Posted by: slowfoodboone | June 15, 2011

Hand-on Canning Class this Weekend

Hands-on Canning Class

Saturday, June 18, 1 – 5 p.m.

Agricultural Conference Center

252 Poplar Grove Rd., Boone


NC Cooperative Extension is offering a hands-on canning class. We will learn how to safely can using a pressure canner and a boiling water bath.  Register by paying $5.00 in advance at N.C. Cooperative Extension, 971 West King St., 264-3061. Space is limited.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | May 10, 2011

Organic Gardening 101 Monday June 6th – Friday, June 10th

9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. each day

Designed for beginning gardeners or those who would like to switch to organic methods. Topics include garden planning, seed starting, companion planting, how to attract beneficial bugs, pest management, soil tests and amendments, composting and vermi-composting, and dealing with common plant problems. Held at the ASU Sustainable Development Farm in Valle Crucis, 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Monday, June 6th through Friday, June 10th. Cost is 20.00 for first 4 days, with optional session on keeping backyard chickens on Friday for an additional 5.00. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by paying in advance, NC Cooperative Extension, 971 West King St., Boone. For more information call 264-3061.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | April 4, 2011

Join Us for Potluck and Discussion on Agroecology April 17th

Could Agroecology Save our Bees?

Learn More at Free Lecture, Sunday, April 17th

If you attended the recent showing of Vanishing of the Bees, you are well aware that there are many factors causing colony collapse disorder, which has killed off one third of the honey bee population throughout the world. One in every three bites of food we eat is the direct result of honeybee pollination.

Ecology is the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. Throw agriculture into that study and you have agroecology. Of course, the relationship between bees and food is intricately meshed.

Agroecology promotes secure and sustainable food systems. Methods from natural and social sciences are integrated to deal with the complex challenges of meeting human food needs in a resource-efficient manner that is economically sound, environmentally benign and socially acceptable.

On Sunday, April 17th at 4:30 p.m. at the Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Rd., professors from the Agroecology program will share their perspectives on sustainable agriculture.  The public is invited to this free event, sponsored by Slow Food Boone-High Country. A potluck dinner will immediately follow. Information will also be shared about the sustainable development farm that was recently donated to Appalachian State University. ASU offers a B.S. degree in Agroecology through the Sustainable Development program, which has exploded in popularity.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | February 11, 2011

Preview of 2011 Slow Food Boone High Country Events

A group of foodies met on January 23rd over an excellent potluck lunch and attempted to map out 2011 events for our convivium. Please contact Margie Mansure, or Ken McKinney, if you have suggestions for planned events or would like to volunteer to help. Events listed are still in the evolutionary process, but here’s what we are thinking:

1. Sunday, April 17th at 1:00 p.m. potluck, then panel discussion with ASU professors on “What is Agroecology?” Information about the new ASU Sustainable Development farm will also be shared. Agricultural Conference Center in Boone.

2. Showing of documentary, Vanishing of the Bees, discussion with local bee keeping experts, and perhaps a honey tasting.

3. Showing of Pig Business, a revealing documentary about our industrialized meat system. May tour a farm where livestock is treated well and sustainably raised, then enjoy a pig pickin’.

4. Tour the Waldesian Winery near Valdese, which was begun by the Waldensian sect who immigrated in the late 19th century from the Cottian mountains southwest of Turn, Italy.

5. Visit the Art of Oil for an olive oil tasting.

6. Hold a mini-Salone del Gusto, which is Slow Food’s food festival in Italy, where producers offer samples and information about their production, and patrons have the opportunity to purchase yummies. Combine with a festival that already exists, such as the Farm Heritage Day Festival.

7. ASU running club is organizing a benefit for us. Slow Food Fast Run 5K will be on the Boone Greenway probably on September 17th.

8. Would like to establish a Slow Food on campus group. Jana Carp, professor in geography and planning is interested in helping. This group could organize some of their own social events as well as join as many of ours as they choose.

