It turns out that our local community really is a local community. There are lots of locally owned businesses, and in fact, there is even a local discount card to encourage folks to buy from local merchants. We also have lots and lots of farm stands around, and a farmers’ market that is 40 years old and going strong.
And that’s where I started off my day. I’ve been away for the past few Saturdays, so this was my first trip–and I left with quite a bounty: tomatoes (two varieties), garlic, eggplant, goat cheese, and beets. I also met someone who is most likely (yet another) distant relative of my wife. She and her partner have started a farm about a mile up the ridge from where we live. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Later in the day, we took a field trip out past Linville Falls to a dairy farm that makes its own cheese. We loaded up on cheddar, gouda, four different soft spreads–and some fried pies and home-made ice cream while we were at it. Then we parked on the porch and had ourselves a picnic with lots of cheese, plus the bread and tomatoes that we brought along with us.
I know I can’t get everything locally. It’s not as though I picked up an artisanal toilet flapper and some micro-brewed epoxy at the hardware store today for those household chores I need to tackle. Nor are we quite at the point where we can avoid the necessities of living on a budget and shopping at big box stores and grocery chains. But it does feel good to know that there is so much local available in our local community.
And it is good to start feeling more and more like one of those locals.