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 […]

The Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection: Strengthening ties to revitalize communities

[Read the full report here] It was a cold January day in 2018 when eight researchers from UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute stepped out into the brisk air in Hamlet, a small town in Richmond County, N.C. A dusting of snow from a surprise storm the previous day still covered the railroad tracks adjacent to the […]

Saltbush – native but invasive

During a recent trip to the beach, I realized a number of plants native to the Coastal Plain have found a home in the Piedmont. Yaupon holly, beautyberry, wax myrtle and sweetbay magnolia have become staples in our gardens. Pitcher plants and longleaf pines occur in the natural landscapes of the Uwharries. A botanist friend […]

One-of-a-kind longleaf pine forest now protected

The largest known stand of old-growth Piedmont longleaf pine remaining in the state will be preserved as an education forest, protected from development. The LandTrust for Central North Carolina and the N.C. Zoological Park last month completed their purchase of the 116-acre property in northern Montgomery County. Longleaf pine forests historically covered more than 90 […]

The Sandhills’ peachy heritage

A peach display in the grocery store might mention where the fruit was grown. Too often, that means Georgia or California. At a farm stand in the Sandhills, the peaches come from an orchard right here on the edge of the Uwharries. Growers even note the specific variety. After writing about the Ophir apple last […]