Steve and Libby Steadham have been on a journey for over 30 years. Their lives together have taken them from Ocracoke to Alamance County and finally home to Carteret County in 2005. They have always loved living close to the land; growing, cooking, eating, and sharing delicious foods has been what Libby describes as her “gift.” They have found their home on what she also says is “a little slice of heaven” Down East on Fox Haven Farm at 404 Pigott Rd in Gloucester. The land, formerly grazed by horses and goats now lends itself well for gardens, a small orchard with fruits of all kinds, heirloom garlic, and a variety of vegetables.
Libby was the Executive Director for “Carteret Local Food Network” from 2017 to 2019 as she supported local farmers, promoted local foods, and shared the benefits of eating healthy from fresh foods with groups around Carteret County. She has always been a lifelong “creative cook” and is grateful for all she has learned from friends, family, and chefs. Now with some time on her hands, she has a new season in life with the creation of a cookbook called “Seasonal Cooking from the Garden in Coastal North Carolina.” A donation from the sale of each cookbook will go directly to The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
The book is very helpful as it contains recipes by the season of the garden; spring, summer, fall, and winter as well as by categories by dish - Breakfast, Main Dishes, Seafood, Soups and Stews, Salads and Slaws, Vegetable dishes, and of course we cannot forget the desserts. There are lots of great tips intertwined with the pages; my favorite is on how to NOT cry when cutting an onion.
Fold a whole piece of white bread in ½ and tuck it under your upper lip. I swear, you will never cry while cutting an onion.
There are poems and quotes by Libby weaved throughout the book as well. One that spoke to me was Garden Friends.
As I sit at the edge of our garden, oh how it nourishes my body and soul. Through drought and frost, the freezer is full. I thank the squash for its fanlike foliage that dance and delight me daily. The crisp snap beans give house of porch popping, restful rocking, together. Snow peas feed the deer and me, with pods and purple blossoms. Onions are always ready for any culinary concoction! We thank you for all, for your ‘gifts of goodness'.
In a garden you can tend to drop your thoughts here and there; to the flowers, you can whisper your secrets you keep and the hopes you breathe and know that they are there to eavesdrop for the angels. The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.
If you would like to order a cookbook, you can email Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her at the Olde Beaufort Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, purchase a book for yourself and as a gift for someone special from the Ginny Gordon’s store in Morehead City or at any of Carteret Local Food Network's Veggie Van Mobile Markets.
Rebecca Jones is a contract writer for the Carteret News-Times and a member of the Carteret Local Food Network blog writing team. She was born and raised in the Piedmont Triad area where she spent most of her life. She has two grown children and 6 grandchildren. Writing has always been a part of her life and she believes that it is a way to showcase and bring awareness to events that affect your community. In April of 2018, Rebecca and her husband George moved to Beaufort, NC. Her most recent two books, Love Brings You Home (about Hurricane Florence) and Go Deep (a devotional with photos), are sold locally and on Amazon.