Tar Heel Too at Seagate North Shopping Plaza in Kill Devil Hills

One of the images that strikes just about everyone who drives to the Outer Banks is how much farmland seems to surround this stretch of the shoreline. It’s not your imagination—the land in eastern North Carolina has been farmed for over 400 years and there is considerable evidence that Native Americans in the area cultivated crops before there first Europeans got here.

The natural question is, of course, with all that produce being grown within less than an hour’s drive from the beach, is it available after crossing the bridges that link the Outer Banks?

The short answer is yes, very much so.

Actually there are a number of stands lining US 158, the Carotoke Highway, coming from the north—and all of them are on the west side of the road, making it easy to get in and out. Everyone of them works with local farmers and brings in local produce when it’s available. Coming from the west—not so much so. Wait until you’re on the Outer Banks.

For the vacationers (and residents, but if you live here, this is common knowledge) there are a number of places to go to get local fruits and vegetables. We’ll start south and work north.

Tar Heel Too in Seagate North in Kill Devil Hills has been around longer than any other produce stand on the Outer Banks. Ed Goninan has been manning his spot for about 30 years and he and his brother-in-law, who runs the original Tar Heel produce across from the Cotton Gin, know the farmers and know when they’re picking. Great prices too. 

For folks heading north, there are two stands in particular worth checking out. 

Green Acres Farm Market in Wee Winks Square in Duck is owned by the Newbern family, and anyone arriving from the north passed their farm on the way to the here. They are one of the original Currituck families and as their tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe and anything else they’re planting comes into season, it shows up at their stand.

In Corolla, Seaside Farm Market on the north end of Timbuck II Shopping Center has great produce and a real wow (!) factor to it. The stand includes an onsite bakery and some of their tarts and pies are quite good. 

There are other produce stands on the Outer Banks, but that’s three good ones to start with.