This curb market is in Morehead City, North Carolina, but there are curb markets in Atlanta, Georgia; Greensboro and Hendersonville, N.C.; and in Lakeland, Florida. I never knew any other city or town had an institution called a curb market until I googled the term a few minutes ago. Years ago, I looked around in the Sweet Auburn market in Atlanta, when I was there on business, but I didn't know it was also called a "curb market."
In my experience of the world, there was always a curb market. It's another name for a farmers' market. The one in Morehead was just over a block — a couple of hundred meters — from our house. Local farmers brought vegetables, fruit, eggs, and meats there on Saturday mornings to sell to the people in the town.
The Morehead Curb Market is still going strong in 2014. My mother's sister is one of the people who keep it going. Some of the most typical local produce is Bogue Sound watermelons (very sweet), paper-shell pecans (very nutty and easy to shell), cabbages, collard greens, pole beans, and tomatoes. The tomatoes love the sandy soil here, and the hot summer temperatures, which are moderated by the constant sea breeze.
I wish it were summer right now, but it's not. The market doesn't open for the season until May 3, so I've missed it. My aunt and her daughter are busy preparing for the opening, painting tables and stands that the produce is displayed on. We went down and visited with them today at noontime, while they worked.
The Curb Market is located in The Promise Land, one of Morehead City's most distinctive and picturesque neighborhoods. A neighborhood preservation society was formed a few years ago, and last year the first Promise Land festival was held and the first Promise Land book was published.
The sandy, well-drained soil of Morehead City is perfect for plants like this prickly pear cactus.
The Promise Landers descended from whalers who used to live in a village on the sandy barrier island named Shackleford Banks, until a storm nearly washed the village away in 1900. At that point, they moved all their belongings, including their little frame houses, to the mainland by barge and boat, and they settled in a waterfront neighborhood in Morehead City. I grew up there.