2015 Tailgate Market Spring Openings

Spring is here and the growing season is upon us! Tailgate tents are going up, and area farmers markets are opening outdoors for the season. Celebrate spring by getting a taste of what is growing in your community. At early spring markets, expect fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm products like preserves, and a wide selection of plant starts. Produce offerings will differ from market to market based on the location of vendor farms—microclimates vary greatly in the region. But the season changes quickly, with new offerings sprouting up each week.


Find a list of spring tailgate opening days for the central mountains below. For a complete list of the 90+ tailgate markets in the region, including their season start dates, visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. The 2015 print guide hits stands in mid-April. [Read more…]

More Than Honey

More Than Honey

March 16th at 7pm – Tryon Theatre

Bring your friends and family to a free movie on bees and beekeeping with a reception beforehand at La Boutielle Wine and Beer Boutique. This awesome documentary showcases beekeeping around the world, demonstrating why bees and beekeepers are vital to our existence on earth.

Thanks to Slow Foods Asheville – Foothills for the reception sponsorship. 


11th Annual ASHEVILLE BREAD FESTIVAL, May 2nd, 2015

The Festival rapidly approaches!

The bread bakers and other artisans are planning their products to share with you on MAY 2, 2015.  Bring your hunger for bread and your thirst for knowledge about the stuff of life.  Occasionally between now and then, you’ll be receiving an update on ticket availability. At this time there is very good availability on all the workshops, but from experience we know that isn’t going to last long!  http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com/

Reception and Movie to Follow.
After the festival you can enjoy dinner with the bakers, exhibitors and festival organizers.   The festival is sponsoring the release party for JD McLelland;s acclaimed documentary  “The Grain Divide.”  The story of the geneticists, farmers, millers and bakers who are making locally grown wheat a reality, is an inspiring look at the frontiers  of wheat, flour, and bread. Preceding the film, there will be a panel discussion featuring the film’s director and cast. The reception  with appetizers, beer, and wine begins at 6pm and the film will be shown at 8pm. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. The event is at Carolina Cinema.

Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest

Come out and celebrate everything cheesy.  The festival will be held rain or shine at Highland Brewery in Asheville, NC.  The festival will utilize the indoor and outdoor areas of the brewery so you can get your hands on goats and calves outside and participate in discussions and tastings inside.  Tickets for the 1st annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival will go on sale on this website starting November 1, 2014.

Ticket prices are listed below:

DATE:  April 26th, 2015
LOCATION: Highland Brewery, 12 Old Charlotte Highway
Asheville, NC 28803
TIME: 12 noon to 4pm


  • Ages 13 to 103: $12.00
  • Children 12 & under:  Free

If there are any remaining tickets, they will be sold at the gate the day of the event for $15.00 each.

NC Save The Honey Bee specialty license plate

One of the key elements of the team’s awareness project was creating a NC Save The Honey Bee specialty license plate. Revenue from this plate will help fund educational outreach materials and other ongoing expenses related to the Honey Bee Habitat on Grandfather mountain, as well as supporting honey bee research at NC State University. Click for more information about the Grandfather Honey Bee Haven.

Until recently, a specialty plate required a bill to be passed before orders for the plate could be taken. The team’s plate was completed and submitted to Senator Soucek in January of 2014. Unfortunately, the NC senate was not allowing any new bills to be introduced. The new path is to collect all the required orders and then submit them to the DMV. The plate will then be considered as a bill in the NC legislature.

  • The cost for this plate is just $15.
  • The North Carolina DMV requires 500 pre-paid applications before it will consider the initial plate application.
  • These applications must be processed as a single submission with one check. 

To comply with this requirement, applications will be collected by the Watauga County Beekeepers Association (WCBA), combined into a package and submitted to DMV with one check .

We need 500 applicants in relatively short order. DMV has extended the Deadline from Feb15th to April 1, 2015. If you want a honey bee license plate to happen, we need you to…

DOWNLOAD: Download the application found here
COMPLETE: Fill it out COMPLETELY with the required items as listed in this webpage
PAY: Make out the check to WCBA
SUBMIT! Send check and application to address below

WCBA c/o Lyn Soeder
PO Box 93
Todd, NC 28684

Complete this application and mail it along with your check or money order.

. Please help us spread awareness by ordering your plate today.