9. Enjoy a nice gathering with as much locally produced food as possible at a delicious restaurant.

Events organized by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture:
Showing of the documentary Greenhorns on ASU campus. This is about young people choosing farming as a profession.
Beer Making Workshop in May
Farm Tour in August

Heirloom Apple Tasting with Locally Produced Wine and Cheese
Sunday, October 3, 3:00 until 5:30
Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
381 East King St., Boone, NC
Join two of our local apple growers, Ron Joyner and Bill Moretz, as they share their knowledge and harvest of old apple varieties for a tasting. An incredible diversity of apples was once a part of the cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. Now, many of us are familiar with less than 10 varieties that are offered in grocery stores.
For the tasting, the history and subtleties of each variety will be discussed in detail. The New River Winery, Stick Boy Bread Company, Ripshin Goat Dairy, Heritage Homestead Goat Cheese Dairy are donating products to enhance the experience.
A donation of $15.00 per person or $25.00 per couple is requested to benefit Slow Food Boone, High Country and the National Committee for the New River.
RSVP by calling NC Cooperative Extension at 828.264.3061 or e-mailing Margie Mansure, by Friday, October 1st.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | August 24, 2010

Slow Food Mushroom Walk September 19th

The Slow Food Mushroom Walk finally has been scheduled for September 19th, 3 p.m. to about 6 p.m.  It was initially to have been held during August or very early September, but responses to the earlier possible dates were weak due to vacation schedules and Labor Day.

Coleman McCleneghan, a leading mushroom expert (mycologist) in the southeast, will lead the walk and then a discussion about distinguishing edible from poisonous mushrooms.

The event will be held at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (, located near NC 194 about 3 miles southwest of Valle Crucis (in the direction of Banner Elk; see directions below).

Lee Rankin, owner of the Alpaca farm, has invited any who want to tour the farm to arrive around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

The Mushroom Walk itself will consist of three parts:  a brief introduction to wild mushrooms, the walk itself over trails through mixed environments, followed by gathering in the Alpaca farm “classroom” where the mushrooms can be spread out on tables for critical information about identification.

According to Coleman, participants may want to take some time to collect any fungi they may have in their yard or some such place.  She also suggests that when collecting fungi it is important

n  to use a knife or such to get the complete base of the specimen (some very important characteristics can be below the ground or wood),

n  to know what the fungus was growing on (wood, leaf litter, soil, in mixed hardwood forest, under conifers like pines, and on),  and also that

n   fungi are best wrapped in wax paper.  Plastic bags are okay for short term but plastic tends to “melt” the specimen if it heats up.

Directions to Apple Hill Alpaca Farm, beginning in Valle Crucis at the T intersection in the center of town:

At the T intersection near the Elementary School, take NC 194 south (toward Banner Elk) and proceed 3.9 miles to the intersection with Oliver Hill Road.  Turn right onto Oliver Hill Road.

Proceed 0.8 mi on Oliver Hill Road to the intersection with Bladen Road.  Turn right onto Bladen Road.

Stay on Bladen Hill Road only 0.2 mi, to where it intersects with Apple Hill Road.  Turn left onto Apple Hill Road.

Proceed on Apple Hill Road 0.3 mi to the farm.  Follow traffic signs at the farm.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | April 26, 2010

Slow Food Boone-High Country and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture are co-sponsoring a symposium on Gender and Food, to be held Saturday, May 1 starting at 4:00 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  At 5:30 pm, a community potluck will follow the discussion on the role of gender in food production, distribution and preparation. 

 Have you ever wondered why most professional chefs are men, while most cooks are women?  Did you know that in Africa, most food production labor is done by women, while in Europe, most is done by men?  What kinds of gender differences exist in the local food movement?  How do local organizations deal with gender differences?

Panelists who are active in local food production and education will discuss these and other questions posed by the audience.  Come join in the discussion and bring your questions for Franya Hutchins, CSA High Country facilitator; Brooke Cuttino, ASU Sustainable Development farm manager; Lynne Getz, Professor, History, ASU; Maggie McFadden, Professor Emerita, Women’s Studies; and a member of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.

Potluck at 5:30 pm follows the discussion.  Please bring a dish to share.  All are welcome and there is no charge.  For further information email Maggie McFadden at

Posted by: slowfoodboone | March 31, 2010

Bread Baking Workshop April 12

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) announces a class on bread baking at the Watauga Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Rd. The class will be held from 6:30-7:30pm on Monday, April 12.

Carson Coatney, owner of Stick Boy Bread Company, will share his insights and experiences related to the science and art of bread baking. Topics covered will include flour selection, mixing and fermentation techniques, shaping free form loaves, and advice for working with organic and whole grain flours. Carson lives in Boone with his wife Mindy and three young boys. They started Stick Boy in 2001 and are proud to offer the High Country access to locally made artisan breads and pastries.

