Get local with ASAPs January Local Food Campaign picks

Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Local honey and sorghum are the featured products of January in Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Projects (ASAP) Get Local initiative.

A year-round component of ASAPs Local Food Campaign, Get Local brings together farmers, chefs and community members in celebration of a food or foods available at tailgate markets, groceries and restaurants during the month. Many farms, restaurants and tailgate markets in Polk County are a part of ASAPs Get Local initiative, including Giardinis in Columbus, The Purple Onion in Saluda, Rockhouse Vineyards in Tryon and many others.

Looking for signs of spring after all the snow? Look no farther than your neighborhood grocery stores shelves. Local honey, carefully collected during the warmer days of spring and summer, abounds this time of year whether its from mountain wildflowers or the sourwood tree. Sourwood honey is a regional specialty produced predominately in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The taste is often described as rich and buttery, making it sought after by honey lovers everywhere.

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And it gets even sweeter. Local sorghum syrup or sorghum molasses, another distinctively regional farm product, can also be found now. But dont get it confused with blackstrap molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process. Sorghum molasses is made from 100-percent sorghum cane juice and has a lighter flavor.

Keep your eyes out for both farm products on eatery menus through January. Pick up your own sweet stuff at area groceries, from Earth Fare to Ingles, as well as direct from the farm.

Find a complete list of area Get Local restaurants and more information about the initiative, for which ASAP has big plans in 2011, on the Get Local page of There, you can also download a Get Local school calendar; until March, participating schools are highlighting local apples.

Search for the more than 100 area honey and sorghum producers in ASAPs Local Food Guide, online at