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Farms Behind the Food

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Farms Behind the Food
Text by John Dekis / Photo by Christina Oxford

THREE OUTSTANDING CHARLOTTE-AREA FARMS

The food scene in Charlotte has been improving steadily over the years, thanks in part to the efforts of some talented chefs and restaurateurs. Ask these chefs what makes their food so delicious, and many will be quick to defer credit to the hard work and passion of the local farmers, dedicated and knowledgeable individuals responsible for coaxing life out of the elements. They do things the hard way because it is the right way, not only for a superior product, but in consideration of the health of consumers and the environment that nurtures these products. The following are three standout farms on the front lines of Charlotte’s culinary crusade:

 

Poplar Ridge Organic Farm

Sandy Ridge Township, Union County, N.C.

  • Run by Marianne Battistone and Phillip Norwood
  • Outstanding Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
  • Market Stand open Wednesdays, 2 p.m.- 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
  • Wide variety of organic greens, ranging from spinach to mizuna and tatsoi, as well as regular farm-to-table dinners held in collaboration with local culinary talent

The Farm at Dover Vineyards

Concord, N.C.

  • Run by Elizabeth Dover
  • Uncertified Organic garden (1 acre) and vineyard (4 acres)
  • Look for Dover Saturdays at the Common Market and weekdays at their new farm stand in Concord
  • Keep your eyes peeled in the summer months for the sweetest, juiciest tristar strawberries you will ever taste

Wincrest Farm

Monroe, N.C.

  • Owners Ray and Mary Roberts Tarlton
  • 14-acre Certified Organic farm since 1978
  • Find their products at Atherton Mill and Market and the Matthews Farmers Market
  • Try their tender baby collards and kale, as well as beautiful candy cane beets