Observer News Enterprise

2022 Eat, Drink, Be Local Festival set


On June 18th-June 25th, The NC Extension Office of Catawba County will hold their week-long celebratio­n of local foods in the county. The 2022 Eat, Drink, Be Local Festival will include farm tours, workshops, cooking demonstrat­ions, and the grand opening of Raising Roots Farm.

On Saturday June 18th from 10:00am-12:00pm, there will be cooking demonstrat­ions at the Hickory and Conover Farmers’ Markets. Demonstrat­ions will also be presented on Wednesday, June 22nd from 10am-12pm at the Hickory Farmers’ Market and Thursday, June 23rd from 11am-1pm at the Public Health’s Market. The demonstrat­ions will be provided by Extension Office agents April Vigardt and Tina McGillvary.

On Monday, June 20th at 6:30pm, there will be a farm tour of Free Folk Pastures. The farm is located at 4168 County Home Rd. in Conover. Free Folk Pastures specialize­s in raising chickens, ducks, and turkeys and utilizes an open pasture system. On Tuesday, June 21st at 6:00pm there will be a tour of Catawba Mushroom Partners, where participan­ts will view their mushroom production process and the grow rooms. Catawba Mushroom Partners is located at 2780 Rosewood Lane in Newton.

On Wednesday, June 22nd from 5:30-8:30pm the Extension office will host a Fermentati­on Workshop, presented by Shanti Volp, RN, BSN, IBCLC. She is a nurse, perinatal educator, lactation consultant, wife, mother and founder and owner of Shanti Elixirs.Volp will teach how to make Jun, which is similar to kombucha but made with green tea, fruit and honey. Materials are included with ticket purchase.

Cooperativ­e Extension Intern Rose Pennigton, who has a background in poultry production, will offer a presentati­on on raising backyard chickens on Thursday, June 23rd from 3-4pm. Rose will talk about how to raise healthy birds for meat and egg production. It will be held at the Extension office, located at 1175

S. Brady Ave. in Newton. “This is an exciting time to live in this region with so many new farms popping up and finding opportunit­ies in the mild climate, central location to markets and locally sourcing restaurant­s. This is the first year since Covid-19 that we have been able to offer a full program complete with the Farm Feast on June 25th,” Vigardt shared in a recent press release.

The grand opening of Raising Roots Farm will be held on Saturday, June 25th from 1-4pm with a familyfrie­ndly event. There will be all-you-can-eat hamburger sliders, pulled pork philly cheesestea­ks, Frito pie with pork and beef chili con carne, pinto bean soup, cornbread, and andouille dip available for $15. Music will be provided by Shelby Ray Moore from 1-3pm and a farm tour will be offered at 3:30pm, ending with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Veterans Garden.

The Farm Feast from 6-9pm, also at Raising Roots Farm, is a ticketed event for $30 with a menu created by local Chef Ben Sullivan. It will include three kinds of tacos: pulled pork mojo criollo, skirt steak asada, and lamb barbacoa. Sides will be a consommé soup with rice and chickpeas, beans and rice, a carrot/radish escabeche salad with a lime and cilantro vinaigrett­e, panzanella salad with cornbread, fresh greens, tomatoes, pintos and cheese, a tomato salad with salsa verde and an herbed garlic vinaigrett­e, and a cucumber salad. Dessert will be a strawberry margarita cobble with pina colada ice cream.

There will be live music by The Justin Clyde Williams Band, and beer, wine, cider and specialty cocktails will be available for purchase for anyone over 21 years old. Raising Roots Farm is located at 2711 Snow Creek Rd. NE, in Hickory.

“We are very excited to finally be able to offer a full Eat, Drink, Be Local Program and to celebrate our local farmers and businesses who have been working so hard to create a vibrant local food scene in our county and surroundin­g region,” shared Vigardt.

All events are free except for the Jun Fermentati­on Workshop ($10 Eventbrite) and the Farm Feast ($30 Simpletix). For more informatio­n and links to ticketing, visit https:// For more informatio­n about supporting local food businesses, visit catawbacou­

For any questions, contact April Vigardt at (828) 465-8240 or alvigardt@

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