What’s new in food: Yancey County Farmers Market to find a new permanent home

ON THE DRAWING BOARD: Integrative Design Experience Lab at Appalachian State University created plans for the future Yancey County Resource Center, which will be the permanent home of the Yancey County Farmers Market. Courtesy of Yancey County EDC

Like all outdoor farmers markets, Yancey County’s weekly Saturday gathering is held rain or shine. But with construction about to begin on the Yancey County Resource Center on West Main Street in Burnsville, the market may find shelter from the storm as early as this fall.

The new facility, which will include a large pavilion with the capacity to accommodate 36 vendors, will serve as the permanent home of the Yancey County Farmers Market. The site will also feature a two-story building with offices, meeting space, a certified demonstration kitchen and public restrooms.

“It’s a dream come true,” says Cheri Lee, market manager. “We are such a rich agricultural community, and we have so many small-scale farms here that need whatever platforms they can get. The more opportunity we can give our vendors and farmers and new young farmers, the better.”

The project is the culmination of a partnership between Yancey County government, the Yancey County Economic Development Commission and Appalachian State University’s Integrative Design Experience Laboratory program. Discussions about a permanent market site began before COVID-19, but the pandemic exposed additional community needs that helped expand the vision.

“When COVID hit and many of our nonprofits were working to distribute food to people in the community, we realized this could provide a place for nonprofits to do their work,” says Jamie McMahan, executive director of the Yancey County EDC. Furthermore, McMahan points out, the permanent structure will be available for craft markets, festivals, outdoor classrooms and other community events.

Students from Appalachian State “designed this stem to stern and will construct it,” notes McMahan. Though a start time has not yet been set, McMahan adds, “We expect construction to begin very soon.”

Lee is counting on it. “Our season is normally mid-April through mid-November, but this will allow us to extend the selling time,” she says. “Our crafters would love the opportunity for a holiday market this year.”

The Yancey County Farmers Market currently happens 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays at 8 Town Square, Burnsville. To learn more, visit avl.mx/0vg.

Cider and grub

Barn Door Ciderworks in Fletcher is putting its own spin on the term “open kitchen.” In June, co-owners Katie Moore and Dan Fowler invited local artist and skilled home cook Kathy Triplett to create and execute a concise menu of small bites to debut in the cidery’s tasting room.

“We strongly believe in food being part of our customers’ cider experience, and we thought it would be fun to invite some of our friends who are excellent cooks to come into our business and work some of their magic,” Moore explains.

On June 15, Triplett debuted a skewer trio — shrimp and mandarin orange, vegetable and local cheese — and Sunburst hickory-smoked trout salad crostini. On Friday, July 9, Landis Lacey will tie on his apron to plate Korean-influenced sliders, Asian slaw and a cheese sampler. On Thursday, Aug. 5, Judi Jonofsky will step into the designated chef clogs (menu TBD).

Service time for the tasty treats is 4-8 p.m. Moore says all community members are invited to sign up for a turn as featured home chef. There is no cost to participate, and food items are priced individually.

Barn Door Ciderworks is at 23 Lytle Road, Fletcher. To learn more, visit avl.mx/9ni.

Remember the amaro

Since its founding in 2017, Eda Rhyne Distillery has made three unique small-batch spirits — Appalachian Fernet original amaro, Amaro Flora and Rustic Nocina — sourcing local heirloom corn and grains along with regional medicinal plants and herbs to craft traditional herbal liquors.

This summer, Eda Rhyne co-owners and distillers Chris Bower and Rett Murphy pop the top on a new product: Amaro Pop, a canned spritz cocktail flavored with grapefruit and honey. “We take what we do very seriously, but we appreciate a good time,” says Bower. “We really wanted to create something fun and enjoyable: a cocktail you can take on a hike, to the swimming hole or campsite.”

Bower adds that the summer-friendly, 7% ABV beverage was a year in development before Eda Rhyne canned its first batch, which will be sold at the distillery and ABC stores by the four-pack.

To celebrate, Eda Rhyne will host the Amaro Pop Party 5-9 p.m. Saturday, July 10. The first pop is free for all guests. Along with libations, the gathering will feature DJs and food trucks. Samples of the distillery’s other new spirit, Lindera vodka, will also be available.

Eda Rhyne is at 101 Fairview Road, Suite A. For more information, visit avl.mx/9nj.

Flight path

After a COVID-imposed hiatus in 2020, Highland Brewing Co. is bringing back Night Flight, a 4.5-mile run mapped through East Asheville. On Saturday, July 17, runners will race like the wind or slow jog over the Asheville Golf Course, cruise the Beverly Hills neighborhood, zip past the Western North Carolina Nature Center, then cross the finish line back at Highland Brewing to the applause of family and friends and the more visceral reward of an ice-cold beer.

As always, 100% of proceeds from the race will go to the development of greenways in Asheville and Buncombe County through the volunteer-based nonprofit Connect Buncombe. Since Night Flight’s inception eight years ago, Highland has raised more than $50,000.

“This race came out of an interest to better connect the brewery to greener modes of transit and showcase our East Asheville neighborhood,” says Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Co. CEO and president. She adds that thanks to local government support and a voter-passed bond package, a new greenway is being planned along the Swannanoa River in East Asheville near the brewery.

The post-race party will be held in Highland’s Meadow with awards given in multiple categories. Race time is 7:30 p.m. Registration is $43.

Highlands Brewing Co. is at 12 Old Charlotte Highway. To sign up, visit avl.mx/9nq.

Glass act

Cheers to Asheville’s Wehrloom Meadery and Tryon’s Parker-Binns Vineyard, both of whom placed in the inaugural North Carolina Mead-Cider-Fruit Wine Competition presented by JenNis Beverage Marketing on May 24  at The Lodge at Flat Rock mountain resort. “We wanted to create an event to promote and raise awareness of North Carolina commercially produced meads, ciders, and fruit wines,” said event organizer Dennis Turner in a press release announcing the 27 medals awarded across the state.

Wehrloom earned a silver and two bronze in the mead category; Parker-Binns won a people’s choice and a silver medal for its blackberry fruit wine.


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About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

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