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How To Eat Locally in January

January 11, 2008

When faced with weighty, life-changing decisions: Obama or Clinton, Grad School or Stable Employment, Rent or Buy, I prefer to return to the more immediate, more pleasant choices such as, Chicken or Fish?  Even these decisions do not lack a sense of responsibility, and so I would like to help us all out in making those less complicated choices just a little easier. 

If you are like me, all excited about local food when its flowing abundantly into my lap in late July, you may be sharing my feelings of guilt when I purchased, for example, Chilean asparagus last week.  What to do?  First, I recommend Mark Peters’ informative article in this month’s New Life Journal on winter local eats.  I’ve also done some field research of my own, so pay close attention. 


Dark Cove Farms produces goat cheese- can be found at Greenlife

Spinning Spider Creamery (I’m not a fan but many folks are) produces many varieties of goat cheese- sells at Ingles, Earth Fare, and all the Co-ops

Yellow Branch Cheese produces milk cheeses- sells at Earth Fare, Greenlife, and the Hendersonville Co-op

Split Creek Farm offers goat cheese, goat milk fudge, goat milk soap-sells through mail order and at their farm stand

 Goat Lady Dairy– located in the whimsically named Climax, NC, the Goat Lady is a personal aquaintance who sells various goat cheeses, soft and hard, at Greenlife.


Shelton Farms in Jackson County sells greenhouse Bibb lettuce (yummers!) at Ingles

Sunny Creek Sprouts located in Tryon, I think, sells alfalfa and clover sprouts, also lima beans at Ingles, Greenlife.  I’ve been buying their sprouts for years and never knew they were grown locally until today.

Jafasa Farms produces greenhouse grape tomatoes- sells at Ingles

Robbins Family Farm produces potted herbs-sells at Ingles

Jake’s Farm grows greens and lettuce in the greenhouse- sells at Greenlife


Local eggs taste SO MUCH BETTER than other eggs.  I promise.

Blue Hill Farm produces eggs and also cornmeal- sells at Greenlife, Earth Fare

Hickory Nut Gap Farm produces eggs- sells at Greenlife, Earth Fare, French Broad Food Co-op

Farside Farm Eggs- sells at Greenlife, FBFC, and their farmstand on North Merrimon Ave. past Beaver lake on the right


You can’t go wrong with Hickory Nut Gap Farm Spring House Meats-grass-fed beef, beef and pork sausage can be found at Earth Fare and Greenlife.  I don’t know if they are regularly offering pork or other meat cuts, quite yet, but ask the store manager or visit the website for more information.


Imladris Farms offers jams, jellies, and sometimes mushrooms (not right now, though)- I think this can only be purchased online.

Local pasta makers and upside-down flag activists sell homemade pasta at Earth Fare on Saturdays.  I love their eggs noodles, but have not enjoyed their more adventurous creations such as chocolate or chipotle pepper pasta.  You may feel differently.

The Mount Olive Pickle boycott is long over, since they agreed to offer reasonable wages and housing to their migrant farmworkers, and now they are touting local, NC pickles.  What a turnaround!  Viva Mount Olive!

I will add to this list as I learn more.  The local options at Ingles are quite exciting, don’t you think? Good luck, and happy shopping. 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Pixiedyke permalink
    January 11, 2008 2:52 pm

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I will keep this list in my wallet.

  2. catma permalink
    January 13, 2008 10:21 am

    Finding myself in the market for after 10 swanky dining the last couple of nights- I’ve ended up at Zambra. While in the past it has been decidedly hit or miss, the Bluehour cocktail alone will keep me coming back. That, and the low lights and pillowed seats seem to scratch my swank right where it itches. The last couple of nights, I have to say were ‘hit’ nights.
    The specials menu always features a few local finds, which not only do I appreciate but makes me take note of where to find- Hickory Nut Gap and Springer Mountain Farms are at least two regulars on their menu.

  3. Lucy permalink
    January 14, 2008 12:16 pm

    Thank you for this list! I also felt guilty when I purchased strawberries the other day at Earth Fare…don’t remember where they came from but definitely not local. I was going to recommend (to the meat eaters out there) purchasing meat from the Warren Wilson College farm, and after reading Mark Peters’ article I see he did as well. When doing this it is a good idea to go in with a couple of friends or another family, as you have to purchase a fairly large amount. But I have not been disappointed with their product.

  4. January 18, 2008 12:35 pm

    Hey, great list. I will be sure to reference it often. I wanted to add another place to get local, free range eggs. The Big Cheese in the Grove Arcade offers local eggs at a great price: $1.75/dozen or $2.25/flat (15 eggs) for double yolks. I have been using the double yolk eggs for baking and have gotten great results.

  5. March 22, 2008 8:51 pm

    Hi Gourmet Grrl!

    Thanks for a great article! We particularly agree with your opinion regarding local/free range eggs – try them once and you’ll just never be able to face a grocery store egg again. I was not aware that the shelf-life (unrefrigerated) of an egg is 4-6 *weeks*! We have to keep the grocery store kind in the fridge because they’ve already spent most of that life at the warehouse! Who knew?

    If I may be so crude, I’d like to let you and your readers know where to find our products. Our jams can be found at Earthfare (all locations), Greenlife (Asheville store), Grove Corner Market (Yay, Rosanne!), Blue Smoke Coffee (Gatlinburg), Trout Lily Market (Fairview – thanks, Susan!), and Poppie’s Market (Brevard). If you’re in the mood to go out for our jam, it can be found at many independent, locally focused restaurants (our thanks, of course, to these wonderful chefs) such as Early Girl Eatery, Sunny Point Restaurant, Ophelia’s World Cafe, and Cafe Azalea (all in Asheville), North Star Grill (Weaverville), Zada Jane’s and Ratcliffe on the Green (Charlotte), and Hominy Grill (Charleston). And anyone interested in our hormone and antibiotic-free rabbit meat can find it at Ophelia’s, 28806, or several M7 functions!

    And our last (and favorite) option, of course, is to have you here on the farm. Please come see us! We love both the opportunity to educate our customers as well as the energy you bring to what we do.

    Eat well (and the rest will follow)!

  6. April 30, 2008 10:46 am


    Thank you for the mention of Dark Cove Farms goat cheese. Our cheese can be found in Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties.

    We no longer deliver to Asheville.

    Several restaurants in Sylva, Cashiers, Highlands and other points west of Waynesville carry and inclue our products on their menus.



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