The region’s small farms have been rocked by the coronavirus, but community support and innovative thinking have enabled many local growers to pivot and persist as they work to find a way forward.
Although Western North Carolina’s small dairy farms face numerous challenges, the industry continues to be a robust contributor to the area’s economy.
Mills River native Bradley Johnston has worked with cows all his life, but his newest venture — Mills River Creamery — is a departure from the high-volume wholesale dairy trade he used to practice. Johnston’s small herd of Jersey cows eat non-GMO feed and produce a type of milk that many find easier to digest than the usual supermarket fare.
New eatery HenDough has maxed out its kitchen serving fried chicken and imaginative doughnuts to Hendersonville residents; Oakley Farmers Market is moving to a new location; Black Mountain Ciderworks is celebrating the release of two new drinks; and the date is set for the first Folkmoot Music Showcase and Spring BBQ.
Skirting the line between farmers market and traditional grocery store, Whispersholler Farms Market is the latest addition to Asheville Food Park. Grand opening celebrations take place during the park’s Equinox Spring Fest, Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20.