Food is the Polk County community’s connective tissue

Published 9:57 pm Monday, April 21, 2014

You might think it would be difficult to find a cheerful, growing population of optimistic farmers in America today, but I am doing so in and around Polk County at a delicious pace.
I am peeling and chopping my way past “outsiders” mealtime trappings and living locally to be happier, healthier and to get to know my farmers and neighbors as my friends.
Twice monthly I share my musings and report locavore-friendly discoveries with you.
We are learning together about farms and their products, recipes, slow food events and fundraisers and how to get involved with all of the above.
Polk County is rural first.  Small family farms were once our main industry. As early back as the 40s and 50s Polk County farmland was estimated to occupy over 80 percent of her 100,000 acres.
A decade ago, Polk County’s marketable farm goods found purchase on around 10 percent. Presently, our farmland is growing again, finding marketplace in tailgate markets, local stands, groceries, restaurants, farm stores, CSA’s and work shares.
Through agriculture we are becoming a community again, trading money and services, looking after and socializing with our neighbors and spending time with our children in pastures, gardens and kitchens:
Food is our community’s connective tissue.
I love my continuing work in and for local agriculture.  Since 2006 when I started my first farm business, Manna Cabanna, I have met new people everyday who are poised and excited for our food future to guide us back to our food past:  slow meals and time with family, knowing who grew our food, preserving it, and investing in our local community through subscribing to it.  The Manna Cabanna 2014 CSA program is open now for enrollment.
Large varieties from local organic farmers show up in your weekly share basket for 18 weeks leading all the way through October.
Visit or e-mail
I also love the stewardship time I spend with food, hunger and sustainability issues.
Being a part of “the solution” has meant organizing CSA’s, writing articles, helping at the Mill Spring Ag Center, serving at Outreach Ministry and in churches, farming workshops and slow food conviviums.  Though this is a load of additional work, it feels like pleasure.
It has created for me a bright and fun social-life woven within the farmland fabric of Green Creek and Mill Spring, Saluda and Tryon, Sunny View, Lynn, Columbus and Landrum.
I have the greatest group of new friends and I didn’t have to go online or travel out of my neighborhood to find them. We just needed to get together and share a meal.  The rest just seems to fall into place.
Follow “In Good Taste” the first and third Tuesday of each month as we spoon up delicious local foods and health-notes for you.

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