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Local Crafters at Chatham Marketplace

Pittsboro, NC – I love stopping by the Chatham Marketplace for lunch or to pick up some great local produce. If you have never been, you must go. And why not go this week? They have a bunch of local crafters coming by each day until December 20th. Read more

4th Annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival at Briar Chapel

Photos courtesy of the Abundance Foundation and Briar Chapel.

Pittsboro, NC – Saturday, October 2nd promises to be an epic date in Pittsboro, with Briar Chapel’s OktoberBEST backyard Olympics followed by the 4th Annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival to benefit the Abundance Foundation. Read more

Hops & Roots Fest: Local Food, Beer and Music

Pittsboro, NC – The first annual Hops & Roots Festival this Saturday, September 3rd showcases some of the wonderful edibles and talents that exist in Pittsboro and surrounding Chatham County.

The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center will host the Festival this Saturday bringing together local brews, sustainable farms, local restaurants and great music from regional bands. Read more

Monthly Sunday Dinners at the Inn at Celebrity Dairy

Siler City, NC – What do you call a goat dairy in the middle of Chatham County that serves Sunday dinner with falafel, spelt and chilled melon soup? Celebrity Dairy of course! Read more

A Southern Season Sold

Syndicated from CaryCitizenStory by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Jessica Yin.

Chapel Hill, NC – A short drive from Pittsboro is A Southern Season, one of the state’s most wonderful and famous places to buy food, cooking implements, home wares and more. I was interested to learn that the business was recently sold to a prestigious group of local investors. Read more

The Apple Man of Pittsboro NC

Pittsboro, NC – It’s always great to read about Pittsboro’s unique people in the national media. On Wednesday, The New York Times featured an in-depth story about Creighton Lee Calhoun Jr., an apple farmer in Pittsboro.

The Amazing Mr. Calhoun

Mr. Calhoun, now 82 years young, is no ordinary apple farmer. He’s a retired Army lieutenant colonel and an expert on heirloom apples.

Old Southern Apples” is Mr. Calhoun’s encyclopedic book covering 1800 varieties of apples.

His orchard contains about 300 trees.

Sharing the Love

Mr. Calhoun, who goes by Lee, has shared his collection of old-time apple trees with younger farmers in the area. He grows forgotten varieties including Early Strawberry (makes good apple sauce), Arkansas Black, Red Twig and Carter’s Blue. Another type, the Cullasaga, was grown by the Cherokee people of North Carolina.

Grown Your Own

Lee Calhoun grows most varieties by grafting. That is, he takes a twig from the old tree and grows it on the trunk of something else.

Nowadays, Calhoun mostly grafts to dwarf tree stock, keeping the apple trees at a manageable height. He’s a careful pruner and uses wires to shape the trees for optimum production.

If you’d like to know more about growing heirloom apples, The Times lists an upcoming workshop in our area:

NORTH CAROLINA There will be a grafting workshop April 2 at Horne Creek Farm, in Pinnacle. Information: (336) 325-2298 or www.nchistoricsites.org/horne/

More About Pittsboro’s Apple Man

It’s great to hear about interesting local people. The New York Times article is interesting, well-written and stacks up as good journalism in my book. Read it for yourself:

The New York Times
March 2, 2011
In The Garden
He Keeps Ancient Apples Fresh and Crisp

Food: Farm House Restaurant in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC – A while back, I wrote about the great restaurant scene on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. But, sometimes, I don’t feel like a “scene.” Fortunately, Chapel Hill also has The Farm House Restaurant. Read more

Fearrington for the Holidays

When you talk about the things that make Pittsboro famous, Fearrington Village would have to be Number One.

It’s a farm and a village, a community and an inn. You can eat a meal at Fearrington (a good meal, too), shop there, get married, hold a meeting or live there. People from all over the world visit Fearrington.

And when they’re visiting Fearrington, they’re visiting Pittsboro. Read more

Holiday Dinner on the Farm

Siler City, NC – Imagine having Thanksgiving dinner on a real old-time farm, with heaping plates of steaming food, everything so fresh the taste explodes in your mouth.

Imagine no more. Just a short drive from Pittsboro, right here in Chatham County, is The Inn at Celebrity Dairy. They’ll be hosting lots of great holiday events including Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner on the farm. Read more