More Polk producers in ‘Local Food Guide for WNC’

Published 6:56 pm Friday, June 25, 2010

The number of places producing locally grown food in Polk County is growing rapidly, and it shows in the “2010 Local Food Guide for Western North Carolina.”

The guide, recently released by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), includes nearly 20 agricultural operations in Polk County.

Lynn Sprague, director of agricultural economic development in Polk County, says he has been introducing producers to ASAP and encouraging them to take advantage of its resources.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

ASAP is one of the best marketing resources for farmers in Western North Carolina, says Sprague. ASAP not only publishes the food guide, but offers direct marketing cost share grants, business planning and marketing courses.

Sprague adds that the food guide has become a forum for businesses, farmers and others with similar interests to contact each other and share information.

Nearly 100,000 copies of the free guide will be distributed this year at stores across the region, according to ASAP.

ASAP is helping to rebuild the local economy, preserve rural land and heritage, encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and increase access to fresher, healthier food, says ASAP in a press release. We work to keep farmers farming, to reconnect people with their food.

The food guide, which covers areas within 100 miles of Asheville, includes farms, farm stands, tailgate markets, restaurants, groceries, wineries, farm lodging, apple farms, U-pick farms and Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs). CSA customers subscribe to a farm, purchasing a years harvest of the farms goods. Each week, they receive a share of whats in season.

For Polk County, the guide includes the Green Creek, Saluda, Tryon and Columbus tailgate markets.

The Columbus market is held Saturdays from 8 to 11:30 a.m., the Saluda market Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Tryon market Thursdays from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the Green Creek market&bsp; Tuesdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The 2010 Local Food Guide also includes the following agricultural operations in Polk County: Adawehi Institute (93 Adawehi Lane, Columbus); Apple Mill (1345 Ozone Drive, Saluda); Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; DeerHaven Hills Farm; Forest Creek Farm and Nursery (480 Thompson Road, Saluda); Giardini Gardens (2411 Hwy. 108 East, Columbus); Giardini Gardens, Catering & Pasta Co.; Green River Farm, Mill Spring (10103 Hwy. 108); Green River Vineyard Bed & Breakfast (3043 John Watson Road); Manna Cabannas roadside stand and CSA (105 E. Main Street, Saluda); Restoration Farm (155 Calton Hill Lane); Rockhouse Vineyards (1525 Turner Road); Sunny Creek Farm Inc.; SunRise Farm, (280 Landrum Road, Columbus); and The Purple Onion, (16 Main Street, Saluda).

The local foods movement is growing tremendously in Polk County, says Sprague. Our farmers markets are expanding and the Columbus tailgate is almost twice as big as last year.

The increased interest in local foods is also creating new economic opportunity, says Sprague.

We have several private businesses now focused on local foods and several sites are developing agri-tourism opportunities and we even have an offer to open a special booth at the Western NC Farmers Market in Asheville.

For more information about the operations in Polk County or other areas listed in the food guide, you can visit the searchable online guide at

Print copies also will be available in groceries, libraries, welcome centers, tailgate markets, and other locations across the region.