It may be hard to believe while it’s still so cold outside, but fields, orchards, and arbors in North Carolina will soon be turning those amazing shades of young, bright green that last only a few precious days before the real warmth of spring sets in. Here at NC Folk we’re already thinking about the agricultural festivals that await in 2016, showcasing the wealth of products that grow in North Carolina. Throughout the year we’ll be letting you know (here and on our Facebook page) about upcoming events, but to get you started on your travel planning, here are a selection of some of the late-winter and spring events that you should be sure to visit.
You probably already know that North Carolina is a rising star in wine production. From the High Country to the Yadkin Valley to the Coastal Plain, North Carolina’s vineyards are turning out fine wines that are catching the world’s attention. Many of these wineries will be participating in the Stanly County Winter Wine Festival, on February 27 in Albemarle.
When we think of North Carolina agriculture, what usually come to mind are crops like sweet potatoes and collards. Though it exists on a smaller scale, our state is also home to many herb growers, including folks raising herbs in their home gardens. If you’d like to join their ranks, a great chance to stock up on young plants is the annual Herb and Garden Fair at Poplar Grove Plantation, just north of Wilmington. (While you’re at Poplar Grove, be sure to explore the Abbey Nature Preserve, with a walking trail that begins just on the north side of the plantation house. It’s one of my favorite places in North Carolina to hear spring frog choruses!)
Speaking of herbs, May 28 brings the Sage Festival, held in the historic Bertie County seat of Windsor, in the northeastern corner of the state. (We’ll post more details about this one as we receive them!)
And of course, there’s the Pickle Festival. This year will be the 30th time Mount Olive, in Wayne County near Goldsboro, has hosted this big pickle party, which features the Tour de Pickle Bike Ride, the North Carolina Pickle Princess Pageant, and many other pickle-themed events. There might even be some pickles there to eat.
Keep an eye on NC Food and on our Facebook page for more upcoming events. And if there’s an agricultural or food festival that we should know about, please drop us a line, or leave a comment in the field below!