Thursday, August 19, 2010

Local Sustainablility Festival

Local food production and the local food movement is one of our initiatives in Stokes County. In trying to focus on our main assets and work to revitialize has been based on agriculture and manufacturing, we must focus on what we have and what we are good at. If this is your passion or you are interested, it will be time well spent.

There will be a local sustainability festival on Sept. 25 from 10:30 to 4:30 at the Hare Krishna Temple. Please see details listed below.

Here's the latest and the greatest!

Dear Friends,

The Local Sustainability Festival will be held
Sept. 25 , 10:30 to 4:30

Hare Krishna Temple
1283 Prabhupada Rd
Sandy Ridge, NC 27046

We are currently dependent on a system that is bound to fail.
Practically all of our food and other resources are delivered from far away.

What if we knew that in 10 years the cost of fuel would rise to $25 a gallon?

What steps can be taken in preparation for that possibility?

This is the subject matter for our upcoming event.

The following Local Speakers and Activists will each give a half hour presentation;

Vivian and Randy Fulk- This couple have developed Medley Meadows in King where they operate a CSA, hold music festivals in their vineyard as well as promote agri-tourism in our county.
Vivian regularly speaks on Climate change at Guilford College,A & T,UNCG and Wake Forest ,where she was on the Sustainability Board.
She had been on the board of directors for our Local Sierra Club and has worked with Al Gore in promoting awareness of Global Climate Change.
Randy will be teaching An Introduction to Sustainable Surrey Community College.he is also an excellent musician, writing a lot of his own

John Hartman and Kay Ritchie- Growing Sorghum, A Three Way Crop
This couple live near Danbury and have been living without electricity in their log cabin for as long as I've known them.They farm without tractors,using their horse team.

John and Kay have been growing and processing Sorghum into molasses for about 10 years now. The seeds is a major grain crop in many parts of the world.Kay feeds it to their livestock including their milk cow, who is like part of the family to them.Winter squash is grown amongst the sorghum giving 3 crops in one field.

Mathura and Aravinda -Trees That Will Feed Your Family For Generations
Many of you already know my neighbor Mathura. He runs a CSA and lives in a cob house that he built from the mud on his land. He and his wife Chitra raise cows, goats, sheep and use horses as draft animals.
Aravinda is new here.From West Virginia, he has a lot of experience growing Paw Paws and other easy care fruit and nut trees.

-Brian Heagney -Wild Food Hike-Brian's been studying this for a few years and hosts events where the group forages,then shares a meal. Here is a portion of his website devoted to this topic;

-Luke Staengl - Appropriate Use of BioFuels.
Co-founder of the Bio-based Materials Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute,Luke has founded and served as chief executive officer for three companies involved in converting biomass to fuel, fiber, feed and other high value products.
Please see his interesting resume (attached) and the website for his company PescoBeam

Julie Johnson-"Who Lives Downstream From Your Energy?"
In NC we have been blessed to not have the "resource" of coal underground.
In Appalachia, thousands of communities are being threatened daily by the relentless extraction of coal. The most devastating form of coal mining is mountaintop removal, a process with which the coal industry has already blasted over 500 mountains and buried over 2000 miles of headwater streams. The EPA puts it like this:
The impact of mountaintop removal on nearby communities is devastating. Dynamite blasts needed to splinter rock strata are so strong they crack the foundations and walls of houses. Mining dries up an average of 100 wells a year and contaminates water in others. In many coalfield communities, the purity and availability of drinking water are keen concerns.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

King Chamber of Commerce Silent Auction

Imagine yourself basking in the warmth of the spring sunshine as you are refreshed by a gentle ocean breeze. Soak up those tanning rays or shop and dine to your heart’s content along our state’s crystal coast. Golfers, just ponder weekend rounds on the meticulously maintained course of a well-known resort. You can make this vision a reality for you (and 2 guests) by having the winning bid for the weekend stay for two at Sea Trail Resort
at Sunset Beach. The complimentary weekend lodging was donated by Tim Hall of Helsabeck-Hall Insurance, Kevin Walker of Doctors Vision Center and Craig Harris. Silent auction bids will be accepted on this in the Chamber Office until April 29. Stop by and place your bid for the weekend getaway, a handmade quilt, a barbecue grill/smoker and other great prizes. The final silent auction bids will be taken at the One Way Antiques Spring Show and Sale during the weekend of May 1-2, and the winning bids will be announced at the close of the show on Sunday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Canopy Tours with one of the first in Stokes County

Canopy Tours are gaining more attention throughout the state. One of the first was built in Stokes County by the Nickell's family. Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours is located on Nickell Farm Rd. in Westfield and is a great way to spend a part of your summer.

