Local Food Newsletter – April 2019

— Written By and last updated by

Welcome to N.C. Cooperative Extension, Currituck County Center’s Local Foods Newsletter! Each electronic newsletter will be published monthly to promote local food producers and to inform the community of locally produced food. This newsletter will contain information on the county’s pick-your-own, direct sale, roadside market, vineyard and brewery, and seafood market operations that sell local products. An interactive map is included below that is linked with Google maps. This tool allows the user to click on their desired local foods operation and be given directions to the business. Additional material in the newsletter consists of local foods in season for the month, a recipe for one of those foods, and a few facts about those foods.

chart with local foods in season April

Food Highlight


Fun Fact. This month’s highlighted local food is strawberries. These domesticated plants are derived from two native cultivars that can still be found in nature today. Native strawberries produce small white flowers and are common beside roadways. This link between today’s strawberries and their native counterpart can be seen with aging plants. Strawberries are perennials, producing fruit each year; however, after two or three years the fruit begin to decrease in size. After a few years, these cultivated strawberries begin to look similar to wild plants.

Planting. Strawberries are an easy to grow plant that is the first to produce berries in the spring. Each plant, with its corresponding runner plant, can produce about a quart of berries. In eastern N.C., strawberries can be planted between November and March. Spring transplants should be planted once temperatures are around 40 – 50 °F. Plants should be placed one to two feet apart from each other with rows three to four feet apart. This separation will allow runners to grow. Depending on the variety planted, these strawberries can then produce berries for the next two to four years!

basket of strawberries in field

Nutritional information. Nutritionists rate strawberries as an excellent source of Vitamin C; ten large berries provide 60 milligrams of Vitamin C or 133% of the Recommended Daily Allowance. A single cupful of berries has only 55 calories, comparable to a thin slice of bread or half a cup of whole milk. Strawberries are low in sodium and contain measurable quantities of ellagic acid, which has inhibiting effects on chemically induced cancer in laboratory studies.

Preserving. There are several ways to enjoy local strawberries year round, but freezing is by far the least complicated and allows for a variety of uses later. The first step to freezing is to select quality produce. Step two is to wash the produce thoroughly in cold water prior to freezing. Then prepare it for freezing by at least removing the tops, however having a final product in mind allows you to prepare them appropriately. Step three is to package your produce. Make sure to remove as much moisture as possible prior to freezing. Place your product in an air-tight container and remove as much air as possible. Do not forget to label and date your produce. Strawberries and other fruit pieces can be frozen flat on a tray for several hours and then transitioned into a freezer container.

strawberry and quinoa salad

Strawberry Quinoa Salad


Salad Ingredients
½ cup dry quinoa
2 cups baby spinach leaves, chiffonade*
⅔ cup sliced strawberries
⅔ cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Dressing Ingredients
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place quinoa in a medium saucepan along with 1¾ cups water. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove lid and cook until all water is evaporated. Remove from heat.
  3. Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl or jar.
  4. Place the quinoa, spinach, strawberries, toasted almonds, and basil in a bowl and combine.
  5. Add and toss in dressing just prior to serving.

Recipe from: Meds Instead of Meds

* Finely chopped into strips.

This interactive map contains many of the businesses in Currituck that sell local produce. To view the map legend, click the small square box at the left of the map name. This should bring up a list of the direct sale markets, pick-your-own operations, roadside markets, vineyards and breweries, and N.C. seafood operations on the left. You can then click on the pins on the map or on the legend to view each local business. Each listing will contain a contact number, operating season and hours, and produce the business sells. If you click the View in Google Maps option below the description you will be given directions to the business from your current location.

Highlighted Businesses


The highlighted business section shows the businesses that sell the month’s highlighted local food. This month we have five businesses that will be open and selling strawberries. Information on those businesses can be found in the table below, or in the interactive map above.

 

Name Phone Hours Address
Point Harbor Pick-Your-Own (252) 491-8266 M-S: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Su: noon–4 p.m. 135 James Griggs Rd, Point Harbor
Tar Heel Produce (252) 491-8600 7 a.m.–6 p.m. 6954 Caratoke Hwy, Grandy
Powell’s Roadside Market (252) 339-9923 7 a.m.–8 p.m. 2138 Caratoke Hwy, Moyock
Grandy Greenhouse & Farm Market (252) 453-2658 8 a.m.–6 p.m. 6264 Caratoke Hwy, Grandy

For email reminders of upcoming local foods newsletters fill out this short form. If you have a local food operation you would like advertised in upcoming installments, please fill out our producer form or contact Adam Formella by email or phone at Adam_Formella@ncsu.edu or 252-232-2262.