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Farm to table dinner

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.” 

- Henry David Thoreau

Our History

Carteret Local Food Network started as a grassroots movement in 2008 and received 501(c)3 status in 2016 to directly confront the issues of food equality, food security, environmental impact, health, education, and economic development in Carteret County, North Carolina. We work tirelessly to fulfill our mission to protect and promote a local food system that builds community, supports the local economy, nurtures a healthy environment, and produces nutritious, delicious food by:

  • organizing farm-to-table dinners at local farms to introduce community members to the individuals who procure and produce our meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables while offering tours around the farms to gain an understanding of the effort required to grow food in our area

  • teaching culinary classes to educate our community members about local seasonal food items and instructing participants in essential recipes that can easily be manipulated based on the seasonal availability of food items

  • offering food demonstrations and tastings at local farmers’ markets to increase awareness of local seasonal produce as well as encourage members of our community to try new foods prepared in new ways

  • working with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on the development and implementation of the Visit NC Farms mobile application that helps locals and tourists find farms, farmers’ markets, and agritourism-related activities near them, recently expanding administration from Carteret County alone to include nearby Craven, Onslow, Jones, Lenoir, and Pamlico counties

  • offering technical support, services, and marketing advice as well as graphic design assistance and branding to local farmers to help increase their presence on social media, the internet, and within our community

  • beginning conversations in our community about the importance of implementing a local Food Hub to help local producers with transportation, distribution, and value-added opportunities to assist with local economic development - construction began at Willis Farm in 2021

  • assisting farmers with reaching additional demographics by helping to transport and sell their produce at other local farmers’ markets on Saturdays and, amidst COVID-19, assisting local farmers with transportation challenges to get their items to fresh local markets during the week

  • starting a CSA program in our county that focuses on the smaller farms by offering a CSA box that is an assortment of items from multiple farmers who cannot yet independently sustain the challenges of keeping up with the quantity demands that come with CSAs while offering an additional economic channel mid-week for our farmers

  • Carteret Local Food Network, as a response to COVID-19 in our community, implemented a version of our Veggie Van Program earlier than anticipated due to needs expressed by our farmers for assistance moving their produce to local farmers’ markets and fresh market stores. It started using a personal vehicle and transporting the farmer’s produce to local farmers’ markets that struggled to remain open and serve our community. Our local farmers were straining to meet the demands of our neighborhoods and had great difficulty taking time away from production.

 

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