bag.

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