Local & Sustainable... Farm to the Fork!
For many years at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen we’ve been exploring ways to bring the freshest, most flavorful foods to our guests while considering the triple bottom line of profit, environmental sensitivity and social responsibility (See our Sustainable Practices Initiative & Fairness Doctrine.) To these ends, we’re purchasing some of our meats and seafoods differently. We’re also bringing in more and more local produce and artisan-made food products. We hope that this initiative will have long-lasting effects that extend throughout our community. Some of our partners are local farmers who handpick their produce on just a couple acres, and others are larger companies that supply some of the best restaurants in the country with top quality ingredients. We have long believed that the nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor.
We are honored to partner with these local farms, food artisans and bring you handcrafted North Carolina beverages throughout the year:
ABOUT OUR NC FARM FRIENDS & FOOD ARTISANS
Raleigh Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Cary
We have been excited about our new relationship with the Raleigh Inter-Faith Food Shuttle farm 2 miles down the road from Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Cary. The Farm doesn't get much closer to the forks of our guests than that! We had the pleasure of having the first sale ever of a crop planted by a farmer named Maria (Lulu's Farm) participating in the incubator program at the IFFS farm.
How it works: She grows the produce on a small plot "rented" to her by the IFFS which is supported by the CEFS (Center for Environmental Farming Systems) at NC State University. Her "rent" is her time to farm the other land at the farm and help with those crops which are sold or harvested to feed the needy in our community. When we purchase from her that money goes back into the system of supporting the farming program and the IFFS and our local community.
The IFFS Tryon Road Teaching Farm is a place to grow your knowledge about where your food comes from. Families and kids can dig in the dirt on a working farm, complete with chickens, goats, and bees. Spread over 6 acres on Tryon Rd, and an adjacent three acres on Dover Farm Rd., this diversified production farm is home to educational experiences, entrepreneurs, and micro-enterprises.
Plum Granny Farm in Capella
Plum Granny Farm is a USDA Certified Organic small family farm located in the north central piedmont area of North Carolina. The farm is set on 54 beautiful acres of rolling countryside just south of Hanging Rock State Park in the Capella community.
They are building on their heritage as a NC Century Farm, as the farm has been in the Ferguson family for over 140 years. They grow raspberries, blackberries, garlic, ginger, specialty veggies, herbs and cut flowers. This year they are adding eggs from pastured chickens and honey produced without miticides or antibiotics.
Although full-time farming is new to them, they have deep connections to a farming heritage. Cheryl grew up on this farm and her father, grandfather and great-grandfather all practiced the art of cultivation on this soil. Ray has his farming roots in Kansas where his mother grew up amid some of the most beautiful soil that has ever been seen.
Their approach to farming is to nurture the soil and the land to return it to its optimal state. Building the soil with cover crops, compost and manure will help them produce better, healthier crops and is an essential part of sustainability.
Rudd Farm in Greensboro
The Rudd Farm is a fourth generation family farm, which is located in Guilford County near Greensboro, NC. The farm was started as a tobacco farm by Kenneth’s grandfather in the early 1900’s. From that time until 2000, tobacco and wheat were the main crops grown on the farm. In 2000, the family decided to diversify, and planted their first strawberry crop. The first harvest of strawberries (1-1/3 acres) was in May, 2001.
The family stopped growing tobacco in 2004 so they could concentrate on growing their strawberry and produce business. In 2005, the family began growing greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Kenneth’s wife, Joan retired from public work in 2006, to become a full-time farm lady. The on-farm produce stand is open about 6 to 7 months a year during the spring, summer and fall growing seasons.
Mushrooms-n-More in Haw River
Mushrooms-n-More is located in the verdant, rolling hills just south of the Haw River between Chapel Hill and Graham, NC. They began as a shiitake mushroom farm but have expanded by adding oyster mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes and Dogwood Hill brand salsa and pickles.
Old Mill of Guilford in Oak Ridge
The Old Mill of Guilford was founded in North Carolina on Beaver Creek in 1767 to grind grain for the early settlers of what is now Guilford County. Today, the mill continues to produce all-natural, stone-ground, whole grain foods, just as it has for over 250 years.
The mill produces all natural corn meals and grits along with a wide range of mixes including: sweet potato and oat bran muffin mixes, gingerbread, Scottish scones, Scottish shortbread, and heidesand cookie mix (a German shortbread). Visit the Old Mill Store for these products and other fine foods and crafts from North Carolina.