By Lisa O'Donnell | Journal Reporter

Published: April 8, 2010


When I am riding that knife's edge between a hurl and a howl, screaming provides me with great relief.

I let out a few of those "holy-&*$#" screams last week while whizzing above and through the trees on ziplines near the N.C. Zoo.

Yeah, I thought I was going to revisit my poached egg and toast when I purposely flipped myself upside down and let one hand off the harness, but I was facing tremendous peer pressure from some other 40-something women who made riding upside down seem as blasé as conditioning their hair.

Ziplines, which are also called canopy tours, are the latest rage in outdoor adventures. In most commercial outfits, riders slip into a harness that is attached to a pulley system that glides along an inclined cable. Gravity provides the fuel that moves riders from one stop to the next. Riders, who are given padded leather gloves, brake by pulling down on the cable.

Ziplines have long been popular in such Central American countries as Costa Rica that promote eco-tourism. Lately, they have started sprouting all over the United States, including in North Carolina.

Our area has a handful of ziplines, including Carolina Ziplines in Westfield, Scream Time Ziplines in Boone and Richland Creek Zip Line in Asheboro.

New ziplines are popping up in Bryson City, the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, and Hawksnest in Seven Devils. Prices range from about $40 to $80. Yes, it's a lot of money, especially if you have children. On the positive side, the tours last about 2½ hours and, most important, there's a lot of yee-haw for your buck.

I got a taste of ziplining at Richland Creek Zip Line, off N.C. 42 in Asheboro. It has about 10 lines totaling one mile. My group included 6-year-old Colin Sullender and his 77-year old grandmother, Frances Herring.

"The buzzards are circling," Herring said as she climbed the steps to a platform for her first ride, "and I'm not even dead yet."

The ziplines run to platforms that are built in the trees. If standing on a platform 30 feet in the air makes your stomach turn a double McTwist, fear not. The staff clips the carabiner on your harness onto a safety clip as soon as you step on the platform. In other words: You will not fall.

The ziplines here cut through a beautiful woods near the base of Purgatory Mountain and over Richland Creek, a fast-running creek strewn with boulders. Part of what makes a zipline such an exhilarating experience is seeing nature from a squirrel's eye view.

Of course, that makes it a little scary, too, especially those first few rides when you are getting your air legs.

By the third run or so, the nerves were settled, although I swore I smelled smoke coming off my padded glove while trying to slow myself down. By the final run, most of the folks in my group were riding upside down, some with no hands.

Owner Buddy Hammer said he has never measured how fast you can go on one of his lines, but it is probably no more than 30 mph. Some zipline companies promote their fast lines. Scream Time in Boone, for instance, says you can get up to 50 mph on its lines.


Want to go?

• Carolina Zip Lines Canopy Tour: 1085 Nickell Farm Road, Westfield, 972-7656,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Piedmond Local Food Receives Grant

Presentation of check for Rockingham County Local Food Coalition’s Piedmont Local Food Project on April 1, 2010. The grant proceeds will be used for marketing, technology, and supplies for farmers who are participating in the project

Pictured are: Joe Stroeder, RAFI representative; Bobby Stanley, Rockingham County Commissioner; Deborah Crumpton, farmer and RCLFC Board Member; Brenda Sutton, Rockingham County Cooperative Extension Director; Sam Thompson, RCLFC President; and Michael Hylton, Stokes County Cooperative Extension Director.

The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining family farms, rural communities and ensuring that farmers have an opportunity to earn a living in the marketplace.

