Watauga County Farmers' Market | Please Support Local Farmers

Watauga County Farmers’ Market will be having the first holiday market of the season this Saturday, November 22 from 10 to 2. We are expecting more vendors this year and you will have a wide selection to choose from.

Cold weather has slowed many of the local vegetables, but Shiloh Avery and Jason Roehrig of Tumbling Shoals Farm will be harvesting a nice variety of fresh treats including kale, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, salad mix, spinach, arugula, mesclin and salad turnips. Charles Church will have four kinds of potatoes: Yukon Gold, Rose Finn, Apple Fingerling and Red Norland. Charles will also have garlic, butternut squash, Swiss chard, parsley, carrots, onions, apples and sweet sorghum molasses. Eugene McGuire and James Wagner will have fresh eggs from free range chickens.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers.

Look’s like a good time to start thinking about those Chrismas gifts…Wish I was in the area.

Wish I Was Going To The Market…

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Seal of Watauga County, North Carolina
Image via Wikipedia

The folks at Watauga County Farmers’ Market would like to thank everybody who braved the drizzle to support the market this past Saturday. The market will be open all four Saturdays in October, rain or shine, or even in the snow if need be. The outlook for Saturday the 4th calls for a nice day, and we hope to see you at the market.

There are plenty of good things left to harvest. Robert Church will have a good supply of Irish potatoes on hand as well as several varieties of apples including Wolf River, JonaGold, and Macintosh. Jerry Harvey may possibly have more yellow and white sweet corn, but he will certainly have plenty of pie pumpkins to bring to market.

The flavors of summer have not left, and Don Owens will have red, striped, pink and yellow tomatoes this weekend, yellow and zucchini squash, bell and hot peppers. Cheryl Piracci will have San Marzano tomatoes and quick marinara sauce recipes to go with them. Cheryl also will have her homemade pesto, pistachio orange biscotti, and even her own special garlic jam. Charles Church will be busy harvesting potatoes, onions, garlic, chard and butternut and spaghetti squash. Charles will also have humanely raised pork to offer.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers.

If you are in the High Country this weekend, stop by the Market and pick up some of those good mountain vegetables…

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Annual Elk Knob Headwaters Community Day held Sept. 13 » News Archive » Appalachian State University News

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BOONE—The Annual Elk Knob Headwaters Community Day will be held Sept. 13 beginning at 11:45 a.m. at Elk Knob State Park.

Billed as the region’s largest potluck, the event includes performances by local musicians, cultural demonstrations and activities, including hikes to the Elk Knob summit.

Admission is a covered dish and attendees are encouraged to bring food items at 11:30 a.m.. Beverages will be provided; no glass or alcohol please.

Elk Knob State Park opened in 2003. It is located off Meat Camp Road, 5.5 miles from Hwy. 194 in Watauga County and 9.5 miles north of Boone.

The celebration is sponsored by the Elk Knob Community Heritage Organization (EKCHO), Elk Knob State Park, and the Appalachian State University Sustainable Development Program with generous support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

As in past years, Appalachian’s Center for Appalachian Studies will be record oral histories and scan photographs for future use in heritage exhibits. Participants this year are asked to bring their favorite family recipe, along with any photos for the first Elk Knob Headwaters Community Day Cookbook.

Annual Elk Knob Headwaters Community Day held Sept. 13 » News Archive » Appalachian State University News.

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Homegrown Tomatoes

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Listening to The Gestalt Gardener this morning and during the break they played this song. I just loved the refrain…

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, what would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

Only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.

John Denver Homegrown Tomatoes lyrics.

If you haven’t caught Felder Rushing’s show, swing over and download the podcast. He deals with gardening in Mississippi, but his style of “slow” gardening will work anywhere.