The Old Mill of Guilford is a popular, scenic tourist attraction and has long been a favorite subject for artists and photographers. So, please make plans to stop by and visit.
Farlow Farm in Archdale
We’re excited about our burgeoning relationship with Farlow Farm, a small family farm in Archdale, NC, where Russell and Jennifer have converted a former dairy farm into a vegetable farm. We’ve been buying their basil, tomatoes and squash. You can find their produce at the Greensboro Curb Farmers’ Market, at New Garden Nursery’s Thursday Farmers’ Market, and of course, at their farm. (Check out a recent feature on Farlow Farm on FOX8.) Read more about Farlow Farm and get recipes for squash on our Farm-to-Fork blog, "Oh no! Here comes the squash!"
Schicker’s ACRE in Pleasant Garden: "Only 1 mule and 39 shy"
I started a very small garden in 2007, and my idea is to grow hard-to-find vegetables, from kolhrabi to black cherry tomatoes. I'm always on the lookout for new or interesting vegetable varieties. Gardening, for me, is one yearly experiment after another. My latest attempt is to mulch my whole garden so there is never bare ground. Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, and care ground equals weeds. While Mother Nature does most of the work, it is always fascinating to watch things grow.
Guilford College Farm
Nick and his team at the Guilford College Farm in Greensboro sold their first batch of yellow squash to the dining hall in 2011. By any and all measures, the first year at the Guilford College Farm was a complete success, and Guilford College campus enjoyed just-picked, “hyper-local” produce throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed greens, peppers and a variety of other produce thrived in the carefully tended soil, and were quickly consumed by students, faculty and staff who appreciated the wonderfully fresh offerings. It’s been exciting to have a working farm on campus for the first time since 1943, when WWII interrupted a tradition that had previously lasted more than seventy years.
Today, thanks to changes big and small, the farm is poised to grow and sell twice as much food in the coming years to the college, local CSA groups and to local restaurants including Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen. Visit their website to read more about Guilford College Sustainable Practices.
Read more about Guilford College Farm on our Farm-to-Fork Blog post: Rock Star Farmer at Guilford College and get a recipe for Roasted Sesame Squash.
Massey Creek Farm in Madison
"Farm-raised, natural products from our farm to your family." For over 200 years, their family has dedicated its work to cultivating the land in Rockingham County. For the last 20 years, they have produced pork, and in the last year they totally changed their model to deliver all-natural, pastured products that are environmentally sustainable.
Pigs, lambs and chickens roam on fresh grass, breath mountain air, and are never injected or fed with hormones or additives. They supplement their pasture grazing with locally-purchased grain. Generations of their family currently farm the land so they can provide you with locally-grown, quality food products from your community.
Goat Lady Dairy in Climax
For more than 15 years, Goat Lady Dairy has changed our customers' relationship to local food and farming through fine hand-crafted cheeses, on-farm dining, Open Farm Days, and Community Supported Agriculture.
In 1995, Ginnie Tate (aka 'the Goat Lady'), her brother Steve, and his wife Lee opened Goat Lady Dairy in the lovely rolling hills of northeast Randolph County in the North Carolina Piedmont. They started with an abandoned worn-out tobacco farm and a 200-year-old log house and outbuildings, restored them carefully, and then added a new dairy barn complete with milking parlor, goat loafing barn, dining room, and a licensed cheese-making room. From the beginning, their dream was to connect their urban neighbors with the land and goats through hand-crafted cheese and farm events.
They had a message to share: when you know your food, your farmer, and your cheese-maker, you make choices that care for the land and change the world for the better. What started as a family dream has grown to include cherished staff, invaluable partner farms, and a community of loyal customers. In 2003, they collaborated with the Piedmont Land Conservancy in placing theirr farm under a conservation easement, ensuring the land will always be used for agricultural purposes.
Today Goat Lady Dairy fresh, soft-ripened and aged cheese is sold at local farmers markets and in stores and restaurants throughout North Carolina. Monthly on-farm dining events featuring our cheese, meats, and farm produce are regular sell-outs. Their newest venture, Goat Lady CSA, shares vegetables and farm education with more than 150 Triad households. Each spring and fall, they host Open Farm Days and welcome hundreds of neighbors, friends and customers to meet the goats, tour the fields, taste the cheese, and learn why they farm the way they do, sharing their love for this land.
