Looking for signs of spring after all the snow? Look no further than your neighborhood grocery store’s shelves. Local honey, carefully collected during the warmer days of spring and summer, abounds this time of year—whether it’s from mountain wildflowers or the Sourwood tree. Sourwood honey is a regional specialty produced predominately in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The taste is often described as rich and buttery, making it sought after by honey lovers everywhere.
And it gets even sweeter. Local sorghum syrup or sorghum molasses, another distinctively regional farm product, can also be found now. But don’t get it confused with blackstrap molasses, a byproduct of the sugar refining process. Sorghum molasses is made from 100 percent sorghum cane juice and has a lighter flavor.
Local honey and sorghum are the featured products of January in Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s (ASAP) Get Local initiative. A year-round component of ASAP’s Local Food Campaign, Get Local brings together farmers, chefs, and community members in celebration of a food or foods available at tailgate markets, groceries, and restaurants during the month.
Keep your eyes out for both farm products on eatery menus through January. Pick up your own sweet stuff at area groceries, from Earth Fare to Ingles, as well as direct from the farm.
Find a complete list of area Get Local restaurants and more information about the initiative, for which ASAP has big plans in 2011, on the Get Local page of asapconnections.org. There, you can also download a Get Local school calendar; until March, participating schools are highlighting local apples. Search for the more than 100 area honey and sorghum producers in ASAP’s Local Food Guide, online at buyappalachian.org.
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MEDIA CONTACTS: Maggie Cramer (828) 236-1282, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Lee Seabrook (828) 236-1282, email@example.com.