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North Carolina Farm Fresh spotlights a variety of food production and distribution methods, including:
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA): In this cooperative system, consumers themselves invest in local farms by paying in advance for produce the farmer agrees to deliver at a later date. In essence, these consumers are crop "subscribers," whose investments allow farmers to buy seed and pay farming expenses—all before they incur them. At harvest time, subscribers receive weekly boxes of select fresh produce.
Roadside Stands: If you’ve lived in North Carolina any amount of time, you know that many farmers sell their produce directly to consumers via stands on or near their properties. Roadside stands can be as simple as a handwritten yard sign stating, “Peaches, $3 a bushel—Knock on Our Front Door;” or, in the alternative, these "stands" can be very elaborate destinations such as Ken Chappell Peaches in Montgomery County, NC. During the program, you'll meet Ken Chappell, a third generation peach grower with a convenient roadside business, brimming with fresh peaches and other seasonal goods.
Farmer’s Markets: With literally hundreds of locations across the state at which farmers can come together to meet consumers in a central place, North Carolina farmer's markets can range from small operations constituting several pickup trucks pulled together, to a large compound like those found at our official State Farmer’s Markets. This special features the Asheboro Farmer’s Market, where a new facility is helping to create a more vital and vibrant downtown. Along the way, you’ll also visit the Duke Farmer’s Market, a private market that brings farmers right to customer's doorsteps.
“Pick Your Owns:” There are some crops that are best operated as "Pick Your Owns" or "PYO’s,” allowing consumers the unique opportunity to pick and choose their own produce while providing a more cost-effective alternative for farmers. In this program, we travel to Smith Nurseries in Benson, NC, where farmer Myron Smith is happy to let others harvest the fruits of his (and their) labor for a fee.
Agritourism: Some North Carolina farms attempt to attract tourists as a means of staying financially viable. Of these, some are working farms that invite visitors to "view and do" farm activities at a cost; others don't charge, allowing tourist exposure to pay off in other ways.