If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in North Carolina, why not celebrate with North Carolina?
The Produce Lady, a program that advocates bolsering the state economy by purchasing locally grown foods, has collected a list of treats from right here at home that will make your Valentine smile — and feel a lot more personal than a drugstore box of chocolates.
“There’s a common misconception that local foods — particularly fruits and vegetables — are not available during the winter, especially here in North Carolina,” says The Produce Lady co-director Leah Chester-Davis. “In reality, several farmers markets are open through the winter months, and local foods are available year-round.”
For starters, North Carolina has more than 100 wineries, and nearly three-quarters of them are in the Piedmont. Attend a Valentine-themed event, plan a trip to tour a winery, or just pick up a bottle to toast the evening.
Oodles of farms, farmers markets, nurseries and other agriculture producers sell gift items, from roadside stands to pick-your-own farms. Pick one item, or bundle several of your favorites into a personalized package.
The Produce Lady’s recommendations include gourmet pastas from Boone-based The Pasta Wench; pecans from Elizabeth’s Pecans (dark chocolate, orange crème and even jalapeno are among the choices); the namesake product from Farmers Roasted Soynuts; and sweet potato crackers in five flavors from Polka Dot Bake Shop in Charlotte.
Learn more about The Produce Lady program at theproducelady.org.