North Carolina Dreams

The Vacation That Wasn’t Would Now Be Over…

Had the plans worked out, this morning I would have woke in my own bed for the first time in two weeks. Having left Valle Crucis on Thursday morning the plans called for a drive across Tennessee with a stay in Memphis before finishing the trip with a drive down through the piney woods of east Texas.

I didn’t spend much time categorizing the things we didn’t do on our week in North Western North Carolina. I didn’t want to set myself up for a bout of depression. I can say that at some point I would have driven up the valley named for my ancestors along the creek they called home in 1790. Since I first discovered Linville Creek out of Villas and the connection it has to my particular ancestral family of Linville’s, I try to enjoy the drive up the creek as often as possible. I would like to catch a sunset there someday as the valley faces generally westward.

Just to show that life in the mountains goes on even without us here’s this weeks news from the Farmers’ Market…Sounds like we are missing some good eats and good times at the market.

Summer and the high temperatures of earlier in the month have relented a bit to make the business of harvesting a bit more pleasant. Crops are coming on fast and there is a great selection at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets. The warmth and recent rains have been bringing on the flower power in local gardens and shoppers will be able to choose from a fine assortment of cut flower arrangements at Watauga County Farmers’ Market. Iva Lee Hayes has already started to cut her Dahlia blooms, and expects the new varieties she planted this spring to be ready for this weekend.
Sweet corn is starting to ripen, and farmers are kept busy with the early demand. Reba Green brought 32 dozen ears of Kandy Korn to the market this past weekend, and expects to have even more available for this Saturday. Reba will also have plenty of fresh beets, squash and cucumbers in the weeks to come. Kenneth Oliver is new to the market this year but is proving his skill at growing plenty of broccoli, cabbage, and Kennebec and red potatoes. Kenneth will be bringing a rainbow of pepper varieties in the coming weeks as the fruits ripen; look for peppers in red, yellow, orange, purple and green throughout the summer.
Karl Doege has created over 180 unique designs in Argentium sterling and crafted them into earrings, pendants and key fobs. His one of a kind pieces are all signed and reflect the best of fine craftsmanship. VJ and Jon Bost have expanded their furniture line to offer decorative mirrors made from local wood. It is worth stopping by to see Jon’s whimsical examples of his woodworking skill such as his working trebuchet made from local ash.
Folks at Watauga County Farmers’ Market are pleased that several local musicians have been stopping by to entertain the shoppers and vendors. You can expect the return of Michael Willis and his harp this Saturday, and also Will Barbour performing old favorites and classics on his guitar and harmonica. Get ready for The Worthless Son-In-Laws who will be helping us celebrate Garlic and Tomato Day on August 11th.
The first ever Bamboo Valley Farm Festival will be held on Friday, August 3 at Hickory Lane Gardens. Activities will include live music and a barbecue.  Proceeds will benefit the Blue Ridge Land Trust, the High Country Conservancy, and the National Committee for the New River. If you would like more information or would like to be a vendor please stop by the HLG Growers booth at Watauga County Farmers’ Market.
The 2007 High Country Farm Tour & Garden Tour will be held on August 4-5, 2007, 1-6 p.m. each day, rain or shine. You can learn a lot about our local food system by taking the tour, but for a real insider’s view you may want to consider being a volunteer.  Volunteers needed at each farm to greet visitors and check for or sell farm tour admission buttons, direct folks to parking and explain how the tour at that farm works and provide general information about Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. In exchange, volunteers will receive a FREE button ($20 value) to take the tour on the day they are not volunteering. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Peggy at  919-542-2402 or
The High Country Farm and Garden Tour is a self-guided tour featuring 14 local, organic and sustainable farms in the High Country. The cost is $20 per car in advance, $25 per car the day of the tour to visit all farms or $10 per car to visit an individual farm. The goal of this farm tour is to raise awareness about where food comes from, who is growing it, and how it is being grown. All proceeds go to the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association to support the development of a local and organic food system in the Carolinas.

Source: Watauga County Farmers’ Market <>

I had hoped to now have a few thousand new images to start posting here from the mountains…Looks like that will have to wait till next trip as virtual photography of a virtual vacation leave a little to be desired…Later