  • $5.00 from every license plate sale will support Grandfather Mountain Honey Bee Haven and NC State University Agriculture Program.
  • A plate with sequential numbers determined by DMV (standard) can be ordered for $15.00
  • A plate with a personalized message (4 spaces allowed) can be ordered for an additional $30.00.
  • Yearly renewal fees will depend on your choice of plate and other personal property and vehicle taxes.
  • Each application must include the following items:
    • Vehicle must be currently registered & titled in North Carolina
    • Current NC Plate Number
    • Current Driver License Number
    • Year, Model, Make/Body Style of Vehicle the plate will be ordered for
    • Vehicle Identification Number
    • Signature
    • Insurance Carrier Name
    • Insurance Policy Number

You can download a blank application from the DMV website at http://www.ncdot.gov/download/dmv/MVR-27PPA.pdf

Please help us spread the word to family and friends and to anyone else you think might be interested in ordering a plate!

Questions please call Jenny Fitzpatrick at (828) 260-1267

Slow Food at Indie Grits – Columbia SC

Slow Food at Indie Grits Sustainable Chefs Showcase

April 19, 2015 3:00-6:00pm

711 Whaley Street (701 Whaley)



The Midlands’ finest eco-conscious chefs will serve small bites featuring sustainably produced ingredients at this popular culinary fiesta, presented by Slow Food Columbia. Guests will enjoy tastings by 17 chefs, a Slow Food community potluck, tunes by the Greater Columbia Society for the Preservation of Soul and a cash bar with craft beers and great wines by The Whig. Entering its fifth year, Slow Food at Indie Grits has been a sold-out smash hit described as “laid-back,” “family-friendly,” and “a can’t miss event for foodies and green enthusiasts.” An official partner event of the Nickelodeon Theater’s 9th Annual Indie Grits Festival. For more information, contactinfo@slowfoodcolumbia.org. Tickets on sale March 1 at http://www.indiegrits.com. @slowfoodcola @indiegrits


Join us for an Escoffier wine dinner at Chestnut restaurant. Georges Autuste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. For this special wine dinner, Joe Scully and the awesome, talented team at Chestnut will recreate some of Escoffier’s recipes and the Weinhaus will select wine pairings for each course. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy great food and learn some culinary history too. Thursday, March 19th Time: 7:00 PM. Price: $80 all inclusive. Please call the Weinhaus for reservations at 254-6453.

5th Annual Grape Growers Conference

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, and the French Broad Vignerons, will host the 5th Annual Grape Growers Conference in the Madison County Cooperative Extension auditorium in Marshall NC. Conference time will be from 9 AM – 4 PM.

The Conference will work to bring a new focus to growers and producers in the Western North Carolina region. The conference will not only address issues of substance for producers and growers it hopes to lay the basis for regular interaction on the part of vineyard managers, winemakers, and product producers.

In the morning program, Pete Fland, President of the French Broad Vignerons, will give a presentation about the trade association for all grape growers and winemakers in the region.

Chuck Blethen, owner of Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, will share a list of available resources for making many value added products from grapes.

Josh Fowler, Winemaker from Lake James Cellars, will talk about how to blend grapes with other fruits to make great wines.

Alan Staton, owner of  Cabin Creek Vineyard, will offer tips on growing cold-hardy grapes in the mountains.

Samantha Biggers, owner of Morning Star Vineyards, will discuss new grape varietals suitable for growing in the mountains.

The afternoon program will consist of a Roundtable discussions. One will feature commercial vineyard managers from this reason. One will feature commercial winemakers from wineries in this area. The roundtable discussions will allow conference participants to ask questions about commercial grape growing and winemaking in our region.

The conference Early Bird registration fee is $45 paid in advance before midnight February 12. The regular registration fee of $50 will be for those who register between February 13 and noon on February 24. This registration also Includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. Online registration is now available at www.GrapeSAVI.org until noon on Tuesday, February 24. The Walk-in Registration for those registering after noon on February 24 will be $55 and there is no guarantee that lunch will be available. People who register in advance will receive a copy of the agenda and directions to the conference location.

For additional information about the upcoming conference please contact Chuck Blethen, Executive Director, Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, 828-606-3130 or email Blethen@GrapeSAVI.org


Chuck Blethen  – Executive Director

Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute

PO Box 4

Marshall NC 28753 USA


e-Mail: Blethen@GrapeSAVI.org




2015 Organic Growers School Spring Conference coming up!


Check it out by going to www.organicgrowersschool.org then click on Spring Conference.


Thursday, January 15th

Join us for a wine dinner at Chestnut restaurant. Owners Joe Scully and Kevin Westmoreland of Corner Kitchen fame will prepare a unique meal to designed to satisfy the most discriminating palate. Chestnut is located directly across the street from the Aloft Hotel on Biltmore Avenue. The restaurant features local and seasonal flavors to create uniquely American cuisine. Join us for a coursed dinner with wines selected by the Weinhaus staff.  Time: 6:00 PM. Price: $80 all inclusive. Please call the Weinhaus for reservations at 254-6453.