Let’s start by saying we never miss a farmers market in any town we visit. Even if we are not intending to buy produce, fresh flowers, lavender soap, freshly ground coffee, or firm turnips, we are still going to see what there is and enjoy the earthy vibe. There is something about seeing fresh crisp brightly colored food that inspires me to want to cook. And God forbid there is freshly baked bread. Which is exactly what we saw – a woman selling freshly baked soft pretzels. With a pretzel and home-made tamale in our bellies, we were satisfied and we could move on. Next stop – the country.
Just a few miles from Looking Glass is the Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Lucky for us there is no better time to be on a farm than the fall and Hickory Nut Gap looked like a Martha Stewart function came to town. Pumpkins, squash, apples, and other fall foods abound. Rides for the kids, farm animals to pet, copious varieties of apples to try, a corn maze, pumpkins ready to be transformed to scary Jack O’ Lanterns, and a food truck to provide the munchies were what the farm was serving up.
Nope, we were not yet done with the farm scene – we were headed to the West North Carolina Farmers Market. This is a permanent 7-day a week establishment that serves retail as well as wholesale with more than 2 million people shopping here each year. This is North Carolina agriculture at its best. And by that I mean peanuts, freshly butchered ham, potatoes, cabbage the size of my tires, apple cider, an ice cream parlor, and cheese made fresh.