As you can tell from our cover, nothing screams summertime like fresh veggies out of the garden or from the many local farmers’ markets and produce stands throughout our area. Saturday mornings are my favorite time to grab my big woven basket and head to the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. First stop is to say hi to Bald Guy and grab the feistiest java I’ve ever had the experience of enjoying and a hot biscuit from Betty’s Biscuit food truck. Bald Guy has concoctions that will shoot you to the moon and back, and Tina of Reid’s Catering and Betty’s Biscuit food truck will make you think grandma has come to town. When I’m ready to blast off and my belly is feeling satisfied, I circle around the entire market scoping out what dinner might look like.
Shall I grab a few grass-fed filets, or beef tips for stir-fry? I always get fresh dino kale, romaine, colored peppers, baby organic carrots, squash, radishes, beets (both golden and red), red spring onions, cauliflower and cucumbers—no matter what’s for dinner tonight I’ll have fresh fixings for salads all week long. I’ve noticed that when I shop local, the produce lasts longer, and I know I can count on it being high quality.
There is always an excellent selection of fingerling potatoes, freshly made pasta (even gluten free and vegan), local honey for my tea, and I love the extra zip my protein shake gives me when I add local bee pollen.
The circle of friends that I seem to run into at the famers’ market always astounds me—people I don’t see in other places, but that bring such surprise and joy when I bump into them. The most fun is when I run into my granddaughter and son-in-law at the biscuit truck. At almost four, she is sleepy eyed but hungry and loves the adventure of the kids’ section, live music, taste testing and a buzz of activity. Let’s face it, the microcosm of this weekly event is what we all envision: coming together to enjoy the bounty of our earth, friendship and simple pleasures. What a lesson of life for her to experience this buzz—it’s the way it should be.
I want to join in their utter glee of being with the wind, in the rain and digging in the dirt. We have mighty plans for starting our garden in cardboard egg crates and transplanting them once the fear of frost has passed. Tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and snap peas are just a few to mention. I think the veggies that grow within reach and can be plucked off the vine and plopped in the mouth are the best for teaching how planting seeds are so important in life.
As we all enjoy this long awaited spring, we hope that you, too, will get out and explore. Maybe not in the dirt planting seedlings, but headed out to see a new band or try out a new dish at one of our favorite local restaurants. This place is literally crawling with remarkable things to do, explore, and experience.
Enjoy the delights inside these pages and let us hear from you!
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