It’s time again for Quick Bites, a harvest of Farm Fresh news and calendar listings.
Here are a few items of interest, followed by calendar of events:
* Yay for one of my favorite restaurants, Knife & Fork, which won the WNC Chef’s Challenge at the recent Asheville Wine & Food festival! The restaurant, in Spruce Pine, relies almost solely on western NC farms for its ingredients. It opened only two years ago and has been full steam ahead since. I’ll be dining there on Oct. 15. Yes, planning ahead!
* More than 1,000 new farmers markets have been recorded across the country, according to results released in August in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2011 National Farmers Market Directory. The annual report indicates a total of 7,175 farmers markets operate throughout the United States as more farmers are marketing their products directly to consumers than ever before. More info here.
* My pals Noah Ranells and Ben Bergmann at Fickle Creek Farm in Efland got more great press in August. The Herald Sun had an article about their Great Pyrenees livestock guard dogs (saw some of their pups in the spring!), and the News and Observer profiled Noah for its Tarheel of the Week column.
Wow, there are so many great events this fall, especially in September. I’ll add to October and November listings closer to the time. Here you go!
Sept. 3: Flavor, NC, a new NC food road show debuts at 10:30 a.m. on UNC-TV.
Sept. 3: NC Hops and Roots Fest at Shikori Hills, outside of Pittsboro
Sept. 7: Starting now and continuing through fall, Poplar Ridge Farm in the Charlotte area (Union County) offers cooking classes and also farm dinners. All info here.
Sept. 10: Ninth Annual Chefs Event at Carrboro Farmers’ Market, from 9 a.m. until the yummy samples run out.
Sept. 10: Western Wake Farmers’ Market is holding its pig-pickin fund-raiser featuring all local pork, pups and even local BBQ sauce.
Sept. 12-18: CEFS, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, is hosting a weeklong celebration focusing on the importance of sustainable agriculture and locally grown foods. Events, held in different regions around the state, include workshops and films. For details, visit the CEFS website.
Sept. 18: The Greenhorns Film Night presented by Chatham County Cooperative Extension and the CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program from 6 to 9 pm at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Center in Silk Hope, NC. Participants will enjoy a local dinner, view the documentary, then hear from a panel of young local farmers. Registration required. Details here.
Sept. 24: Terra Vita returns! Grand Tasting on the Green is back, where chefs from across the state are on hand to chat and share samples from 1 to 4 p.m. at Southern Village in Chapel Hill. New this year is the “Sustainable Classroom,” a great lineup of speakers and workshops. Tickets are available now.
Sept. 30: Deadline for signing up for TS Designs 4th annual Cotton of Carolinas field trip at Rolling Hills Gin in New London, N.C. The outing is on Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details and signup here.
Oct. 2: 4th Annual Amazing Pittsboro Pepper Festival, 4 to 7 p.m. It keeps getting bigger and better. (And I keep being out of town for every one of them!) Featuring: music, food, farmers, and, yes, peppers!
Oct. 2: One of my favorite twice-yearly events (spring and fall) is the combo Open Farm Day at Goat Lady Dairy and Rising Meadow Farm in Randolph County, 30 miles southeast of Greensboro. From 1 to 5 p.m. Goats, lambs, cheese, meat, music, pottery, and more! Goat Lady also has a ongoing series of on-farm dinners that come with a deluxe tour, not to mention wonderful food and good cheer.
Nov. 11: In Durham, Local Foods Feast and speaker Joan Dye Gussow, author of This Organic Life and, most recent, Growing, Older. You can pay $45 to benefit Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. (Cost is $35 if you’re part of conference, below.) Event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Imperial.
Nov. 11-13: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s annual conference, this year in Durham. Speakers, workshops, networking and more! This is an awesome annual gathering, with the location rotating yearly across North Carolina and upstate South Carolina.