Community Supported Agriculture

Why intermediaries are key to viable local food systems

Growing and buying local food is a business: complex, rich in heritage and culture, essential to health and well-being, consumed by all but understood by few. The Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection A special project from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Read the whole project here Introduction: Strengthening ties to revitalize communities A ‘crisis that’s brewing’: How […]

Volunteers for  Sandhills Farm-to-Table, subscription-based community supported agriculture (CSA) and online food store pack just-picked local produce into delivery boxes at Sandhills AGInnovation Center. Photo: Nancy Pierce

Connecting our region through local food systems

In any conversation about strengthening urban and rural connections, local food systems are usually suggested as the prime example. Images of farmers’ markets come to mind, where urban consumers have the opportunity not only to buy fresh fruits and vegetables but to get to know the growers and producers. The food system in reality is […]

Untangling urban growth boundaries

Containment policies, such as Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs), are becoming more widespread as metro regions try to control sprawl and revitalize central cities. Mecklenburg County’s northeastern neighbor, Cabarrus County, has tried such an approach in hopes of preserving small town atmospheres and farmland. Disappearing farmland and mounting pressure from developers reached an apex in 2004. […]

A new champion for the region’s farmers

Just west of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River, a start-up farm and food council is emerging with a vision to fill small farmers’ wallets with money and the Charlotte region’s plates with local food. The collection of farmers, elected officials, health professionals and educators held its official inaugural meeting last week at Stanly Community College. But […]

Got milk? Got land? N.C. farms dwindle

Many people are surprised to learn that agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the state. However, North Carolina is losing farmland faster than any other state – and the number of dairy farms is down dramatically. Agriculture is estimated to be worth more than $70 billion annually to North Carolina’s economy. Agriculture and agribusiness […]

Think globally, eat locally

Our new family Thanksgiving tradition is to run the neighborhood 5k and donate nonperishable food items as an entry fee. This run is my favorite of the year. It has social cause, allows one to eat guiltlessly and gives a good early winter jolt to the metabolism. Runners through the neighborhood see women parading into […]

Davidson Farmers Market - Honey

Gallery: Farmers Markets of the Charlotte Region

While they have a long history in the area, farmers markets have seen a burst of activity in the Charlotte region in recent years. New markets are now springing up inside Charlotte as well as in the towns that ring the center city. Photographer Nancy Pierce visited several farmers markets to capture the life and […]

Farm Boy

Sunday night I received a photo from Tommy Barbee, showcasing his supper. “Look at what a farm boy can create,” he said. The picture displayed a bright green salad, replete with cucumbers, tomatoes, and more; all of which he had grown there at Barbee Farms. As a locavore (someone who eats a local diet), this […]

Building an oasis in the desert

Is it possible to build an oasis in the desert? Not the desert that brings to mind scorched earth and stretches of hot sand miles away from water and civilization. No. The question speaks to deserts that exist in urban centers across our country. Neighborhoods in the very heart of our otherwise thriving cities where […]