Watch Goat Lady Dair on NC Now on WUNC-TV:
Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market in Greensboro
One of the oldest in the state dating back to 1874, this Greensboro market is an indoor facility, open rain or shine year-round, and it's a favorite haunt of our chefs for fruits and vegetables that come directly from the farmers who grow them.
Carolina Classics Catfish in Ayden
Carolina Classics Catfish was founded in 1985 as North America’s premium catfish producer. They are the only fully-integrated producer of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, and are involved in all phases of aquaculture, from feed-milling, hatchery, farming, and processing, to sales and distribution. For discerning consumers who want to know that their seafood is as naturally-raised as possible to be free of drugs and pesticides, Carolina Classics raises the only natural-farmed catfish available on the market today.
Fed without the use of antibiotics, synthetic algaecides, and land-animal byproducts, Carolina farmed channel catfish, raised in Ayden (located south of Greenville) are fresh, wholesome and delicious.
Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax
The PTFM has been designed to be a place where growers of all sizes can come to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables. The market provides clean, safe facilities for growers, retailers and consumers to sell and buy horticultural commodities and food products.
This is one of four state-owned farmers markets owned and operated by the NCDA&CS. The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is open year round, and is host to 1.7 million guests annually. The atmosphere here at the Market is just like being "down on the farm." You can purchase directly from the grower.
Carolina Day Boat Caught Fresh Fish
With buyers in Wilmington who go to the docks every day, Inland Seafood of Charlotte’s Day Boat program philosophy is characterized by one word - fresh - whether hog nose snapper or black drum.
Fogwood Farm in Reidsville
Fogwood Farm is made up of small farmers in rural North Carolina. They grow Shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, ginger, blueberries, and other various produce items in small quantities to sell. Fogwood Food is a proud member of Got to Be NC!
Hickory Nut Gap in Fairview
Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a serene 90 acres nestled in Fairview, NC. The land itself has been farmed by owner Jamie Ager's family since 1916. Jamie and his wife Amy have been raising beef cattle, pigs, poultry and organic produce at Hickory Nut Gap since 2000. Hickory Nut Gap Farm is more than a collection of pastures; it's a gathering place for neighbors, visitors, and families. Spend time picking berries, frolic in the creek and get a firsthand view of a local food system and the animals they raise. They're a 20-minute drive from downtown Asheville and 9 miles off of I-40 -- go visit them!
Pleasant Bee Honey in Raleigh
The Pleasant Bee is a father and daughter venture that began in 2008. Al and Sarah first took a beginning beekeeping class at North Carolina State University because they had general interest in beekeeping. After winning a beehive as a door prize, their interest in beekeeping became a reality. Al and Sarah are both members of the North Carolina State Certified Beekeepers. In 2010, Sarah became a Journeymen Beekeeper, and is working towards becoming a North Carolina Master Beekeeper. The Pleasant Bee is also a certified honey producer under the North Carolina Honey Board. The Pleasant Bee is also involved in the local beekeeping community as members of the Wake County Beekeepers Association. Sarah has served as the Secretary for the association in past years, and as President in 2013 and 2014.
Smith Farms in Gibonsville, NC
Smith Farms is a family-owned business located in northeast Guilford County, 6 miles north of downtown Gibsonville. Each spring, the greenhouses are full of ferns, geraniums, hanging baskets, vegetable and bedding plants for sale to the public. They also raise our own fruit and vegetable plants from seed that we plant on the family farm. Typical farm produce includes: strawberries, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, field peas, lima beans and October beans! These are available at our farm-side produce stand, the Thursday Elon Market, the Saturday Greensboro Farmer's Market and 7-days a week at the Sandy Ridge Rd Farmers Market
ABOUT OUR NC BEVERAGES
Cheerwine – Not a wine and not like any other soda, Cheerwine, a North Carolina home-grown soda, hails from Salisbury, and is cherry-flavored and sweetened with cane sugar.
Counter Culture Coffee in Durham
Counter Culture Coffee has gained world recognition for putting the most exciting, authentic and delicious coffees into the cup with a commitment to sustainability and fair trade. Building a sustainable business is central to Counter Culture Coffee's mission. They seek coffee that not only tastes good but also does good, from our local communities to the communities around the world where they source coffee, whether through their own Counter Culture Direct Trade Certification or their Sustainable Spring campaign.
