Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carolina Tour: Chatham County, Part One

October 26th, Sunday--Pittsboro (Chatham County) NC

After raiding Allyn's parents' home in Cleveland, NC, we got up early on Sunday morning to make our way to Chatham County, NC (near the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area), which is at the center of the Carolinas' alternative agriculture movement. Our stops in Chatham County included the Chatham Marketplace, a grocery cooperative located in Pittsboro (Chatham's county seat); Piedmont Biofuels Cooperative in nearby Moncure; and Harland's Creek Farm, a nearby farm that is at the forefront of the CSA network in Chatham County. All three destinations are part of the fast-growing Chatham County local food system.

Chatham Marketplace (

P'Nok's visit to the Chatham Market gave her the opportunity to learn more about the investment/business models and marketing strategies involved in developing (one example of) a food cooperative. We met with the General Manager, Mary, who gave us a tour of the Marketplace and highlighted the means by which the coop works with local farmers and consumers. One highlight of the experience was discovering that the Marketplace sells AlterEco Coral Red Jasmine Rice from Surin (see photo above). 

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