Catawba County, NC – Eat, Drink and Be Local is an annual week-long celebration of local food in Catawba County featuring cooking demonstrations at the farmers markets, farm tours, workshops, presentations and a Farm Feast at Raising Roots Farm. Buying local food helps to keep dollars in our community, preserves farmland and increases the resilience of our local food system by supporting and expanding the farming knowledge and talent. We are excited about our events this year and most of them are offered free of charge except for the Vegetable Fermentation Workshop and the Farm Feast at Raising Roots. Fermenti is a brick and mortar store in Asheville that specializes in fermented foods such as their award winning sauerkrauts and kimchis. They were named Best of Asheville in 2021 and were finalists for the Good Food Award in 2022 the owner, Meg Chamberlain, will be teaching how to ferment seasonal vegetables in the class. The fee includes all the supplies you’ll need to make a batch to take home. You can buy her products through Honey Tree Farm’s online store and at the workshop on June 14. On Saturday June 17, Chef Ben Sullivan from The Charolaise Steakhouse will be in charge of the Farm Feast which will feature an Asian inspired menu. Raising Roots Farm raises Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs which are known for the leanness of their pork and has been working on their people- pasture so they can host events such as the Farm Feast. At their Craft Butchery Farm Store you can buy their pork and other local meats as well as cheeses and other local products. They also offer beer and wine if you want to hang out on the farm. Hours are Thursday 12-6pm, Friday 12-9pm, Saturday after 12-8pm. This is an outdoor event with a large tent so wear comfortable shoes and dress up or down depending on your mood. For more information, contact April Vigardt at 828-465-8243 or [email protected].

NC Cooperative Extension- Catawba Center Schedule of Events

Saturday June 10th 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Cooking Demonstrations at Conover (109 1st St. E. Conover Post Office) and Hickory (Under the Sails in Union Square) Local Farmers Markets. Free

Monday June 12th 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m: Susan Proctor and Windy Wool Windings Farm Tour. Lamb and wool. 5247 Plateau Rd. Vale, NC. Free

Third-generation family farm in Vale, North Carolina raising dairy cattle, poultry, field crops and sheep. Their Montadale and Romeldale/CVM sheep provide both meat and wool and are raised on an intensive grass grazing program with supplemental grain and hay grown on the farm. Wool sheep have had particular difficulty in the Southeastern United States, but their flock has been tailored for generations to succeed in our climate.

Tuesday June 13th 2 p.m.-3 p.m: April Vigardt, Propagating Native Plants presentation. Catawba County Southwest Branch Library. Free

Learn the basics of propagating native plants that are more suited for the environmental conditions of the Southeast and are important food sources for local wildlife such as native bees, butterflies, moths and birds. Many of the varieties we will discuss are tolerant of poor, acidic soils and once established are drought tolerant, making them a low maintenance alternative to lawns and other non-native species.

Tuesday June 13th 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Tru Cut Ranch Farm Tour. Grass Fed Beef and Free Range Chicken. 5221 Bolick Rd. Claremont, NC. Free

Tru-Cut Ranch owned by Fred and Melissa Falcone is a new beef and chicken producer in Claremont. They utilize methods to build and preserve the soil on their farm. They sell their meats from their online store and host farm tours.

Wednesday June 14th 4 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. Workshop: Fermenting Vegetables with Meg Chamberlain, owner of Fermenti Foods. Cost $25 or call the Cooperative Extension office at 828-465-8240.

Thursday June 15th 11am-1pm. Cooking Demonstration at The Public Health Farmers Market 3070 11th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory, NC. The menu will depend on what is seasonally available. Free

Thursday June 15th 6:00 p.m. BeeAmazed presentation by Extension Director Tom Dyson at NC Cooperative Extension Office 1175 S. Brady Ave. Newton. Learn about the amazing world of bees. Free

Saturday 17th FARM FEAST- 6-9 p.m. Raising Roots Farm: Tickets $40 The Farm Feast at Raising Roots Farm 2711 Snow Creek Rd NE, Hickory, NC. Local Food prepared by Chef Ben Sullivan and music by The Dick and Tammy Show. This is an outdoor event under a tent. Dress is casual.

Asian inspired menu drawing on Korean and Southeast Asian flavors.
Sourced from local farmers
Meats- Beef Shank bulgogi, Hmong pork sausage, chicken curry, pickled eggs
Vegetables- smashed cucumbers, pickled radish, kimchi, mushrooms and bok choy, kohlrabi mock papaya salad and others depending on produce availability

Sponsored by NC Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau and The Catawba County Agricultural Extension Foundation.