Not that it is needed but this is further proof that the Piedmont Local Food initiative is a thriving and growing project. In a little over one year, this group of small business people, known as farmers and several dedicated people from 4 Piedmont Counties have forged a relationship that has already started to create a new income stream for local food producers.

Money from this grant is being put to good use as thermal printers that are needed to process orders are now available to farmers at no charge. Feel free to contact me if you need one and I will forward the necessary paperwork.

Great job and thanks to RAFI-USA!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Piedmont Local Food is a Reality!

Below is the first invoice for delivery by Piedmond Local Food. This has all taken place in a revarkably short period of time with a great deal of cooperation between individuals and units of local governments. I think this is the first of many orders and am hopeful that this can become an important income stream for our local farmers. It is a win-win situation. The farmers make more money and our local restaurants and citizens get better, more nutirtious foods at a good price. I love it!

Order# 101 Payment Status: Pending
Delivery on 04/01/2010

Products Ordered

Item Name Price Unit Quantity Total
Degas (Gouda-like hard goat cheese)
SleepyGoat Farm $15.00 Each 2 $30.00
Seed Sowers $10.00 Container 1 $10.00
Jerusalem Artichokes / Sunchokes
Seed Sowers $9.00 Bag 5 $45.00
Pea Shoots
Faucette Farms $8.00 Container 2 $16.00
Sun-Dried Tomato (1 oz. bag)
Running Pine Herb Farm $3.00 Bag 2 $6.00
spring onions
Seed Sowers $2.00 Container 4 $8.00
Sub Total $115.00
Delivery Fee $20.00
Total $135.00

Customer Notes


Farmers Fresh Market in Rockingham County

The Farmers Fresh Market program has expanded into Rockingham County - a rural community about 3 hours north east of Rutherford County, on the border ofa the North Carolina and Virginia state line. The Rockingham County Business & Technology Center (a sister organization of Foothills Connect, and one of 7 BTC's in the state), the Rockingham Cooperative Extension and Piedmont Local Food have been working together for over a year to organize local farmers into a Local Food Coalition and adopt the Farmers Fresh Market model.

About 50 farmers in Rockingham, Stokes, Caswell and Guilford counties joined the coalition, and the online market made its very first sale last week to the Marisol restaurant in Greensboro. Brenda Sutton, Director of the county office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension, said the coalition expects the market to generate $60,000 in revenue this year and become self-sustaining by the third year.

The Rockingham County web site,, already has a mouth-watering display of farm fresh items available for purchase by restuarants in Rockingham, Stokes, Guilford, Caswell, Forsyth, and Surry Counties. Gourmet cheeses, free range eggs, microgreens, fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes are some of the tasty items up for sale.

Congratulations to Rockingham County for their hard work and dedication to building their own Farmers Fresh Market system. Please spread the word about this new, convenient way to buy fresh, local food in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem areas!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Local Opportunities for the Farming Community

Below are two important meetings. First the next Local Foods Meeting:

“If each North Carolinian spent 25 cents/day on local food (just 2.5 percent of the $3600.00 that we spend on average on food consumption per year), it would mean $792 million for the state’s economy”—

YOU are invited to the next meeting of the Rockingham County Local Foods Coalition.

Mission: To establish an organization for marketing and distribution of a locally-grown supply of fresh, quality products to preserve small family farms through environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture. Through these actions, this organization embraces seasonality, preserves diversity and, with good agricultural practices, supports local economics in Rockingham County and consumers throughout the region

Please join us on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ag Building (525 Hwy 65, Reidsville NC) for an exciting meeting including:

• Update on regional food distribution project “Piedmont Local Food”

• Membership Opportunity

• 2010 Event Planning workgroup formation

• Announcements and Networking Opportunities

Beverages and paper products will be provided. You may bring food to share!
You are also invited to bring products or information to exhibit and share or sell!!!

RSVP and contact with any questions or agenda items:
Brenda Sutton, County Extension Director 342-8230
Sam Thompson, President

And for Agri-Tourism:

NC Agritourism Networking Association
2010 ANA Spring Workshop – Thursday, April 22

2153 Flint Hill Road East Bend 27018
Thursday, April 15, 2010 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Tour the vineyard and Century Farm grounds - 3:30 – 4 p.m.
Program Cost: $25.00 per person includes dinner and resource materials.
Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, April 13

Program Highlights
Hear successful agritourism farmers and vineyard owners tell their stories.
Learn easy ways to make that good first impression, discuss local marketing ideas and other challenges for agritourism farmers.
Don’t miss this opportunity to network with agritourism
farmers and winery/vineyard owners. Meet and make new friends!