From a modest beginning with very limited baking experience, Carson and his staff have
developed a product line that includes over fifty varieties of bread. During that time they have also expanded their menu to include desserts and wedding cakes, a coffee and smoothie bar, and a wide variety of breakfast pastries. Besides running a growing bakery business, Carson enjoys traveling, cooking at home, hiking with the family and fishing. There is no cost to attend, but donations are welcome. Donations will go toward BRWIA’s fund for our annual Farm Tour that will be held this August.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | March 30, 2010

Make Plans to Attend Our Spring Wine Tasting and Potluck

Slow Food Boone High Country strives to make our events accessible to everyone. Our convivium co-leader, Ken Mckinney studies and enjoys wine pairing and food.  Ken has agreed to teach this class and select wines that we can all afford. Join us for an affordable, enjoyable evening with like-minded foodies!

When? Sunday, April 18, 2010, 5 p.m.

Where? Boone Unitarian Fellowship, 381 E King Street, Boone

Cost? $10 plus dish for potluck [wines will be provided for tasting and meal]

RSVP: Ken McKinney, Co-leader (, 264-4310)

We will taste and compare two pinot grigio/gris from different parts of the world and three syrah/shiraz from different parts of the world.  The intent of the tasting is to learn a bit about how to get the most from what’s available in each glass, and what causes so many different results to come from a single grape type.  At least four of the wines will come from small family sustainable/organic farms.

It would be good to have dishes at the potluck that are reputed to match the wines, so it would be great to have volunteers to bring one of the following dishes:

green salad with light dressing

something made with a local chevre-style goat cheese

trout (grilled or broiled if possible)

shellfish in pasta or risotto or paella

baked/roasted chicken/duck/turkey

beef or venison (roast or stew, with or without mushroom sauce)

lamb (roast or stew)

Anyone who wants to volunteer to bring one of the dishes listed above, please contact Ken McKinney (, 264-4310), because we only need one or two folks bringing any of the listed foods.

Of course, vegetable dishes and desserts will also be needed, so it is fine to bring anything, actually.  It is just that it would be good to have at least some dishes that commonly are matched with the wines to be tasted.

Posted by: slowfoodboone | December 22, 2009

High Country CSA is taking orders!

High Country Community Supported Agriculture works to create a local food community in Northwest North Carolina by connecting local growers with local eaters. In the summer, they coordinate a 20-week CSA project, and through the winter they organize monthly local food orders. All food is grown and produced to organic standards with care by growers in the High Country, primarily in Ashe and Watauga counties.

Here’s a message from Franya about their January 2010 orders:

Happy snow-in everyone! Once you munch through your supply of canned goods, I would like to invite you to meet with us SATURDAY JANUARY 2 to refill your freezers with local meat, cheese, and bread, and your bellies with vegetables, eggs, and MORE!

As promised, this month I have found a way to cover the final food group: CHOCOLATE! Introducing: Hold the Heat Raw Food Makery, a Boone company that offers homemade raw chocolates, granolas, and more! See below! Remember our next pickup will be in another month so be sure to fill up on four weeks worth of food. We’re offering foods that store well: GARLIC, turnips and beets; foods to freeze: Meat, Bread, Goat Cheese; cold weather treats: bok choy and herbs; and EGGS! And as always, everything is grown and raised to organic standards with great care in the High Country.

Gift Certificates for 2010 CSA membership or Winter Orders are still available! Just email me and I’ll send you a printable version for your last minute gifts.

Orders will be due the Tuesday following Christmas (Tuesday, December 29) at 2pm please! I know many people are busy with family and food in the holiday season- show everyone how to do it with a local flair!

Speaking of which, this month we are featuring the TURNIP. Now, there are many wonderful ways to cook turnips of course, but did you know that you can create a saurekraut (sauerrüben) completely out of turnips? With 5 pounds turnip and 3 tablespoons salt packed and weighted in a crock, (unplugged crockpots work perfectly), you can have almost a gallon of delicious turnip kraut in a week! Fully fermented sauerrüben will keep for weeks in a jar in the fridge, and can be used for sandwiches and sides just as you would saurekraut. Turnip orders of 5 pounds or more will come with full directions for creating sauerruben, and a sample of the batch I’ve made with our last order!

So, see the attached brochure for details and farm bios, and get your orders in by Tuesday, December 29!

HC CSA Winter Order Brochure January 2010

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