Speaking of homegrown tomatoes, it looks like the Watauga County Farmers’ Market should have a good selection tomorrow judging by last weeks update…

The long wait for fresh local sweet corn is over. Jerry Harvey is among the vendors who will have a good supply of corn this Saturday in both yellow and white varieties. Jerry hopes to have more blueberries this weekend, and will be harvesting watermelon soon. Jerry will have plenty of Better Boy, Big Boy and Early Girl tomatoes. Reba Greene will also have a wide variety of tomatoes to choose from, including Giant Beefsteak, Mr. Stripey, and Pink Girl. Reba will also be harvesting okra for the market.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market-News

I sure wish I could make a run over to the “Market” tomorrow and grab a few. A good BL&T would taste so good especially out on the deck…

There ain’t nothing in the world that I like better
than bacon and lettuce and homegrown tomatoes.
Up in the morning, out in the garden, get you a ripe one, don’t pick a hard one.
Plant ’em in the spring, eat ’em in the summer. All winter without ’em is a culinary bummer.
I forget all about the sweating and the digging every time I go out and pick me a big one.

As always…I am North Carolina Mountain Dreaming from the Texas Gulf Coast…

*The above photo was taken by my eldest in 2006.

Localvore in the mountains…

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers
Shoppers should have little trouble filling their grocery lists this week at either the Wednesday or the Saturday market.

It’s enough to make my mouth water…Every trip we have made to the mountains has included a stop at the Farmers’ Market. It’s where we bought many of the vegetables we ate during our trips…And it was a really great way to spend a morning in Boone.

I sure wish I was going to be close enough to make the trip this week. A cool mountain morning at the Market would be a great place to plan a weekends worth of meals…All of you folks lucky enough to be able to make the trip…Enjoy…We’ll catch you on our next trip to the home of my ancestors.

Saturday in Boone

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers

Watauga County Farmers’ Market would like to thank everyone who visited the Wednesday market on opening day. We will continue to have a selection of local produce, plants and hand crafts on Wednesday mornings until the middle of September.

Don and Roger Owens use their greenhouses and season extenders to provide ripe produce as early as possible. They will be harvesting all of summer’s goodness through the next few weeks. Other growers expect to be harvesting the first of the tomatoes to begin to ripen in the next couple of weeks.

Charles Church will be harvesting broccoli for the market this Saturday. He should also have plenty of onions, and cabbage very soon.

read more…

Watauga County Farmers' Market News

One of the things I miss now that I’ve returned from my virtual Valle Crucis vacation was spending time at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. The virtual meals I ate on this summer’s trip were delightful if only because of the ingredients supplied at the Market (OK, in all honesty, every meal eaten with a view from the mountain is pretty dang good…Even hot dogs) . Yes folks my tongue is sticking so far into my cheek it’s a good thing I’m typing and not speaking ’cause nobody could figure out what I was saying otherwise…The point I’m trying to make is, from my past visits it looks like ya’ll have a great resource going here, you really should use it and get to know the folks raising the food you eat. Not every community has the option.

Third Week of August, 2007

One of the advantages of shopping at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market is not only the number of varieties available, but that specific information is available about each variety directly from the grower. Tomatoes and peppers in particular have a wide range of tastes. You can select either sweet or hot banana peppers grown by Don and Roger Owens, or perhaps you would prefer their jalapeno or bell peppers. Roger and Don also offer grape tomatoes, Mountain Gold, Mr Stripey, and pink heirloom tomatoes, along with White Half-runner beans. Kenneth Oliver will have Early Girl, Better Boy and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, green and purple bell peppers, and both red and white potatoes this weekend. Reba Green will not only have plenty of Pink Girl and Better Boy tomatoes for the market, but she should also have enough Silver Queen corn for everyone to get a taste of the homegrown goodness.

Richard Boylan will have lots of garlic in diverse types that are sure to include your favorites. Iva Lee Hayes will certainly have fresh kraut by the Saturday after this coming one, but in this warm weather it is possible it will be ready even sooner.

