Catawba County, NC – The 6th Annual Eat, Drink and Be Local Festival of Catawba County will be held this year from July 13th-20th and will be offering several farm tours, cooking demonstrations, a beer making workshop, special dishes offered by local restaurants and of course the Local Farm Feast. This festival was first organized in Catawba County as way to increase awareness of the foods being produced in the county and to show our support and gratitude for those hard- working farmers behind it all. It is a part of a larger initiative within the Catawba County Farm and Food Sustainability Plan, which was developed in 2013 to help preserve and enhance agriculture in the county by advancing traditional and alternative agricultural enterprises through education, economic development, farmland preservation and the development of a resilient and robust local food system. There will be daily events throughout the week with something for everyone to enjoy.

We will be starting off with Savoring Summer Flavors consisting of cooking demonstrations at our local farmers markets (Hickory at 330 Main Ave. NW and Conover at the post office) on July 13th from 10-12pm. We will be utilizing local ingredients from the markets to show how you can make quick, delicious dishes.

We will also be doing cooking demonstrations at the Hickory Market on Wednesday July 17th from 11-1pm and at the Public Health Farmers Market (3070 11th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory)on Thursday, July 18th. All cooking demonstrations are free of charge except for a special program this year, Hmong Cooking with Local Foods, Wednesday July 17th, 5:30-6:30 at the Cooperative Extension (1175 S. Brady Ave. Newton). Learn to cook 3 Hmong dishes (an indigenous ethnic group from Vietnam and Laos ) and we’ll send you home with $10 worth of locally sourced produce. Cost of the class is $10. Call 828-465-8240 to register.

We are lucky to have many restaurants in the region who have taken the step to work with farmers and offer locally sourced dishes. During Eat, Drink and Be Local week these restaurants will be offering at least one dish with over 50% local ingredients. Stayed tuned to our Facebook page, Instagram and our new Local Food Guide website for updates on featured dishes from these restaurants.

Three local farms will be offering tours during the week. This is a great opportunity to visit and learn from these farmers.

On Monday, July 15th at 4-5:30pm we will tour Blue Goat Dairy in Vale and learn about feeding baby goats and milking for cheese production.

On Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30-8pm there will be an open house at the Small Farms Demonstration Site featuring Hmong Farming and NC Cooperative Extension hemp and cover crop production trials.

On Thursday, July 18th at 6:30-8pm we will be visiting new farmers Casey and Tori Ostwinch of Honey Tree Farm, a Certified Naturally Grown Market Garden. Catawba Farms will be offering a beer making class taught by Transylvania county Extension Director Bart Renner. Tasting of several different beers will be available from Catawba Farms. Class fee is $15 and tickets are available from Eventbrite.

The Local Farm Feast is the highlight of the week with food sourced from within 50 miles of Hickory. Music will be provided by the Bluegrass band The Neighbors and piano player Ulysses Long and the food will be prepared by two popular local chefs, John Duke from Duke’s and The Cuban Cantina, and Ben Sullivan from Highland Avenue.. This is a great event to enjoy local food and drink, meet some farmers and others who enjoy local food. Tickets can be bought online through Eventbrite or call Cooperative Extension at 828-465-8240. Tickets are $30 with reservations for a table of ten also available.

Saturday, July 13th

Cooking demo/Downtown Hickory Farmers Market

330 Main Ave. NW, Hickory, NC, and Conover Farmers Market (Conover post office) 10am-12pm

Monday, July 15th

Blue Goat Dairy 4-5: 30 pm

Goat cheese

2380 Cat Square Rd. Vale


Tuesday, July 16th

Small Farms Demonstration Site 6:30-8pm

Hmong Farmers/ Hemp test plots

4918 Hickory Lincolnton Hwy


Wednesday, July 17th

Cooking demonstration 11-1pm

Hickory Farmers Market

Wednesday, July 17th

Local Foods Cooking Class 5:30-6: 30 pm

Hmong cooking

Cooperative Extension

1175 S. Brady Ave. Newton

$10 fee includes a local bag of produce

To register call 828-465-8240

Thursday, July 18th

Cooking Demonstration 11-1pm

Hickory Public Health Farmers Market

3070 11th Ave Dr. SE, Hickory, NC


Thursday, July 18th

Farm Tour: 6:30-8pm

Honey Tree Farm Tour

Certified Naturally Grown market garden

4131 County Home Rd, Conover


Friday, July 19th 6-8pm

Beer Making Workshop

Catawba Farms

400 Technibuilt Drive, Newton


$15 Eventbrite

Saturday, July 20th 5:30-9: 30 pm

****Featured Event*****

Local Farm Feast

The Main Cellar City Club

332 1st Ave. SW, Hickory

For more information, call 828-465-8240

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