A few weekends ago we went on the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Piedmont Farm Tour. The Carolina Farm Stewards is an incredible organization that we’ve followed since moving to Raleigh. One of our first weekends as a married couple, new to NC was spent volunteering at a farm tour making friends with local farmers, tasting NC wines, playing with sheep dogs, & gathering delicious local produce. I remember thinking that we had definitely chosen the right state to move to.Even if it did lack Mardi Gras & crawfish. I wanted to share some photos from the beautiful, small family farms we visited 7 some of our favorite parts of this year’s tour.
Rows 7 rows of fruit trees including, figs (my favorite!) plus apples, chestnuts & berries at Minka Farms
Pizza topped with a fried farm egg for lunch at Fickle Creek Farms while watching dozens of kids gather eggs in a field filled with the happiest of chickens.
Getting to know the farmer (former fisherman) & his wife at Eco Farm. Their farm is nestled in the deep shaded woods of Chapel Hill & feels so peaceful. You can buy handmade crafts, pasture raised meats, cut flowers & produce. Additionally, they run a shiitake mushroom operation hence the shade and the piles of logs.
We also visited Chapel Hill Creamery where we sampled a variety of exquisite farm cheeses including their version of feta & mozerella. I could have stayed at this farm for hours. My love of cheese runs deep! I am thankful everyday that I am not lactose intolerant. For me, some good quality cheese with crackers, fruit & wine is a perfect meal. Or in today’s case, a grilled cheese sandwich deluxe which is what reminded me to post these photos.
After working in the yard today outside in the heat, I quickly became exhausted & famished. Not a good combination, at least for Chris since he has to deal with me. I made my favorite type of grilled cheese sandwiches with jam & fresh herbs for our lunch, using some delicious, slightly nutty Calvander farm cheese we purchased on the tour. I had some peach rhubarb jam my aunt made & some unruly herbs from the garden that needed to be cut & used. If you’ve never had grilled cheese this way, give it a try. Spread some of your favorite jam or preserves on two slices of bread. To the jam, add some fresh chopped sweet herbs such as thyme, marjoram, or basil. Add your favorite cheese for grilled cheese & make your sandwich. Take it a step further and add some crispy bacon! Adding jam & fresh herbs brings such a refreshing touch which is perfect for a hot summer day. -Addie