Landscape plants and shrubs are also available and blooming in variety, such as Alicia Breton’s selection of Hydrangeas including Tardiva and Limelight. While you are comparing types you are invited to relax in one of Sheila Sherman’s custom Adirondack chairs and see the matching accessories all in western red cedar.

The Woodlands Barbecue Restaurant will be on hand this Saturday offering up plates for your lunchtime enjoyment. Meals will be on sale starting at about 11:00, and they are expected to go quickly!

Watauga County Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. We are at the Horn in the West, turn next to First Citizens Bank on Highway 105 Extension and go to the top of the hill. We will be there rain or shine!

Source: Watauga County Farmers’ Market News

From just down the valley (virtually speaking) Tom Philpott has this to say at Grist about the new criticism being tossed at the local food proponents…

Attention farmers’ market shoppers: Put that heirloom tomato down and rush to the nearest supermarket.
By seeking local food, you’re wantonly spewing carbon into the atmosphere.
That’s the message of a budding backlash against the eat-local movement. The Economist fired a shotgun-style opening salvo last December, peppering what it called the “ethical foods movement” with a broad-spectrum critique.
Among the claims: organic agriculture consumes more energy than conventional, and food bought from nearby sources often creates more greenhouse-gas emissions than food hauled in from long distances.

I really like his reasoning behind the criticism…

The sustainable-food movement’s achievements have thus far been largely cultural. In other words, despite all the attention from celebrity chefs, best-selling authors, and, ahem, environmental webzine columnists, the vast bulk of food consumed in this country still travels gargantuan distances, consumes unspeakable amounts of fossil fuel in its production and distribution, and leans heavily on poisons and water-polluting artificial fertilizers.

Followed by…

And while the sustainable-food movement’s power may be causing vapors within the pages of the Economist and the New York Times op-ed page, Wall Street hasn’t gotten the memo. In the stock exchanges, shares in agribiz powerhouses Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, John Deere, Smithfield, and Tyson are all trading at or near all-time highs. That means that the “smart money” isn’t quite as impressed by the rise of buy-local campaigns as commentators on either side of the food-miles debate are. For unsentimental investors, the profit prospects for industrialized agriculture, geared for long-haul distribution, are rosier than ever.

If you haven’t discovered Tom’s thought provoking pieces at Grist yet, click on over and read some of what this Valle Crucis farmer has to say. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Source: If buying locally isn’t the answer, then what is? | By Tom Philpott | Grist | Victual Reality | 16 Aug 2007

Land for Tomorrow: A coalition to guard North Carolina's natural and cultural resources

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I ran into a link to this site over at Hillbilly Savants…Go check them out. Maybe they can keep the North Carolina Mountain Dream alive until I get there.

Land for Tomorrow is a statewide partnership of conservationists, farmers, business leaders, local governments, health professionals, and community groups urging the General Assembly to provide $1 billion over five years to protect the state’s land, water, and special places before they are irreversibly lost.

Protecting North Carolina’s critical land will provide:

  • Clean drinking water
  • Clean air
  • Thriving farms and forests
  • Places to hunt, fish and watch wildlife
  • Places to exercise and enjoy the beauty of North Carolina
  • Less damage from flooding
  • Places of historic significance and ecological value
  • Preservation of North Carolina’s natural and cultural heritage
  • Strengthened communities
  • Jobs and a sustainable economy

Source: Land for Tomorrow: A coalition to guard North Carolina’s natural and cultural resources

Local Food – Mountain Style

Yesterday I began reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. It is seldom that I am captured on the preface by the writing style of an author the way this book captured me…

We wanted to live in a place that could feed us: where rain falls, crops grow, and drinking water bubbles right up from the ground.

That is the way my thinking started when my North Carolina Mountain Dream first began to manifest itself. I had just returned from a Colorado trip and decided that I wanted mountains round me when I settled into “retirement”. But the one thing my trip brought home was the relative dryness of the West. As my dream began to form, I realized the Blue Ridge Mountains I had visited for the first time a couple of years earlier were calling. Research on the internet led to the discovery of Valle Crucis and the surrounding area. Once found, it was the story of the place that kept me returning and exploring until initial dram was realized and I brought the family into the mountains to try and share my dream, my vision of a future.

