Road skill

Face it. You can’t get food fresher than the veggies at a roadside stand unless you grow it yourself. And at this time of year, it’s way late to figure on growing anything for current consumption — other than sprouts. (Soak seeds overnight, pour off water. Rinse daily.)

So, your best bet for really fresh produce is a table or cart in front of a neighborhood farmstead. Trouble is, we are all so mobile these days that we may have zipped right by a grower down the street and have no clue that local produce is alive and “on the hoof” just around the corner.

The following list is primarily drawn from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Local Food Guide 2005, but other growers are as close as your next-door neighbor. An offer to help with garden cleanup, hauling of trimmings or turning a patch of dirt may yield great results in both shared produce and community connection. If there’s anything that tastes better than fresh garden produce, it’s fresh comestibles that one helps procure: There’s a connection to the living planet that is impossible to deny.

Herewith, a list of local locales. The smaller ones tend to operate on the honor system — a wonderful opportunity to pat yourself on the back for being a good person, even when no one’s watching.

• An Urban Homestead Garden, Asheville

427 Riverview Drive254-4552

• Apple Mill, Saluda

I-26 and Ozone Drive (Exit 59 off I-26)www.apple-mill.com

• Balm of Zarahemla (soaps), Fairview

(828) 628-1588 or www.balmzara.com

• Bel Aire Farm, Fairview

70 Bel Aire Farm Lane(828) 628-1835

• Blue Ridge Soap Shed, Spruce Pine

179 Meadow View Road(828) 765-6001

• Deal Farms Fresh Produce, Franklin

96 Deal Farms Circle(828) 369-7069

• Farside Farms, Alexander

1022 Old Hwy. 20(828) 645-4123

• Flying Cloud Farm, Fairview

1860 Charlotte Hwy.(828) 628-3348 or www.flyingcloudfarm.net

• Freeman Orchards, Hendersonville

3032 Chimney Rock Road(828) 685-3311

• Hareapple Farm

5650 E. Brocktown RoadMoravian Falls, N.C.(336) 921-2382

• Landmark Orchards, Hendersonville

Rte. 1 Box 253(828) 625-9161

• Lowell Hendren Orchards

264 Panther Run LaneMoravian Falls, N.C.(336) 921-3326

• Moon Dance Hollow Gardens

Mountain Rest, S.C.(864) 638-5675 or www.moondancehollow.com

• Mountain Fresh Orchards, Hendersonville

2887 Chimney Rock Road(828) 685-7606 or www.mtnfreshorchard.com

• Queens Produce and Berry Farm, Pisgah Forest

305 Davidson River Road(828) 884-5121

• Trout Lily Market, Fairview

1297 Charlotte Hwy.(828) 628-0402

• Zimmerman Berry Farm, Marshall

2260 Revere Road(828) 656-2056 or www.brwm.org/zimmermansberryfarm

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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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