Directions: From Winston-Salem – Take US 421 west to Exit 244; right at top of ramp; left on Shallowford Rd.; right on Conrad Rd.; left on Old 421 (Yadkinville Hwy.); right on Flint Hill Rd.; Flint Hill Vineyard 2.5 miles on left.
Alternate directions from W-S: Take NC 67 West to Flint Hill Road, bear left; Flint Hill Vineyard is 4 mi. on right.
From Elkin: Take US 421 east to Baltimore Rd. exit; take left at top of ramp; go to stop sign, take right onto Old 421 (Yadkinville Hwy.); turn left on Flint Hill Rd.; Flint Hill Vineyard 2.4 mi. on left.
Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, April 13

Mail Registration Form with check for $25.00 / person -- payable to ‘NC ANA’ to:
Martha Glass, Agritourism Office, 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Registrations at the workshop may not guarantee resource materials. Please register early!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Looking for ways to add value to farm life

2010 Agritourism Networking Association workshops planned
RALEIGH -- A series of six upcoming Agritourism Networking Association workshops across the state will focus on how to start or continue a successful agritourism operation. The workshops are designed for current agritourism entrepreneurs and those who may be interested in starting an agritourism business.

“People want to have a better understanding and a closer connection to the source of their food,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Agritourism ventures help people connect to educational, unique and entertaining farming experiences, and we continue to see a growing interest in these types of farms.”

The workshops will focus on topics such as liability insurance, zoning, risk management, marketing and hospitality tips to bring in and keep customers, and working with elected officials. Participants will also have an opportunity to network and share ideas with other agribusiness owners.

All workshops start at 3:30 p.m. Cost is $20 to $25 and includes workshop materials and dinner.

Following are dates for the workshops:

March 25 -- Gillis Hill Farm in Fayetteville (Cumberland County)
April 8 -- Maple View Farm and Agricultural Center in Hillsborough (Orange)
April 15 -- Flint Hill Vineyards in East Bend (Yadkin)
April 22 -- Giardini Trattoria & Gardens in Columbus (Polk)
April 29 -- Banner Elk Winery in Banner Elk (Avery)
May 6 -- Mike’s Farm in Richlands (Onslow)
For more information, contact Martha Glass, manager of the Agritourism Office at (919) 733-7887, ext. 276 or e-mail at


NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Local Foods, Time is Now

Technology and local food sales are no longer strangers. Thanks to the efforts of several intrepid people in North Carolina, this concept it taking off and it could have a major impact on where our food comes from in the future, how safe it is and who is making the money.

I am forwarding you this invoice that was automatically sent to one of our farms, RS Central High school FFA program, based upon an Internet order. Notice in the attach block above. A .pdf file appears which is a barcode sticker to be printed out on a thermal printer and attached to the package. The package is Breakfast Sausage which, unfortunately, happens to be the progeny of the other Billy Ray, which we are now selling over the internet to commercial and residential customers at $5.00 per pound. Thank you for all your help in making this dream come true. Enclosed please find a photo of a new freshman sustainable ag student with the newest round of Billy Ray piggies, born last week.

Check out this link and scroll to the bottom of the page and see the variety of pork being offered and the prices that we are getting for red meat marbled pork.


Tim Will
Executive Director
Foothills Connect Business and Technology Center
828 447 2660 cell
828 288 1650 office

Thursday, January 28, 2010


They have been a great partner and offer a wide variety of products and services. There is no need to leave Stokes County to find assistance in design, graphics, screen printing and more. Give them a call: 336-985-3862, today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Local Food Presents Movie

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

The Rockingham County Local Food Coalition presents a showing of : Fresh

Tuesday, February 16, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.

Rockingham County Ag Center
525 Hwy 65, Suite 200 Reidsville NC 27320