About the Carteret Local Food Network
Carteret Local Food Network (CLFN) was formed in 2008 to help build momentum and spread the word about what's happening locally so interested citizens like yourself can find ways to increase your access to locally farmed foods and make choices that support our local farming families. We all make choices shopping for many products - Fair and Local are great words to remember when buying groceries for your families. Our local farming families work very hard to bring you nutritious, seasonal produce picked at the peak of ripeness instead of optimal shipping sturdiness and well-cared for poultry, pork and other meats. We need to support their work by choosing to shop differently.
Better to deconstruct our name backwards:
Network - a group of people who help each other through their connections and the people they know
Food - we pay attention here to 'human' food, nutrition and edibles for humans, whether eaten in a restaurant or your home kitchen, grown in your backyard or your friendly farmer's, caught on your boat or your friendly fisherman's
Local - at the most minute level = your own backyard, then expanding to your town, then to your county, then to your state, then to your nation. We know we don't grow coffee beans nor vineyard grapes around here, so we're not going extreme lacavore!
Carteret - our beautiful county by the sea. One definition of local, but only one of many!
WHO WE ARE
Carteret Local Food Network is so very pleased to announce our selection of our TWO new Executive Directors to lead us forward -
Trish Slape and Caroline Dominguez
This is such exciting news to share and we've asked them both to introduce themselves here.
From Trish -
My husband, a native of North Carolina, grew up vacationing on the Crystal Coast. When we married in 1989, he brought me here to start our life together where we have raised two awesome young men. We have enjoyed making Eastern North Carolina our home and love spending time with our family. Isn’t that what life is all about? Family! And Community.
I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in Business Administration and began working in the accounting field before taking over the management of the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in 2005. After 10 years of helping preserve our native wildlife, it was time to pass the baton over to the younger generation. So, now I am ready for my next adventure!
I am excited to be a part of the Carteret Local Food Network where we have vast resources available to help provide Eastern North Carolina with a healthy way of living. I’m excited to help educate our community of the importance of eating local – not only from a health perspective but from an economic perspective as well!
From Caroline -
I was asked to describe who I am and why I think this will be a great job that I will enjoy. To do so, you need a bit of a history lesson on Caroline and Catherine.
In the fall of 2010, as a culinary student at Carteret Community College, I joined Toad Road Community Garden, and met Catherine Elkins. She ran the garden and was a board member involved in Carteret Local Food Network. I then became an active member and I followed her to from dirt pile to dirt pile, from farm to farm, helping any way I could, when my scheduled allowed outside of work and school.
I've been invited by her to attend different classes on gardening, seeds swaps, farm dinners, beekeeping workshops and to be a chef judge for fundraising events such as the Strawberry Social.
Catherine was also establishing her farm, Underground Farm, and I helped her with the CSA locations, providing a pick-up spot for her members at the local bakery I was working at the time. Catherine was also very active in creating and overseeing our first county-wide farmers market, Olde Beaufort Farmers Market. I have helped her by setting up a Chef demo while representing myself as a small scale caterer and as the chef of my then-current restaurant, at the market and loved every bit of it.
Catherine also introduced me to the Organic Grower’s School which has a Spring Conference held at UNC-Asheville. The Spring Conference offers practical, regionally-appropriate workshops on organic growing, permaculture, urban farming, and rural living plus a trade show, seed exchange, silent auction, children’s program, and pre-conference, on-farm events. The first year I carpooled with fellow CLFN members and I attended workshops. In the second-year I volunteered on my own and attended workshops, the third year I was a paid attendee by teaching a session at OGS for the Children's Program and then attended workshops with my mother. I look forward to getting back to OGS on any level.
She is my garden guru and my farmer friend, she has never been my employer officially, until today, but has supervised me in numerous settings as I have done work for her and with her over the course of our relationship. I've known her for almost 10 years.
Catherine, thanks again for nurturing the passion inside me for growing, gardening, learning and teaching. Thanks for including me in the wonderful events you have been a part of over the years. It is with your guidance that I was confident enough to go to the west coast and take a job at a resort that used local ingredients. I have come a long way from that young kid out on Toad Road.
One of the best things I've ever done for myself was to email her about that garden. I look forward to bringing an extensive range of skills and passion to your organization officially, and I am so excited to see where Carteret Local Food grows from here.
REASONS TO CARE
2. FINE CUISINE
3. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
4. SOCIAL JUSTICE
5. FOOD SECURITY
7. CULTURAL HERITAGE PRESERVATION
8. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
“Fresh Local Food” and “Sustainable Local Food Systems” are all important phrases to many folks in our country these days. And great things are happening, not only in big cities and trendy food meccas like NC’s Piedmont, but right here in Carteret County.
Carteret Local Food Network exists to help you connect with locally grown and locally produced foods. Food that doesn’t travel thousands of miles is harvested fresher, more nutritious, and even better, often tastes much better!
We continue to find ways to share information and news about community food projects and sources of fresh local food.
Cooperative Extension helps you learn how to grow and cook your own fruits and vegetables; the Master Gardeners have four demonstration gardens (two specialize in home vegetable gardens).
Several markets offer seasonal foods for you to buy what you can’t/ won’t grow.
Here in Carteret County, there are many activities that we should all support and assist:
Carteret Catch assists local fishing families market their products; find local retailers and restaurants serving their fish at www.carteretcatch.org.
As a new growing season approaches, the CLFN salutes all growers, gardeners, fishermen, educators, chefs, entrepreneurs, volunteers and others who bring good fresh food to our tables; and we look forward to a bountiful season ahead.
Let’s include helping school children and young adults who participate in FFA and 4-H, and encourage farmers grow more sustainably to minimize our impact on our environment and improve the quality of comestibles for us consumers.