Our favorite local food: Wake Robin milk
Our absolutely most favorite local food is Wake Robin Farm milk. Not only is the milk delicious (note the golden color), but their treatment of the animals and their family values are exactly what we want to support.
We participate in their milk CSA: in other words, we pay ahead of time for an entire season of milk and pick up our gallon each week at the Regional Market.
Nothing compares to the yogurt we make from this delicious milk! And by skimming off most of the cream from the top, we make our own butter with it, too.
This milk is truly special. So far, on our visits to North Carolina, we haven't yet been able to find its equal!
Picking blueberries at a local farm
We supplement our own garden crops by picking blueberries, strawberries, apples, and raspberries at local U-pick farms. Besides getting delicious fresh produce at a great price, we more fully appreciate the labor of the workers who harvest our food. What is fun for a few hours would be very hard work if done all day every day in all kinds of weather.
We've been able to find organic fruit for all our desired produce except for raspberries. We grow almost all our own raspberries, but we need a few more to get us through the winter. We hope someone will finally grow organic raspberries. We know it can be done, because we do it!
Locally-grown winter squash from the Regional Market
We also supplement our garden produce by buying produce from local farmers at the Regional Market.
One problem is that our CNY Regional Market is not truly a farmers' market. In other words, anyone can sell anything whether they grow it themselves or not—or even whether it's food, since it doubles as a kind of flea market. It makes it a much less pleasant experience and much more difficult to find actual local produce.
The things we do buy there, we generally buy in large quantities. For example, in fall we buy bushels and bushels (literally) of winter squash. (Winter squash plants—even the bush varieties—are much too large for our garden.)
We eat these delicious squashes liberally during the fall, and when they're about to start declining, we just cook up all the remaining squash and freeze it. This works out well since by that time, we've eaten enough other things from our freezer that there's beginning to be extra room to fill.
And after we return from our visit to our children in North Carolina, we load the car with a bushel of NC-grown sweet potatoes, which grow well in that part of the country. As with the winter squash, we store them and use them "fresh" as long as we are able, and if there are any left by the time they are reaching the end of their storage life, we cook them up, mash them, and freeze them.