Highland Brewing Company – Brewing craft beer since 1994 in Asheville, Highland is known for its Gaelic Ale and Oatmeal Porter. In January, Black Mountain Bitter debuted as their first organic beer, followed by Cattail Peak Wheat.
Piedmont Grown is a certification program that wants to make sure that farm products grown, raised, and made in the Piedmont Region are clearly identified and promoted everywhere you buy food and farm fresh products. Our Mission is to promote local food systems through the certification of food and farm products grown or raised in 37 counties in the North Carolina Piedmont Region. We want to link consumers to local farm fresh foods, build local markets for farmers and food entrepreneurs, and grow healthy and prosperous communities. Read more on their website.
Raylen Vineyards – Near Mocksville is Raylen Vineyards, where, in 1999, Joe and Joyce Neely planted 35,000 European varietal grape vines on what had been a dairy farm. Their wine has been winning awards ever since then.
Red Oak Brewery – For decades, Red Oak Brewery, just outside of Greensboro, has been making unfiltered, unpasteurized Bavarian lager, made with Bavarian hops, malted barley and yeast, without additives or preservatives.
Get an ice cream recipe with Red Oak beer on our Farm-to-Fork Blog post: Cooler heads prevail: Inverted beer float from Homeland Creamery. Also, read about Red Oak in a Rambling by Dennis Quaintance from our Summer 2014 Neighborhood Letter.
Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem
Water. Yeast. Grains. Hops. That’s all it takes to make beer. But what we do with those simple ingredients within these walls is what makes us special. Foothills began brewing beer at its West 4th Street location in March 2005, with three 15-barrel fermenters. Jamie and his brewers managed to crank out 800 barrels of beer that year, and doubled that output the following year. As demand and production continued to increase, the need became obvious for more space. The solution came in the form of a 50,000-square-foot warehouse a few miles away, an old manila envelope factory that was retro-fitted with brewing equipment and became Foothills’ main production facility. Today, both brewery locations continue to produce our top-quality beers. While we don’t offer official brewery tours (yet), if you ask nicely at the brewpub you can probably get a peek at the operation. Eventually, we’ll have a tasting room open at our main facility, complete with tours.
TOPO Distillery in Chapel Hill
Seven years ago, Ernest Winslow came to us with 75 acres of 100% organic soft red winter wheat from J.H. Winslow Farms in Scotland Neck, NC. He thought it would make a perfect ingredient in our award-winning wheat beers at Top of the Hill Brewery. Instead, Top of the Hill founder and proprietor Scott Maitland realized he could distill a world-class spirit from Ernest's grain. We could be a truly local distillery with all the ingredients sourced right here in our home state; and by advancing what Ernest had started with his organic grain, we could push the art of distilling by focusing on sustainable practices and organic production techniques. Thus, TOPO Organic Spirits was born - the first and only fully local and USDA certified organic distillery in the deep South. We named our spirits TOPO in honor of our nearly 20 year old hospitality brand, Top of the Hill. The TOPO nickname for our restaurant and brewery was given to us by our customers. We are honored to be part of the local culture in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Top-quality ingredients deserve special care. TOPO is the only Green+ Certified distillery in the country, meaning we take great measures to ensure our building, equipment and products are environmentally sustainable. We’ve reduced our water usage by 70% through the use of a closed loop system, wherein our heat exchanger and cooling tanks reuse the water during the cooking process. Each of our bottles are washed, filled and labeled by hand and our bottles are shipped in 100% recycled packaging. By the time our spirits have evolved from grain to glass, you can taste the difference. From heat to heart, the award winning aromas and flavors are always there.
McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks in Thurmond
Located on nearly thirty acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains — deep in the heart of the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina — lies McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks. We are a family-owned and operated winery and vineyard specializing in small lots of award-winning artisan wines and hard ciders. Our dedication to sustainable growing and low intervention winemaking has resulted in wines and hard ciders as expressive and distinct as the land whereupon the fruit grows. It’s all about the wine. From the moment the ground was prepared and planted through each growing season, it always comes down to alchemy — with a little human assistance — that causes sun-ripened grapes to convert their sugars into alcohol and become wines worth drinking. We grew up in the wine country of Oregon and Washington and this has been our life together. Now, with our children, we hope to produce wines that are memorable, true to place, and most of all, enjoyable.
Shelton Vineyards – Located in Dobson near Mt. Airy in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area, Shelton Vineyards is the largest family-owned estate winery in the state.
Take a tour of central North Carolina Wineries.