In line with my reading of “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, here’s the Watauga County Farmers’ Market announcement for this week. If you are actually living my dream, head on over and support your local farmer. It’ll help you, too.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. We are at the Horn in the West, turn next to First Citizens Bank on Highway 105 Extension and go to the top of the hill. We will be there rain or shine!

All the good things of summer are becoming available. Farmers will have fresh sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, and there will plenty of fresh cut flowers to decorate the table. Bill Moretz will be harvesting the first of the cantaloupes from his garden, and there will be watermelons as well to help with the summer heat.

Joan Knox of sourdough bread fame is announcing her new bread mixes. She will have 6 varieties available. The mixes come with complete instructions. They are so easy any “sweetheart” can bake fresh bread. Joan will also have no sugar added fried apple pies for customers who have to watch their sugar intake.

The first ever Bamboo Valley Farm Festival will be held this 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. Call 964-5189 for more information.

The 2007 High Country Farm Tour & Garden Tour is also this weekend, and you can save on admission by buying your button in advance at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Volunteers are still needed, and volunteers will receive a free button 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. Volunteer training will take place at this Saturday’s market.

Source: Watauga County Farmers’ Market Message

Missing the Mountains

Last year at this time we were on Nettles Knob south of Valle Crucis making our preparations for the Summer Games on Grandfather Mountain. The one thing that we missed because of the games was the Watauga County Farmers Market. It looks like we’ll be missing it again this years simply because we’ll be missing the mountains themselves this summer.

I do subscribe to Watauga County Farmers’ Market Message so at least I can keep up with what is happening in the mountains I dream of. This weeks message contains this news…

The Boone area has long been known for it’s unpredictable weather, and so far 2007 has done it’s part to keep the tradition. Our farmers have once again proven themselves to be up to the challenge, and a wider variety of fresh food shows up every week. One thing you can count on, the market will be open Wednesday and Saturday mornings – Rain or Shine!

We will be celebrating Independance Day at the market this Saturday, helped along with the music of a certain local jug band. You won’t want to miss it!

Bill Moretz is planning to harvest the first of his eggplants this week. He expects to offer two varieties to start: Charming with purple stripes and Megal which is a dark purple French variety. Bill will also have fresh raspberries and blueberries at the market. Roger and Don Owens will have more of their homegrown Mountain Spring tomatoes to offer along with plenty of cucumbers and other garden offerings. James Wilkes expects to have fresh cut sunflowers ready for Saturday. James will begin to harvest his yellow squash and maybe some zucchini.

Local cooks are using the bounty in their recipes as well, and Rebecca Kaenzig will be preparing individual blueberry and pecan pies for you to enjoy along with her fresh brewed coffee.

Daylilies are popular with collectors, and many vendors at Watauga County Farmers’ Market have a collection of their own. The coming weeks will bring flowers of different shapes and sizes in reds, purples, yellows in every combination. These hardy plants thrive in our climate in every situation but full shade. If shade is what you have, stop by and talk to Erik Selvey about holly ferns, Japanese painted ferns, and many other plants suitable for less sunny spots. Erik will also have blooming butterfly bushes and blue pincushion plants this Saturday.

The interior of your house can reflect the colors of the season as well, and Megan Long can help with hand crafted soy based scented candles decorated with geometric shapes or North Carolina landscapes from the mountains to the beach.

Buttons for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association 2007 High Country Farm & Garden Tour will be sold at Watauga County Farmers’ Market up until August 4th, the first day of the tour. This year’s tour features 3 new farms, and 6 of the farms are vendors at the market! The online map of farms is still being updated, but you can test it at http://cfsa.highcountryorganicfarms.org/node/4. Buttons are also available for sale online at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/.

You can visit their website at Watauga County Farmers’ Market for directions and updated info.